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Makers and Users of Medieval Books

Makers and Users of Medieval Books: Essays in Honour of A.S.G. Edwards

Carol M. Meale
Derek Pearsall
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 252
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  • Book Info
    Makers and Users of Medieval Books
    Book Description:

    Late medieval manuscripts and early modern print history form the focus of this volume. It includes new work on the compilation of some important medieval manuscript miscellanies and major studies of merchant patronage and of a newly revealed woman patron, alongside explorations of medieval texts and the post-medieval reception history of Langland, Chaucer and Nicholas Love. It thus pays a fitting tribute to the career of Professor A.S.G. Edwards, highlighting his scholarly interests and demonstrating the influence of his achievements. Carol M. Meale is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol; Derek Pearsall is Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and Honorary Research Professor at the University of York. Contributors: Nicolas Barker, J.A. Burrow, A.I. Doyle, Martha W. Driver, Susanna Fein, Jane Griffiths, Lotte Hellinga, Alfred Hiatt, Simon Horobin, Richard Linenthal, Carol M. Meale, Orietta Da Rold, John Scattergood, Kathleen L. Scott, Toshiyuki Takamiya., John J. Thompson.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-275-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Carol M. Meale and Derek Pearsall
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)

    • Winning and Wasting in Wynnere and Wastoure and Piers Plowman
      (pp. 1-12)
      J. A. Burrow

      The poemWynnere and Wastourehas been preserved only in a copy made by Robert Thornton about the middle of the fifteenth century, but internal evidence shows that it was composed about a century earlier, quite probably in 1353.¹ The first version ofPiers Plowman, on the other hand, cannot be earlier than 1362, the date of the great storm to which the A Text alludes at V, 14–20, and it was probably composed several years after that. So it may be, as several writers have suggested, that Langland’s poem owes something to its predecessor. Ralph Hanna argues that...

    • The Reference Work in the Fifteenth Century: John Whethamstede’s Granarium
      (pp. 13-33)
      Alfred Hiatt

      TheGranariumof John Whethamstede¹ ranks amongst the more ambitious intellectual undertakings of English monastic culture in the later Middle Ages. In the Granarium, Whethamstede, abbot of St Albans from 1420 to 1440, and again from 1452 until his death in 1465, compiled over 1,500 entries on a very wide range of topics, primarily of relevance to ecclesiastical and classical history, arranged alphabetically, and distributed across four parts.² This ‘granary’ – the term is a pun on Whethamstede’s name (‘in loco frumenti’), but also a serious conceptualization of the reference work as a store of knowledge – drew on numerous...

    • Pageants Reconsidered
      (pp. 34-47)
      Martha W. Driver

      The term ‘pageant’ was rather loosely defined in the late medieval period. It may refer to a dramatic scene, to an individual play in a mystery cycle, or to an element in a procession or royal welcome, as one might expect, but also alludes to images and texts presented together in manuscripts or in paintings. In a characteristically brief but provocative note, Tony Edwards defines ‘pageant’ as ‘a synonym for “picture” or “illustration” during the late Middle English period’, drawing this conclusion from his observations of manuscript evidence. His examples include a scribal note in Cambridge, St John’s College MS...


    • Codicology, Localization, and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108
      (pp. 48-59)
      Orietta Da Rold

      Research into English medieval literary manuscripts is frequently hamstrung by lack of evidence about their place of production, as Guddat-Figge noted: ‘the localization of manuscripts, which would considerably facilitate the studies in the distribution of Middle English romances, has not been extensively explored’.¹ Despite recent important publications, the study of literary genres other than romance across the medieval period could equally benefit from a better understanding of the precise regional and temporal milieux in which surviving manuscripts were copied.² Localizing medieval literary manuscripts is problematic, because direct internal and external evidence is often difficult to come by.³ Scholars have therefore...

    • The Fillers of the Auchinleck Manuscript and the Literary Culture of the West Midlands
      (pp. 60-77)
      Susanna Fein

      In an influential chapter published in 1989, ‘The Manuscripts of the Major English Poetic Texts’, A. S. G. Edwards and Derek Pearsall note the paucity of evidence for pre-1400 activity (about thirty manuscripts) compared to the remarkable efflorescence that marks the post-1400 period (some 600 manuscripts).¹ More recently, in 2008, Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards trace ‘Middle English Literary Writings, 1150–1400’, describing the major pre-1400 books and concluding that the post-1400 expansion sprang from a bustling London environment, ‘where sufficient numbers of authors and copyists were located to facilitate the development of commercial and labour systems necessary...


    • Tanner 190 Revisited
      (pp. 78-88)
      Nicolas Barker

      Forty years ago when I first wrote about the Scales Binder,¹ Bodleian Library, MS Tanner 190 stood out from the other books there listed on a number of grounds. It was the grandest of the manuscript books that this binder laid hands on; it was also the oldest. The covering is also unique in his repertoire; it is not the dark brown calf that he used on all the other books, but a lighter brown hide that I tentatively identified as goatskin. The decoration is also atypical. Instead of the various overall patterns (some with central cut-leather panels) used on...

    • From Poggio to Caxton: Early Translations of some of Poggio’s Latin Facetiae
      (pp. 89-104)
      Lotte Hellinga

      The seven facetiae by Poggio Bracciolini, or Poggio the Florentine, are a peculiar presence in the vernacular versions of the fables of Aesop, which began with the compilation assembled by Heinrich Steinhöwel and translated by him into German. This very successful collection was publishedc. 1476 in Ulm and was subsequently translated and published in French, English (from the French, by William Caxton), Dutch, Low-German, and Czech. Steinhöwel’s compilation was expressly intended to be instructive and moralizing, and the wisdom expressed in the Aesopian fables offered ample material for this purpose, but the facetiae are not moralizing or edifying at...

