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Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.

The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...


Andrew G. Watson

(b Coventry, March 21, 1672; d London, July 6, 1726).

English palaeographer and librarian. He was one of the greatest palaeographers that Britain has produced, who even as a child enjoyed transcribing manuscripts. He went to Oxford University in 1695 as a protégé of the Bishop of Lichfield and, without taking a degree, became an assistant in the Bodleian Library in 1696. Here he contributed to one of the most ambitious scholarly projects of the time: the Catalogus manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae (1697). From 1699 to c. 1705 he searched out and described Anglo-Saxon manuscripts for the second volume of George Hickes’s Linguarum veterum septentrionalium, thesaurus (1705), compiling a catalogue that was not superseded until the 1950s. Wanley’s lasting fame is due to his work as the devoted and trusted librarian to Robert and Edward Harley, Earls of Oxford, whose collections of manuscripts are now in the British Library, London. He acquired for them such landmarks of art and scholarship as the ...