Book Description


Quarto (318 x 238mm), pp. [2 (blank l.)], ix, [1 (blank)], 37, [1 (imprint)], [2 (blank l.)]. Publisher’s device on verso of half-title. 18 monochrome plates. (A few light spots or marks, l. 3/4 with slight marginal chipping and l. 4/2 with 15mm marginal tear.) Original brown buckram backed grey boards, upper board lettered in gilt on buckram, spine lettered in gilt and with Cambridge University arms in gilt, uncut. (Some offsetting onto free endpapers, some light spotting on boards, extremities slightly rubbed and bumped.) Provenance: [?]acquisition date ‘15th Sept[embe]r 1924’ in pencil on upper pastedown – early [?]pressmark G/213 on upper pastedown – Nottingham High School, Nottingham, 1956 (small armorial inkstamps on upper pastedown and pp. 17, 30, 35 and 37, ink stamp with manuscript accession number, class mark, and date 15 February 1956 on p. [iv], small traces of removed labels on upper pastedown and front free endpaper; sold on their behalf).
Dealer Notes
First edition. The archivist Sir (Charles) Hilary Jenkinson (1882-1961) was educated at Dulwich College and (in classics) at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After graduation he worked at the Public Record Office from 1906 onwards, specifically on the classification of the medieval exchequer, before undertaking an instrumental role in reorganising its repairing department and repository. Following his appointment as Secretary and Assistant Keeper, he occupied the position of Deputy Keeper from 1947 until his retirement in 1954. His lecturing activities throughout his career took Jenkinson to Cambridge (see below), King’s College, London (1925-1947), and University College, London, where he ‘lectured on palaeography and archives for the new school of librarianship’ from 1920 to 1925 (ODNB). His Manual of Archive Administration (1922) was as influential as his work on the establishment of local record offices and the preservation and organisation of archives as cultural heritage. He was appointed CBE in 1943, knighted in 1949, and granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen 1949.

‘From 1911 to 1935 [Jenkinson] was the Maitland memorial lecturer in Cambridge, his subject being English palaeography and diplomatic from the Norman Conquest to 1485’, and Palaeography and the Practical Study of Court Hand is based on his early Cambridge lectures and classes, and also benefitted from Jenkinson’s association ‘with his colleague Charles Johnson in the work on medieval handwritings’ (op. cit.). The work is divided into the history of the Court Hand and its ‘scientific study’, which includes an introduction to the field of palaeography and its history. The illustrations – most reproducing the documents at their original size – ‘present almost unknown (most of them, indeed, recently discovered) documents of considerable interest’ and ‘illustrate in a small way some of the points of difficulty which […] make exact palaeographical work an impossibility from the 13th century onwards’ (p. 15). Palaeography and the Practical Study of Court Hand continues to be a classic work in the history of medieval palaeography, and was followed by Jenkinson’s Later Court Hands in England from the Fifteenth to the Seventeenth Century (1927).

R. Ellis and W. Kellaway, ‘A Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Hilary Jenkinson’, in J. Conway Davies (ed.), Studies Presented to Sir Hilary Jenkinson C.B.E., LL.D., F.S.A. (London, 1957), pp. 480-494 at p. 482 (pagination of preliminaries incorrectly given as ‘iv’ rather than ‘ix’); A.G. Kennedy, A Concise Bibliography for Students of English (Stanford, CA, 1957), 333.
Author JENKINSON, Charles Hilary
Date 1915
Publisher Cambridge: John Clay at The University Press

Price: £49.50

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