Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ipomadon

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ipomadon

Article excerpt

Ipomadon, ed. Rhiannon Purdie, EETS, os 316 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). 1XXXIX + 366 pp. ISBN 0-19-722319-2. L45.00.

Readers of the Middle English romance known as Ipomadon (A), the stanzaic rendition of Hue de Rotelande's twelfth-century Ipomedon, have previously needed to consult Eugen Kolbing's German edition of 1889. Rhiannon Purdie's excellent new edition for the Early English Text Society now makes the complete text of this late fourteenth-century romance available to a wider readership.

The editor's own substantial researches into the text, its provenance, and relation to other renditions of the Ipomedon narrative are everywhere in evidence in the generous critical apparatus of this edition. The extensive introduction collates and supplements research on the provenance and compilation of the unique manuscript copy (MS Chetham 8009) where the tail-rhyme Ipomadon appears in company with the romances of Torrent of Portyngale and Bettes of Hamptoun. The text of Ipomadon reflects the accretions and interventions of several copyists, and here the detail and scope of Purdie's introduction are of considerable aid in sifting between scribal layers and restoring in some measure a sense of the original translator's achievement. A substantial section on salient linguistic features confirms the likelihood of a northern provenance for the original text, a conclusion which assists the editor in discriminating authorial forms from the many dialectal forms overlaid by these later copyists. …

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