Book Series Textes vernaculaires du moyen âge, vol. 23


A Late Fifteenth-Century Commonplace Book

Edited from Cambridge University Library MS Gg.6.16

Ariane Lainé

  • Pages: 261 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:13 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, Middle English
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58291-7
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58292-4
  • E-book
  • Available

Edition of a fifteenth-century personal compilation of temporale sermons


« Assurément, A Late Fifteenth-Century Commonplace Book ouvre de nouvelles perspectives aux spécialistes de la littérature de prédication tardomédiévale en Angleterre. » (Agnès Blandeau, dans Le Moyen Âge, 1, 2021, p. 274)

“Overall, Lainé’s book is an impressive and welcome contribution to the body of Middle English religious manuscripts containing preaching material. Not only does this edition introduce the complete story of this one curious testimony and its textual tradition, but also reveals much concerning the history of religion and mentalities of the time. It remains in a constant dialogue with historiography on this corpus of affiliated manuscripts, confirms existing hypotheses, further refines and adds to existing scholarly analysis, shedding light on a manuscript that, although predominantly a reproduction of common sermons, is intriguingly original in its composition.” (Ekaterina Novokhatko, in The Medieval Review, 22.01.09)


Lecturer, English Studies Department, University of Orléans. Specialist of British Civilisation and Middle-English sermons.


This edition presents the full text of a personal collection of  temporale Middle-English sermons, compiled by a parish priest for his own use (preserved in Cambridge University Library MS Cg.6.16). It also includes the notes and fragments of sermons or exempla  found at the beginning of the manuscript with a purpose of giving insight into the way a parish priest would compile materials. This manuscript has attracted attention because it perserves versions of these sermons' early stages. The current edition is therefore complementary to editions of later versions of the same sermons.  The introduction provides a discussion of these sermons' textual history and the circumstances in which they were possibly preached. Explanatory notes, a glossary, and indexes complete the edition.



Manuscripts and Sigla



  • Unprinted Primary Sources: Manuscripts
  • Printed Primary Sources
  • Unprinted Editions of Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
Recapitulary Tables

  • Recapitulary Table of the Contents of the Manuscripts (1)
  • Recapitulary Table of the Contents of the Manuscripts (2)
  • Recapitulary Table of the Contents of the Manuscripts (3)
  • Recapitulary Table of the Contents of the Manuscripts (4)

  • Description of the Manuscripts
  • Language
  • Layout and Watermarks
  • Quire 1
  • Quires 2 and 3
  • Two Sermons for a Wedding Ceremony
  • Quires 4 and 5
  • Conclusion: A Preaching Tool
  • Editorial Principles and Procedures
Quire 1. Ff. 1r-7v

[1]  [The Three Maries]
[2]  [Note on Octavian and the Sybil]
[3]  [Note on the Temple in Rome]
[4]  [The Apostles' Creed and Citations from the Prophets]
[5]  [Exemplum of Longinus]
[6]  [Easter Day Sermon]
[7]  [Outline of sermon & Citations]
[8]  [Sermon for Lent 1]
[9]  [Exemplum of the Bloody Letters and the Lady who Killed her Own Child]
[10] [Extract from the Exemplum of St Dunstan's mother]
[11] [A Note on the How and Why one Should Say a Pater Noster and an Ave]
[12] [A Note on the Letters of Ihesu Crist]
[13] [A Note on the Law at the Court of King Arthur]
[14] [Exemplum of Three Philosophers]
[15] [An Extract from an Exemplum about Two Cripples and a Precious tree]
[16] [A Note on Bad Christians Likened to Swine]
[17] [Sermon-Like Note on the Three Apostles John, Peter, and Judas and the Sins of Pride, Gluttony and Envy]

Quires 2 and 3. Ff. 8r-30v

[18] [Α Sermon on Mt, 22:37]
[19] [Α Sermon on 1 Ptrr, 4:7]
[20] [Α Sermon on Ps, 40:5]
[21] [Α Sermon on Lc, 19:15]
[22] [Α Sermon on Io, 11:25]
[23] [Α Sermon for All Saints Day and All Souls Day]
[24] [Α Sermon for a Wedding Cermony]

Quires 4 and 5. Ff. 32r-59v

[25] In Solemnizacione matrimonij
[26] Dominica Prima Aduentus Domini
[27] In Die Natalis Domini Nostri Ihesu Cristi
[28] In Die Circumcicionis Domini Nostri Ihesu Cristi
[29] In Die Epiphanie Domini Nostri Ihesu Cristi
[30] Dominica Septuagesime Euaungelium
[31] Dominica in Sexagesima
[32] Dominica in Quinquagesima
[33] In die Cinerum et in Capite Ieiunij
[34] Domnica Prima Quadragesime
[35] Dominica Secunda Quadragesime
[36]Dominica iija Quadragesime Euaungelica Luc xjm°

Explanatory Notes


Index of Proper Names

Index of Biblical Quotations

Index of Non-Biblical Quotations

Index of Exempla