The Auchinleck Manuscript, National Library of Scotland Advocates' MS. 19.2.1.
Place Published: London:
Publisher: The Scolar Press,
Date Published: 1977.
Book Id: 11857
Folio, Introduction (xxiv), facsimile reproduction of manuscript. Introduction by Derek Pearsall and I. C. Cunningham. Dark green cloth covers with title in gilt on red spine label. Externally and internally immaculate. The Auchinleck Manuscript (NLS Adv MS 19.2.1) is one of the National Library of Scotland's greatest treasures as it is one of the most important surviving manuscripts of English medieval poetry. It contains the earliest known Middle English version of Sir Orfeo and all the texts are in English. Produced in London in the period 1330-40, it provides important insight into English poetry, book production, and readership in the period before Chaucer. Lord Auchinleck discovered the manuscript in 1740 and donated it to the National Library in 1744. The manuscript is a "library" of miscellaneous reading material, both religious (saints lives and conversion tales) and secular, but dominated by romances, and in its unsophisticated tone marks the emergence of a new class of English readers.