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This codex of two rare narratives is an exciting exploration of European history. The first, Hug Schapler (Ein lieplichs lesen vnd ein warhafftige Hystorij wie einer (der da hieß Hug schäpler vnd wz metzgers gschlecht) ein gewaltiger küng zu Franckrich ward ), is a fictional tale about the French King Hugues Capet (987-996), derived from a 14th-century chanson de geste. In the story, Hug has huge debts and leads a reckless life in which he must often flee the angry families of women he has slept with. Siring ten sons, Hug begins to gain an illustrious reputation, joining his children in battles and adventures, and he is granted the hand of the daughter of King Louis V, the last Carolingian king (r. 986-987). As a result, Hug becomes the first Capet King of France.
Similar to the story of King Saul and David – as Hug, son of a nobleman and a butcher's daughter, rises through the ranks to take his place as monarch – the story attempts to explain the change of royal family from the Carolingians to the Capetians. This story was translated into German by Elisabeth of Nassau Saarbrücken, who also rendered three other French chansons de geste in German; the second part of the story is only known through Elisabeth's interpretation. Forty large woodcuts accompany this first edition of Hug Schapler, designed in the 'middle-style' of Grüninger's workshop, with fine, narrow hatching to evoke tone and body.
The second tale bound in this book is Hans von Bühel's Die Königstochter von Frankreich. In 8,259 verses, the Story of a Daughter of a French King describes the fleeing daughter marrying the King of England, a factor which threatens her children's inheritance to the French crown. This turn of events then leads to the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War. The thirty-nine accompanying illustrations contain fifteen that were used in the Hug Schapler, and as the books are dated only four days apart, they were likely printed at the same time and then bound together.