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Scribes, Printers, and the Accidentals of their Texts

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Jacob Thaisen and Hanna Rutkowska

The essays in this collection demonstrate that much can be learned from studying features such as word-division, printer’s type, and spelling conventions. These features – termed «accidentals» by W. W. Greg – typically receive little attention when editors discuss how a text became actualized in a particular medieval manuscript or early modern print. To study these features, it is essential to consider a text in the context of the manuscript or print housing it, rather than a modern edition. The texts discussed range in genre from religious (Ælfric’s Letter to Sigeweard, and the Gutenberg and Wycliffe Bibles) and literary (Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) to scientific (florilegia), while their material bearers range in date from the late Old English period into the Early Modern English one.
Contents: Jacob Thaisen/Hanna Rutkowska: Introduction – Javier Calle-Martín: Line-Final Word Division in Early English Handwriting – Larry J. Swain: Whose Text for Whom?: Transmission History of Ælfric of Eynsham’s Letter to Sigeweard – David Moreno Olalla: Nominal Morphemes in Lelamour’s Herbal – Jacob Thaisen: Adam Pinkhurst’s Short and Long Forms – Joanna Kopaczyk: A V or not a V? Transcribing Abbreviations in Seventeen Manuscripts of the «Man of Law’s Tale» for a Digital Edition – Matti Peikola: Copying Space, Length of Entries, and Textual Transmission in Middle English Tables of Lessons – Olga Frolova: The «Prologue» to the Wycliffe Bible with an English Royal Book Stamp in the National Library of Russia – Mari Agata: Improvements, Corrections, and Changes in the Gutenberg Bible – Satoko Tokunaga: A Textual Analysis of the Overlooked Tales in de Worde’s Canterbury Tales – Roderick W. McConchie: Compounds and Code-Switching: Compositorial Practice in William Turner’s Libellus de re Herbaria Novvs, 1538.