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The Bristol Merlin

Revealing the Secrets of a Medieval Fragment

Leah Tether Laura Chuhan Campbell Benjamin Pohl Michael Richardson

150 pages
Amsterdam University Press

The discovery of seven manuscript fragments of the Old French Suite Vulgate du Merlin in a set of early printed books in the Bristol Central Library hit global headlines in 2019. This book contains a comprehensive study of these fascinating Arthurian fragments.

Beginning with an extensive contextual history, the authors reveal details of the fragments’ origin, their importation to England, and their subsequent journey to a waste pile in a bookbinder’s workshop, where they would be incorporated into the bindings of a four-volume edition of the works of Jean Gerson in the early sixteenth century. A full enquiry into the provenance of these host volumes sets out the possible routes from the bookbinder’s workshop to their final home in Bristol Central Library.

Using multi-spectral imaging to read the damaged sections of text, the authors also provide a full edition and translation of the narrative contained in the fragments.

Author Bio
Leah Tether =========== Leah Tether is Professor of Medieval Literature and Publishing at the University of Bristol. Laura Chuhan Campbell ===================== Laura Chuhan Campbell is at Durham University. Benjamin Pohl ============= Benjamin Pohl is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Bristol. Michael Richardson ================== Michael Richardson is Special Collections Librarian at the University of Bristol.