Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose

By Kenneth Sisam | Go to book overview

THE TEXTS

A SINGLE manuscript is chosen as the basis of each text, and neither its readings nor its spellings are altered if they can reasonably be defended. Where correction involves substitution, the substituted letters are printed in italics, and the actual reading of the manuscript will be found in the Footnotes (or occasionally in the Notes). Words or letters added to complete the manuscript are enclosed in caret brackets 〈 〉. Corrupt readings retained in the text are indicated by daggers † †. Paragraphing, punctuation, capitals, and the details of word division are modern, and contractions are expanded without notice, so that the reader shall not be distracted by difficulties that are purely palaeographical. A final e derived from OFr. é(e) or ie, OE. -ig, is printed é, to distinguish it from unaccented final e which is regularly lost in Modern English.

The extracts have been collated with the manuscripts, or with complete photographs, except Nos. IV (Thornton MS.), VIII b, XI a, and XVII, the manuscripts of which I have not been able to consult. The foot-notes as a rule take no account of conjectural emendations, variants from other manuscripts, or minutiae like erasures and corrections contemporary with the copy.

-xlv-

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Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • The Texts xlv
  • Select Bibliography xlvi
  • I - Robert Mannyng of Brunne's Handlyng Synne Begun 1303 1
  • II - Sir Orfeo 13
  • III - Michael of Northgate's Ayenbyte of Inwyt 32
  • IV - Richard Rolle of Hampole 36
  • V - Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight About 1350-75. 43
  • VI - The Pearl 57
  • VII - The Gest Hystoriale of the Destruction of Troy 68
  • VIII - Piers Plowman (1362-1400) 76
  • IX - Mandeville's Travels 94
  • Epilogue. 104
  • X - The Bruce Written in 1375 by John Barbour. 107
  • XI - John Wiclif 115
  • XII - John Gower D. 1408. 129
  • XIII - John of Trevisa's Translation of Higden's Polychronicon 1387. 145
  • XIV - Political Pieces 151
  • XV - Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse 162
  • XVI - The York Play 'Harrowing of Hell' 171
  • Xvii the Towneley Play of Noah 185
  • Notes 204
  • Appendix the English Language in the Fourteenth Century 265
  • A Middle English Vocabulary 293
  • Glossary 297
  • Index of Names. 455
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