Scribal Cultures in Late Medieval England
Linne R. Mooney, Emeritus Professor of Palaeography at the University of York, has significantly advanced the study of later medieval English book production, particularly our knowledge of individual scribes; this collection honours her distinguished scholarship and responds to her wide-ranging research on Middle English manuscripts and texts. The thirteen essays brought together here take a variety of approaches - palaeographical, codicological, dialectal, textual, art historical - to the study of the English medieval book and to the varied environments (professional, administrative, mercantile, ecclesiastical) where manuscripts were produced and used during the period 1300-1550. Acknowledging that books and readers are no respecters of borders, this collection's geographical scope extends beyond England in the east to Ghent and Flanders, and in the west to Waterford and the Dublin Pale. Contributors explore manuscripts containing works by key writers, including Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, John Wyclif, and Walter Hilton. Major texts whose manuscript traditions are scrutinized include Speculum Vitae, the Scale of Perfection, the Canterbury Tales, and Confessio Amantis, along with a wide range of shorter works such as lyric poems, devotional texts, and historical chronicles. London book-making activities and the scribal cultures of other cities and monastic centres all receive attention, as does the book production of personal miscellanies. By considering both literary texts and the letters, charters, and writs that medieval scribes produced, in Latin and Anglo-French as well as English, this collection celebrates Professor Mooney's influence on the field and presents a holistic sense of England's pre-modern textual culture.
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