Links to some of the manuscript sources for Richard de Fournival’s Bestiaire d’amours.
Richard is going to make a horrible loud noise like the cock, rather than sing (i.e. write prose rather than lyric).
This year I will be co-organizing a Middle French reading group with my colleague Jonathan Morton. This page is designed to be useful to others attending that group but also anyone else interested in this particular work. While the Bestiary of Love doesn’t have any music in it directly, its multi-talented author, Richard de Fournival, was a composer of vernacular songs, some of which were also used as voices in polyphonic motets.
The Bestiary of Love is a fascinating and curious prose work which has quite a lot to say about song and singing, as well as closing — in two sources — by citing a refrain that is the opening of a polyphonic motet found in several sources. Most sources of the Bestiary are richly illustrated (or at least designed for illustrations that were never completed). The Bestiary is often bound with musical material, which is noted here. Many are now available online. Here is a listing of some of these, using the sigla in the 1957 edition by Segre. I made my notes on Segre’s introduction when I was researching Sung Birds in the early 2000s, so they’re not complete. Eventually I’ll expand this page to make it more thorough.
A. F-Pn fr.25566 (i.e. TrouvW; RenartV). MS online at Gallica; detailed listing for MS on Arlima. This large source contains Richard’s other French prose works: the Consaus d’amours and the Poissance d’amours; it also contains his songs. In addition, the manuscript transmits the notated songs of Adam de la Halle and the poems Renart le Nouvel and Tourneiment Antecrit. Illustrated. The Bestiary starts on f.83r and is followed by the Response.
B. F-Pn fr.412. MS online at Gallica, where it is identified only as ‘vie de saints’ (its other contents include the lives of Saints Peter and Paul). The Bestiary starts on f.228r and is followed by the Response. This is one of two versions to cite a motet incipit (refrain) at the end of the former work. See my earlier post on this feature.
C. F-Pn fr. 12786 (=Trouvf). MS online at Gallica. Designed for illuminations that were never entered. The manuscript was also designed for notated music (polyphonic rondeaux), including some by Adam de la Halle, the staves and notes of which were never entered into the space provided. Its many other contents include part of the Roman de la Rose and an anonymous continuation. The Bestiary starts on f.31r.
D. F-Pn fr.12469. The Bestiary opens the manuscript on f.1r. One of its two other contents is Tourneiment Antecrit. The MS is not yet available on Gallica (do let me know if you find they’ve added it!).
E. F-Pn fr. 1444. Black-and-white microfilm images online at Gallica. The Bestiary starts at f.257r with a later folio in a cursive hand before continuing in the original gothic script on f.258r. Arlima has a complete listing for this manuscript, which contains eschatological, bestiary, Marian, and historical materials.
F. F-Pn fr. 24406 (= TrouvV). MS online at Gallica. This is one of the principal notated trouvère sources. The Bestiary is part of less formally copied items at the end of the manuscript, perhaps added later, and starts on f.141r. Space was left for small illustrations but these were never entered, even though the earlier part of the manuscript is illuminated.
G. F-Pn fr. 15213. MS online at Gallica; detailed listing for MS on Arlima. Illustrations. The Bestiary begins on f.57ra. Illustrated.
I. F-Psg 2200. The Bestiary forms part of diverse contents. Not yet online as far as I can tell.
J. F-AS J: 139 (olim 657). This manuscript now in Arras contains many works attributed (securely and spuriously) to Richard de Fournival followed by some by Baudouin de Condé and antifeminist works. It is not yet online as far as I can see. It contains the Response.
K. B-Br. No further information (I need to look this up properly in Segre again — the notes I took in 2003 don’t give me any further details and it’s not one listed by Arlima).
L. GB-Lbl Harley 273. The complete manuscript is online on the BL site. Insular manuscript with large mixture of contents in French and Latin. The Bestiary starts on f.70r and has black ink drawings.
M. US-NYpm 459. O. GB-Ob Douce 308 (=TrouvI; MotD). Selected images online here via the Bodleian’s Luna server. The Bestiary starts on f.86r. There is a listing for the MS on Arlima.
P. I-Fl Plut LXXVI, 79. [details to be added]
Q. I-Fl Cod. Ashburnhamiani, Fondo Libri 50. [details to be added]
S. CH-Gu [details to be added]
W. Milan [details to be added]
X. Turin [details to be added]
Y. Milan [details to be added]
Among the lost manuscripts, there is one noted in the 1373 catalogue for the Louvre Le bestiaire Maistre Richart de Fournival damours; le compost; limage du monde; le tournoiement antechrist, que fit un moine de Saint Germain des Pres, avecques pluseurs chansons notees. This is also in the 1411 inventory.