Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, MS 395
(Bestiaire of Guillaume le Clerc)


Produced: England, 13th-14th century
Current Location: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Manuscript Type: Miscellany
Bestiary Family: French
Language: French
Folios: 224
Author: Guillaume le Clerc
Illustrated: No
Scribe: 6 scribes
Binding: 19th century, diced red/brown calf, gold-tooled
Media: Parchment
Script: Gothic bookhand
Dimensions: Height: 30 cm Width: 20 cm
Folio 153r


Includes the Bestiaire of Guillaume le Clerc, folios 153r-179r: Ci comence le Bestiaire en franceis. Qui ben comence et ben define/ Cest uerite seue et fine/...Ke nous al ior del iugement/ Seiom a sa destre partie/ Amen Amen chascun en die.

4-line initials, divided blue and red (ff. 111r, 153r, 189r), with penwork in red and blue or red only. 3- and 2- line initials, red with blue penwork or vice versa (quire VI lacks flourishes on initials). Paragraph marks in red or blue; some rubrics at beginning of articles. 1-line initials stroked with yellow or red. Ink drawings in margins include King Arthur (f. 189r). - [Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library]

This is the copy of the Bestiaire designated U by Reinsch. Formerly Sir Thomas Phillipps number 4156.

The manuscript also contains (folios 145r-152v) the Letter of Prester John to Emperor Manuel Comnenus, translated into Anglo-Norman verse by Raoul d'Arundel. This (spurious) letter describes several fabulous beasts said to live in the east.

Additional Descriptions

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Editions and Facsimiles

Printed editions

Reinsch, 1890

Digital facsimiles

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library