Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 78 (T.3.16)
Title: Book of Good Conditions
Date of Creation: Between 1399 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Unknown Author, Book of Good Conditions, or The Sophiloge of Wysdom.
Unknown Author's Moral Treatise of "Good Conditions":
Begins (1, 1 [f. 1] recto lines 1-3): [blank space left for initial H] Ere begynneth [th]e table of the Rubryche of [th]e book whych | is called good condycions. o[th]erwyse the sophiloge of | wysdam. The which seyd book is devyded in three (iij) partes ('three partes' - actually five, per A.I. Doyle, Durham University Library (Letter, 18 June 1954).)
Ends (3, 15 [f. 39] verso lines 34-37): [th]at the hope of [th]em avayleth [th]em lytil [th]at sei[th] [th]is world shal endur | ryte longe et cetera | Here endyth [th]e book of good condicons | o[th]irwyse called [th]e Sophiloge of Wysdom [last two lines rubric].
Remarks: Autograph on i, 1 verso: Tho: Martin; above this: 412, and below: 62; on the same level: 18. 6; on the opposite page: 1. 1. On i, 2 verso in an XVIII. Cent. hand: The Book of Good Conditions. On i, 1. on the top margin in a late XV. Cent. hand: Book of Good Conditions alias Sophology | of Wisdom.
The first folio has a hole burnt through.
Thomas Martin of Palgrave (1697-1771) owned many other MSS. now in this collection. See Dict. N. Biog. xxxvi. 297.
[Formerly S.3.3; S.3.29].
The source of this MS. appears to be the Livre de bons moeurs by Jacques Legrand OSA, fl. 1410. The French version was translated by Caxton (finished 8 June 1486) and printed 1487. There is another version of the work in MS Harley 149, stated in CBEL I, p. 262 as having been edited in 1914 by F.E. Pearn. - Per R.J. Lyall, Dept. of Scottish Literature, 1 xii 1975.
B. Lindström, The English versions of Jacques Legrand's 'Livre de bonnes meurs' in The Library 6th ser., vol. I, no. 3, Sept. 1979, pp. 245-254, says that in addition to the Caxton there are three 15th century translations in manuscript - MS Harley 149 fols 183-255, BM MS Add 54-67 fols 92-211 and a volume in the Campbell collection, Beaumont College, Old Windsor. The Hunter MS is not mentioned. - Noted by Lindström in The Library, 6th ser., vol. 2, no. 2, June 1980, p. 225.
MS Hunter 78 and the Beaumont College MS, now in the Huntington Library, San Marino, give the same version of the text. See B. Lindström, 1980 ref. (above).
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum (outer and inner sheets of each quire), and paper, 11 3/4 x 8½, ff. 39, well and evenly written in one hand, in single cols. of 40-45 lines, each 8 3/8 x 5 3/8, margined with brown crayon, not ruled, rubrics, and capitals, picked out (in places) with red, catchwords, foliation, XVIII. Cent. (in pencil), no signatures, no marginalia except marginal capitulation, running titles, fol. sec. sche was put oute. Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered quarter calf and marbled-paper, title (gilt) printed vertically: BOOK OF GOOD | CONDITIONS. Cent. XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 86.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: English
Material Type: Treatise
Bibliography: B.R. Campbell, A partial edition of the Book of Good Conditions: a Middle English translation of Le Livre des Bonnes Moeurs of Jacques Legrand, edited from University of Glasgow Library Hunter MS 78 (Thesis, University of Ottawa, 1978); K. Harris, 'John Gower's Confessio Amantis: the virtues of bad texts', Manuscripts and Readers in Fifteenth-Century England, ed. D. Pearsall (Cambridge, 1983), p. 32; B. Lindström, 'The English versions of Jacques Legrand's "Livre de bonnes meurs"', The Library, 6th ser., vol. I, no. 3 (Sept. 1979), pp. 245-254; B. Lindström, 'Some remarks on two English translations of Jacques Legrand's "Livre de bonnes meurs"', English Studies, 58 (1977), 304-311; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), p. 79.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Jacques Legrand fl.1410
provenance: Thomas Martin 1697-1771
Of Palgrave. Antiquary.
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