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No Miniatures, not even Decoration, yet Extraordinarily Fascinating New Hypotheses Concerning the Lancelot Compilation and Related Manuscripts

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This essay sheds new light on the controversial fourteenth-century poet and compiler Lodewijk van Velthem. Specifically, the article considers the possible relationships between The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MS 129 A 10, the manuscript containing the famous Lancelot Compilation, and Leiden, University Library, MS BPL 14 E, the only extant manuscript with Velthem's entire Fifth Part of the Spiegel historiael. A note written at the end of the manuscript in The Hague naming Velthem has been interpreted in different ways, either as a note of the manuscript's ownership, or as the attribution of the compilation to Velthem. Other scholars have considered Velthem the 'corrector' of the manuscript. The relatively low quality of these two manuscripts, as well as the types of annotations made in the margins of MS 129 A 10, however, can be explained when we consider both books as the poet's working copies, as manuscripts which formed part of Velthem's own literary archive.

Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


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