Orangey-red stroke.

Cabinet 8: Authorial Acrostics

The Testament of Love.

This is a facsimile of the earliest surviving copy of The Testament of Love, from William Thynne’s 1532 edition where it is attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer. Removed from the Chaucer canon in 1897, the work is an autobiographical account of Thomas Usk’s imprisonment for treason, for which he was ultimately executed in 1388. An acrostic formed from the first letter of the Prologue and the subsequent 33 chapters reads: MARGARETE OF VIRTW HAVE MERCI ON THIN VSK.

Thomas Usk, The Testament of Love, in The Works 1532, with Supplementary Material from the Edition of 1542, 1561, 1598 and 1602, edited by William Thynne (London: Scolar Press, 1974) Central PR 1850 1974