This famous medieval round is reproduced here with exquisite black and white illustrations. Written about 1250, possibly by the monks of Reading Abbey, where the manuscript was located, Sumer is Icumen in is famous for its cheerful complexity, and for providing instructions on how it should be sung. The book contains a full-colour facsimile of the original manuscript and an explanatory text by Chaucer scholar Phillipa Hardman of Reading University. Sally Castle’s lively illustrations exactly portray the celebration of spring (not summer – read it to find out why) which is depicted in both words and music. For those who want to try singing it, there’s a modern version of the music as well.
Notes by Phillipa Hardman, edited by Barbara Morris, and illustrated by Sally Castle. Paperback, 147 x 105 mm, 32 pages, January 2006.