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The Bristol ‘Merlin’: From Treasure to Waste and Back Again
February 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Sponsored by The Grolier Club
In 2019, medieval manuscript fragments containing an Arthurian text surfaced unexpectedly at England’s Bristol Central Library and made headlines. Seven folios of a 13th-century copy of the “Suite Vulgate du Merlin” were discovered inside the binding of a four-volume copy of the works of the French scholar and reformer Jean Gerson, printed between 1494 and 1502. Scholars have undertaken a large-scale investigation of the fragments’ origin, resulting in a new book, The Bristol Merlin: Revealing the Secrets of a Medieval Fragment (Arc Humanities Press).
In this talk, the project team will trace the journey of the fragments from their inscription in France to their import to England, their possible ownership, and their evolution from recycled waste material to treasured possessions of the Bristol Library. Speakers will include Dr. Leah Tether, Professor of Medieval Literature and Publishing at the University of Bristol and a specialist in Arthurian literature, publishing, and book history; Dr. Laura Chuhan Campbell, Assistant Professor of Translation Studies and French at Durham University and a scholar of Arthurian literature and Merlin in French and medieval Italian culture; and Dr. Benjamin Pohl, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Bristol and an expert in medieval European culture, manuscript production, and the history of the book. The moderator will be Grolier member Daryl Green, Head of Special Collections and Deputy Head of the Centre for Research Collections at Edinburgh University’s Main Library.
This will be a live online event, and all attendees will receive an email with the link the day of the event. If you’ve not received a link by 9:00 am Eastern time, please check your spam folder.