Notes on Chaucer: A Commentary on the Prolog and Six Canterbury Tales

Notes on Chaucer: A Commentary on the Prolog and Six Canterbury Tales

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Notes on Chaucer: A Commentary on the Prolog and Six Canterbury Tales

Notes on Chaucer: A Commentary on the Prolog and Six Canterbury Tales

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In notes referring to text-construction I have, except where otherwise stated, given first the reading that I myself prefer. Following this I have endeavored to give a selection from the other readings sufficient to show the reasons for the preference. I would especially call attention to the merits of the Hengwrt Manuscript, which has, I think, been strangely neglected. Beside the seven prints used by Professor Skeat and the Globe editors I have used the recent print of the Cambridge Manuscript Dd. 4. 24 and a collation of Bodleian Manuscript 686 prepared for me by Miss A. F. Parker of Oxford. Collations of other manuscripts were desired, especially one of the Phillipps at Cheltenham which, to judge by the specimen printed by Professor Zupitza, is the most valuable of those still unprinted. But although the proprietor of the Phillipps Manuscript showed me all courtesy, practical difficulties proved insuperable.

The present work was originally planned on a scale far more limited than what it has grown to, and this is the best excuse I can offer if I have, at times, given references too meagerly. Nevertheless those who examine the references actually given will frequently find them far more adequate than at first they appear. The Bibliography gives the titles of nearly all works referred to, as well as a few other titles which are likely to prove helpful. Certain very valuable sources of information seemed too obvious to require a reference on every occasion. Such are, for example, Professor Skeat's Oxford Chaucer, the New English Dictionary, the English Dialect Dictionary and the Dictionary of National Biography.

I have in various places quoted Greek writers. In no case is it intended to imply that Chaucer was acquainted with their language. The propriety of quoting them lies principally in the fact that Chaucer was, through the literatures of France and Italy . . .

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