Abstract

This study identifies thirty-four leaves of a lost manuscript processional from Wilton Abbey, a Benedictine convent and the premiere center of noble women’s education in medieval England. The manuscript was copied ca. 1860 by Paul Jausions of the Abbey of Solesmes, which later played a central role in the development of chant scholarship, the restoration of liturgical chant practice, and the creation of modern performing editions. While the original manuscript subsequently disappeared, Jausions’s copy has been preserved as Abbaye St-Pierre-de-Solesmes, Atelier de Paléographie musicale no° 596, where it is known as the “Rollington Processional.”

I show that the original processional was dismembered and sold by American manuscript dealer Otto F. Ege ca. 1948. Ege included leaves of the manuscript as example no. 8 in copies of the portfolio Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts, Western Europe, XII–XVI Century, and sold the remaining leaves individually. Focusing on selected leaves, including one previously undocumented example at the University of Iowa, I describe distinctive characteristics of the manuscript’s physical layout, text, music, and the elements that localize its provenance to Wilton Abbey. The recovery of the processional’s leaves provides direct primary evidence of the poetic, ritual, and musical culture of Wilton Abbey, and allows insight into Jausions’s principles of transcription, rendering his copy a more useful surrogate for those leaves still missing. It furthermore reintegrates the two ways in which the manuscript was transmitted, received, and studied, allowing for a more complete consideration of the book as both text and material object.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 690-732
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-05
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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