Search Bodleian Incunables:

If your search term consists of multiple words, you can choose how to search:



Bod-Inc: C-173

Chaucer, Geoffrey

The Canterbury Tales [English].


Analysis of Content

a1r Pynson, Richard: ‘Prohemye'.’ Caxton, Prologues, 90-1.

a2r Chaucer, Geoffrey: [The Canterbury Tales.] ‘Prologue'.’ Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works, ed. Walter W. Skeat, IV (Oxford, 1894), 1-25; The Text of The Canterbury Tales, ed. John M. Manly and Edith Rickert, III (Chicago, 1940), 3-37; Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. N. F. Blake (London, 1980), 29-65; The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson, 3rd edn (Boston, Mass., 1987), 23-36.

c4v Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales. ‘The knyghtes tale'.’ Chaucer, Complete Works, ed. Skeat, IV, 26-644; Text of Canterbury Tales, ed. Manly and Rickert, III and IV; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Blake, 66-661. Riverside Chaucer, ed. Benson, 3rd edn, 37-328.


Imprint: [London]: Richard Pynson, [1491 after June? Not after 13 Nov. 1492]. Folio.

Remarks: As dated by BMC; STC dates [c.1492], Sheppard [1490-1].


Collation: a–v aa–kk8 ll6 A–I8 K6.

Illustrations: Woodcuts: see David R. Carlson, ‘Woodcut Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales’, Library, 6th ser., 19 (1997), 25-67, esp. 33, 48, 62, also BMC.


ISTC: ic00433000

GW: GW 6587;

Hain: HC 4923;

Goff: Goff C‑433;


Proctor: Pr 9780;

Others: Duff 89; Sheppard 7526-7; STC 5084.

LCN: 14835944


Copy number: C-173(1)

Wanting K5 and the blank leaf K6.

Binding: Eighteenth-century calf, reusing older gold-tooled spine. Fragments from the spine preserved in the book-box.

Size: 292 × 210 × 70 mm.

Size of leaf: 286 × 189 mm.

A few early marginal notes in various hands.

Provenance: Thomas South (fiftenth/sixteenth century?); on a1r an early inscription: ‘Tho: South'. Jane Chapman (seventeenth century?); on d1r an inscription: ‘Jane Chapman Her Booke'. Francis Douce (1757-1834); armorial book-plate. Bequeathed in 1834.

SHELFMARK: Douce 218.

Copy number: C-173(2)

Wanting f3-6, k4.5, aa8, kk1.8, C1.8, K1, and the blank leaf K6.

Leaves f1 and k3 are mutilated.

Binding: Seventeenth-century English (probably Oxford from hatching on the spine) calf. Formerly chained: staple-marks of a hasp at head of the upper cover.

Size: 263 × 185 × 70 mm.

Size of leaf: 255 × 171 mm.

Leaves from an early printed edition of a commentary on the Gospel of Luke used as endleaves.

Occasional early marginal notes in English, some including the name 'Wellem Bretyn of Wedforde' (for example on ee8r); on a1v a note: 'Omnibus omnia non mea sompnia discere possum'. On F8v a note about land ownership on Holy Island, in an early hand: 'Be et et knayn to all men that I Barthrem Brown the son of Jhon Brown of holly yelland het efter my fayders dursese in the sad holly yelland hat meche lande ot Draslet(?) to v mark a yer Bot god sayf my faders ** lyff amen tho that reddess thet letters ya may well knaw that of som fokess I can Jhesus helpe(?) me now and euer amen and god cepe yowss all and I breng yows to the bless that men chall haff hend amen thet wrytteng when I had no norder theng ado bot the sam well I sat not yddelll when dat het f[ ] and her begenet the Parsons tayll in thess bok'; below, but in a different contemporary hand, 'Be ye knayn to all myn that I Barthem' Brown the sson of John Brown of hyll'; below, in a third contemporary hand, 'Bartholmew Brown you are but a man, wipe youre mounth and kis myn arse so bit . . .'; note by 'Bertrend Brown' also on e7v.

Provenance: Wellem Bretyn (sixteenth century) of Wedforde(?). John Brown (fifteenth/sixteenth century) of Holy Island. Bertrand (Bartholomew) Brown (sixteenth century) of Holy Island. Robert Wilkison (fifteenth/sixteenth century); on a1r an inscription of the name ‘Robert'; on g2r: ‘Robart Wylkyson'. Edmund Wright (fifteenth/sixteenth century); on a1v a cancelled inscription: ‘Edmund Wryght wyllyth thyss bok the xvii(?) day of . . .' Robert Geffrey (sixteenth century); name on a1r. John Selden (1584-1654). Judging from the shelfmark and the position of the entry in Selden's catalogues this item was probably bequeathed with Selden's manuscripts in 1654, rather than presented with the printed books in 1659; see MS. Selden Supra 111 fol. 58r: ‘Chaucer: fol.'; MS. Broxb. 84. 10, p. 124: ‘Chaucer's tales' and SC 3488.

SHELFMARK: MS. Selden Supra 100.

Go to top of page