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The crafte of lymmyng and The maner of steynyng: Middle English recipes for painters, stainers, scribes, and illuminators

NEW! 2016

An edited corpus of all known fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English technical recipes for painters, stainers, scribes, illuminators and dyers from c. 1300-1500.


Most are presented here in print for the first time, and many are previously unknown. The collection contains 127 sets of recipes (around 1500 individual recipes), taken from 90 manuscripts, and forms the largest published corpus of such recipes in any language.

These anonymous craft recipes describe the preparation of materials, outline their uses, advise on decorative effects, and confide tricks of the trade. In addition to recipes for conventional painting and illuminating are a number for 'staining' (figurative painting on cloth) which provide the only practical information on this once widely-practised, but now lost, English medium. The editor also identifies for the first time the earliest surviving recipes for block printing on textiles. The recipes are professional in origin, but were subsequently taken over by amateurs and encyclopaedists. Household recipes for colouring wax, fishing lines, hair, and food complete the collection.

Most of the texts were originally composed in English; few are translated from pre-existing material. They are a valuable record of Middle English technical vocabulary, much of it previously unrecorded.

Mark Clarke
The crafte of lymmyng and The maner of steynyng: Middle English recipes for painters, stainers, scribes, and illuminators
Oxford University Press (2016)
Early English Text Society O.S. 347
ISBN 978-0-19-878908-6


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Last updated 30 January 2017       Mark Clarke       http://www.clericus.org/english.htm