Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Dives and Pauper

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Dives and Pauper

Article excerpt

Dives and Pauper, Vol. II, ed. Priscilla Heath Barnum, EETS, os 323 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). lxxxiii + 451 pp. ISBN 0-19-722326-5. £65.00. The publication of one volume of an edition with the promise of another to follow constitutes something of a hostage to fortune; there is always uncertainty about the appearance of the future volume, and indeed, there are some notable instances in the Early English Text Series where these have never materialized, necessitating a consequent sad relabelling as 'all published'. Happily, Dives and Pauper, an expansive early fifteenth-century commentary on the decalogue cast in dialogue form, escapes this fate, with the appearance now of volume II concluding Priscilla Heath Barnum's edition. The sheer length of the text alone made this a formidable editorial task, and Barnum deserves congratulation for her bravery in undertaking it single-handedly. Volume I presented the text with substantive variants and a brief introduction, and was published in two parts: original series 275, 1976, and 280, 1980; volume II now furnishes the introduction proper, explanatory notes, and glossary. The introduction provides extensive descriptions of the text's eight manuscripts, six fragments, and diree early printings. The list of manuscripts and sigla is given in volume I, but would have been worth repeating here for ease of reference, especially since the original list did not include all the fragments; one has to rely instead on the general list of manuscripts in the bibliography. …

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