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The Bestiary of Anne Walshe

The Bestiary of Anne Walshe

Badke, David

A Paper for Medieval Studies 452 : The Illustrated Book in the Later Middle Ages, University of Victoria, Dr. C. Harding, April 17, (2001), www.bestiary.ca

Abstract

The Bestiary of Anne Walshe (Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek Gl. kgl. Saml. 1633 4˚) is a Latin bestiary of English origin, produced circa 1400-25.  It is now in the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has been made available as an electronic facsimile which has been published on the Web. Almost nothing else has been published about this manuscript. Christian Bruun included a short description in a catalog of Danish manuscripts in 1890, but according to Erik Drigsdahl this account is “obsolete and worthless.” Another catalog of manuscripts in the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen, produced in 1926, gives a more formal (though even briefer) description, but adds little new information. Drigsdahl has also produced a preliminary Web index to the online manuscript, and the manuscript was included in an exhibition catalog in 1952. Apart from these few superficial articles, and the occasional mention in lists of surviving bestiaries, no serious work appears to have been done on this manuscript. Other than the manuscript itself, this Bestiary is only available as a digital facsimile. Working solely from a digital facsimile has its difficulties, but also some advantages. The chief difficulty is that the resolution of the images on the Web site are relatively low, so details are lost or hard to see.

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