Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Editing Medieval Texts: An Introduction, Using Exemplary Materials Derived from Richard Rolle 'Super Canticum' 4

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Editing Medieval Texts: An Introduction, Using Exemplary Materials Derived from Richard Rolle 'Super Canticum' 4

Article excerpt

Ralph Hanna, Editing Medieval Texts: An Introduction, Using Exemplary Materials Derived from Richard Rolle 'Super Canticum 4 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015). viii + 184 pp. ISBN 978-1-78138-272-1. ?75.00.

This volume was written, the author states in his foreword, 'for students new to the enterprise' as a 'practical handbook for beginners ... that might show what is at stake in the process of editing a text and what steps one might take to address the attendant difficulties' (p. vii). Accordingly, after brief preliminary reflections on the nature of editions and their potentially differing relationships to the manuscript witnesses of their texts, the author expounds the process of editing via five chapters devoted in turn to (1) Collecting the witnesses; (2) Finding a copy-text and transcribing it; (3) Comparing the witnesses, or collation; (4) The examination of the variants; and (5) Annotation. The discussion is supplemented by a specimen edition, collation, and translation of Richard Rolle, 'Super canticum' 4; and by extended descriptions of five of the relevant manuscripts for which adequate published accounts were lacking.

Meeting a real need, such a guide will be most welcome. The material is logically ordered and clearly explained, the exposition throughout being linked to the specific case of Rolle's 'Super Canticum', passages and trial exercises from which are continually laid before the reader for contemplation and practice. That said, the present writer (and his current cohort of palaeography students) identifi ed three general demerits. First, though not a long book, it is not a short book either, and is, in places, rather discursive for a genuinely 'practical handbook for beginners': the real debutants would have preferred something pithier, with more signposts (in effect, sub-headings) to help them locate more easily the treatment of the particular issue they were encountering at a given time. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.