This week’s marginal image comes from Bodleian Library MS Douce 62, a late fourteenth century Italian book of hours:
As you can see, it’s a naked lady* talking to a monkish grotesque. I rather doubt there’s anything theologically significant about it, but I imagine their conversation goes a little something like this:
MONK: …and then then they made me their chief.
NAKED LADY: Yes, yes, a very witty story, and I’m certainly glad I heard it from the beginning rather than being teased with just the ending, but I can’t help asking if that is a second head growing out of your… well, out of your whatever is going on down there.
MONK: It might be, or I might just be glad to see you.
NAKED LADY: Ah. Yes. I see. Is that a monk growing out of your crotch, or are you just glad to see me? Is that it?
MONK: Don’t be silly. He’s never taken holy orders.
An odd way to close out Mmm… Marginalia for 2008, I’ll admit, but all the medieval-porn-seeking Googlers will be happy. I may have finally delivered.
*And though the illuminator made a general mess of her head, he was fairly attentive to the anatomical detail elsewhere on the naked lady, as you can see if you click to expand the image.