The third item in the list is another compilation of various works of vernacular literature of the day. Because they are well known, the titles can be inferred even though some are chopped off by the damage to the right hand margin; so we get the Legend of Ladies, La Belle Dame sans Mercy, The Parliament of Birds, The Temple of Glass, Palatyse and Scitacus and The Green Knight. The second last item is identified only by "the Med.." which one author has taken a punt on referring to The Meditations of somebody or other.
The fourth item, although incomplete is significant for dating the list as it refers to a book in print of "the pleye off the...", which is taken to be Caxton's The Game and Playe of the Chesse, published in 1475. Now if you think that looks like a dubious connection, just remember that in the late 1470s, bokes in preente were as rare as the teethe of the henne. Caxton was the only person who had printed anything in English about playing anything, and that was it. Hard to get your head around when you walk into a bookstore these days and see groaning tables of remaindered bokes in preente of the pleye of crickette.
The fifth item is a book lent to Middleton, and presumably not returned but, please note Mr Middleton, he has not forgotten it; also a compilation of various works of literature, some the same as in item three.
|List of English Books, 1475-79 (British Library, add. ms. 43491, f.26), by permission of the British Library.|
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