Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 252 (U.4.10)
Title: Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles
Images: [ MS Hunter 252 fol. 40 ] [ MS Hunter 252 fol. 101 (detail) ] [ MS Hunter 252 fol 172v (detail) ]
Associated Websites: Images and caption from World of Chaucer web exhibition
Date of Creation: Between 1461 and 1462
Place of Creation: France
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Extent and Medium: 1 volume
Content: 15th century French manuscript. A collection of burlesque and licentious tales told at the court of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. This volume is the only surviving manuscript copy of the text. Authorship of the work was traditionally ascribed to Antoine de la Sale, but this has now been discredited.

Remarks from Young and Aitken (1908)
After a table of contents beginning (1, 2 recto lines 1-5): S [gilt illuminated initial] Ensuyt la table de ce present liure intitule Des Cent | nouuelles. Lequel en soy contient cent chapitres ou hi | stoires ou pour mieulx dire nouuelles. | Compte par monseigneur le duc | L [small gilt illuminated initial] a premiere Nouuelle traicte dung qui trouua facon dauoir la... and ending (1, 10 recto line 21): donna comme cy apres pourrez oyr, and an epistle dedicatory beginning (1, 10 verso lines 1-3): A mon tres chier et tres redoubte seigneur | Monseigneur le duc de burgoigne de brabant etc. | C [gilt illuminated initial] Omme ainsi soit quentre les bons et prouffitables... and ending (same page, lines 25, 26): myne beaucop nouuelle: | De Dijon lan. M. iiijc. xxxij. [the last line rubric] - (2, 1 recto lines 1, 2): E [gilt illuminated initial alongside a miniature illustrating the tale] N la ville de Valenciennes | eut nagueres vng
(27, 5 verso lines 23-25): lieux ioyeusement racompterent. | Icy finent les C. nouuelles | nouuelles. = Wright, p. 223. [See bibliography]

Fol. 101 (14, 5.) has the top right corner replaced and the text supplied.
Fol. 137 (18, 9.) is a much later substitute, the text (with vignette) in a XVII. Cent. hand.
Fol. 206 (27, 4.) has a margin cut off and the lacunae supplied with two lines on the recto: La Ce et derniere nouuelle | par phelipe de Loan," and four lines on the verso = Wright, 220, lines 27-33.
Fol. 207 (27, 5.) is a similar substitute. The same XVII. Cent. hand appears in all cases.
The last two tales are reversed, '99' concluding. This fact is not noticed by Mr. Wright.
The first sixteen lines of the 28th Nouvelle are obliterated.
On i, 2 verso in a XVII.-XVIII. Cent. hand: No. 751.

Remarks from Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963):
C'est le seul manuscrit qui subsiste des Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, importante collection de récits en prose, pour la plupart licencieux, faits à la cour de Philippe le Bon, duc de Bourgogne. Les contes sont inspirés du Décaméron et certains sont puisés dans les Facéties du Pogge. L'anonymat de la collection n'est pas surprenant dans une oeuvre originairement destinée à une diffusion privée plutot qu'à la publication. Les récits sont précédés de miniatures qui expliquent le texte et qui sont, d'après Champion, l'oeuvre d'un artiste, probablement du centre de la France (peut-être de Tours), travaillant vers 1480-1490. La collection fut imprimée pour la première fois à Paris, en 1486. Le manuscrit fut acheté par Hunter à la vente Gaignat, en 1769.
Commentary: A summary of the debate over the authorship of the tales and the identity of individual 'raconteurs' is given in Roger (2011) pp 150-167, who also supports the claim by Champion for a Picard localisation (p 331).

Remarks from Treasures of Scottish libraries (Dublin, 1964):
The compilation of the work has frequently been attributed to Antoine de la Salle, but the most recent editor of the text, Pierre Champion, has pressed the claims of Philippe Pot, Seigneur de la Roche and Chamberlain to the Duke.

