Introducing English Medieval Book History

Manuscripts, their Producers and their Readers

Ralph Hanna

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ISBN: 9780859898713

Publication: July 10, 2013

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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This book offers an introduction to medieval English book-history through a sequence of exemplary analyses of commonplace book-historical problems. Rather than focus on bibliographical particulars, the volume considers a variety of ways in which scholars use manuscripts to discuss book culture, and it provides a wide-ranging introductory bibliography to aid in the study. All the essays try to suggest how the study of surviving medieval books might be useful in considering medieval literary culture more generally. Subjects covered include authorship, genre, discontinuous production, scribal individuality and community, the history of libraries and the history of book provenance.

Ralph Hanna is Professor Emeritus of Palaeography at the University of Oxford and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of California, his previous books include Introducing English Medieval Book History (Liverpool University Press, 2013).

Illustrations Abbreviations Introduction Acknowledgements On the reproductions 1. Texts and their books: the case of 'Beowulf' 2. Medieval authors and texts: the Middle English 'Benjamin' Appendix: The manuscripts of 'Benjamin' 3. The history of a book: Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C.285 4. Shared exemplars: British Library, MS Cotton Galba E.ix and its relations 5. Scribal oeuvres: ‘Chaucer’s Scribe’ and his 'Canterbury Tales' 6. A book contract and its ‘set text’: John Forbor’s Psalter Appendix: The Slaithwaite indenture: a transcription, translation and notes 7. Provenances: some medieval libraries Appendix: Selections from medieval booklists John Erghome (OESA of York) Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester The lord Welles Index of manuscripts cited Index of scholars cited

This handsome volume teaches far more than the facts of book history, manuscript culture, and Middle English Literature. It is a model of how to sleuth, how to think critically, how to enter into a detective mindset 'in which every implicit assumption of knowledge [is] teased out, queried and productively qualified' (p. xi).
  Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen

This is a first-rate book from a scholar at the forefront of palaeographical and bibliographical study; it will have a wide readership. It will be an excellent partner for the recent Owen-Crocker volume 'Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts' (2009, HB 9780859898409, PB 9780859898416).
Series Editors  

Scholarship in this work is superb. Quotations, translations, bibliography are spot on. Professor Hanna’s lifetime of intelligent work in the field glows at all points of discussion.
MS referee  

Format: Hardback

Size: 246 x 173 mm

240 Pages

ISBN: 9780859898713

Publication: July 10, 2013

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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