Bodleian Library MS Arch. Selden. B. 24 is a manuscript of great significance for both the English and Scottish late medieval literary traditions.
The last of the great Chaucerian manuscript anthologies, it contains texts of Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women, and The Parliament of Fowlsalongside shorter works and various pieces of Chauceriana, and offers substantial evidence of the Scottish reception of Chaucer; it is also among the earliest Scottish literary anthologies, with the unique surviving copies of The Kingis Quair and The Quare of Jealousy.
The complex history of the manuscript's production and decoration and sheds an interesting light on some of the processes by which anthologies were compiled. Access to MS Arch. Selden. B. 24 has for some time been restricted because of its fragile condition, a factor which has made its systematic study more difficult; moreover, the production of a facsimile has brought to light featuresof its construction and history not previously apparent.
These, together with questions of literary and historical context, are addressed in the Introduction to the facsimile; the Appendix, supplied by Dr BRUCE BARKER-BENFIELDof the Bodleian Library, provides technical notes and a collation chart.
This new facsimile makes the manuscript generally available to a scholarly audience for the first time. Dr JULIA BOFFEY teaches in the Department of English, Queen Mary and Westfield College; Professor A.S.G.
EDWARDS teaches in the Department of English at the University of Victoria.