Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
BALE, KING JOHANff. 1-35: To declare the powres, & their force to enlarge/ the scriptur of god, doth flow In most abowndaunce…Also to preserue hir most honourable counsell/ To the prayse of God, and glorye of the Gospell. Thus endeth the ii playes of kynge Iohan. [f. 35v, blank]
England, ca. 1538, ca. 1558-60
J. Payne Collier, ed., Kynge Johan: a Play in Two Parts by John Bale. Camden Society 2 (London 1838), the first edition, from this unique manuscript. J. M. Manly, ed., Specimens of the Pre-Shaksperean Drama (Boston 1897) 1:523-618 from Collier’s edition. W. Bang, ed., Bales Kynge Johan nach der Handschrift in der Chatsworth Collection. Materialen zur Kunde des älteren englischen Dramas 25 (Louvain 1909) in facsimile with reference to verse numbers in Manly’s edition. J. H. P. Pafford, ed., with assistance of W. W. Greg, King Johan by John Bale. Malone Society (Oxford 1931) in type-facsimile with plates of portions of ff. 1, 6, 23v, 32. B. B. Adams, ed., John Bale’s King Johan (San Marino 1969). P. Happé, ed., The Complete Plays of John Bale (Cambridge, 1985-86). Revisions and 2 added leaves (ff. 12, 14) in the first part, and all of the second part (ff. 23-35) in the author’s hand. In 2 parts: I. ca. 1538, ff. 1-11, 13, 15-22. Paper (Main, 2 slightly different variations of one watermark, somewhat similar to Briquet 11375, Aire 1549), in folio; 310 × 211 (240-253 × 135) mm. Reconstructed collation, all leaves now separated: 111(-the last 2 leaves; + ff. 12, 14, for which see pt. II), leaf signatures, a-k with facing pages paired by matching letters in the inner lower margin. 38-49 lines of verse; vertical bounding lines perhaps formed by folding. Written by one person in a secretary script, with revisions in the same hand and in the hand of John Bale (see pt. II). II. ca. 1558-60, ff. 12, 14, 23-35. Paper (unidentified cross and globe/mountains countermarked “1558,” and another watermark not recognized), ff. 12 and 14 are inserts, cut down to the size of their added verses: f. 12, 130 × 166 (95 × 131) mm.; f. 14, 234 × 163 (178 × 119) mm.; ff. 23-35, in quarto, 228-236 × 170 (204 × 133) mm. Reconstructed collation, all leaves now separated: ff. 12, 14, singletons; ff. 23-24, bifolium; ff. 25-26, bifolium; ff. 27-30, quire of 4 leaves; ff. 31-34, quire of 4 leaves; f. 35, singleton. On f. 12, 21 lines of verse; f. 14, 35 lines; ff. 23-35, 29-45 lines of verse. Written by the author, who revised pt. I, correcting and inserting additional passages in the margins and on separate leaves (ff. 12, 14), and who copied pt. II. Early pagination omits ff. 21-22, which had been separated from the rest, possibly because all but 26 lines on f. 21 were cancelled by Bale in his revision of pt. I; note also that the original last 2 leaves of this quire, which would have followed f. 22, were also presumably cancelled and excised. Unbound, leaves mounted on strips of paper watermarked “1825”; top and fore edges of all leaves except ff. 21-22 tinted green; formerly bound in English light brown calf, ca. 1830, in volume 9, folio series, of the Devonshire plays. Written in England, the first part ca. 1538, and the second part ca. 1558-60 by John Bale. Discovered sometime between 1831-38 “from among some old papers, probably once belonging to the Corporation of Ipswich” (Collier, ed., p. vi) and transferred to the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, through the agency of Collier himself. Two leaves, ff. 21-22, were missing from the manuscript at that time and were only reunited with the rest in 1847; they had been found stitched in the copy of Collier’s 1838 edition owned by a Mr. William Stevenson Fitch of Ipswich; through a friend of Mr. Fitch, one Mr. Pulman, they were acquired by Collier for the Duke of Devonshire; listed in the typescript “Alphabetical Handlist of the Titles of the Kemble-Devonshire Collection of English Plays,” compiled 1906-07, vol. 1, p. 292. The Duke of Devonshire collection of plays acquired by Henry E. Huntington in January 1914, through Sotheby’s and G. D. Smith. Bibliography: De Ricci, 38.
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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