Woodblock image of the Miller, from Wynkyn de Worde’s 1498 printing The Boke of Chaucer Named Caunterbury Tales.
Carpet page of the Miller's & Reeve's Tale
Illustrated by M. Schifsky
TUDENTS IN THE HONORS COURSE THE BOOK IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY illuminated a manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's Miller's and Reeve's Tales from his book The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer, (ca. 1342-1400), was an English merchant, diplomat, and writer. The Canterbury Tales is considered one of the great poetical works of the English language.
Students were assigned 100 lines of text from the poem which they lettered using an uncial script. Each 100 lines of text also needed also included an illuminated letter based on the Lindisfarne Gospels. Then, working with their same 100 lines from the manuscript, students hand-set lead type with a matching photo-engraving of their illuminated letter and bound a limited lettepress edition of The Miller's and Reeve's Tales. You are invited to view their work on this guide.
The Miller's and Reeve's Tales were hand-set in 12-pt Colm Cille, an uncial typeface, cast for this project by Dr. Hans-Ulrich Frey at the Offizin Parnassia Vaettis, Switzerland. The decorative initials are photoengravings based on letters from the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Decorative initial S from the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Woodblock image of the Reeve, from Wynkyn de Worde’s 1498 printing The Boke of Chaucer Name Caunterbury Tales.