Troilus Frontispiece

The frontispiece to Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 61 (fol. 1v) depicts the poet Chaucer (on the right, standing) reciting his work to a royal audience. Although we cannot identify each figure in the illustration, many scholars believe the golden-robed man in the center is King Richard II (his face is now rubbed out), and the woman in pink standing next to him is Queen Anne. Some scholars also suggest that the crowned woman in blue (in the front row) is Joan of Kent, the King's mother.

This manuscript has an interesting history. According to Roger Loomis, it was made a few years after Chaucer's death "perhaps for Joan Beaufort, John of Gaunt's daughter and [Chaucer's] niece, for it was later in the possession of Joan's daughter, Anne Neville" (A Mirror of Chaucer's World, Princeton University Press, 1965, pg. 68).

For more information on this manuscript, see Facsimile of Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 61, ca. 1399-1413 (Cambridge: Brewer, 1978). Note the introductory essay by Elizabeth Salter entitled "The 'Troilus Frontispiece'" (15-23).