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Editing Piers Plowman

Editing Piers Plowman
The Evolution of the Text

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: September 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521342506

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About the Authors
  • The fifty-plus manuscripts of Piers Plowman have always posed a puzzle to scholars. This book is an account of the editions of the poem that have appeared since 1550, when it was first published by the protestant reformer Robert Crowley. It examines the circumstances in which the editions were produced, the lives and intellectual motivations of the editors, and the relationship between one edition and the next. It uses a wide range of published and unpublished material to shed light on attempts to crack one of the major editorial conundrums in medieval studies.

    • Discusses the difficulties of editing a major medieval text, giving an account of the lives and intellectual motivations of its editors
    • Explains why the recently identified Z-text of Piers Plowman (a fourth authorial version of the poem) should have lain unnoticed for so long
    • Examines how editorial theories about Piers Plowman have more to do with the editors' circumstances than with the texts of the manuscripts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The volume is outstanding for the wealth of evidence Brewer brings to the topic. I find this a penetrating and provocative book. I think Brewer forces into the center of discussion the variety of ways inwhich editors have often forgotten...the varying assumptions that underlie their efforts at retrieving an author's ipsissima verba. Brewer's volume stands...as an impressive plea for both editorial conciousness and conscientiousness." Ralph Hanna, Speculum

    "What Brewer demonstrates...are the ways in which general editorial theories are implicated in historical contexts and, more particularly, in which views on the authorship of Piers Plowman and the number and character of its versions are implicated in one another." An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1996
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521342506
    • length: 480 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    Part I. The Early Phase:
    1. Crowley
    2. Percy, Warton, Tyrwhitt, Ritson
    3. Whitaker and Price
    4. Wright
    Part II. The Late Nineteenth Century:
    5. The early English text society and its editorial context
    6. Skeat: Introduction
    7. Skeat's A-Text
    8. Skeat's B-Text
    9. Skeat's C-Text
    Part III. The Skeat Aftermath:
    10. Manly versus Chambers and Grattan
    11. Excursus: Westcott and Hort
    Part IV. Chambers Grattan, Knott and Fowler:
    12. Chambers 1909–10
    13. Chambers versus Knott
    14. Chambers' graduate students
    15. Chambers 1931
    16. Chambers 1935–42
    17. The Chambers and Grattan collations
    18. Grattan and Kane
    19. Knott and Fowler, Donaldson, Mitchell and Russell
    Part V. The Athlone Press Edition:
    20. The Athlone A-Text
    21. The Athlone B-Text
    Part VI. Epilogue: The Athlone Aftermath: Schmidt, Pearsall, Rigg-Brewer, et al.
    Indexes.

  • Author

    Charlotte Brewer, University of Oxford

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