Remarks from Young and Aitken (1908):
Mr. Wright's edition professes to be a literal reproduction of this MS., merely supplying lacunae from the printed text of Vérard in M. Le Roux de Lincy's edition. He was wrong in assuming that Philip the Good was one of the contributors and not his son Charles - Comte de Charolais, who succeeded his father in 1467. The fact that Charles is addressed in the Epistle Dedicatory as "Monseigneur le Duc" gives us the date of the redaction of these tales, and shows that the date (on 1, 10 verso), "1432," is false, possibly a copyist's error for 1472, with which later date the style of handwriting and illumination would better agree.
Le Sale is usually regarded as the "editor" of the Nouvelles, of the 50th of which he appears as l'Acteur, i.e. the narrator. He was born in Burgundy at the close of the XIV. Century, went as a youth to Italy, was secretary to Louis III., Duke of Anjou, and on his death in 1434 entered his son René's service, whose children he tutored. Brought back to Flanders by the Comte de Saint-Pol and presented to Philip the Good, he became one of the ornaments of the latter's Court where he ingratiated himself with the refugee Dauphin (afterwards Louis XI.) by imitating at the Château de Genappe the "Ten Days Entertainment" of Boccaccio, afterwards publishing the "new" Nouvelles and dedicating them to his patron.
Physical Description: Remarks from Young and Aitken (1908):
Vellum, 10 x 7¼, ff. 207, originally ff. 208, well written in single cols. of 35 lines, each 8 5/8 x 5½, ruled violet, no signatures, catchwords or foliation visible (probably cropped off), vignettes (at the beginning of each tale, the picture illustrating some incident of it), exquisitely painted in the same style as the illustrations in the VITA CHRISTI, [H.M. Lib. Hunter MS 36, T. 1], possibly by the same (Flemish?) artist, gilt illuminated initials, rubrics, first initials of sentences touched with gamboge, much cropped, no marginalia, badly stained in places, but folios replaced by latter vellum and lacunae supplied in late XVII. Cent. hand, fol. sec. SEnsuit. Cent. XV. (1432?). (probably 1462).
Binding: Millboards, covered maroquin citron, gilt-tooled edges, inside margins and (panelled) back, sides plain, gilt edges, on all the panels except the second is a monogram [unkeyable character] surrounded by four lions, dexter, langued, rampant, in the second is the title (gilt) on a crimson morocco shield: LES CENT | NOUVELLES. Late Cent. XVII.
For a detailed collation see: Young and Aitken, (1908), p. 203.
Remarks from Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963):
Parchemin; 207 f.; 255 x 183 mm.; Flandre (?), fin du XVe siècle; Reliure; fin du XVIIe siècle, maroquin citron sur ais de carton, dos à compartiments avec le monogramme GG entouré de quatre lions rampants, lampassés de gueule.
Access: Published edition (Sp Coll RF 977-978) should be used in the first instance. Enquire in advance regarding permission to consult original manuscript.
Language: French
Material Type: Document
Notes: Former press marks listed in Young and Aitken (1908): Q.4.7; Q.4.55.
Bibliography: Published as: Thomas Wright, Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (Paris, 1857-1858) Sp Coll BD1-h.25-26; An edition of the text by Pierre Champion, with reproductions of the illustrations, Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (Paris, 1928) Sp Coll RF 977-978, previously Bh19-y.1,2; English translations by R H Robbins, The Hundred Tales (New York, 1960).
See also: Geoffrey Roger, 'Les cent nouvelles nouvelles': A linguistic study of MS Glasgow Hunter 252' (PhD Thesis: University of Glasgow, 2011) [accessible online at ]; Edgar de Blieck, The Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, Text and Context: Literature and history at the court of Burgundy in the fifteenth century, (PhD Thesis: University of Glasgow, 2004); Julie Gardham, The world of Chaucer: medieval books and manuscripts (Glasgow, 2004), p. 47; Hans Biedert, 'Diplomatischer Dienst und Seelenheil: Reisen und Pilgerfahrten im Mittelalter', Praxis Geschichte, Jahrg. 14, Heft 3 (Mai 2001), pp 13-17, esp. plate 3; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 58; Jack Baldwin, William Hunter, 1718-1783, book collector: catalogue of an exhibition (Glasgow, 1983), no. 5; John A. Chartres, 'The English inn and road transport before 1700', Schriften des Historischen Kollegs, Kolloginen 3, Gestfrundschaft, Taverne und Gasthaus im Mittelalter, ed. Hans Conrad Peyer (Oldenbourg, 1983), pp. 153-176, illus. p. 163; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964), no. 48; Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963), no 42; National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), x, 5; 'Am Strassenkreuz Europas', Frankfurter Wessen und Ausstellungen in Vengangenheit und Gegenwart, 1957, p. 19 - reproduction of miniature to Nouvelle no. 30; W.R. Cunningham, 'Books & Authors', The Glasgow Herald, Thursday March 14, 1929; P. Champion, Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (Paris, 1928); Presscuttings from unknown publication, titled 'Le Temps. - 18 décembre 1928' and from Courrier Litteraire, 'Autour des "Cent nouvelles nouvelles"' [in annotated copy of Young and Aitken, Sp Coll Ref]; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), pp 202-203; G.F. de Bure, Supplément à la Bibliographie instructive, ou catalogue des livres du cabinet de feu M. Louis Jean Gaignat (Paris, 1769), 2214.
Exhibitions: 'Comic Invention', Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, 18 March - 17 July 2016 (folios 69v-70r); 'The World of Chaucer', Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, May-Aug 2004; 'Manuscripts from Two Millennia', Glasgow University Library, 20 May 1996; 'The Magic of the Middle Ages, Part 2: Secular Manuscripts', Glasgow University Library, Sep-Dec 1995; 'The Glory of the Page': Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct 1987-Jan 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb-Apr 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun-Aug 1988 Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov 1988-Jan1989; 'William Hunter, Book Collector', Glasgow University Library, Apr-Sep 1983; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; 'Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse', Brussels, 1963; 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

editor: Antoine de la Sale fl 1400-1450
Secretary to Louis III, Duc d'Anjou (d 1434). At one time, believed to have been the author of Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (MS Hunter 252) though this theory is now discredited.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
exhibition: Magic of the Middle Ages 1994-1995
Exhibition: The Magic of the Middle Ages: Manuscript Treasures of Glasgow University Library. Part 1: Sacred Manuscripts, Glasgow University Library, 21 April-30 …
exhibition: Manuscripts from Two Millennia 1996
Exhibition mounted to coincide with the visit of the Manuscript Society, Glasgow University Library, 20 May 1996.
exhibition: Treasures from Scottish Libraries 1964
Exhibition, Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964.
exhibition: Treasures of Scottish Libraries 1961
Exhibition, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
exhibition: Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse 1963
Exhibition, Brussels, 1963.
exhibition: William Hunter, Book Collector 1983
Exhibition, Glasgow University Library, 14 april-30 September 1983.
exhibition: World of Chaucer
Exhibition: The World of Chaucer: Medieval Books and Manuscripts from Glasgow University Library, held at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, 15 May-28 August 2004.
provenance: Louis Jean Gaignat 1697-1768
Secretary to Louis XV of France. His extensive library was sold in 1769.
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