Medieval Life, Personages, Celtic Art, Calligraphy and Illuminated Manuscripts
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“A Tale of Two Manuscripts Reunited” – 14th Century Medieval Love Poem

Le Roman de la Rose and Le Jeu des Echecs MoraliseTwo 14th Century love poems have been reunited at the University of Chicago. From their press release:

The University of Chicago Library acquired a 14th-century manuscript of “Le Roman de la Rose,” or “The Romance of the Rose” – which scholars have referred to as the most popular medieval love poem – reuniting it after a 100-year separation with a manuscript with which it was previously bound.

In 1907, the manuscript of “Le Roman de la Rose” was separated from that of “Le Jeu des Echecs Moralise,” or “The Moralized Game of Chess,” which the University of Chicago Library acquired in 1931.

Both manuscripts will be on display in the Library’s Special Collections Research Center at 1100 E. 57th St., beginning Feb. 14 as part of the exhibition: “Romance and Chess: A Tale of Two Manuscripts Reunited.” Opening remarks will be made at 12:30 p.m. at the Valentine’s Day opening by Alice Schreyer, Director of the Special Collections Research Center; Daisy Delogu, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literature; and Aden Kumler, Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at the University of Chicago. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will run through March 14.

“Bringing the two parts of this book back together will enable discoveries that would not be possible if they remained apart,” Schreyer said.

Added Delogu, “This ‘Le Roman de la Rose’ manuscript has extraordinary potential to enrich research and teaching opportunities here at Chicago, and will be of interest to scholars of manuscript culture and literary studies worldwide. ‘Le Roman de la Rose’ is arguably the single-most influential vernacular text of the late French Middle Ages.”

These beautiful manuscripts are currently on display at the University of Chicago. You can learn more about the history of these 14th century poems at the University of Chicago Library web site.