As my second blog-only publication, I’ve decided to offer a paper that I gave in Oxford to Margaret Bent’s musici in 2009, to the Oxford Medieval Church and Culture Seminar in 2010 and at the 27th Harlaxton Symposium, also in 2010. It’s something I tried to get published as a journal article during 2009, but it was not art-historical enough for the art history journal I tried and not musical enough for the music journal; it could have gone in the Harlaxton proceedings, but I was quite keen for it to go somewhere that Machaut scholars in literature, music, and art history would find it. I also felt it was too speculative for ordinary publication, so online publication where people can comment on aspects of the argument directly (and quickly), help with things I haven’t been able to source (like the statue mentioned in the paper), and perhaps use it as a discussion paper for further work, seemed ideal. I’ve also put glossary-like open access links in the main text (including to MS images) and kept the paywalled academic reference links to the endnotes.
The headline content is as follows: I think one of the famous portrait miniatures in the Prologue section of Machaut’s MS A has an additional portrait, of Guillaume II de Melun, archbishop of Sens, playing the allegorical character of Sens. I think it is also possible that his brother is figured in the depiection of Sweet Thought in the other miniature. The Melun family might therefore be the patrons of the manuscript, at least in the shape we have it now with its fancy opening bifolio by a major royal miniature painter. The paper first gives an overview of the opening of Machaut’s Prologue before offering reasons for this identification.
Click here for an HTML version; (when I sort out how to stop Scrivener confusing LaTeX by having hyperlinks in footnotes without having to do a whole lot of fiddling, I’ll also post it here as a PDF).
My interest in making this paper available is two-fold. First, in a paper at this year’s Med/Ren, Uri Smilansky, presenting a paper co-authored with Yolanda Plumley, proposed a compelling identification for an early owner and likely patron of one of the other main Machaut sources (I won’t give more details here, because that paper is theirs to reveal in due course!). Second, I saw a tweet from the LSEimpactblog linking to a blog about the idea of guerrilla self-publishing and asking if now was the time for academics to consider doing this. I tweeted back that I had already done it, citing my blogpost from last year on the motet Exaudi/Alme. They replied asking me to blog about the experience, which I said I’d do after posting another blog-only article, and which I have now done. Meanwhile I decided to upgrade my earlier publication by adding an HTML file for it. Last year I was using LaTeX directly, but now I am using Scivener, which can generate both LaTeX and HTML files of the same document, so like a real journal I should be able (eventually) to offer it in both formats (just as soon as I fix the problem with footnotes). Unfortunately, the free version of WordPress which I’m using has a slightly different html code for sending links to and from footnotes from that which is generated by Scivener, so I’m hosting my html files off this site in my Oxford University webspace (although that won’t bother most clickers-through, who probably won’t even notice!).
As follow up questions, I’d be interested to know (or know how to find out):
1. In whose gift was the St Quentin benefice (canonry) that Machaut held?
2. What did the Meluns do in London, and when did they return?
3. What were relations like between the Meluns and Navarre?
4. Can anyone identify the heraldry of the flags in the MS A pictures or are they just generic?
[For a later answer to Q4 — click here]
Seeing Sens: Guillaumes de Machaut and de Melun by Elizabeth Eva Leach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~musf0058/MachautMelun.html.