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The Making of the Vernon Manuscript
The Production and Contexts of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet. a. 1

W. Scase (ed.)
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XL+334 p., 62 b/w ill. + 41 colour ill., 2 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2013
ISBN: 978-2-503-53046-8
Languages: English, Latin, French
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The Vernon Manuscript, the largest and arguably the most important Middle English anthology, is examined in its entirety in this ground-breaking, interdisciplinary study.

This volume addresses important questions in late medieval book production and the history of the medieval book through original and substantial studies of one of the most remarkable surviving examples. The Vernon Manuscript, carefully copied and lavishly decorated around 1390-1400 for pious users, is famous as the largest and arguably the most important Middle English anthology. Its sheer size and conservation concerns mean that up to now it has been little studied as a book. The essays in this volume exploit for the first time the mass of new data generated by the Vernon Manuscript Project. Specialists in art history, bibliography, codicology, historical linguistics, and palaeography have been commissioned to interrogate this material from their various disciplinary perspectives. The result is a ground-breaking interdisciplinary volume which sheds new light on an iconic medieval book and on a transitional period of innovation and experimentation in vernacular book production.

Prof. Wendy Scase (University of Birmingham) is a specialist in medieval English language and literature with strong manuscripts, archival, and interdisciplinary experience

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Abbreviations

Acknowledgements

Preface

Plates

Part I. Copying, Editing, and Assembly of the Vernon Manuscript

Codicology, Palaeography, and Provenance — A. I. DOYLE

The Scribes of the Vernon Manuscript — SIMON HOROBIN

Mapping the Language of the Vernon Manuscript — JEREMY J. SMITH

Editorial Politics in the Vernon Manuscript — RYAN PERRY

Rubrics, Opening Numbering, and the Vernon Table of Contents — WENDY SCASE

Part II. Decoration and Illustration of the Vernon Manuscript

Border Artists of the Vernon Manuscript — REBECCA FARNHAM

The Miniatures in the Vernon Manuscript — ALISON STONES

The Artistic Origins of the Vernon Manuscript — LYNDA DENNISON

The Artists of the Vernon Initials — WENDY SCASE

Appendix to Part II: Division of Artists’ Hands/Decoration Types

Part III. Models, Analogues, and Patronage of the Vernon Manuscript

Patronage Symbolism and Sowlehele — WENDY SCASE

Some Vernon Analogues and their Patrons — WENDY SCASE

The Patronage of the Vernon Manuscript — WENDY SCASE

Bibliography

Index of Manuscripts

General Index

 

Review

"This impressive and expertly edited volume contributes significantly to our understanding of one of medieval England's most important books. (...) Unlike so many recent collections organized around loosely defined themes, these essays are highly focused and interrelated, and as a group they certainly meet the goal of examining in depth the making of the Vernon manuscript."

Richard K. Emmerson (Manhattan College) in: The Medieval Review 14.09.03

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
English language & literature
Middle English language & literature

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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