Recontextualising the Romaunt of the Rose: Glasgow, University Library MS Hunter 409 and the Romance of the Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


This article examines in detail certain aspects of the mise-en-page of Glasgow, University Library MS Hunter 409, the most complete surviving manuscript copy of the Middle English Romaunt of the Rose, a translation of the Roman de la Rose. It explores the way in which, since the nineteenth-century work of Skeat and his contemporaries, critical focus has been directed overwhelmingly towards splitting the text into discrete ‘fragments’, with the principal purpose of discerning which was by Chaucer. It argues that the Glasgow manuscript’s presentation of the Romaunt does not support these readings of the text and suggests that this manuscript in fact provides evidence, through its layout and decoration, of engagement with much broader scribal and decorative traditions of transmitting the Roman de la Rose. The article concludes by arguing for a more integrated and less divisive approach to the Romaunt, and a move away from a scholarly model which focuses on its supposed ‘fragmentary’ state and its relationship to Chaucer, in favour of an exploration of its relationship to the Rose itself.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
Issue number244
Early online date23 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Romaunt of the Rose, Roman de la rose, manuscripts, Geoffrey Chaucer