Book of Different Things


This codex, entitled Livre de plusieurs choses (Book of different things), contains 120 poems in French. The title, now hardly visible, is on the upper cover of the manuscript. Comprising 252 extant paper leaves, it was compiled without any discernible structure or organization by a number of different scribes sometime between 1475 and 1500. The manuscript includes parts of the renowned Le Lais (Le Petit Testament) and Le Grand Testament of François Villon (1431−63) and is one of the principal sources of the former work. It also contains poems by Guillaume Machaut (circa 1300−1377) and Christine de Pisan (circa 1364−circa 1431), two well-known French poets, and other French medieval authors, some of whom are unidentified. Several of the poems are known only from this manuscript. The codex was owned by the famous French collector, Claude Fauchet (1530−1601) and later, by Paul Petau (1568−1614). In 1650, Queen Christina of Sweden (1626−89) bought it from Alexandre Petau, the son of Paul Petau.

Last updated: May 11, 2015