DICTES AND SAYINGS OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
Miniature (85 x 100 mm.) portraying the presentation of this book to Edward IV. Beside the king stand his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, sister of Earl Rivers, and his son the future Edward V. Earl Rivers, in a surcoat of his arms over plate armour, kneels and presents the book bound in green, and by him kneels a tonsured figure in a black cassock with cape, bordered with white. This figure was supposed by Walpole to represent Caxton, but the presence of the tonsure makes this unlikely; Caxton, and likewise Tignonville, were laymen and would not have been tonsured. Blades considered him to be the scribe Haywarde, and Blake suggests he may have been a Benedictine of Westminster Abbey (N.F. Blake, 'Manuscript to print', in Griffiths and Pearsall eds, 'Book production and publishing in Britain 1375-1475', 2007, pp. 403-32, especially p. 414). Beyond the royal party stand a group of courtiers. One, royally dressed in ermine like Edward IV and his son, is perhaps the future Richard III. The walls of the room are hung with gold and red, and the back of the king's canopy is of the same colours. The floor is green. Through a door on the left are seen figures talking. The miniature was engraved in 1774 by Strutt, and by Grignion for Horace Walpole 'A catalogue of the royal and noble authors of England' [See two letters from Walpole to Ducarel in John Nichols, 'Literary anecdotes of the eighteenth century' IV. 700]. It has since been frequently reproduced, including in 'Lambeth Palace Library: treasures from the collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury', ed. Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown (2010), p. 70. The representation of Edward V is almost unique. There is a painting of him on a screen in the south choir aisle of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and a representation in glass in the east window of Little Malvern Church. See William Blades, 'Life and typography of William Caxton', 2 vols (1861-63), I. 8 i, II. 38. The artist of the miniature also illustrated British Library, Harleian MS. 326 (K.L. Scott, 'Later Gothic manuscripts..', cat. no. 125; C. Meale, 'Patrons, buyers and owners: book production and social status ' in Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall, eds, 'Book production and publishing in Britain 1375-1475', 2007, p. 212). The remainder of f. vi verso is occupied by dedicatory verses: 'This boke late translate here in sight By Antony Erle (blank) the vertueux knyght ... Graunte of his grace the Trinite'. The verses are recorded in Julia Boffey and A.S.G.Edwards, 'New index of Middle English verse' (London: British Library, 2005), no. 3581/1.