Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in the Bodleian and Oxford College Libraries

BookManuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in the Bodleian and Oxford College Libraries

Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in the Bodleian and Oxford College Libraries

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


June 22nd, 2016

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The catalogue is the first step towards a systematic description of the manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible, one of the most influential medieval English works. The Bible is the first complete translation of the Vulgate in English, produced at the end of the 14th century by the followers of the Oxford theologian John Wyclif. In spite of being condemned and banned within twenty five years of its appearance, it became the most widely disseminated medieval English text.
The catalogue contains detailed descriptions of all (64 in total) manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in Oxford collections (the Bodleian and college libraries). This is a substantial part of the whole corpus: 250 manuscripts of the Bible survive and Oxford has the largest number of copies in any single location. The descriptions are subdivided into sections covering textual contents, decoration, dialect, physical makeup and binding of each manuscript, and are accompanied by bibliographies. The descriptions are preceded by an introduction with a discussion of the manuscript tradition of the Wycliffite Bible and the findings resulting from the study of Oxford copies. The catalogue also contains several appendices illustrating important features of the manuscripts.


'This is in every important respect a model exercise in clear, careful and methodical description of a complex body of material.'

'Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible will be a necessary resource for scholars working on the Wycliffite Bible, and also for codicologists examining Middle English book production.'
Kathleen E. Kennedy, Journal for Manuscript Studies

'It will become an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the study of the Wycliffite Bible, and will surely be joined by deeper analyses and other tools that will further our understanding of this--now less understudied-- class of manuscripts.'
Eyal Poleg, The Medieval Review

The Wycliffite Bible… has received little serious scholarly attention. Elizabeth Solopova’s research is changing all that. […] It is to be hoped that other scholars will follow Solopova’s exemplary lead in cataloguing additional location-specific subgroups of WB manuscripts.’

Michael P. Kuczynski, Medium Aevum

Author Information

Elizabeth Solopova is Research Fellow, English Faculty and New College and Lecturer in English Literature, Christ Church, Oxford University. Her previous books include Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library: A Select Catalogue (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2013) and [with S. D. Lee] Key Concepts in Medieval Literature, Palgrave Key Concepts: Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of manuscripts15
List of plates19
1. Introduction21
2. The form of entries52
3. The catalogue57
Colour Plates97
I The contents of the Wycliffite Bible319
II Manuscripts containing the Earlier Version or combining the Earlier and Later Versions327
III The contents of manuscripts328
IV The origin and provenance of manuscripts330
V Types of medieval owners331
VI Presentation of text332
VII Rubrics to gospels and their Prologues (collation)333