This presentation showcases specific items researched using the Library Scholars Grant Program funding in preparation of the book Compilatores generosi: The English Gentry and Romance in the Later Middle Ages, which looks at every surviving manuscript of romance from the period 1350–1500. The finished book argues that the gentry (the mass of minor landowners, part of the lower rungs of the aristocracy) in late medieval England compiled romances into unique combinations that provided fantasy resolutions to the socio-economic dilemmas they faced.
Archives visited during summer 2009 were located in Edinburgh (National Library of Scotland); Manchester (Chetham’s Library); Aberystwyth (National Library of Wales); Oxford (The Bodleian Library); and London (Lincoln’s Inn, the British Library, Institute for Historical Research, the National Archives). Archival documents provided detail not available in electronic formats of the documents, as well as biographical information about the manuscripts’ owners.
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