Printer Friendly

The Fragments of a Middle English Melusyne Edition: Some Further Clues.

A recent volume of this journal featured a fascinating contribution by Tania M. Colwell, in which she describes a group of printed fragments of a Middle English prose Melusyne found in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. (1) Six fragments of an edition printed in folio format survive, the various folios having been brought together after they were scattered among the Bodleian's collections. (2) These fragments have long remained relatively unknown to scholars, although they are listed in a number of catalogues, including the Short Title Catalogue (STC 14648) and the Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC 501139). (3) The printed fragments are also rarely mentioned alongside the two better-known surviving manuscript versions of the English Melusine and Romans de Partenay, translations that each go back to a different French exemplar. (4) Colwell is the first to consider all six surviving printed fragments together, and she not only gives a thorough description of their stylistic, linguistic, and iconographical features, but she also makes crucial observations on the likelihood that this prose edition was printed by Wynkyn de Worde around 1510.

Colwell's note on these fragments also raises several interesting followup questions. One further avenue of inquiry in particular immediately resonated with me: that of the relationship between the English prose edition and the various Melusine incunabula and early fifteenth-century editions that appeared on the Continent. During my recent research on the various Western European translations of this romance, I have uncovered some additional information about the English fragments that highlights their connection with European book production and trade networks. Such findings not only illustrate how many early MAlusine printers--including de Worde--benefited from cross-cultural connections and exchanges in the production of their books, but they may also have important implications in terms of the dating and potential source of the prose edition. This note, then, offers a complement to Colwell's, providing further clues in the mystery of the Melusyne fragments.

Since Colwell's description of the fragments is so detailed, it will suffice to give only a brief introduction here, before turning to these additional clues. The six surviving Melusyne fragments are now found in a guard-book under the Bodleian's shelfmark Vet. Al d. 18. Each of these paper fragments has been cropped, although the degree of resizing varies per folio. (5) The text of the romance is arranged in two columns, and the different episodes are introduced by separate headings. Those headings that are still complete have been numbered: they run from chapter lvi to lxxiii, but there are significant textual lacunae. The text of the fragments describes events found toward the end of the romance, around the key moment when Melusine's great secret--that she becomes a half-serpent once a week--has been revealed, and she is forced to depart her family and her home. Fragment 1 begins at the point in the narrative where Melusine's son Geffray Great Tooth battles the giant Guedon, and fragment 6 ends with Geffray's visit to his father, Raymondin, who has become a hermit at Montserrat. The fragments also feature a total of four woodcuts, which illustrate scenes from the accompanying text. Most of the woodcuts have been cropped along with the rest of the folio; only the image on fragment lr remains intact.

There is no surviving title page, and none of the fragments bears a colophon or any other printing marks, which means we cannot be entirely certain of the exact date of this edition nor of the identity of the printer. However, as Colwell shows, it is highly likely that the edition was published by de Worde, as the printing of the Melusyne romance would have been consistent with his output after 1500, both in terms of genre and of the edition's production and stylistic features. (6) I agree with Colwell that de Worde is the most likely candidate. However, I have been unable to find any concrete evidence as to why this edition is thought to have been printed specifically in 1510. After puzzling together various comments made by Robert Nolan, who is one of the first to discuss these fragments in his unpublished doctoral thesis, it appears that the Bodleian Library's catalogue first dated the fragments to 1510. (7) This date then led Nolan to postulate that de Worde must have been the printer, an idea that was then copied by other scholars. I have been in contact with librarians at the Bodleian's Rare Books collection in an attempt to track down the specific justifications for this date. However, the original catalogue slips give no details as to whether the dating of this edition is based on, for instance, type or deterioration of woodcuts. In fact, the edition was given a more cautious date of"c. 1510" in the original paper catalogue, but somehow this became 1510 exactly when the records were transferred to the digital catalogue and the STC. (8)

