chapter
Introduction
Pages 28

The manuscript, of membrane, measuring approximately 27.5 by 19 cm, is a composite. At the front are the stubs of a now miss­ ing gathering. The surviving gatherings fall into two groups, originally separate. The first group, containing three Middle English romances (Awntyrs of Arthur, Sir Amadace, and The Avowing of Ar­ thur), consists of five gatherings, each of six bifolia, for a total of sixty leaves. Folio 16, containing the opening of Amadace, has been cut from the manuscript; a note in the hand of James A. H. M ur­ ray, calling attention to the lacuna, has been inserted into the manuscript between fols. 15 and 17. The outer margins of fols. 20, 34, and 39 have been cropped without damage to the text. The outside top corner of fol. 59 has been torn away and the lower outer margin sliced away without damage to the text. Folio 60 has a rag­ ged tear along its top. The bottom margins of fols. 12, 13, 31, 32, 33, and 38 have been cropped to the extent that the tips of descenders in the bottom lines of text are missing. In addition, when the cropper cut away the bottoms of fols. 31 and 38, his knife

penetrated fols. 25-30 and 35-37 but without damaging the text. Knife cuts are also visible on fol. 59, but again the text is undam ­ aged. On many folios a later hand has penciled in crosses at the beginnings or ends of lines of verse (e.g., fols. 36r13, 18; 36v7, 8 , 11, 22). In the outer margin of fol. 39r in a large, cursive script much later than the main hand is written Anno D , offset on fol. 38v. Additional letters of the marginal inscription have been cropped and cannot be confidently identified, but vestiges remain both on fol. 39r and in the offset. The offsets appear to have been made when the ink was fresh, for many of the strokes on fol. 39r, especially of the D , are blurred. The offset of Anno, furthermore, must have been made separately from that of D, etc., for the off­ sets cannot be lined up simultaneously with both originals. The writer appears to have written Anno, pressed it against fol. 38v, which he used in the manner of a blotter pad, then written D, etc., and pressed only the D, etc., against fol. 38v, presumably to avoid smudging the previously written Anno. In the outer margin of fol. 53r a hand not the main scribe’s wrote the alphabet in capitals made with broad strokes, but some of the letters were lost when the folio was cropped.