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Insular BooksVernacular manuscript miscellanies in late medieval Britain$
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Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265833

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.001.0001

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The Chivalric Miscellany

The Chivalric Miscellany

Classifying John Paston’s ‘Grete Booke’

Chapter:
(p.143) 8 The Chivalric Miscellany
Source:
Insular Books
Author(s):

Andrew Taylor

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.003.0008

A chivalric miscellany, such as the ‘Grete Booke’ commissioned by Sir John Paston II in the 1460s, can be classified according to the likely use its owner made of it, or intended to make of it, even though this will be very difficult to determine. One complication is that people who wish to acquire prestige by associating themselves with a book, whether a contemporary fanbook or a medieval miscellany, may themselves be uncertain as to the socially acceptable limits of the codicological category. Medievalists have sometimes referred to highly personal miscellanies as ‘commonplace books’, but this term is best reserved for books that actually were composed of commonplaces, short pieces of widely accepted wisdom. There were many kinds of chivalric miscellanies, and the terms we employ offer tentative judgements on the purpose and control of the original patron or owner.

Keywords:   chivalry, prestige, commonplace book, combat, John Paston II, John Astley, BL, Lansdowne 285, Pierpont Morgan Library, 775

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