Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Aelfric's Catholic Homilies: The First Series: Text

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Aelfric's Catholic Homilies: The First Series: Text

Article excerpt

AElfric's Catholic Homilies: The First Series: Text, ed. Peter Clemoes, Early English Text Society, ss 17 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). xxii + 562 pp. ISBN 0-19-7224180. 45.00.

Peter Clemoes's long-awaited edition of AElfric's First Series of Catholic Homilies is fundamentally a prequel to Godden's 1979 Second Series edition. Since the publication of Thorpe's First Series edition in 1844, the importance of the Royal manuscript (London, British Library, Royal 7 C.xii), representing the earliest known stage of ]Elfric's composition of the First Series homilies (see Clemoes's introduction to the facsimile edition of the manuscript, Early English Manu,rcript in Facsimile, XIII, ed. Eliason and Clemoes, 1965), was discovered by Pope and Sisam, and the Royal manuscript serves as the base for Clemoes's edition.

Clemoes's pioneering work in discerning and describing the stages of development of Elfric's First Series homilies, presented in great detail in the introduction to this edition (written in 1965), provides the groundwork for our understanding of AElfric's literary programme. Professor Clemoes died before he could revise his introduction, which is consequently somewhat out of date, missing manuscript attributions and references to homilies published in the last thirty years, although Godden's footnotes to Clemoes's text go far towards making it current. Most notably, Clemoes makes frequent reference to the value of a hypothetical systematic study of the Second Series texts, and makes several speculations that have since been clarified or revised, but the footnotes point the reader to more recent studies. …

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