Item 1 - Letter from Carl Horstmann to W. Aldis Wright

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Add. MS b/74/10/1


Letter from Carl Horstmann to W. Aldis Wright


  • 1877 x 1892 (Creation)

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1 single sheet

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10 Aldenham Street, St Pancras, London.—Professor Körting wishes to know which stanzas are contained in the fragment of the Chanson de Roland at Trinity (MS R.3.4), as he intends to publish a critical edition of the poem.



Dear Sir.

Professor Körting, of Münster, wishes me to give him information about a fragment of the old Anglonorman Chanson de Roland, contained in a Ms. of Trinity College Cambridge {1}. I only got his letter after I left Cambridge, and so I am not able to look after the Ms. myself. But, as I should like to comply with the wish of my friend, I take the liberty to ask you for the information required, as perhaps you know the Ms. of so important a poem in the library of your college—Mr. Körting cannot give the exact number of the Ms., nor can I find a Catalogue of the Mss. of Trin. Coll. here. I should feel much obliged to you if you would be so kind to tell me of which and of how many tirades or stanzas the fragment consists, compared with the text published by Müller or Kölbing {2}, and if you would copy just a few stanzas, especially the first and last of the fragment, so as to be able to form an adequate judgement of the age, language and dialect of the poem. Prof. Körting intends publishing a critical edition from the several Mss. known of this oldest frensh† poem and is in need of the information required; he would be very thankful indeed, if you could help him. I answered to his letter that I should apply to you, as the only means I knew of ascertaining what he wanted to know. I shall be in London till this day week.

Yours truly
Dr C Horstmann.

London | 10 Aldenham Street. | St. Pancras.


This letter must have been written during the period when Körting was at Münster, i.e. 1876-1892, and after the publication of Kölbing’s edition of the Chanson de Roland (see below). The sheet bears some notes in pencil by Aldis Wright.

{1} R.3.4, 15th c.

{2} Theodor Müller’s edition of the Oxford MS. of the Chanson de Roland (Bodleian Library, MS Digby 23, part 2) was published at Göttingen in 1863. Eugen Kölbing’s edition of the Venice IV MS. was published at Heilbronn in 1877.

† Sic.

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      This description was created by A. C. Green in 2022.




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