The Auchinleck Manuscript: New Perspectives

The Auchinleck Manuscript: New Perspectives

Edited by Susanna Fein

Fresh examinations of the manuscript which is one of the chief compendiums of literature in the Middle English period.
Created in London c. 1340, the Auchinleck manuscript (Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Advocates MS 19.2.1) is of crucial importance as the first book designed to convey in the English language an ambitious range of secular romance and chronicle. Evidently made in London by professional scribes for a secular patron, this tantalizing volume embodies a massive amount of material evidence as to London commercial book production and the demand for vernacular texts in the early fourteenth century. But its origins are mysterious: who were its makers? its users? how was it made? what end did it serve?
The essays in this collection define the parameters of present-day Auchinleck studies. They scrutinize the manuscript's rich and varied contents; reopen theories and controversies regarding the book's making; trace the operations and interworkings of the scribes, compiler, and illuminators; tease out matters of patron and audience; interpret the contested signs of linguistic and national identity; and assess Auchinleck's implied literary values beside those of Chaucer. Geography, politics, international relations and multilingualism become pressing subjects, too, alongside critical analyses of literary substance.

Susanna Fein is Professor of English at Kent State University and editor of The Chaucer Review.

Contributors: Venetia Bridges, Patrick Butler, Siobhain Bly Calkin, A. S. G. Edwards, Ralph Hanna, Ann Higgins, Cathy Hume, Marisa Libbon, Derek Pearsall, Helen Phillips, Emily Runde, Timothy A. Shonk, Míceál F. Vaughan.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. The Auchinleck Manuscript: New Perspectives - Susanna Fein
The Auchinleck Manuscript Forty Years On - Derek Pearsall
Codicology and Translation in the Early Sections of the Auchinleck Manuscript - A S G Edwards
The Auchinleck Adam and Eve: An Exemplary Family Story - Cathy Hume
A Failure to Communicate: Multilingualism in the Prologue to Of Arthour and of Merlin - Patrick Butler
Scribe 3's Literary Project: Pedagogies of Reading in Auchinleck's Booklet 3 - Emily Runde
Absent Presence: Auchinleck and Kyng Alisaunder - Venetia Bridges
Sir Tristrem, a Few Fragments and the Northern Identity of the Auchinleck Manuscript - Ann Higgins
The Invention of King Richard - Marisa Libbon
Auchinleck and Chaucer - Helen Phillips
Endings in the Auchinleck Manuscript - Siobhain Bly Calkin
Paraphs, Piecework and Presentation: The Production Methods of Auchinleck Revisited - Timothy A. Shonk
Scribal Corrections in the Auchinleck Manuscript - Miceal F Vaughan
Auchinleck 'Scribe 6' and Some Corollary Issues - Ralph Hanna


A weighty and significant publication.. It constitutes essential reading, not only for any serious student of the Auchinleck Ms. and its texts, but also for those interested in medieval romance and in any aspect of medieval ms. culture. It is also an example of an all-too-rare phenomenon: a volume of essays which is, through their interaction and skillful curation, significantly more than the sum of its parts. SCRIPTORIUM

Future scholars will need to ground themselves in this volume. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

This collection is a great resource for further scholarship on the Auchinleck manuscript and the treasures it contains. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

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