It is tempting to suppose that this dating was based on the partial watermark found on fragment 1. The mark is rather unclear and is also found in the middle of a woodcut. Colwell notes that the mark resembles "horns or the vertical spokes of a crown," but I would say that it bears a closer resemblance to those listed as "monts," or mountains, by Charles-Mose Briquet, in which case it is upside down. (9) However, it must be said that one could also imagine that this is a mark depicting a flower, a leaf, or even a star--there is simply not enough left of the watermark to be able to make any definite claims about what it might represent, let alone about the dating of the paper. Colwel[GAMMA]s discussion of the type used for the body of the text and for the headings also does not give us a very specific range of dates. (10) With such a lack of concrete evidence, it would be sensible to remain skeptical of this 1510 date, especially when trying to determine the possible source of this translation.

There is almost certainly an affiliation between the text of the fragments and that of the only known manuscript of an English prose Melusine--London, British Library, Royal, 18. B. II. This translation is based on the text of a printed edition of Jean d'Arras's Middle French Melusine ou la noble histoire de Lusignan, most likely that of the editio princeps published by Adam Steinschaber in Geneva in 1478. (11) According to Nolan, although the text of the fragments is reduced by a quarter of its original size and is divided into a larger number of chapters, the fragments are so similar to the prose manuscript that they must represent an abridged version. (12) Carol Meale also comments on the many similarities between the manuscript and the fragments, but she argues that it is possible too that they represent separate translations that go back to a common exemplar. (13) Nonetheless, both scholars agree that the manuscript--usually dated to around 1500--was not copied from the printed text. (14) Naturally, the uncertainty surrounding the exact date of this edition is not a very helpful factor in trying to determine whether there is only one or if there are two English prose Melusine translations.

It is not my intention here to examine the exact relationship between the edition and the prose manuscript, although it is worth noting that a close examination of their philological relationship is severely complicated by the fragmented state of the prose edition. Instead, I am interested in the connections with editions printed on the Continent, and how such connections might help us track down the French source text. Crucially, although the prose translation is almost certainly based on the text of Steinschaber's editio princeps, this does not necessarily mean that the translator worked directly from an exemplar of this edition. This is because Steinschaber's text was copied--with very few minor orthographical adjustments--in several later Melusine incunabula and early fifteenth-century editions. (15) Colwell already touches on this when she rightly points out that most of the commonalities between the manuscript and the edition--as noted by Nolan and Meale--reflect features found in all French Melusine editions printed before 1517. (16) In fact, later printers made such extensive reuse of Steinschaber's text, layout, and chapter divisions that it is entirely possible that this text was mediated through a later edition. This means that we are looking at a much larger number of possible source texts than previously thought.

At this point, I want to draw attention to a hitherto neglected link with the French Melusine edition printed by Martin Husz in Lyon sometime after 1479. In describing the only surviving copy of Husz's Melusine edition, Arthur Rau notes that it was found in England soon after this edition was printed. (17) Rau adds that this particular copy of Husz's edition can also be linked to a London workshop printing for William Caxton, and he even suggests that it may have been among the books Caxton imported to England in 1488. (18) Rau bases his comments on the copy's binding, noting that the plates are similar to those attributed to the man now known as the Caxton binder. More recent research has shown that this binder worked for both Caxton and his successor de Worde, and that the known examples of manuscripts and books he covered date from around 1477 to 1511. (19)I have been unable to view the original binding myself, but if this copy indeed belongs to one of the groups of bindings that came from Caxton's bindery, then this raises a number of interesting questions.

For a start, although Rau does not comment on any connections with the English version, his observations open up the possibility that Martin Husz's edition is the source of the English prose translation. Husz's edition is the second earliest known edition of this romance in French, and it copies Steinschaber's text with only some minor differences in orthography. So, could this be the common exemplar postulated by Meale? Alternatively, if we follow Nolan's argument that the edition is an abridgement, is this the source of the translation found in the prose manuscript? If the latter is true, could it be that Husz's edition was brought to the printing workshop not as a model for the translator, but to serve as a guide in setting the prose translation to print?

