The Editor and the Text

The Editor and the Text

The Editor and the Text

The Editor and the Text

Excerpt

The essays contained in this volume, written by eminent specialists of Old and Middle French language and literature, reflect the widely diverse operations required of the textual editor. These operations lie at the intersection of a large number of different disciplines -- palaeography, calligraphy, the nature and techniques of paper and parchment making, historical linguistics, dialect geography, topography, toponymics, lexicology, lexicography, et j'en passe!, and the editor cannot afford to be 'a jack of all trades and master of none'; he must be a master of them all.

The purpose of the present volume is twofold: to exemplify this diversity in the writings of scholars considering their speciality; and to form a collective tribute to one who is a true 'master' in the field -- Anthony J. Holden, Professor of French at the University of Edinburgh. Tony Holden is a highly respected scholar, one of the most distinguished specialists of Medieval French in Britain today, and one whose reputation has always extended to France itself, where he has also, exceptionally for a non-native, taught medieval language and literature in a university French department. Virtually all Tony Holden's professional career has, however, been spent in Edinburgh, where he was first appointed to the Forbes Lectureship in Romance Philology in 1955, before becoming in turn Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor. At Edinburgh his career overlapped with the presence of such distinguished and colourful medievalists as John Orr, Duncan McMillan, and Dominica Legge. His teaching mostly concentrated on the interrelated disciplines of Romance Linguistics, the History of French, and medieval French and Provençal literature. As can be seen from the bibliography of his works published at the head of the volume, Tony Holden has devoted his career to the 'edition of medieval texts and to the complex series of philological processes which make the editing and understanding of those texts possible. Apart from his own masterly editions and articles, the greatest number of his published reviews deal with scholarly editions and discuss with invariable rigour and clarity the problems and issues involved. If, therefore, there is one word to characterise Tony Holden in his professional life it is 'philologist'.

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