Philological Quarterly

This journal covers aspects of medieval European and modern literature and culture. The articles published incorporate physical bibliography, the sociology of knowledge, the history of reading, reception studies and other fields of inquiry.

Articles from Vol. 89, No. 2-3, Spring-Summer

Authors Unformed: Reading "Beauties" in the Eighteenth Century
AVAILABLE IN A RANGE OF FORMATS, from palm-sized octodecimos to octavos, compilations of exemplary "beauties" in prose or verse made ideal gift books in the eighteenth century; each volume was an edificatory vade mecum and together they formed an affordable...
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Before Michael Field: Katharine Bradley as "Arran Leigh"
RECENT DECADES have seen a resurgence of critical interest in nineteenth-century women poets, many of whom had been neglected for much of the twentieth century. One of the more idiosyncratic yet accomplished voices to reemerge has been that of Michael...
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Chaucer's Knight's Tale and the Politics of Distinction
TELL US" commands the Host of the Canterbury Tales, "sore murie thing of aventures" (15). (1) Harry Bailey's words to the Clerk constitute a warning: "don't get too fancy; keep it simple. To make sure that the Clerk gets the message, Harry elaborates:...
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Did Defoe Write Moll Flanders and Roxana?
The question in my title is not rhetorical, but neither is it truly answerable. In their Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe, P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens offer such evidence as exists for assigning Moll Flanders and Roxana to Defoe. (1) That evidence...
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Did Defoe Write Roxana? Does It Matter?
In an article on the many eighteenth-century continuations of Roxana published a few years ago, I traced the fluidity of the text before it acquired an author in 1775, and before the first edition of 1724 came to be seen in the nineteenth century as...
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Exile and Restoration in John Crowne's the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian
"Banished" is banish'd from the world, And world's exile is death: then "banished" Is death mis-term'd. (Romeo and Juliet, 3.3.19-21) IN JANUARY 1677, The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian, written by John Crowne in two parts, premiered...
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On the Attribution of Novels to Daniel Defoe
DID DEFOE WRITE MOLL FLANDERS AND ROXANA?" asks Ashley Marshall, in an acute and well-reasoned essay in the present issue of Philological Quarterly. It is a good question, and--maybe rightly?--Marshall thinks the answer we give about these famous novels...
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"O Vanity!" Fielding's Other Antisocial Affectation
The narrator's uncharacteristically emphatic apostrophe to vanity in Joseph Andrews suggests that Fielding is worried--worried about how vanity affects his readers and worried about what they, like his characters, may unknowingly do in its service:...
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The Mermedonian Computus
IN THE OPENING of the Old English Andreas, the practices of the cannibalistic Mermedonians are described in detail: they capture strangers (elpeodas), put out their eyes, force them to drink a magic potion that robs them of their wits, and then, after...
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VII AEthelred and the Genesis of the Beowulf Manuscript
DURING THE PAST THIRTY YEARS, scholars have spilled considerable ink over the date of Beowulf's composition, and cogent arguments for both early and late dates have emerged. (1) Considerably less ink has been spilled, however, concerning the date of...
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