Such questions of course depend on when exactly this copy was found in a London workshop, and on who might have ordered it and why. It is tempting, though, to wonder whether, if the copy was there in the late 1480s or early 1490s, its presence might indicate that there was an earlier English Melusyne edition, perhaps even printed by Caxton. If this surviving edition is one of de Worde's many reprints of works first printed by his former master, then this might explain why the prose Melusyne is in folio--a format favored by Caxton--while most of the romances newly printed by de Worde were in quarto format. (20) However, it is equally possible that the copy of Husz's edition was brought to London at a later stage, and that it was de Worde who made use of his connections with French printers and booksellers in order to obtain it. After all, we know that de Worde imported quite a large number of books--he is on record for having imported at least twenty-nine shipments between 1503 and 1531--many of which came from presses in cities like Paris and Lyon. (21) Of course, it could also be that this copy was imported and sent to the bindery by someone else entirely. It is difficult to provide a definitive answer when still so little is known about the printed fragments, or about the exact history of this particular copy of Husz's edition, but the possible link with a London workshop certainly is intriguing.

This connection becomes even more interesting when we consider that there is undoubtedly an iconographical link here, as there are some striking similarities between the woodcuts that illustrate the Melusyne fragments and the images of Husz's edition. Colwell already observes that some of the English cuts share features in common with images found in French Melusine incunabula, and with the group of incunabula printed in Lyon in particular. (22) This group includes the edition printed by Husz. Colwell highlights that the woodcut on fragment 4v in particular, which depicts Melusine's son Geffray entering a cave in pursuit of a giant, bears a much closer resemblance to that depicting the same scene in the editions printed in Lyon than the woodcut found in Steinschaber's edition.

To this I want to add another example: as I have noted elsewhere, it is possible that the heavily damaged woodcut on fragment 3v also shows a similar scene to that found in the Lyon editions. (23) Although it is difficult to make any definitive claims about the small strip that remains, from what is left of the surrounding text it can be gleaned that this image accompanies the scene where Melusine is about to depart the human world and transform into a serpent. The placement of this cut makes it likely that it depicts Melusine's metamorphosis, as the transformation image is typically found before the description of Melusine's parting words in the French editions too. Furthermore, the woodcut is found underneath a heading with the remaining words "(...)e of a serpent." (24) The components discernible in what is left of this image--part of a building, rocks, a tree, and what might be a bent arm--match features also found in the transformation woodcuts of the Lyon editions. Such iconographical links strengthen the possibility that Husz's edition was used as a model for the English edition, if not for the text of the translation then at least for some of its illustrations.

However, there are a few crucial factors that complicate such attempts at tracing the cross-cultural influences among the images of early Melusine editions. For a start, Martin Husz's edition is itself already a product of a cross-cultural exchange: its images are derived from a set of woodblocks originally designed to illustrate the editio princeps of the German Melusine translation, printed by Bernhard Richel in Basel between 1473 and 1474. (25) Colwell notes that the images of the incunabula printed in Lyon were closely modeled on the woodcuts of Richel's edition, but they are in fact derived from the exact same woodblocks. (26) Some further modifications must be made: there are not three Lyon incunabula but four, and the edition printed in 1493 was published not by Martin but by Matthias (or Mathieu) Husz. (27) The Lyon editions printed by Martin Husz after 1479, by Gaspard Ortuin and Pierre Boutellier (or Schenck) around 1485, by Guillaume Le Roy around 1487, and by Matthias Husz are often referred to as a group because they are virtually identical in text, layout, and illustration. (28) It is likely that Martin Husz was the person who first obtained Richel's woodblocks, as we know that he worked as an apprentice in Basel and that he acquired some of Richel's printing materials in 1476. (29) He then came to Lyon and worked there as a printer from 1477 to circa 1481. Richel's woodblocks were reused again for subsequent MAlusine incunabula printed in Lyon, although in Matthias Husz's 1493 edition Richel's images are mixed with smaller copies and woodcuts derived from other editions, possibly because the original blocks had become damaged from constant reuse. (30)

