Le geste de Garin de Monglane
SCA Manuscripts Ms. 1
This volume is also known as the Cheltenham Manuscript. It was purchased in 1861 by Sir Thomas Phillips (1792-1872), a noted English antiquarian, who assembled and cataloged a remarkable collection. Phillips' devotion to his collection sent his family into debt, but he was able to take advantage of the dissolution of monasteries consequent to the French Revolution, and the availability of English documents to build one of the largest private collections known: 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts. The Geste was number 26,092 of his collection at Cheltenham. Phillips wanted to have the nation acquire his collection but frustrated by failure, left a will stipulating that the collection be kept intact, with the original arrangement, and that no Roman Catholic be allowed to view them. The will was broken and the collection dispersed over many decades. Much of it went to European national collections and some came to the U.S. This volume was purchased by the University of Oregon at an undetermined date.
The volume contains 458 leaves, 229 vellum folios, and is written in Old French lettres bâtardes, with capitals in gold and colors. It was bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, a noted London firm established in 1901 that continues to this day as SSZ Ltd.
The text is a medieval epic poem, containing five segments of the cycle of Guillaume d'Orange, as follows:
- Hernaut de Beaulande (folios 1a-35a)
- Renier de Gennes (folios 35a-46b) [Eight folios missing as of 1883]
- Girart de Vienne (folios 47a-83b)
- Galiens li restorés (folios 83b-135b)
- La Chronique de Saint-Denis (folios 137a-224a)
In 1966 David M. Dougherty and E.B. Barnes edited an edition of the Geste. Copies are available in the circulating collection and in Special Collections. A scanned version is available in our Digital Collections.
You may view the original, and other items from our manuscript collections, in Special Collections & University Archives. Please be aware that items such as these are not available on weekends.