The Transmission of Machaut in the Midi and in the Crown of Aragon, 1389–1458 - Abstract

The Transmission of Machaut in the Midi and in the Crown of Aragon, 1389–1458
Presenter: Lawrence Earp, University of Wisconsin-Madison

My contribution to the Machaut project involves issues of provenance, ownership, and reader reception surrounding a complex of three manuscripts, (1) Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Parker Library Ferrell 1, (2) Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ms. fr. 1585, and (3) Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ms. fr. 9221. Bn fr. 1585 is a direct copy of Ferrell 1, while Bn fr. 9221 was copied from a number of exemplars, of which fr. 1585 was the most important. The original owner of Ferrell 1 is unknown, though Charles II, king of Navarre, has been proposed. At least by 1389 Gaston Fébus owned it. I propose an alternative scenario, in which the manuscript was originally owned by Jean, duc de Berry, and that Fébus obtained it in 1389 as one of the gifts he received in allowing Jean de Berry to marry Jeanne de Boulogne, who had been in the guardianship of Fébus for many years. The chancery at Orthez hastily prepared a copy of the unbound manuscript before it received a new binding for Fébus, and this copy survives as Bn fr. 1585. In the early 1390s, Jean de Berry had an updated Machaut manuscript prepared, using fr. 1585 and other separate exemplars; this is the Machaut manuscript listed in the 1404 inventory of Jean de Berry's goods, surviving as fr. 9221. I will also review recent discussions (Claire Ponsich, Anna Alberni, Claudio Lagomarsini, and Fabio Zinelli) concerning the apparent passage of Ferrell 1 from Fébus to Yolande de Bar, queen of Aragon (by 1390), and later to Alphonso the Magnanimous (by 1417), and speculate on the importance of this specific manuscript to the transmission of Machaut's works in the south (roman de Cardenois, marquis de Santillana).