The story then becomes even more complicated, as the influence of Richel's iconography is not limited to the Lyon editions alone. Richel's woodblocks were also used to illustrate the earliest known edition of the Castilian translation, the Historia de la linda Melosina, printed by Juan Parix and Estevan Cleblat in 1489. (31) Parix and Cleblat borrowed almost the entire set of woodblocks from printers in Lyon, and the blocks were sent back afterwards to be reused again for Mathias Husz's edition. (32) Aside from these instances of actual reuse of the same woodblocks, there are also a great number of early Melusine editions whose iconography is modeled on that of Richel's edition. In fact, it would be too much to describe here the full extent to which Richel's images had an impact on the iconographies of editions printed in various languages. (33) Suffice to say that, because of printers' frequent image copying and reuse, the illustrations in most Melusine incunabula--and some editions printed shortly after 1500--can in some way be traced back to Richel's images, making it difficult to pinpoint any direct iconographical links between the various early printed versions. To give an example, although it is true that some of the English Melusyne woodcuts match the composition of the woodcuts of the Lyon editions, they are also very similar to the woodcuts of the edition printed by Pierre le Caron in Paris after February 1498, and those of the second Parisian edition printed by Thomas du Guernier around 1503. This is because the images of these editions can also be traced back to Richel's: le Caron's woodcuts are copied after those of Matthias Husz's edition--which were derived directly or indirectly from Richel's woodblocks--and le Caron's images were then in turn copied in du Guernier's edition. (14)

This makes it rather confusing to try to narrow down the possible source or model for the English Melusyne images, especially when there are only four woodcuts left, most of which are incomplete. The problem also lies in defining when a close resemblance between images gives us enough proof to claim a direct line of influence. However, despite such reservations, I have found one very clear link between a Melusyne woodcut and an illustration that appears in at least one French Melusine edition. It concerns the image on fragment 4r, which has been cropped at about a quarter from the top. We can still see that it depicts two armored figures raising their arms, as if they are about to strike each other. The figure on the right is larger than the one on the left, and although it is just possible to tell that the figure on the left is wearing a helmet, we can no longer see the heads of these figures or any weapons they might be holding. Behind the person on the left is a castle wall. This woodcut is found alongside a passage describing Geffray's battle with the giant Grymauld, for which it makes a fitting illustration, considering the height difference between these figures.

There is a particularly close resemblance between this image and a woodcut illustrating the same episode in a Melusine edition printed by Jean II Trepperel in Paris sometime between 1527 and 1532. (35) The woodcut in Trepperel's edition is still intact, and it clearly shows that the man on the right is much larger than the one on the left, which would identify him as the giant. Geoffroy is holding a sword and the giant raises a scimitar, while in the top left corner of the image we see two figures looking at this scene from behind the castle wall. At first glance, it appears that the English woodcut is a simplified version of the image found in Trepperel's edition, as it depicts fewer rocks in the foreground and the lines on the giant's greaves are less intricate. Still, the rest of the image matches Trepperel's so closely--from the detailed patterns on the armor to the stones of the castle and the exact stance of the figures--and both images are so different from images that illustrate the same scene in other Melusine editions that there must be a relationship between these woodcuts.

Colwell does not discuss this particular woodcut in detail, although she does note that it is listed by Edward Hodnett as appearing in at least three of de Worde's editions of the Chronicle of England, printed between 1515 and 1528. (16) She adds that "it may have an alternative line of descent." (17)1 have examined various French Melusine editions printed before Trepperel's, but none of the surviving copies features this same woodcut. However, the same image does appear in the 1511 edition of Godejfroy de Boulion, printed in Paris by Michel le Noir for Jean Petit, and in the 1522 edition of Antoine de la Sale's La Salade, again printed in Paris by Michel le Noir. (38) Since Trepperel is known to have copied various images from le Noir's Melusine edition of 1517--and from the edition published by Michel's son Philippe le Noir around 1525--it is possible that the same image was used there, too. (39) The Trepperel and le Noir printing families were connected--most obviously through the marriage of Michel and Jeanne, the sister of Jean I Trepperel--and in some cases even worked together. (40) In all likelihood, it would not have been difficult for Jean II to obtain either the original woodblocks used by Michel le Noir or for him to have copies made. Still, these various editions postdate the date usually given to the English fragments, so we may wonder if there is an even earlier source.

