By (author) Pepys Library; Volume editor Knighton, C. S.; Volume editor Latham, Robert
No fewer than twenty-three of Pepys's thirty-eight medieval manuscripts contain Middle English texts, and date from the 14th and 15th centuries. Devotional tracts and religious poetry predominate, though there is also a corpus of secular poetry by Lydgate and Chaucer, and some scientific and medical material; a notable rarity is the Caxton Ovid. His Latin books include Bacon's Perspectivaand other treatises on optics, and the mathematical treatises of Johannes de Nemore. Some books he chose purely for their illustrations, such as a French and Latin Apocalypse and a model book of the 15th century. The oldest book in the collection is a late 12th-century copy of Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae. The catalogue effectively revises, expands, and replaces the 1922 catalogue of M. R. James. ROSAMOND McKITTERICK is Reader in early medieval European history in the University of Cambridge; RICHARD BEADLEis lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge.
Modern Manuscriptscovers all post-medieval MSS in the Library, describing the contents of nearly 250 volumes, ranging from the great naval collections to the individual letters and notes. It includes some of the best known items in the Library (the Anthony Roll of Henry VIII's navy; the Maitland poems, the Diary itself), as well as a wide variety of MSS hitherto neglected for want of a complete catalogue. Building on the specialist catalogues of M. R. James and J. R. Tanner, the present volume encompasses not only naval and maritime affairs, but also poetry, history, law, liturgy, genealogy, sorcery and much else, describing in greatest detail those items which remain unpublished.