Fifteenth-century English libraries and private collections have long been known to contain manuscripts in French. Studies of these French manuscripts have often emphasized contemporary acts of translation into English. Instead, this talk draws on manuscripts from the Bodleian’s collections, as well as medieval references to French books, in order to investigate how English readers and owners interacted with these objects. A close study of surviving French manuscripts reveals the reading habits of multilingual English readers and their understandings of the relationship between language and literature.
This talk is followed by a drinks reception in Blackwell Hall, Weston Library