It is also not clear whether this image was originally designed to illustrate a scene from the Melusine romance or if it simply found its way into these various editions because it could be used as a generic illustration of a one-toone combat scene. Certainly, one feature particular to this romance has been obscured here: because the visor on Geffray's helmet is down, we cannot see his characteristic great tooth sticking out from his bottom lip. This tooth is a monstrous token that Geffray inherited from his mother, and whenever we see him depicted in the French incunabula, the tooth typically functions as an identifying marker. (41) In this woodcut, however, the figure that supposedly represents Geffray is rather nondescript, so one could imagine that this knight in full armor could stand in for a host of different characters from different texts. It appears that le Noir saw this potential too: in his Godeffroy edition, the image represents the battle between the swan knight Helias and the count of Frankfurt, while in La Salade it accompanies an exemplum on military strategy taken from Simon de Hesdin's translation of Valerius Maximus. Since it is quite common to find Geoffroy depicted with his large tooth in the images of the early French Melusine editions, it is entirely possible--even likely--that this image was designed for a different text. (42)

It is clear, then, that the English Melusyne woodcuts are derived from a mix of different sources, which would be in line with de Worde's usual modus operandi. It is also evident that the images rely heavily on French models, which, again, is quite common for de Worde. It has often been noted that he seems to have been particularly keen to copy illustrations from editions published by the notable printer and bookseller Antoine VArard, but many of de Worde's books also feature images copied after woodcuts in French editions published by other printers--including Martin and Matthias Husz, le Noir, and Trepperel. Moreover, de Worde was not the only printer to make use of French image models: for instance, his main competitor, Richard Pynson, also regularly relied on woodcuts from French editions for the illustrations in his publications. As such, the Melusyne woodcuts provide yet more evidence that the history of woodcuts in English editions is intertwined with the history of wood engraving in a French context. (43)

However, some of the images discussed here also illustrate that, just as early English printing relied heavily on French models, early French printing in turn often relied on German models. In the case of the Melusine romance, it was undoubtedly the great success of the first editions of the German translation that led to the printing of a French version, and the early printers working in Paris and Lyon--many of whom came from German-speaking regions themselves--then looked to earlier German image models when illustrating their books. The French editions contributed even more to the popularity of this romance, so much so that it was then further translated into Castilian, Dutch, and English. (44) The illustrators of these different versions also looked to earlier models--in this case both French and German exemplars. So, when we talk about de Worde copying existing woodcuts to illustrate his Melusyne edition, it is important to realize that this is all part of a larger process of copying and recycling, which happened on an international scale.

The downside of this constant image reuse and recycling is that it makes for a rather complicated web of connections, and so it can be difficult to trace these iconographical links. This is especially true for those editions, such as the prose Melusyne, where the woodcuts are derived from different sources. Of course, this makes it all the more important to determine whether the only surviving copy of Martin Husz's edition was indeed bound by the Caxton binder, and if and when it might have been found in a London (or Westminster?) workshop. Only by putting together the different scraps of evidence--not just typographical and iconographical links, but also the known connections between printers, binders, and booksellers--can we come closer to solving the mystery of the English printed Melusyne fragments and to pinpointing their exact source. My intention here has been to bring forward various additional clues that may in the future allow us to do just that. Most of all, though, I hope that this discussion has shown that it pays to look at the wider, European legacy of a printed text, especially considering that printing at this stage was not necessarily bound by conventional geographic or linguistic boundaries, and there was a constant movement of texts, materials, and people. Such a broader view reveals further evidence of the relationship between English and continental book production and trade, uncovering crucial cross-cultural links which are so easily overlooked when we focus only on the local context.

