Tuesday, May 05, 2015

You know, the one with the Rocks – Trinity Colllege R.3.3


In last night's Chaucer class, while trying to illustrate a point about the Manciple's Tale. I found myself in Cambridge, Trinity College R.3.3, a Canterbury Tales manuscript of c. 1450-1475. This is what grabbed me, above: at 108r, you'll see the ending of the Prioress's Tale (here reading "for the reverence of his moder Marie. Amen"), followed not by Thopas, but by the FRANKLIN.
Dividing the Prioress from the Franklin, we have: "Hic incipit prologus de Frankeleyun cum fabula sua de Rokkes de Brytaine" (here begins the Franklin's prologue with his tale of the Rocks of Briton [or Bretagne]")
Forgive me if I'm repeating something someone already said: I'm not a manuscripts scholar, my paleography is weak, and various quick, morning searches in various databases for Trinity R.3.3 commentary haven't been successful, even though I know some of you have written about it: but I love this incipit. I would suspect our students, and most of us too, think of the Franklin's Tale as mostly about honor, truth, the problem of sovereignty, class conflict in narrative and rhetoric, and the indifference or nonexistence of the gods. But here's someone who, like Jeffrey (eg here and here), thinks it's a tale mostly about ROCKS.
(quick check suggests there are no other such incipit summaries in the mss (the others are just tags like "here begins the Cook's Tale," etc, but we do have this this rather self-satisfied, nonmedieval manicule at 38r)

(I don’t suppose anyone knows off hand if any of the other fifteenth-century copies of the Franklin’s Tales are marked this way?)


Lawrence Warner said...

Great post, Karl! I don't know of any others, but Manly and Rickert (I:39) draw attention to this as an example of 'linguistic diversity' akin to 'Incipit prohem par le Oste' in Add 25178, fol. 82r

Lawrence Warner said...

It looks like this incipit is also in Egerton 2726, fol. 147v ('…& / incipit fabula sua de Rokkes de Bretayn') and Takamiya 24 ('incipit ffabula sua de la Rokkes / de Britayne'): see http://www.dimev.net/record.php?recID=5617. These must be genetically related

Karl Steel said...

Thanks LW, and thanks for the vote of confidence too.

(and may some future version of me may be blessed with M&R in his home library)

Karl Steel said...

Ah ha! *slaps forehead*

Thanks for checking the DiMEV - fantastic. There's something to this maybe.

ih said...

thanks for sharing..