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English Medieval BooksThe Reading Abbey Collections from Foundation to Dispersal$
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Alan Coates

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207566.001.0001

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The Book Collections from c.1200 to the Dissolution

The Book Collections from c.1200 to the Dissolution

(p.61) 5 The Book Collections from c.1200 to the Dissolution
English Medieval Books

Alan Coates

Oxford University Press

There are no surviving inventories of Reading books from the thirteenth century. However, there are two rather unusual documents: the list of labours of brother William of Wicumbe during his sojourn at Leominster in no. 42, and a copy of a letter circulated by the sacrist of Reading Abbey about a stolen book in no. 6. Wicumbe, who identifies himself as ‘frater W. de Wicb.’, is a somewhat elusive character. As will become apparent, he seems to have upset some other members of the Reading community, and it is open to question whether he was very respectful of authority. It is probable that he composed music as well. A connection between Worcester and Leominster regarding the music in the list has been proposed. A Bible survives from the Reading collections. The fourteenth-century lists of books include a list of readings to be delivered in the refectory and in the church at night, and a list of books to be kept in the dormitory to be used for readings in the refectory.

Keywords:   Reading Abbey, books, refectory, music, William of Wicumbe, Leominster, Bible, Worcester

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