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Acquired from the Florentine firm of Olschki, this manuscript -- on vellum, and possibly intended as a presentation copy for Isabelle of Bavaria -- anthologizes a large number of poems by well-known francophone poets of the later middle ages. Some were contemporary with Petrarch and Boccaccio, others a few years younger. An otherwise unknown poet included in this volume, his work marked by a "Ch" in the margins, has attracted attention in recent years. James I. Wimsatt, an American medievalist, proposed that these poems represent the 'prentice work, in French, of Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer and the Poems of "Ch", 1982 -- Chaucer's version of Boccaccio's Teseide is mentioned elsewhere in this exhibition). Chaucer is known to have been personally acquainted with some of the French poets whose work appears here. He seems also to have written poetry in French before turning to the English in which he was to achieve his fame. Evaluation of Wimsatt's daring proposal continues.
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Chansonnier. [310 poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Oton de Grandson, Brisebarre de Douai, Eustache Deschamps, et alii.] Manuscript, France, ca. 1400. University of Pennsylvania MS French 15