The book which gave account of the court expenditure in France
before the Revolution was so called because its covers were red. We
have also a “Red Book” in manuscript, containing the names of all those
who held lands per baroniam in the reign of Henry II., with
other matters pertaining to the nation before the Conquest. (Ryley, 667.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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