Academic journal article Medium Aevum

New Science out of Old Books: Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Honour of A. I. Doyle

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

New Science out of Old Books: Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Honour of A. I. Doyle

Article excerpt

New Science out of Old Books. Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Honour of A. 1. Doyle, ed. Richard Beadle and A. J. Piper (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995). xi + 455 pp.; 69 plates. ISBN 1--85928-003-x. L65.00.

That this should be the second festschrift in honour of Ian Doyle is an indication of the esteem and affection in which he is so widely held. For over forty years (few unpublished dissertations are cited so frequently as his 1953 Cambridge one still is) he has remained the leading authority on Middle English manuscripts, the point of first resort for aspiring students and established scholars alike. His generosity has nurtured many projects, and one would approach with caution any study of manuscripts of the later Middle Ages in England that did not acknowledge his assistance.

This collection comprises fifteen essays, together with an affectionate memoir by Alan Piper and a bibliography of Doyle's writings by Elizabeth Rainey. The articles reflect the range of his interests: not just manuscripts, but printed books, works in Latin as well as Middle English; and a chronological range that extends into the early seventeenth century. Several of these studies are of fundamental importance. Kathleen Scott categorizes English limning and book-producing terms and signs. George Keiser offers a valuable study of textual divisions in English manuscripts of verse and prose. Malcolm Parkes gives an absorbing account of the early circulation of manuscripts of Gower, particularly his Cronica tripertita, which, he concludes, do not support assumptions of a Gower 'scriptorium'. …

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