Friday, October 1, 2010

Bannatyne Manuscript

The month of October began in 1568 with the publication of the Bannatyne Manuscript, by George Bannatyne.  This work presented a collection of Middle (15th and 16th century) Scots poetry.  Sir Walter Scott, honoring Bannatyne, later formed the Bannatyne Club to publish Scottish works.  In 1829, the club published "Memorials of George Bannatyne (1545 - 1608)", which included Scott's own "Memoir of George Bannatyne", which begins:




By Sir Walter Scott, Bart.

THE pious care with which fome of our affociates have fearched out every particular which Time has fpared
refpecting the honoured Patron under whofe name our Inftitution is formed, has been materially aided by the difcovery of George Bannatyne's " Memoriall Buik," in the poffeffion of his defcendant, Sir James Foulis of Woodhall, Baronet, who has obligingly lent it for that purpofe. The refult of the enquiry does not indeed throw much light on his perfonal charader, or the incidents of his life, but yet conveys to the Members of the Bannatyne Club 1 fome information which cannot but be acceptable. It is interefting to learn, that the indefatigable preferver of Scottifh literature was by birth, education, and fortune, above the middling clafs of fociety; and ftill of greater confequence to know, that in an age of inveterate feuds and bloody violence, the
outrages of the time did not reach the lover of the Mufes, by whofe unwearied exertions fo much of the ancient Scottifh poetry has been preferved from oblivion...'

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