The Leconfield Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400)
An illuminated manuscript known as the Leconfield Chaucer, in black and red script on vellum of 307 leaves, 36-38 lines per page, full border on folio with red velvet covers. Written in England in one hand. The dialect and spelling include a significant number of West Midland and North Midland forms. Initials (i) to tales, in pink and blue shaded with white, on decorated gold grounds, each with a bar of gold and colours running the height of the written space prolonged into sprays in top and bottom margins, or, f.I, full frame; (ii) to prologues, links and some divisions in tales, 2- or 3-line, in gold, on grounds of pink and/or blue patterned with white; with short marginal sprays; (iii) to stanzas, I-line, blue with red ornament, or gold with greyish-violet ornament. Binding of contemporary (?) wooden boards, each with four metal corner-pieces and five bosses, now covered with s.xviii/xix red velvet; two strap-and-pin fastenings, one strap missing; There is a 15th century parchment label under horn on the back cover which reads - 'Canterbury talis in [Inglyshe?]or [Inglisshe?] writyn on p[ar]chement', s.xv, on a slip covered with horn fastened to the back cover in a metal frame. Secondo folio 'For he was'.
Makers and roles
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400), author