Cambridge University Library is one of Britain's major repositories of medieval manuscripts. Its two-letter collection (Dd-Oo) includes just over 1,000 medieval western manuscripts, and amongst these may be found examples of every type of Middle English prose composition. Religious works predominate: there are several copies of the Wycliffite Bible, various sermon cycles, and works by Love, Hilton and Rolle; there is also a vast number of unattributed religious works. Secular texts are represented by the works of Chaucer, Mandeville's Travels, and no fewer than eight copies of the Brut. The collection is also extremely rich in Middle English prose writing in the fields of science and information, preserving medical, gynaecological, veterinary, culinary, alchemical, mathematical, heraldic and linguistic texts. Altogether the current handlist covers 207 manuscripts, and indexes more than 1250 separate items. MARGARET CONNOLLY teaches in the School of English at the University of St Andrews.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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