[Sca-cooks] Napier A Noble Boke off Cookry on Google Books

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Aug 20 09:00:35 PDT 2009

As regards the menus, in the original Holkham manuscript
the dishes are recorded in a single column.

Napier or the publisher back in 1882 includes those as a double column.
She continues this through the other feasts.

The menu section in the manuscript stretches over 22 or 23 pages. The 
Napier edition does
it in half that space. I did not do a word by word comparison, but 
Napier seems to be
fairly accurate here. (NB: The items here are easy going compared to the 
later recipes.)

In the courses she ends a number with the words "Ung fubtilite".
This looks like viiy or viig in the manuscript to me. I am wondering if 
this isn't a number
or shorthand for something else. I'll have to look into this.

Constance Hieatt has done several articles
that compare Napier, the original manuscript and the printed Pynson 
volume of 1500.
One of those articles is:

"Sources of, and Analogues to, the Noble Boke of Cokery" by Constance B. 
/Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and
Printing History. /Volume 3 (2000)
Edited by Martha Driver, Pace University.

Another titled "Richard Pynson's Noble Boke of Festes Ryalle and Cokery 
and its Relationship to Two Analogous Manuscripts"
appears in Volume 1, Number 1 of Journal of the Early Book Society for 
the Study of Manuscripts and
Printing History. 1997.

Those articles ought to be able to be interlibrary loaned, although you 
may have loan them in through an academic library.
I was able to buy volume 1, number 1 way back when and CBH sent me a 
gallery proof of the later article.

We also mention and include Napier of course in the Concordance of 
English Recipes.
I can actually do the comparisons in house now between Napier, Holkham 
and Pynson volumes
because I own copies of all three.
One is on CD, one is on microfilm, and one is the actual book and now 
that's online,  so  by running between
formats, it's all here.

And there will be more in the forthcoming two volume facsimile set of 
Pynson from 1500, if and when it's ever done.
I write and ask the editor every six months or so if they have a date 
yet for that. (I suspect the cost will be
$$$ or in the hundreds for the edition when it is released. Some of 
these limited edition fine press books
are running $500-$600 a volume, so I am sure the Pynson will be or might 
ell be priced accordingly.)

Hope this helps,


Alex Clark wrote:
> Johnna  wrote:
>> The book is based on the Holkham MSS 674. Mrs. Napier didn't do a 
>> very good job
>> when she copied the book from the original mss back in the 1880's. 
>> There are several recipes
>> missing as well as other problems, but it is still nice to have the 
>> volume available online to consult as needed.
> Might the other problems include a bunch of yoghs that got transformed 
> into whoreson zeds?
> And do you happen to know of any problems with the menus? I just 
> taught a class at Pennsic that used those menus, but I haven't seen 
> the original manuscript, only Napier's published transcription.

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