University of York


(1.) Tania M. Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine: Evidence for an Early Edition of the Prose Romance in the Bodleian Library," Journal of the Early Book Society 17 (2014): 259-287.

(2.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 276, note 6, for an overview of the collections in which these fragments were found.

(3.) A. W. Pollard and G. R. Redgrave, A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 147S-1640, 2nd ed., rev. W. A. Jackson and F. S. Ferguson, compl. Katharine F. Pantzer, 3 vols. (London: Bibliographical Society, 1976-1991); Universal Short Title Catalogue, (accessed 20 March 2017). Two of the fragments are also reproduced on EEBO: Early English Books Online, (accessed 20 March 2017).

(4.) Although both manuscripts are based on a Middle French exemplar, the English translations represent two distinct translations of two separate French redactions. As noted below, the prose translation is based on a printed edition of the prose Melusine by Jean d Arras. The verse translation--found in manuscript Cambridge, Trinity College Library, R 3. 17--is based on a manuscript of Coudrette's verse Roman de Parthenay.

(5.) For the measurements of each folio, see Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 260.

(6.) Ibid., 260-261.

(7.) Robert Joseph Nolan, "An Introduction to the English Version of Melusine. A Medieval Prose Romance" (PhD diss., New York University, 1970), 22.

(8.) Email correspondance with Jo Maddocks, Assistant Curator of Rare Books at the Bodleian Libraries, 18 January, 2017.

(9.) Charles-Mose Briquet, Lesfiligranes: dictionnaire historique des marques du papier des leur apparition vers 1282jusqu'en 1600. A facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material contributed by a number of scholars, ed. A Stevenson, 4 vols (Amsterdam: Paper Publications Society, 1968).

(10.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 260-261.

(11.) USTC: 71174. Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (hereafter ISTC), (accessed 20 March 2017), no. ij00218380. Gesamt-katalog der Wiegendrucke (hereafter GW), (accessed 20 March 2017), no. 12649.

(12.) Nolan, "An Introduction," 20-22.

(13.) Carol M. Meale, "Caxton, de Worde and the Publication of Romance in Late Medieval England," The Library 6th ser., 14 (1992): 287, note 15. Meale leaves open whether this common source could be English or French.

(14.) On the dating of the manuscript, see Nolan, "An Introduction," 18-19. The dates Nolan mentions for the watermark of the paper vary from 1515 to 1546, which might mean that we are actually looking at a more general date of "early sixteenth-century."

(15.) On the reuse of the text of Steinschaber's edition, see HAlne Bouquin, "Editions et adaptations de THistoire de MAlusine' de Jean d'Arras (XV (e)-XLX (e) sicle): Les aventures d'un roman medieval" (PhD diss., cole nationale des chartes, 2000), 62-64.

(16.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 266-267.

(17.) Arthur Rau, "La premiere edition Lyonnaise de Melusine," Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance 18, no. 3 (1956): 431. This copy was for some time presumed lost but is now found in the Bibliotheque nationale de France, shelf mark Res Fol-NFR-129.

(18.) Rau cites: NellyJ. M. Kerling, "Caxton and the Trade in Printed Books," The Book Collector 4 (1955): 190-199. Kerling mentions that Caxton received at least 1,100 books from various shipments in early 1488.

(19.) The books covered by the Caxton binder originate from both England and the continent. See Alexandra Gillespie, "Bookbinding and Early Printing in England," in A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 1476-1558, ed. Vincent Gillespie and Susan Powell (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2014), 82-83; Mirjam M. Foot, "English Decorated Bookbindings," in Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1375-1475, ed. Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 73-74. Howard Nixon divides up these bindings into five groups, coming from one or perhaps two shops: Nixon, "William Caxton and Bookbinding," Journal of the Printing Historical Society xi (1976-77): 92-113.

(20.) Both Colwell and Meale have speculated about the reason for this folio format, suggesting that de Worde adapted his method to suit the length of the romance, as the quarto format would have made for a hefty volume. Compare Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 265; Meale, "Caxton, de Worde," 292.

