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Ocelli Nominum: Names and Shelf Marks of Famous/Familiar Manuscripts.

Wilma Fitzgerald, Subsidia Mediaevalia, 19 (Tororonto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1992). 170 pp. ISBN 0-88 844-368-4. $35.00. This book consists of two alphabetical indexes, of the familiar names of manuscripts, and of the towns that hold them -- so that if you find yourself in The Hague or Gniezno, you will be able to discover what famous manuscripts there are to hand. Fitzgerald takes illuminated manuscripts as her core field, but she adds others that are |important palaeographically or for their association with an author' or because they are special in some other way. These last categories obviously allow plenty of scope for complaints about exclusions and omissions, but the coverage is generous and the project unreservedly welcome. Some manuscripts that one might expect to find as part of the core, such as the Bede Life of St Cuthbert (Oxford), seem simply to have been missed; other fists occasionally seem arbitrary, as when the Campsall and Helmingham MSS are listed under Chaucer but not the Cardigan MS (Austin, Texas). Most of the entries are inevitably of liturgical books (psalters, books of hours, antiphonals, Bibles); classical authors are also generally well served. Cross-references and alternative names are also supplied in abundance. Fitzgerald includes the whereabouts of separated fragments as well as the major parts of manuscripts, so that the Auchinleck MS entry, for instance (oddly headed |Auchinleck MS of Sir Orfeo), gives both the main Edinburgh location and the three further libraries that hold bifolia from it. So if you need to locate the Book of Lismore (Chatsworth), the Chatsworth Chaucer (Tokyo), the Toulouse Breviary (Cambridge), the Wakefield Plays (San Marino), the Holkham Bible Picture Book (London), the Paris Chansonnier (Montpellier), the Tris Riches Heures (Chantilly, or Petrarch's Virgil (milan), this is the book to turn to.
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Publication:Medium Aevum
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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