Gauthier (or Goussuin) of Metz's 'Image of the World', written in 1246, is one of the earliest medieval encyclopaedias, and the first to be written in French.
Aspects of medieval knowledge about science were more advanced than some people give credit for: many modern readers are surprised to learn that 13th-century writers such as Gauthier were fully aware that the earth was round, for example.
This manuscript, which probably belonged to Ramsey Abbey before its dissolution in 1539, survives as just two leaves: they were used as the covering of an account book.
The upside-down inscription in the lower margin of this page reads 'Richard Wilson's Booke for trees solde owt of tholde parke at Ramsey 1564 ...'
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