The Romance of the Rose Illuminated: Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

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University of Wales Press, 2002 - Allegories - 137 pages
This book reproduces in colour, with commentary and full contextual discussion, all the miniatures from unpublished illuminated manuscripts of Le Roman de la Rose in the National Library of Wales. A central work in medieval culture, the Rose was among the most consistently illustrated of medieval secular texts. By presenting all the illuminations from all five illuminated Aberystwyth manuscripts the present study enables absorbing comparisons to be made. This is a book that will stir controversy through its scepticism about moral readings of Rose illustrations and through its insistence on an "accidental" element in the interpretative value of miniatures in secular texts. It will interest anyone who studies art and literature, including students of Chaucer - a poet who absorbed the Roman de la Rose to the core by translating it. The reader is first introduced to the narrative and to characteristic sites of illustration within it. The introduction goes on to identify existing published sources of reproductions, and then to argue the crucial role that a grasp of the practical circumstances of production should play in interpreting medieval miniatures. A final complementary chapter formally describes all seven Aberystwyth Rose manuscripts.

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Contents

A Survey of Iconographical Studies of the Rose
1
Commentary on the Plates
26
Descriptions of the Manuscripts of the Roman de la Rose at
103
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