The Anne Boleyn Music Book

One of the most significant books of Renaissance music in Britain is the manuscript London, Royal College of Music, MS 1070. The modestly-sized but beautifully written book contains sacred motets by some of Europe’s most famous composers, specifically those associated with the French royal court, of the early sixteenth century. An inscription in an early sixteenth-century English hand reads “M[ist]res A Bolleyene Nowe thus”; that she is styled “mistress” indicates that the inscription was certainly made before she became queen in 1533; “nowe thus” was the motto of her father. Despite considerable interest by musicologists in past decades, the book remains something of a mystery: clearly made in France, but associated in a yet-to-be-determined way with Henry VIII's second wife.

With the generous support of The Cayzer Trust Company Limited and The Hon. Mrs Gilmour, the RCM liberated the codex from its 19th-century binding, making it possible to study the layers and compilation and to produce this magnificent facsimile. The introduction, by Thomas Schmidt, David Skinner and Katja Airaksinen-Monier, leading experts on Renaissance music manuscripts, includes chapters on the historical context of the book, a new analysis of its structure, the significance of the music it contains with some new ascriptions, an analysis of the decoration, and a list of concordances and editions. This preface will provide the most thorough evaluation to date of this fascinating music book.

270 pp full colour + 58 pp introduction, indexes etc. Format 209 x 304 mm (images full size) Full colour facsimile on 150gsm matt art paper, hard bound

Price: £70


Purchase Anne Boleyn Music Book Facsimile £70