The Talbot Shrewsbury Book (Normandy, 1444-45)

Talbot, with his dog, presenting the book to Queen Margaret of Anjou (beside King Henry VI), detail from the frontispiece of the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikipedia [Public Domain]
The Talbot Shrewsbury Book is a large illuminated manuscript created in the French city of Rouen (Normandy) around 1444-45. It was a gift from John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (1384/1387-1453) – an English military commander during the Hundred Years’ War – to the French princess Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482). It was meant to celebrate her betrothal to King Henry VI of England (1422-1461).

The manuscript is a collection of fifteen texts in French. These are chivalric romances, treatises on warfare, chansons de geste (epic poems) and Statutes of the Order of the Garter (a chivalric order founded by King Edward III in 1348, still active).

Among the heroic figures who appear in the book are Charlemagne and Alexander the Great (hidden in a barrel-like submarine).

Here are a few images. The full manuscript has been digitised by the British Library.

 

Henry VI appointing Talbot as Constable of France, the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
 

Boat and Bed, the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
 

Charlemagne and Four Kings, the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
 

Genealogical Table of Descendants of Saint Louis IX, the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
 

Alexander in a Submarine, the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
 

 


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