Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century

Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century

Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century

Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century

Excerpt

In compiling this selection of lyrics of the fifteenth century it has not proved feasible to arrange the pieces according to manuscript order, as in the case of the thirteenth-century lyrics, or according to chronology, as with the lyrics of the fourteenth century. The materials for the present volume, instead of being grouped in manuscript collections, occur for the most part as separate items scattered through a large number of manuscripts, which yield little definite information as to date and provenience. In these circumstances it seemed advisable to follow a purely topical arrangement, which at least serves the convenience of the reader by placing side by side pieces which treat identical or similar themes.

Of the fifteenth-century verse here assembled, somewhat over half has hitherto been virtually inaccessible. Seventy-four of these pieces have never been printed previously, and five others have appeared only in the Register or in Catalogue descriptions of manuscript. Also, the texts of twenty-six pieces previously printed are here presented from manuscripts which (as in the case of Nos. 6, 136, 154, and 172) are so far superior that they may be considered as new texts. Nos. 68 and 178 were printed over a century ago (in the British Magazine and Censura Literaria respectively) but have not subsequently been reprinted.

Although this collection of fifteenth-century lyrics includes 192 pieces, as compared with 135 in the Religious Lyrics of the Fourteenth Century, the task of selecting them has been more difficult owing to the far larger amount of material which was available. For the volume of extant fifteenth-century poetry, contrary to the impression . . .

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