The Memory of Philippe de Mézières in 'Songe du viel pelerin' Manuscripts

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This article argues that the biography of Philippe de Mézières primarily known from two manuscripts of his 1389 Songe du viel pelerin (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, n. acq. fr. 25164 and Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MSS 2682-2683) originated in a third copy of the Songe, the Cleveland Public Library manuscript, in which the biographical text is visible under UV light. It demonstrates that the Cleveland manuscript was commissioned in 1471 by Guillaume Romain, provincial of the Celestine order, for the convent of the Paris Celestines in which Philippe de Mézières had lived from 1380 until his death in 1405. The textual contents of the biography craft an image of Philippe de Mézières that presents him as a model member of the Celestine community, and of the Paris Celestines as a valuable source of advice and counsel to French kings. The Cleveland manuscript, designed for members of the Paris Celestine community, provides an important example of the way texts such as the Songe du viel pelerin could have manuscript afterlives beyond the original context for which they were produced.
LanguageEnglish
JournalFrench Studies
Volume73
Issue number2
ISSN0016-1128
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

    Research areas

  • Philippe de Mézières, Songe du viel pelerin, Songe du vieil pelerin, Celestines, Guillaume Romain, Charles VI of France, manuscript studies