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Thomas Usk's Testament of Love

Thomas Usk's Testament of Love: A Critical Edition

Edited by Gary W. Shawver
Based on the edition of John F. Leyerle
  • Book Info
    Thomas Usk's Testament of Love
    Book Description:

    Usk was a figure of political and literary importance who was in the politics of late 14th-century London. A critical edition of his meditation on the fickle nature of worldly fortune and exploration of the relationship between grace and free will.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8264-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    John Leyerle

    Many years ago when I was an undergraduate, a new edition ofThe Testament of Loveby Thomas Usk was recommended to me as a suitable project for a PhD thesis by J.A.W. Bennett, my tutor at Magdalen College, Oxford. Subsequently, when I was a graduate student at Harvard University, my supervisor, B.J. Whiting, recommended to me John Arderne’s Middle English version of the medical tractFistula in anoas an appropriate subject for my PhD thesis. Bearing in mind Professor Whiting’s love of jests, I wondered if his advice might be one of them. If I accepted his recommendation,...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-42)

    The ony textual witness to theTestament of Loveis William Thynne’s 1532 print edition ofThe Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newly Printed, With Dyvers Workes Whiche Were Never in Print Before, As in the Table More Playnly Dothe Appere.¹ Thus, until the middle of the nineteenth century theTestamentwas attributed to Chaucer because of its presence in Thynne and in derivative later editions of Chaucer’s collected works. Gower’s greeting to Chaucer in the first recension of theConfessio Amantislent support to this attribution.

    ... now in hise daies olde

    Thow schalt him telle this message,

    That he...

  6. Testament of Love

    • BOOK I
      (pp. 45-80)

      MANY MEN THERE BEN that with eeres openly sprad so moche swalowen the delyciousnesse of jestes and of ryme by queynt knyttyng coloures, that of the goodnesse or of the badnesse of the sentence take they lytel hede or els none. Sothely, dul wytte and a thoughtful soule so sore have myned and graffed in my spyrites that suche craft of endytyng wol not ben of myn acqueyntaunce. And for rude wordes and boystous percen the herte of the herer to the inrest poynte and planten there the sentence of thynges so that with lytel helpe it is able to...

    • BOOK II
      (pp. 80-126)

      Very welth may not be founden in al this worlde, and that is wel sene. Lo, howe in my mooste comforte, as I wende, and moost supposed to have hadde ful answere of my contrary thoughtes, sodaynly it was vanysshed. And al the workes of man faren in the same wyse. Whan folke wenen best her entent for to have and wylles to perfourme, anone, chaungyng of the lyft syde to the ryght halve tourneth it so clene into another kynde that never shal it come to the fyrst plyte in doynge.

      O this wrongful steeryng, so soone otherwysed out...

    • BOOK III
      (pp. 126-196)

      Of nombre, sayne these clerkes that it is naturel somme of discrete thynges, as in tellynge one, two, thre, and so forth. But amonge al nombres thre is determyned for moste certayne. Wherfore, in nombre certayne, this werke of my besy leudenesse I thynke to ende and parfourme. Ensample by this worlde in thre tymes is devyded. Of whiche the first is cleped de[vi]acion, that is to say, goyng out of trewe way; and al that tho dyeden, in hel were they punisshed, for a mans synn, tyl grace and mercy fette hem thence, and there ended the firste tyme....

  7. Appendix: Textual Matters
    (pp. 197-206)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. 207-210)
  9. Commentary
    (pp. 211-298)
  10. Textual Apparatus
    (pp. 299-308)
  11. Works Cited
    (pp. 309-320)
  12. Index and Glossary
    (pp. 321-350)
  13. Index of Proper Names
    (pp. 351-354)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 355-355)