Paleographical Challenge #73

May 8, 2020

By Michael Morand

Today’s post, pictured above, is the last for the 2020 Paleographical Challenge. Unlike the previous 72 puzzles, this, shall we say, is a rather post-early modern manuscript, completely uncataloged, done by a thorougly contemporary scribal hand, working remotely from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

There is no mystery in the manuscript, for it is no secret that the library is full of gratitude to Kathryn James, curator of early modern manuscripts and the Osborn Collection, for the delights her labor and scholarship have given to audiences near and far through the exhibition, Subscribed: The Manuscript in Britain, 1500-1800, her new book, English Paleography and Manuscript Culture, 1500-1800 (Yale University Press, 2020), and this 2020 Paleographical Challenge.

If you share a similar gratitude, one final challenge: Get thee hither to Twitter, and share a personal manuscript with a message of thanks for @osbornearlymod @beineckelibrary

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Suggested transcription for yesterday’s manuscript shown below:

[Transcribed from mirror image]
Lefte hande [or, mirror writing]
Vertue noe double hath hir rewarde,
can bodies shadowes lacke?
Before or even with her it goes,
or followes at hir backe: