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Chaucer's Scribes
London Textual Production, 1384–1432

$105.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108426275

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The 2004 announcement that Chaucer's scribe had been discovered resulted in a paradigm shift in medieval studies. Adam Pynkhurst dominated the classroom, became a fictional character, and led to suggestions that this identification should prompt the abandonment of our understanding of the development of London English and acceptance that the clerks of the Guildhall were promoting vernacular literature as part of a concerted political program. In this meticulously researched study, Lawrence Warner challenges the narratives and conclusions of recent scholarship. In place of the accepted story, Warner provides a fresh, more nuanced one in which many more scribes, anonymous ones, worked in conditions we are only beginning to understand. Bringing to light new information, not least, hundreds of documents in the hand of one of the most important fifteenth-century scribes of Chaucer and Langland, this book represents an important intervention in the field of Middle English studies.

    • Delivers a challenge to widely accepted narratives on the identity of Chaucer's scribe
    • Meticulous research provides new knowledge that illuminates the lives of scribes working in London in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries
    • Questions the earlier methodological approaches that have led to widely accepted orthodoxies on the subject of textual production in London at the formation of the canon
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Lawrence Warner's book may prove to be nearly as explosive as the scribal identification that serves as its point of origin … But regardless of what one considers to be the identity of Chaucer's scribe (or scribes), this is a book that few scholars of later medieval English literature will be able to ignore.' Mary C. Flannery, The Times Literary Supplement

    'Warner’s book provides an exciting new foundation and also a new benchmark for the debates about scribes, scribal identities, and critical methodologies that will undoubtedly continue.' Matthew Fisher, The Review of English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108426275
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Adam
    2. The Pynkhurst canon
    3. Pynkhurst's London English and the dilemma of copy-text
    4. Looking for the scribe of Huntington Hm 114
    5. The Guildhall clerks
    6. Hoccleve's Hengwrt, Hoccleve's Holographs.

  • Author

    Lawrence Warner, King's College London
    Lawrence Warner is Reader in Medieval English at King's College London. His previous publications include The Myth of 'Piers Plowman' (Cambridge, 2014), which won the English Association's 2016 Beatrice White Prize for outstanding scholarly work in the field of English Literature before 1590, and The Lost History of 'Piers Plowman' (2011), which received an Honorable Mention for the Society for Textual Scholarship's 2013 Richard J. Finneran Award.

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