    • The Two Issues of More’s Book against Luther
      (pp. 105-120)
      A. I. Doyle

      My title employs two different usages of the word ‘issue’, the first the bibliographical, the second ecclesiological. The former is when a text is printed and distributed to readers by sale or gift, and is then or later also distributed in largely identical printed form yet with some alterations or additions and with different names of publishers, printers, places or dates. Ecclesiological issues are questions about the nature and organization of a church and its membership, historically and actually.

      It is well known that Henry VIII obtained the title ‘Fidei Defensor’ from Pope Leo X after the publication in 1521...


    • Trinity College MS 516: A Clerical Historian’s Personal Miscellany
      (pp. 121-131)
      John Scattergood

      It is possible to deduce more about Trinity College Dublin MS 516 than about most miscellanies.¹ Its owner and compiler enters his name and place of residence frequently in the book and also dates some of his entries. This is a highly personal compilation, and there is no evidence of anyone else intervening in the book until after the death of the original compiler. Like the compilers of many miscellanies, this man had antiquarian interests, but historical and political concerns appear to have determined in large part his choice of texts. And, because he was primarily interested in historical events...

    • Katherine de la Pole and East Anglian Manuscript Production in the Fifteenth Century: An Unrecognized Patron?
      (pp. 132-149)
      Carol M. Meale

      The name of Katherine de la Pole holds little resonance today, despite the fact that she was born into a family whose dynastic ambition and ability to exercise and manipulate political power in the fifteenth century were, and remain, notorious.¹ Bornc. 1416, Katherine was the only daughter of Thomas de la Pole of Grafton Regis in Northamptonshire, younger brother of Michael, the second Earl of Suffolk, who died at Harfleur at 1415. She was thus first cousin to William de la Pole, the fourth Earl and first Duke of Suffolk, husband of Alice Chaucer.² The de la Pole affinity...

    • Past Ownership: Evidence of Book Ownership by English Merchants in the Later Middle Ages
      (pp. 150-177)
      Kathleen L. Scott

      An important aspect of the past of a medieval book is its former ownership, a fact long recognized and researched. Records of ownership occur in library catalogues, documenting the usually random ownership of any and all manuscripts in the collection, and the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues has added immensely to our knowledge not only of books available in religious houses, but of private donors to the houses as well. Scholarly studies often concentrate on the libraries of a single collector, with considerable past interest having been shown in collections by members of high social status, by royalty, the...

    • Early Printed Continental Books Owned in England: Some Examples in the Takamiya Collection
      (pp. 178-190)
      Toshiyuki Takamiya and Richard Linenthal

      Early books printed on the Continent, imported into England in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and bearing evidence of English ownership, have attracted growing interest among such book historians as Graham Pollard, Elizabeth Armstrong, Julian Roberts, Lotte Hellinga, Margaret Ford, and others.¹ They have worked on the transitional period from late medieval to early modern as an integral part of the history of the book. Caxton’s introduction of printing with movable type into England (c. 1476) stimulated book production there, mostly in English, by his followers, but Ford’s seminal article ‘Importation of Printed Books into England and Scotland’,²...


    • Love in the 1530s
      (pp. 191-201)
      John J. Thompson

      The idea for this essay came about as a natural outcome of the codicological research undertaken on Nicholas Love’sMirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christas part of a three-year project entitled ‘Geographies of Orthodoxy: Mapping English Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ, 1350–1550’.¹ The project included a cultural mapping exercise that engaged us in examining just about 100 late-medieval English manuscripts containing Middle English material derived ultimately from the LatinMeditationes Vitae Christi. TheMeditationesis a work dating from some time in the fourteenth century (the dating is problematic) and was widely, but wrongly, attributed to St...

    • Editorial Glossing and Reader Resistance in a Copy of Robert Crowley’s Piers Plowman
      (pp. 202-213)
      Jane Griffiths

      Robert Crowley’s editing ofPiers Plowmanwas long considered as an instance of Reformist appropriation of a pre-Reformation text. The case was influentially made by John N. King, who argued that Crowley’s interpretation of Langland’s work ‘marks the culmination of the Piers Plowman apocrypha that had grown up during the previous two centuries’, and that had transformed the medieval ploughman figure from Langland’s complex symbol into a stock spokesperson for religious reform.¹ However, recent scholarship has modified this understanding of Crowley’s work. Building on the findings of critics including Mike Rodman Jones, Larry Scanlon and Rebecca Schoff, this article will...

    • Beaupré Bell and the Editing of Chaucer in the Eighteenth Century
      (pp. 214-223)
      Simon Horobin

      Beaupré Bell was born in 1704 into an ancient family whose seat was at Beaupré Hall in Norfolk. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1725 and MA in 1729. Beaupré Bell inherited the ancient manor of Outwell and Upwell from his father of the same name, whose eccentric behaviour and neglect of his estates had allowed the manor house to fall into disrepair. Beaupré Bell senior is reported to have been ‘one of the strangest of mortals, letting his wild colts and cattle of twenty or thirty years old come into...

  12. A. S. G. Edwards: List of Publications
    (pp. 224-236)
  13. Index of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books
    (pp. 237-241)
  14. General Index
    (pp. 242-258)
  15. Tabula Gratulatoria
    (pp. 259-260)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 261-261)