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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.