(21.) C. Paul Christianson, "The Rise of London's Book-Trade," in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain. Volume III: 1400-1557, ed. Lotte Hellinga and J. B. Trapp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 140.

(22.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 262-263.

(23.) Lydia Zeldenrust, "Serpent or Half-Serpent? Bernhard Richel's Melusine and the Making of a Western European Icon," Neophilologus 100.1 (2016): 38-39.

(24.) Compare the heading found at the start of this episode in the English prose manuscript: "how Melusyne in fourme of a Serpent flough out at awyndowe" (folio 187v).

(25.) ISTC: im00476000; USTC: 747181; GW: 12656. Ursula Rautenberg, "Die 'Melusine' des Thuring von Ringoltingen und der Basler Erst-druck des Bernhard Richel," in Melusine (1456) Nach dem Erstdruck Basel, Richel um 1473/74, Volume 2, ed. Andre Schnyder and Rautenberg, 2 vols (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2006), 62; Laurence Harf-Lancner, "L'illustration du Roman de MAlusine de Jean d Arras dans les Aditions du XVe et du XVIe siecle," in Le livre et l'image en France au XVIe sicle (Paris: Presses de l'Ecole normale supArieure, 1989), 33-35.

(26.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 263.

(27.) There is often some confusion in secondary sources between Martin and Matthias Husz, both of whom were active as printers in Lyon in the late fifteenth century. The confusion is made greater by the fact that the two were probably related and both learned their craft in Basel. However, Martin was no longer active in Lyon after the 1480s, while Matthias started printing a few years later than Martin and continued until at least 1500. Matthias also inherited much of Martin's printing materials after his death.

(28.) Lyon, Martin Husz, after 1479 (ISTC: ij00218385, USTC: 71175, GW: 12560); Lyon, Gaspard Ortuin and Pierre Bouttellier (Schenck), c. 1485 (ISTC: ij00218390, USTC: 71176, GW: 12651); Lyon, Guillaume Le Roy, c. 1487 (ISTC: ij00218400, USTC: 71177, GW: 12562); Lyon, Matthias Husz, after 26 March 1493 and before 12 March 1494 (ISTC: ij00218405, USTC: 71178, GW: 12654).

(29.) See entry 74 in Guillaume Fau, et al., "Dictionnaire des imprimeurs et libraires lyonnais du XVe siecle," in Le berceau du livre: autour des in-cunables. Etudes et essais offerts au professeur Pierre Aquilon par ses Alves, ses collgues et ses amis, ed. FrAdAric Barbier (Geneva: Libraire Droz, 2003), 230.

(30.) My observations about Matthias Husz's edition are based on personal consultation of the copy now in the Bibliothque du Chteau de Chantilly (formerly MusAe CondA), VI.I 30.

(31.) ISTC: ij00218430, USTC: 344879, GW: 12666. There is also a later Castilian edition, printed by Jacobo and Juan Cromberger in Seville in 1526 (USTC: 337807).

(32.) Ana Pairet, "Intervernacular Translation in the Early Decades of Print: Chivalric Romance and the Marvelous in the Spanish Melusine (1489-1526)," in Translating the Middle Ages, ed. Karen L. Fresco and Charles D. Wright (London: Ashgate, 2002), 142; Francis William Bourdillon, "Some Notes on Two Early Romances: Huon de Bordeaux and Melusine," The Library 4, no. 1 (1920), 36-37.

(33.) For a more detailed discussion of the impact of Richel's iconography and how these images became what Martha Driver has called an "influential prototype," see Zeldenrust, "Serpent or Half-Serpent," 19-41.

(34.) Bouquin, "Editions et adaptations," 270-278.

(35.) USTC: 72937. This edition may have been printed for Alain Lotrian. Around the same time, Trepperel also printed an edition of Geoffroy a la grand dent, which takes out some of the episodes found towards the end of the Melusine romance to create a separate chivalric romance starring Melusine most famous son. An earlier edition of this spin-off was likely published by Michel le Noir in 1517.

