William Langland's Vision of Piers Plowman. IE TCD MS 212 Public Deposited

William Langland's Vision of Piers Plowman. IE TCD MS 212

Alternative title
  • Prose Lancelot [fragment]
  • Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman
  • William's Vision of Piers Plowman
  • Lancelot-Grail [fragment]
  • Piers Plowman
Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 212 ; former shelf mark: Lyon: D.4.1
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Date Created
  • approximnately 1400
Physical extent
  • 90 folios
  • 265mm x 180mm
  • IE TCD MS 212, circa 1400, contains what is perhaps the great medieval English poem, William Langland’s ‘Piers Plowman’, an astonishingly rich and searching exploration of what it takes to live rightly in a society corrupt and corrupting. As befits a work of its quality, the poem survives in over fifty manuscripts; this, one of two in Trinity College Dublin’s collection, is especially significant for containing early biographical information about the poet himself. Parchment; two paper flyleaves + 1-89 folios + one older parchment leaf + two paper endleaves; now foliated 1-90. Two systems of foliation: the one in black ink misses folio 81 and the foliation was corrected in June 1964 in pencil, according to a note on one of the paper endleaves. Written in a practised, even, upright anglicana formata hand with rounded feet. Blackish ink. Some corrections to the text in the scribe’s hand and in one other early hand. No illumination. Description provided by Professor John Scattergood; please see the attached PDF document below, and the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library’s catalogue entry for the manuscript at
  • IE TCD MS 212 was rebound by John Exshaw in 1741/1742, but the present binding is modern. A note from the Conservation Laboratory, dated May 1983 and pasted to the inside of the back cover, explains. Boards detached. Paper made to verso of last leaf removed. End papers repaired and sewn on. Rebacked in Harrold goat over tawed pigskin lining. Opening improved by removal of much hard glue and decayed leather spine. Detached spine mounted. Previous headbands remain. Leather dressing.
  • Piers Plowman by William Langland: An Edition of the C-text, ed. Derek Pearsall (London, 1978).Piers Plowman: The C Version, ed. George Russell and George Kane (London, 1997). E. St John Brooks, 'The Library', 5th Series, VI (1951), 144-151. H. Walther, 'Lateinische Sprichwörter und Sentenzen des Mittelalters', Carmina Medii Aeui Posterioris Latina 2, (Göttingen, 1963-), no. 2786.Index of Middle English Verse, no. 294.Richard Hill’s commonplace book, Oxford, Balliol College MS 354, folio 231r. George Kane, 'Piers Plowman: the Evidence for Authorship', (London, 1965).Robert Adams, 'Langland and the Rokele Family', (Dublin, 2013).John Scattergood, 'Manuscripts and Ghosts'W. O'Sullivan, 'The Eighteenth-Century Rebinding of the Manuscripts', Long Room, 1, (1970), 19-28.Patricia M. Kean, 'Love, law and lewte in Piers Plowman', The Review of English Studies, New Series, Volume 15, 1964, 241-261.Roman en Prose du XIIIe Siècle, ed. Alexandre Micha, 9 Volumes (Geneva, 1978-1983), LXXXV. 54 - LXXXVI. 14.M.L. Samuels, ‘Dialect and Grammar’’ in A Companion to Piers Plowman, ed. John Alford, (Berkeley, California, 1988), pp. 201-222).
Finding aid
Resource type
  • colored ink
  • ink
  • parchment (animal material)
  • leather
  • British
Digital Object Id
  • MS212_001
  • 0139206


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