Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament

Article excerpt

The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, ed. Michael Livingston, Middle English Texts Series (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications, 2011). vi + 706 pp. ISBN 978-1-58044-150-6. $40.00. This edition in the TEAMS Middle English Texts Series aims to fill a lacuna concerning The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, which has until now been largely unavailable and has received little in the way of scholarly attention. The poem, which was probably produced in the second half of the fourteenth century in Yorkshire, exists in two manuscripts: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Seiden Supra 52 (fols 2r-i68') and MS Longleat 257 (fols 1 i9r-2i2r). The present volume uses the Seiden manuscript, which is closer to the original dialect of the poem; the Longleat manuscript is carefully written and is thought to have once belonged to Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), but is incomplete. The poem presents the narrative of the Old Testament, but in an edified form for its contemporary readership. In addition to the Old Testament, further sources for the poem include Peter Comestor's Historia scholastica and the Middle English Cursor mundi. …

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