(36.) The image corresponds to Hodnett no. 902, which is also found on folio 17vb in the Chronicle editions printed in 1515 (USTC: 501314, STC 10000.5); 1520 (STC 10001); and 1528 (USTC: 502093, STC: 10002). Edward Hodnett, English Woodcuts, 1480-1535, rev. ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 261. The woodcut appears much less worn in the Melusyne fragments, suggesting that this is an earlier imprint.

(37.) Colwell, "The Middle English Melusine," 263.

(38.) Compare folio 23v of La genealogie avecques les gestes et nobles faitz d'armes du tres preux et renomme prince Godeffroy de Boulion (USTC: 26217), and folio 13v of La Salade (USTC: 8378).

(39.) Bouquin, "Editions et adaptations," 217-219.

(40.) Philippe Renouard, Imprimeurs parisiens, libraires,fondeurs de caractres et correcteurs d'imprimerie, depuis l'introduction de l'imprimerie a Paris (1470) jusqu'a la fin du XVIesicle (P aris, 1898; reis., Paris: M.J. Minard, 1965), 354-355.

(41.) On Geoffroy and his monstrous tooth, see Harf-Lancner, "L'image et le monstrueux: Geoffroy la Grand Dent, le sanglier de Lusignan," in Melusine. Actes du Colloque du Centre d'tudes MAdiAvales de l'UniversitA de Picardie, 13-14 janvier 1996, ed. Danielle Buschinger and Wolfgang Spiewok (Greifswald: Reineke, 1996), 77-92.

(42.) It is worth noting that de Worde printed an edition of Robert Copland's Helyas, the Knight oj the Swanne in 1512 (USTC: 501227, STC: 7571), and possibly again in 1520 (USTC: 501690, STC: 7571.5). This work is a translation based on the early chapters of Godeffroy. Hodnett does not list the woodcut depicting two figures in combat among the woodcuts attributed to de Worde's 1512 edition, but since it is found in le Noir's edition--and possibly also in that printed by Jean Petit in 1504--we may wonder whether this is how this particular image found its way into de Worde's stock. Hodnett notes that several woodcuts of the 1512 Knight of the Swanne edition have a French origin: English Woodcuts, 23.

(43.) Many scholars have commented on early English printers' use of French iconographical models, and on de Worde and Pynson's engagement with French exemplars in particular. See, for instance, Martha W. Driver, "Woodcuts and Decorative Techniques," in A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 99; Jordi Snchez-Mart, "Illustrating the Printed Middle English Verse Romances, c. 1500-c. 1535," Word and Image 27 (2011): 90-102; Gillespie, Print Culture and the Medieval Author: Chaucer, Lydgate, and Their Books 1473-1557 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), especially chapter 3; Driver, The Image in Print: Book Illustration in Late Medieval England and Its Sources (London: British Library, 2004), chapter 2; A.S.G. Edwards, "Continental Influences on London Printing and Reading in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries," in London and Europe in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Julia Boffey and Pamela King (London: Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1995), 229-256.

(44.) The edition printed by Gheraert Leeu in Antwerp in 1491 is the earliest known witness to the Dutch translation (ISTC: ij00218420,USTC: 436129, GW: 12665). It was reprinted in 1510 by Henrick Eckert van Homberch and in 1602 by Hieronymus I Verdussen. On the Dutch translation and its images, see Zeldenrust, "The Lady with the Serpent's Tail: Hybridity and the Dutch Meluzine," in Melusine's Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth, ed. Misty Urban, Deva Kemmis, and Melissa Ridley Elmes.
COPYRIGHT 2017 Pace University Dba: Pace University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Zeldenrust, Lydia
Publication:The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2017
Previous Article:Caxton and His Readers: Histories of Book Use in a Copy of The Canterbury Tales (c. 1483).
Next Article:The Copyist of Les Cronicles in Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MS VGG F 6.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |