Annotated Bibliography of Medieval England [under
Coordinated by Bryan Carella
|One of the goals of CAMS is to draw on the
valuable resource of the collected wisdom of its participants
for the academic support of medievalists at UNC. Many of us
have done research and reading in areas that has produced
information others may find useful, while those same contributors
may benefit from similar knowledge gained from others.
for Medieval Studies
of Medieval England
Clemoes, Peter, ed. Ælfric's
Catholic Homilies: The First Series. EETS SS 17. London:
Oxford University Press, 1997. [folio PR1119 .S9 no. 17].
published volume supersedes Benjamin Thorpe's Homilies
of the Anglo-Saxon Church as the standard edition
of Catholic Homilies I.
Crawford, S. J., ed. The Old English
Version of the Heptateuch, Ælfric’s Treatise on the
Old and New Testament, and His Preface to Genesis. EETS
OS 160. London: Oxford University Press, 1922. [folio PR1119
.A2 no. 160].
Godden, Malcolm, ed. Ælfric's Catholic Homilies:
The Second Series. EETS SS 5. London: Oxford University
Press, 1979. [folio PR1119 .S9 no. 5].
supersedes Benjamin Thorpe's Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon
Church as the standard edition of Catholic Homilies
Pope, John C. Homilies of Ælfric: A Supplemental
. 2 vols. EETS OS 259, 260. London: Oxford
University Press, 1967-68. [folio PR1119 .A2 no. 259, 260].
the standard edition of Ælfric's Supplemental
Homilies, i.e., works outside the collections known
as Catholic Homilies I and Catholic Homilies
Skeat, Walter W., ed. Ælfric's Lives of Saints.
EETS OS 76, 82, 94, and 114. London: N. Trübner and
Co.,1881-1900. Reprint in 2 vols., London: Oxford University
Press, 1966. [folio PR1119 .A2 OS 76, 82, 94, 114].
are the standard edition of Ælfric's Lives of
Saints, although there are many known problems with
the editing. Skeat provides a facing-page translation,
so it will be useful even when a more carefully edited
edition becomes available.
Thorpe, Benjamin, ed. The Homilies
of the Anglo-Saxon Church. 2 vols. London:
Society, 1844-46. Reprint, New York and London: Johnson
Reprint Corp., 1971; St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press,
was previously the standard edition (now superseded by
Clemoes and Godden) of Catholic Homilies I and
II. The collation of homilies is different from the
newer standards and includes other homiletic and prefatory
Loomis, Grant. "Further Sources of Ælfric's Saints'
Lives." Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and
Literature 13 (1931): 1-8. [PN35 .H4].
Ælfric's sources for Lives of the Saints II.
Together with Ott, provides a solid foundation in research
of Ælfric's sources for his Lives of Saints.
Ott, J. Heinrich. Über die Quellen der Heiligenleben
in Æfrics Lives of Saints I
. Halle: Kaemmerer,
examination of the sources for many of the lives in Lives
of Saints I. Although there is no English translation
yet available, Caroline L. White ("Ælfric: A New
Study of His Life and Writings," Yale Studies in English
2 ) summarizes Ott's findings. A good starting
point for research on Ælfric's sources for Lives
of Saints I.
Reinsma, Luke M. Ælfric: An Annotated Bibliography
New York: Garland, 1987. [Z8017.3 .R44 1987].
A very good
bibliography of Ælfrician manuscripts, editions,
and scholarship. Although there are some omissions and
it has not been updated since its 1987 publication, it
is an excellent starting point for research.
Wilcox, Jonathan, ed. Ælfric’s Prefaces
England: Durham Medieval Texts, Department of English Studies,
1994. [PR1533 .A654 1994].
Works (Primary Sources).
Bately, Janet. ed. The Old English Orosius. EETS
SS 6. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. [PR1119
.S9 no. 6].
the standard edition of the the Orosius. The
introduction, however, is of particular importance because
here Bately outlines her theory and methodolgy for determining
the content of the Alfredian canon.
Fox, Samuel, ed. and trans. King
Alfred's Anglo-Saxon Version of Boethius “De consolatione
philosophiae”: With a Literal English Translation, Notes,
and Glossary. London, 1864. [PR1549 .A2 1864].
not the standard edition of the Old English Boethius:
Sedgefield’s is (cited below, where an account of the
manuscripts is also given). But Fox’s is a continuous
edition of the Bodleian manuscript, so for those who wish
to make a comparison of that manuscript to the earlier
Cotton manuscript which Sedgefield prefers, this edition
can still be useful. Be forewarned that Fox is suspected
of having merely copied earlier editions rather than re-editing
the manuscript himself; nonetheless, this is the most
accessible published text of the Bodleian manuscript,
the only manuscript to preserve the original all-prose
version of the Old English Boethius. Fox also includes
a facing-page translation of the Bodleian manuscript,
and this is literal and usually precise. In the back of
the volume is an edition of the versified Old English
version of Boethius’s metra; this material is taken from
the Cotton manuscript, and the Modern English rhymed translation
of this Old English poetry, contributed by Martin F. Tupper,
is (as noted on the title page of that section) free.
Hargrove, Henry Lee, ed. King Alfred’s
Old English Version of St. Augustine’s “Soliloquies.”
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1902. [PR1545 .A15].
Hargrove, Henry Lee, trans. King
Alfred’s Old English Version of St. Augustine’s “Soliloquies”:
Turned into Modern English. New York: Henry Holt and
Company, 1904. [PR 1545 .A3].
Sedgefield, Walter John, ed. King
Alfred’s Old English Version of Boethius “De Consolatione
Philosophiae”: Edited from the MSS., with Introduction,
Critical Notes, and Glossary. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1899. [B659 .Z92 S44].
the standard edition of the Old English Boethius.
The Boethius has a complex and fragmentary manuscript
history: it apparently existed first in an all-prose version,
and the parts of the Old English translation corresponding
to the Latin metra were then turned into Old English alliterative
verse at a later time. To complicate matters further,
the earliest surviving substantial manuscript (British
Museum Cotton Otho A.vi) preserves the later Old English
version (with Boethius’s prosae in prose and his metra
in verse), while the other major manuscript (Bodleian
180 ), though copied much later, preserves the earlier
all-prose version of the Old English Boethius.
Sedgefield edits the parts of the Old English corresponding
to the Latin prose from the Cotton manuscript, and he
edits the parts of the Old English corresponding to the
Latin metra from the later Bodleian manuscript (which
renders them in prose). Throughout, he supplies material
from the Bodleian manuscript or an early transcription
where the Cotton manuscript (which was badly damaged in
the Cotton Library fire of 1731) has lacunae. The result
is a radically composite text, but it is the closest we
are likely to come to the original all-prose version of
the Old English Boethius. Sedgefield is a scrupulous
editor, and his interference is duly recorded in footnotes
and in his elaborate code of typographical denotation.
The metra from the Cotton manuscript are provided too,
in a separate section at the end, so in effect, the entire
Cotton manuscript is edited in this volume, though it
is not presented continuously.
Sedgefield, Walter John, trans. King
Alfred’s Version of the “Consolations” of Boethius, Done
into Modern English, with an Introduction. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1900. [PR1549 .A2 1900].
edition of the Old English Boethius (cited above)
remains the standard, but his translation is a little
less accurate than Fox’s (also cited above). However,
it should be remembered that Sedgefield is translating
from a composite text derived from what he considers the
authoritative sections of the Cotton and Bodleian manuscripts,
as described in his edition of the previous year, whereas
Fox is translating entirely and continuously from the
Bodleian manuscript. Sedgefield renders the clumsy Old
English alliterative version of Boethius’s metra in equally
awkward Modern English alliterative verse; though hardly
exact, this is the one point at which Sedgefield’s translation
is consistently closer to the sense of the original than
what Fox provides.
Works (Secondary Sources).
Revival (Primary Sources).
Revival (Secondary Sources).
Lapidge, Michael and Helmut Gneuss,
eds. Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England:
Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion of
His Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1985. [PR176 .L4 1985].
Ackerman, Robert W. An Index
of the Arthurian Names in Middle English. Stanford:
Stanford University Press, 1952. [PE1660 .A23].
listing of the names and name forms that occur in association
with the Arthur legend in Middle English (excluding the
chronicle tradition), with references to the texts in
which they occur.
Lacy, Norris J., ed. New Arthurian Encyclopedia
Rev. ed. New York: Garland, 1996. [Davis Ref. DA152.5 .A7
Loomis, R. S., ed. Arthurian
Literature in the Middle Ages: A Collaborative History.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959. [PN57 .A6 L6].
volume is a collection of essays by different scholars,
each treating a different aspect of the Arthurian legend,
its development, and its literature. The collaborative
nature of the work keeps it from being dominated by Loomis’s
own idiosyncrasies, and even though the essays are now
quite dated, many of them still provide good introductory
accounts of the primary materials relating to their subject
West, G. D. An Index of Proper
Names in French Arthurian Verse Romances. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1969. [Davis Ref. PQ203 .W4].
listing of the names and name forms that occur in the
French metrical Arthurian romances, with references to
the texts in which they occur.
West, G. D. An Index of Proper
Names in French Arthurian Prose Romances. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1978. [Davis Ref. PQ203 .W4 1978].
listing of the names and name forms that occur in the
French prose Arthurian romances, with references to the
texts in which they occur.
MacKay, Angus with David Ditchburn,
eds. Atlas of Medieval Europe. London: Routledge,
1997. [Davis Ref. G1791 .M2 1997].
is a handy collection of topical maps and mini-essays
by about forty different contributors. If you want a map
of pre-547 monasteries or graphics and a short explanation
of the year-by-year spread of the Black Death through
Europe, for instance, this is one place to look. It is
more austere than Donald Matthew’s book by the same title
(see below): the maps MacKay and Ditchburn include are
black-and-white line drawings, there are no other illustrations,
and the topical essays tend to be more specific than Matthew’s.
Matthew, Donald. Atlas of Medieval
Europe. Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1983. [Davis Ref. folio
G1791 .M3 1983b].
is a large, glossy coffee-table book with color maps and
numerous photographs. Like MacKay and Ditchburn’s collection
(see above), Matthew’s book is organized as a series of
brief topical essays; Matthew’s essays tend to be more
general, and some of them are not furnished with corresponding
maps at all, having other kinds of illustrations instead.
Both books are useful for different reasons.
Garmonsway, G. N., J. Simpson,
trans., with H. E. Davidson. "Beowulf" and Its Analogues.
London: J. M. Dent, 1968. [PR1583 .G28].
to informally as "Garmonsway and Simpson." The first
part of this book is a translation of Beowulf;
the second part, "Analogues and Related Documents," is
a fascinating collection of primary texts, in translation,
that bear (or might bear) on our understanding of Beowulf
in its historical and literary-historical context.
Each section centers on either a people or a motif that
figures in Beowulf in some way--the Geats, the
Danes, the Swedes, the Angles, the Heathobards, the Frisians
(and their foes), the Volsungs, the Goths, fights with
anthropomorphic monsters, dragon fights, and funerary
customs--and gathers the relevant passages from the other
known texts that inform us about those literary and historical
traditions. The book concludes with a chapter on
"Archaeology and Beowulf" by Hilda Ellis Davidson.
Jack, George, ed. Beowulf: A Student Edition
ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997. [UNC owns only the 1994
original edition: PR1580 .J33 1994].
of Beowulf includes vocabulary and grammatical
notes alongside the text, as well as high-quality notes
on literary, paleographical, and linguistic issues at
the bottom of the page. These features, along with the
short but extremely useful introduction, enable the student
to catch up on some of the basic issues of Beowulf
scholarship pretty quickly. It also includes a glossary,
although an incomplete one. Unfortunately, the vocabulary
alongside the text does include a few errors, so handle
Chase, Colin, ed. The Dating of Beowulf. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1981; reprint, 1997. [PR1585
volume includes a series of papers given at a 1981 conference
at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of
Toronto concerning the dating of Beowulf. The list
of names is impressive. Reading this volume, however,
one quickly gets a sense why the problem has been such
a persistent one, as various methods produce convincing,
though often radically different opinions. In any case,
since so many different kinds of evidence are brought
to bear, it’s an excellent way to get a general introduction
to the history and various kinds of Beowulf scholarship.
You do need to find another text to fill in the developments
on the issue of dating since 1981, e.g., the introduction
to George Jack’s glossed edition.
Lapidge, Michael and Richard Sharpe. A Bibliography
of Celtic-Latin Literatrure, 400-1200. Dublin: Royal
Irish Academy, 1985. [Davis Ref. z7028 .C44 L36 1985].
is one of the Ancillary Publications of the Royal
Irish Academy's project to compile a Dictionary of
Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources, which will eventually
constitute a lexicon of all medieval Latin composed between
400 and 1200 by Celtic authors of various extractions,
writing either at home or abroad. Additionally,
it includes works written in Celtic-speaking areas, even
if the author was not a native Celtic speaker. This
bibliography is intended to set the scope of works used
in the compilation of that dictionary. Each entry
normally includes (1) bibliographical information for
manuscripts and standard editions, (2) listings in reference
works (where, for example, more bibliographical information
can be found), and (3) comments in the secondary literature
(which are intended to be exhaustive except in the cases
of the most studied texts, where such would be impossible).
Guidobaldi, Maria Paula and Fabricius Pesando. Scripta
Latina: Index Editionum. Rome: In Aedibus Quasariani,
1993. [Davis Ref. Z7026 .S375 1993].
is an index of those authors writing in Latin from ancient
times up to the Carolingian age which the compilers consider
to be of the greatest historical importance. It
includes a complete list of works for each author, as
well as each work's standard abbreviation and a reference
to the standard edition.
Mantello, F. A. C. and A. G. Rigg,
eds. Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical
Guide. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America
Press, 1996. [PA2802 .M43 1996].
McGuire, Martin R. P. and Hermigild
Dressler. Introduction to Medieval Latin Studies: A
Syllabus and Bibliographical Guide. 2d ed. Washington,
DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1977. [Davis
Ref. PA2816 .M24 1977].
provides a select bibliography and very brief descriptions
of the various periods and kinds of Latin used in different
geographical areas during the Middle Ages. It’s an excellent
resource for finding basic references to resources about
specific areas of medieval Latin studies, even though
(having not been revised and updated since 1977) a new
edition of this work is badly needed.
(Old and Middle English; see also special authors, works).
Burnley, David and Matsuji Tajima.
The Language of Middle English Literature. Annotated
Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature 1.
Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1994. [Z2012 .B925 1994].
Easting, Robert. Visions of
the Other World in Middle English. Annotated Bibliographies
of Old and Middle English Literature 3. Cambridge: D.
S. Brewer, 1997. [PR272 .R4 E35 1997].
Greenfield, Stanley B. and Robinson, Fred C. A Bibliography
of Publications on Old English Literature, from the Beginnings
through 1972: Using the Collections of E. E. Ericson.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980. [Davis Ref.
(often referred to as "Robinson-Greenfield") is the standard
bibliography of Old English materials, primary and secondary,
up to 1972. It’s the place to go for standard editions
and basic criticism. After 1972, you have to rely on other
sources: the annual bibliographies in the journal Anglo-Saxon
England [DA152.2 .A75], "The Year’s Work in Old English,"
a review of all major work in Old English published annually
in the Old English Newsletter [PE101 .O4], Carl
Berkhout’s annual bibliography (not annotated) published
annually in the Old English Newsletter, and The
Year’s Work in English Studies [PE58 .E6].
Hollis, Stephanie and Michael Wright.
Old English Prose of Secular Learning. Annotated
Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature 4. Cambridge:
D. S. Brewer, 1992. [Z2012 .H7 1992].
Lagorio, Valerie Marie and Ritamary
Bradley. The Fourteenth-Century English Mystics: A
Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland,
1981. [Z7819 .L33].
Millett, Bella. “Ancrene Wisse,”
the Katherine Group, and the Wooing Group. Annotated
Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature 2.
Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1996. [Z2014 .P795 M55 1996].
Poole, Russell. Old English
Wisdom Poetry. Annotated Bibliographies of Old and
Middle English Literature 5. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer,
1998. [PR215 .P66 1998].
Tajima, Matsuji. Old and Middle
English Language Studies: A Classified Bibliography, 1923-1985.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1988. [Davis
Ref. Z2015 .A1 T3 1988].
book is pretty much what it sounds like: a categorized
listing of scholarship on Old and Middle English from
1923 to 1985. Many, but not all, of the bibliographic
entries are very briefly annotated to indicate or clarify
their specific subject matter.
and Internet Databases (Miscellaneous).
of Celtic-Latin Literature (ACLL).
Turnhout: Brepols, 1994. [Davis Ref. Elec. Resources 10-135].
described below, provides full-text versions of many Celtic-Latin
texts as well as references to Lapidge and Sharpe’s bibliography.
It’s more difficult to use than CETEDOC or the Patrologia
Latina Online Database, but invaluable for those interested
in a searching a large online database of Celtic texts.
CETEDOC Library of Christian Latin Texts
guidebook for CD-ROM’s in Davis reference describes
the Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature as follows:
which supplements the CETEDOC Library of Christian
Latin Texts (CETEDOC or CLCLT), is a full-text database
of Latin literature produced in Celtic-speaking Europe,
together with the Latin works of the Continental "peregrini"
[that is, by Celtic speakers anywhere in Europe, or
by anyone writing in a geographically Celtic region,
whether they were a native Celtic speaker or not] from
the period 400-1200 A. D. These more than 400 Latin
works, which are not found in CETEDOC, represent the
writings of over 100 known and unknown authors. Among
the subjects covered are theology, liturgy, grammar,
hagiography, poetry, and historiography. Works
include legal texts, charters, inscriptions, etc. ACLL
will be published in a series of three consecutive editions. The
first edition of the archive includes British authors,
authors in Ireland, Irish peregrini on the Continent,
Breton, and Scottish authors. The disk can be searched
in English, French, German, and Italian.
2 CD-ROMs. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1991-. [Davis ref.
Elec. Resources serial 10-77].
guidebook for CD-ROMs in Davis Reference provides the
following description of the CETEDOC Library of Christian
International Medieval Bibliography.
contains a set of 21,600,000 forms, representing virtually
the entirety of the volumes published in the Corpus
Christianorum, both the Series Latina and
the Continuatio Mediaeualis, the opera omnia
of major authors such as Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory
the Great, as well as several works not as yet available
in the Corpus Christianorum but included in the
Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL)
of Vienna, the Patrologia Latina (PL), or other
collections. The intention of CETEDOC is to produce
a general database of Christian Latin texts and thus
to create a computerized Patrology, without necessarily
stopping at the chronological limits of the ancient
Patrology. The use of this database is situated
in two complimentary perspectives: one documentary,
the other cognitive. In the first, one is concerned
with finding who said what, when, where, and how many
times; to see the precise references of this usage or
that association of terms, to find again the various
uses of texts produced in the course of history. The
second allows for multiple entries into the texts in
order to understand them better. This time one
searches not so much for references as for understanding.
CETEDOC uses a fill-in-the-blank form to perform searches. To
move within the form, use the Page Down and Page Up
keys. Within the form, you can search the entire
database or limit the search by using the filters. The
filters available are: author, title, Clavis number,
and patristic or medieval period. Other function
keys are explained at the top of the screen. For
more information on CETEDOC's search capabilities, filters,
Boolean searching and trucation symbols, see the user's
Brepols, 1995-. [Davis Ref. Elec. Resources serial 10-55].
of the more broad-rangng bibliographies, such as the MLA
Bibliography, have become progressively less comprehensive
in their coverage of works related to the Middle Ages,
this tool is indispensible as a primary search engine
when begining a medieval-related research project.
The "Reference" guidebook for CD-ROM's
in Davis Reference provides the following description
of the International Medieval Biblography:
The Oxford English Dictionary on Compact Disc
of the European Middle Ages (c.450-c.1500) has been
produced in print since 1968 by the International Medieval
Institute (University of Leeds). . . . [It has been
issued in a series of releases, each expanding the number
of years for which it provides cumulative bibliography.
With each release, the bibliography grows in both directions
chronologically, expanding its coverage both towards
the present, and deeper into previous years]. Coverage
is drawn from over 4,000 periodicals as well as from
miscellaneous collections of conference proceedings,
essay collections, and Festschriften. From within
a Guided Search Screen, the following fields are searchable:
Keyword, General Subject, Geographical Area, Century,
Modern Author, Article, Publication, Issue, and Publication
Year. A Browse function allows for an index display
of searches performed in the guide mode. A Free
Search function enables the user to search on every
item within the combined fields, using Boolean operators,
truncation, and date range searching. Searches
may be printed or downloaded, and sorting is possible
(either ascending or descending order) by year, author,
ed. 2 CD-ROMs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. [Davis
Ref. Elec. Resources 10-11].
guidebook for CD-ROM's in Davis Reference provides the
following description of The Oxford English Dictionary
on Compact Disc:
Patrologia Latina Database
behind the OED is to trace the use of every word of
Middle and Modern English . . . [from c. 1100]. The
OED today is the largest reference work on the English
language produced, and is regarded [in many cases] as
the final authority on the subject. The OED on
CD cannot be a substitute for the book itself, since
reading its very long entries on screen (some are as
long as 60,000 words) would be tiring and impractical.
Instead, the OED on CD allows the serious writer, scholar,
and reader to cull precisely the kind of information
that is required from this huge compendium. It is up
to you to decide what sort of information you want--the
structure of the program provides eight basic indexes,
each a category of infomation. You can narrow the
scope of an index to be as specfic as you like. This
second edition of the OED is a Windows compatible version
and uses the Windows format. For more information
on how to use it, see the user's guides. There
is also online help available.
. 5 CD-ROMs. Alexandria,
VA: Chadwick-Healy, Inc., 1995. [Davis Ref. Elec. Resources
Latina is available in two computerized forms: one
on five-CD-ROMS's and one on the internet. UNC owns only
the 5 CD-ROM version, which is a bit inconvenient since
it requires the user to constantly shift from disk to
disk in order to carry out even the most basic searches. The
internet version is available at Duke's Divinity School
library. Anyone intending to use this database extensively
may want to make the trip to Duke, since this version
is significantly less troublesome to operate. It's important
to point out, though, that the search protocol is a bit
different on the internet version, so you'll have to learn
how to use it if you're only familiar with the CD-ROM
version. The "Literature"
guidebook for CD-ROM's in Davis Reference provides the
following description of the Patrologia Latina Database:
Latina Database (PLD) contains 221 volumes and represents
a complete electronic edition of the first edition of
Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina (1884-1855
& 1862-1865). No part of the original text--preferatory
matter, notes, appendices--has been omitted. A
full list of the principal authors can be found in Appendix
B of the user manual. The main chronological sequence
of the authors in the PLD runs from about 200 AD to
1216 AD (the eve of the Reformation). However, since
Migne himself did incorporate some later medieval texts
into his original edition, the year 1500 has been taken
as a rough dividing line to separate "medieval" from
"modern" authors; and it is possible to query the database
searching only the medieval writings or the later commentary
(see "search" options). While maintaining the integrity
of Migne's editon, the Editorial Board decided that
it would be useful to the user for more recent bibliographic
information to be noted in those cases where Migne's
texts have been questioned by contemporary scholarship. Therefore,
individual documents have been given one or more of
the following codes to denote reference to three standard
reference works: Code C (Dekkers); Code G (Glorieux);
Code S (Solesmis). (For a full description of editorial
criteria & searching capabilities, consult the PLD
Benson, Larry D., gen. ed. The Riverside Chaucer.
3d ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. [PR1851 .B46 1987].
edition of the works of Chaucer, superseding F. N. Robinson's
1957 edition. Benson is the general editor, not the editor
of the entire corpus; the included texts have been contributed
and annotated by different individuals and vary in the
degree to which they are truly new editions. Most of them
have been significantly re-edited, but The Canterbury
Tales has not, and differs only very slightly from
Robinson's edition, as Benson indicates. In addition to
the works whose manuscripts ascribe them to Chaucer, The
Riverside Chaucer includes a section of poems not
ascribed to Chaucer in the manuscripts but generally agreed
to be by him, as well as the B and C fragments of The
Romaunt of the Rose, which are not thought by most
to be Chaucer's work. An Equatorie of the Planetis,
which some scholars have argued is by Chaucer, is not
included. The volume includes extensive supporting materials,
including a full introduction plus shorter introductions
to individual works; selective foot-of-page glosses; a
glossary; explanatory notes; partial textual notes; an
index of proper names; and select bibliographies.
Bryan, W. F. and Germaine Dempster, eds. Sources and
Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1941; reprint, 1958. [PR1912 .A2 B7].
to informally as "Bryan and Dempster." Though several
decades old, still a useful resource. The most significant
point on which it is incorrect is its inclusion of the
Italian writer Sercambi's Novelle as a probable
influence on The Canterbury Tales: it is now known
that the composition of the Novelle was too late
for this to have been possible. A significantly revised
and updated version is in production and will supersede
this work; reports on the new project's progress can be
found on the Chaucertext website (http://www.winthrop.edu/chaucertext).
Crow, Martin M. and Clair C. Olson, eds. Chaucer Life-Records
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. [PR1905 .C7].
of the known historical documents pertaining to the life
and doings of Chaucer, often referred to informally as
"Crow and Olson." For the most part still authoritative;
but for a much-discussed recent development, see Christopher
Cannon, "Raptus in the Chaumpaigne Release and
a Newly Discovered Document Concerning the Life of Geoffrey
Chaucer," Speculum 68 (1993): 74-94; and Henry
Angsar Kelly, "Meanings and Uses of Raptus in Chaucer's
Time," Studies in the Age of Chaucer 20 (1998):
Havely, N. R. ed. and trans. Chaucer's Boccaccio: Sources
of Troilus and The Knight's and Franklin's Tales
Suffolk: D. S. Brewer, 1980. [PR1912.B6 1980].
Windeatt, Barry A., ed. and trans. Chaucer's Dream
Poetry: Sources and Analogues. Woodbridge, Suffolk:
D. S. Brewer, 1982. [PR1912 .A2 C5 1982].
Beidler, Peter G. and Elizabeth
M. Biebel, eds. Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Prologue”
and “Tale”: An Annotated Bibliography, 1900 to 1995.
The Chaucer Bibliographies 6. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 1998. [PR1868 .W7 C38 1998].
Benson, Larry D. A Glossarial Concordance to the Riverside
Chaucer. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1993. [Davis Ref.
PR1941 .B46 1993].
work is a concordance of words occurring in The Riverside
Chaucer. An integrated concordance of all works generally
agreed by scholars to be by Chaucer occupies volume 1.
Volume 2, the Supplemental Concordance, includes words
occurring in fragments B and C of The Romaunt of the
Rose, which are not usually thought to be Chaucer's,
along with words occurring in a couple of other short
works of dubious authenticity. Because this is a glossarial
concordance, it lists words, not forms; this means that
inflected forms, alternative spellings appearing in The
Riverside Chaucer, etc., are included together under
a head word with the form used in the glossary to that
edition. Because this is an edition-specific concordance
(like most concordances), it does not account for variants
that have been editorially suppressed; this should be
remembered because of the extraordinarily complex manuscript
record for some of Chaucer's works, in particular The
Brewer, Derek S. Chaucer
. 3d ed. London: Longmans,
1973. [PR1924 .B73 1973].
standard biography of Chaucer, but see also the more recent
biography by Derek Pearsall (below). This 1973 third edition
of Brewer's biography is the product of extensive revision
of and additions to the second edition.
Burton, T. L. and Rosemary Greentree,
eds. Chaucer’s “Miller’s,” “Reeve’s,” and “Cook’s Tales”:
An Annotated Bibliography, 1900 to 1992. The Chaucer
Bibliographies 5. Toronto: University of Toronto Press,
1997. [Z8164 .C438 1997].
Eckhardt, Caroline D. Chaucer’s
“General Prologue” to “The Canterbury Tales”: An Annotated
Bibliography, 1900 to 1982. The Chaucer Bibliographies
3. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989. [Z8164
Glowka, Arthur Wayne. A Guide to Chaucer's Meter.
New York: University Press of America, 1991. [PR1951 .G57
Lambdin, Laura T. and Robert T. Lambdin, eds. Chaucer’s
Pilgrims: An Historical Guide to the Pilgrims in
The Canterbury Tales. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press,
1996. [PR1875 .O26 C48 1996].
of essays by different authors, each focusing on a single
Canterbury Tales pilgrim and introducing his or
her occupation or social status in its late medieval historical
context. The chapters are not intended to advance theses
so much as to digest current knowledge; they vary in quality.
Lerer, Seth. Chaucer and His Readers: Imagining the Author
in Late-Medieval England
. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 1993. [PR1924 .L38 1993].
of Chaucer's reception in the fifteenth century, with
an emphasis on the formation of the Chaucer canon and
the early development of what would become enduring conceptions
Mann, Jill. Chaucer and Medieval Estates Satire: The
Literature of Social Classes and the General Prologue to
The Canterbury Tales
. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1973. [PR1868 .P9 M3].
of the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales
that situates it, and by extension The Canterbury
Tales as a whole, in the context of traditional medieval
discourse about the three estates of society (those who
govern, those who labor, and those who pray). Later scholars
have sometimes argued that Mann is wrong in her vision
of this or that character (for instance the Pardoner:
see C. David Benson, "Chaucer's Pardoner: His Sexuality
and Modern Critics," Mediaevalia 8 [1985 for 1982]:
337-49; and Richard Firth Green, "The Sexual Normality
of Chaucer's Pardoner," Mediaevalia 8 [1985 for
1982]: 351-58), but Mann's book remains influential.
McAlpine, Monica E. Chaucer’s “Knight’s
Tale”: An Annotated Bibliography, 1900 to 1985. The
Chaucer Bibliographies 4. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 1991. [Z8164 .M22 1991].
Minnis, A. J. Chaucer and Pagan Antiquity. Cambridge:
D. S. Brewer, 1982. [PR1933 .R4 M566 1982].
Oizumi, Akio. A Complete Concordance to the Works
of Geoffrey Chaucer. 12 vols. Hildesheim: Olms-Weidmann,
1991. [Davis Ref. PR1941 .C667 1991].
is a complete concordance to The Riverside Chaucer--complete
in its inclusion even of words such as "and" and "the."
Words are presented in the KWIC format, which places the
key word in the center of the page and gives as much context
as will fit on either side of it. There are some
important differences between this concordance and Benson's
(see above). First, this is a concordance of forms,
not of words; this means that each inflected form, alternative
spelling appearing in The Riverside Chaucer, etc.
appears separately, not as part of a single-word grouping.
Finding all instances of the verb "holden" requires looking
up all its possible forms and spellings. Second,
Oizumi's concordance is actually not a single concordance,
but a collection of separate concordances for each of
Chaucer's works: volumes 1-4 cover The Canterbury
Tales, volume 7 covers Troilus and Criseyde,
etc. However, volume 10, the integrated word index,
prevents users from having to look up every form in the
separate concordance for each work. Third, the listings
for The Canterbury Tales list the fragments of
that work not by their usual numerical designations (fragment
IV, etc.), but by their alphabetic designations in accordance
with an alternative order for the tales (based on a passe
scholarly hypothesis called the Bradshaw Shift, for which
there is no manuscript evidence). Like Benson's
concordance, Oizumi's is edition-specific. Oizumi's
final two volumes, 11 and 12, contain supplementary lists:
rhyme concordances, rhyme-word indexes, and frequency
tabulations of rhyme words, rhyme schemes, and rhyme structures.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts
of “The Canterbury Tales.” Cambridge: D. S. Brewer,
1991. [PR1875 .T48 O94 1991].
Oxford Guides To Chaucer series:
Cooper, Helen. Oxford Guides to Chaucer:
The Canterbury Tales. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1996. [PR1874 .C64 1996].
Peck, Russell A. Chaucer’s Lyrics
and “Anelida and Arcite”: An Annotated Bibliography, 1900
to 1980. The Chaucer Bibliographies 1. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1983. [Z8164 .P42 1983].
Minnis, A. J. with V. J. Scattergood and Jeremy J.
Smith. Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Shorter Poems.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. [PR1924 .M47 1995].
Windeatt, Barry. Oxford Guides to Chaucer: Troilus
and Criseyde. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. [PR
1896 .W56 1992].
The Oxford Guides
to Chaucerseries, written by Helen Cooper, Barry Windeatt,
and A. J. Minnis et al., is an unusually thorough late-college
or graduate-level introduction to Chaucer's works and
remains useful to initiates for quick reference. The
three-volume series treats most of Chaucer's recognized
writings, excluding only two prose works (Boece
and A Treatise on the Astrolabe), and the volume
on The Shorter Poems includes a brief section
on Chaucer's language by Jeremy J. Smith. All three
installments of the series were first published in or
after 1989, and Cooper's has already come out in a revised
second edition, so these handbooks are relatively up-to-date.
Each chapter or section of each book includes some bibliography,
but this tends to be sketchy, because the emphasis of
the series is not on surveying past scholarship. Instead,
the method is to present basically mainstream understanding
flavored by the insights and preferences of these books'
individual authors, each of whom is a firmly established
scholar. This approach does mean that a reader is implicitly
asked to trust the judgment of these writers on certain
matters, which probably will not cause trouble in most
cases; but a reader who approaches this series already
having a years-old bone to pick with one of the authors
will predictably not be fully satisfied with his or
Peck, Russell A. Chaucer’s “Romaunt
of the Rose” and “Boece,” “Treatise on the Astrolabe,”
“Equatorie of the Planetis,” Lost Works, and Chaucerian
Apocrypha: An Annotated Bibliography, 1900-1985. The
Chaucer Bibliographies 2. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 1988. [Z8164 .P425 1988].
Pearsall, Derek. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical
Biography. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.
Pinti, Daniel J., ed. Writing
after Chaucer: Essential Readings in Chaucer and the Fifteenth
Century. New York: Garland, 1998. [PR293 .W74 1998].
influence on the fifteenth century—and the fifteenth century’s
influence on “Chaucer” as we conceive of him and his canon—is
an important and increasingly popular area of research
(and one which frequently turns up on exams in one form
or another). This recent contribution to that discussion
is a collection of solid essays by prominent Chaucer scholars:
a very useful introduction.
Rand Schmidt, Kari Anne. The Authorship of "The Equatorie
of the Planetis."
Woodbridge, Suffolk: D. S. Brewer,
1993. [PR1911 .R36 1993].
study of The Equatorie of the Planetis, a work
some scholars have suspected to be by Chaucer, in an attempt
to resolve the question of its authorship on linguistic
grounds. Rand Schmidt compares the Equatorie
to Chaucer's one known scientific work, A Treatise
on the Astrolabe, and to his other known prose writings.
She concludes that Chaucer's prose is not stylistically
consistent enough to provide a basis for confident
judgment, and that therefore the linguistic evidence is
insufficient to prove or disprove Chaucer's authorship.
Rand Schmidt does note, however, that the Equatorie
and the Treatise have more features in common than
the Treatise has with other prose works known to
be by Chaucer. In addition to about 100 pages of
analysis and argumentation, Rand Schmidt's book includes
full photographic facsimiles and transcriptions of the
Equatorie, the Treatise, and two non-Chaucerian
scientific prose works in Middle English, as well as a
full concordance to the Equatorie.
Rowland, Beryl, ed. Companion to Chaucer Studies
Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. [PR1924
22 chapters, each on a different topic and each commissioned
from an established scholar. Twenty of the chapters were
updated to reflect scholarly activity since the first
edition's publication in 1968; two new chapters were added
("Chaucer, the Church, and Religion" by Robert W. Ackerman
and "The Legend of Good Women" by John H. Fisher).
These two new chapters replaced two original chapters
on other subjects, whose authors did not revise them for
inclusion in the revised edition ("Chaucer and Fourteenth-Century
Society" by Clair C. Olson and "Chaucer's Influence on
Fifteenth-Century Poetry" by Denton Fox); these two omitted
chapters, particularly Fox's, are still useful introductions
(though dated) and can be found in the 1968 first edition.
Sutton, Marilyn, ed. Chaucer’s
“Pardoner’s Prologue” and “Tale”: An Annotated Bibliography,
1900 to 1995. The Chaucer Bibliographies 7. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 2000. [PR1868 .P4 S8 2000].
Fryde, E. B., et al. Handbook of British Chronology.
3d ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
[Davis Ref. DA34 .H28 1996].
etc. (Middle English; see also special authors, works).
Preston, Michael James. A Concordance to the Middle English
Shorter Poem. 2 vols. Leeds: W. S. Maney and Son Ltd.,
1975. [Davis Ref. PR1175.8 .P7].
a form concordance to ten prominent editions of Middle
English lyric poems, which are listed in the front of
volume 1. The concordance is to these editions, not to
the words as they appear in the manuscripts (a potentially
important distinction where there may have been editorial
emendations), and because it is a form concordance rather
than a glossarial concordance, variant or inflected forms
of the same word are listed separately, not grouped together
under a single lemma. Though Preston’s concordance is
not comprehensive for the Middle English lyric, it does
cover a great many of these short poems (and all of the
familiar ones), sometimes in multiple manuscript realizations.
Saito, Toshio, Mitsunori Imai, and Kunihiro Miki. A Concordance
to Middle English Metrical Romances. Frankfurt am Main:
Verlag Peter Lang, 1988. [Folio PR321 .S25 1988].
etc. (Old English; see also special authors, works).
Bessinger, J. B. Jr. with Philip H. Smith and Michael
W. Twomey. A Concordance to "The Anglo-Saxon Poetic
Records." Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978.
[Davis Ref. PR1506 .B47 1978].
Venezky, Richard L., ed. A Microfiche Concordance
to Old English. Newark: University of Delaware, 1980.
[Davis Ref. Microfiche 30-13].
tool is a near-exhaustive concordance of every word in
the Old English corpus. It is an extremely powerful tool
for determining the semantic range of individual words
in Old English, the occurrence of certain word-forms,
etc.—anything for which you might use a concordance. It
is important to remember, though, that the Old English
forms are not regularized, and so you do have to account
for spelling variants.
Greenfield, Stanley B. and Daniel G. Calder with Michael
Lapidge. A New Critical History of Old English Literature.
New York: New York University Press, 1986. [PR173 .G73
work on Old English literature (often referred to as "Greenfield-Calder")
provides a basic introduction to various genres of Old
English and some of the general lines of critical thought
applied to them. Chapters are not limited to literature
per se, as chapter four, for instance, includes a discussion
of legal and scientific texts. Also, it provides a bibliography
of scholarship in Old English literature in the back,
continuing from where Robinson-Greenfield left off (1972)
up to the time of this volume’s publication. There’s also
an excellent introductory chapter on Anglo-Latin.
Godden, Malcolm and Michael Lapidge,
eds. The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature.
New York: Cambridge University, Press, 1991. [PR173 .C36
anthology of criticism includes articles on some major
topics in Old English literature written by top-notch
scholars in their areas. Like Greenfield-Calder, it’s
an excellent introduction to some of the basic lines of
critical thought in Old English literary studies.
O'Keefe, Katherine O'Brien, ed. Reading Old English Texts
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. [PR173 .O38
work provides an introduction to and history of the basic
approaches to reading Old English texts. Topics include
everything from theoretical and feminist approaches to
comparative literature and computer-based approaches.
It’s a thin volume, but an important one. It contains
an excellent introduction on the history of Old English
textual studies by Katherine O’Brien O’Keefe.
and Etymological Works (Germanic).
Bosworth, Joseph. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Based
on the Manuscript Collections of Joseph Bosworth. Supplement,
by Northcote Toller, enl. Addenda and Corrigenda, by Alistair
Campbell. London: Oxford University Press, 1972. [Davis
Ref. PE279 .B52 1972 Suppl.].
volume (usually referred to as "Bosworth-Toller") is still
the standard dictionary of Old English. It is in the process
of being superseded by the Dictionary of Old English,
developed by the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University
of Toronto, which is currently releasing its work in fascicles.
Cameron, Angus, et al., eds. Dictionary of Old English
. Toronto: Published for the Dictionary
of Old English Project, Centre for Medieval Studies, University
of Toronto, by the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies,
1986-. [Davis Ref. Microfiche 30-55].
this work (referred to as the "DOE") will be the
standard dictionary of Old English. Right now, the project,
undertaken by the Centre for Medieval Studies as the University
of Toronto, has only been partially completed—see the
UNC online catalog for the latest letter that has been
completed. Regular updates on the progress of the project
appear in the Old English Newsletter.
Craigie, William A., ed. A Dictionary of the Older Scottish
. 8 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1937-. [Davis Ref. PE2116 .C7].
the Scottish National Dictionary, this work is
one of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots
language. It professes to cover the period from the twelfth
century to the end of the seventeenth, so it is particularly
useful for Middle Scots (more so than The Scottish
National Dictionary, which only aims to include those
words known to have been in use since c. 1700). The work
consists of eight volumes, but the last is incomplete.
De Vries, Jan. Altnordisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch
Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1961. [Davis Ref. PD1805 .V7].
purpose of this work is to provide an etymological dictionary
of Old Norse, but—if you have an ON cognate—it’s good
for Germanic etymology in general.
Grant, William. ed. The Scottish National Dictionary
10 vols. Edinburgh: The Scottish National Dictionary Association,
1931-75. [Davis Ref. PE2106 .S4].
work is one of the 2 major dictionaries of the Scots language,
the other being Craigie's Dictionary of the Older Scottish
Tongue. However, since it only professes to cover
those words known to have been in use since c. 1700, it
is less useful for Middle Scots than Craigie's dictionary.
Feist, Sigmund. Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der Gotischen
3d ed. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1939. [PD1193 .F42
Frank, Roberta and Angus Cameron, eds. A Plan for
the Dictionary of Old English. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1973. [PE273 .P5].
Holthausen, Ferdinand. Altenglisches Etymologisches
Wörterbuch. 2d ed. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1963.
[PE263 .H6 1963].
etymological dictionary of Old English—it’s old, but still
useful. You will want to compare the information here
with that found elsewhere if possible.
Jóhannesson, Alexander. Isländisches Etymologisches
. Bern: A. Francke, 1951-1956. [PD2363
Kluge, Friedrich. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der
Deutschen Sprache. 22d ed. New York: de Gruyter, 1989.
[Davis Ref. PF3580 .K5 1989].
Lehmann, Winfred Philip. A Gothic Etymological Dictionary.
Leiden: Brill, 1986. [PD1193 .L435 1986].
is based on the third edition of Vergleichendes Wörterbuch
der Gotischen Sprache by Sigmund Feist (above).
Middle English Dictionary
. Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 1954-. [Davis Ref. PE679 .M54].
usually referred to as the "MED," is the standard
reference dictionary of Middle English. It contains thorough
entries with illustrative examples and excellent etymological
information. It is still a work in progress, but it's
nearing completion: in January of 2000, it was complete
through the letter "W." The MED has had a series
of editors-in-chief: Hans Kurath (A-F), Sherman M. Kuhn
(G-P), and Robert E. Lewis (Q-present); it is sometimes
(though now only rarely and inaccurately) referred to
as "Kurath and Kuhn" or just "Kurath." Two important ancillary
volumes are shelved with the dictionary itself: Hans Kurath,
Margaret S. Ogden, Charles E. Palmer, and Richard L. McKelvey,
Middle English Dictionary: Plan and Bibliography
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1954); and Mary
Jane Williams, Middle English Dictionary: Plan and
Bibliography, Supplement I (Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 1984).
Onions, C. T. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. [Davis Ref. Desk PE1580
(often referred to as "Onion’s Etymologies") is
an important source to consult for Modern English etymology,
as it often has more accurate information than the OED.
Watkins, Calvert. ed. The American Heritage Dictionary
of Indo-European Roots
. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.,
c1985. [Davis Ref. Desk P615 .A43 1985].
provides a list of the Indo-European roots for all the
words in the American Heritage Dictionary which have a
known Indo-European root. Its scope, therefore,
is limited to the English language; and while it lists
a small number of important cognates with other major
Indo-European languages (mainly Germanic and specifically
Old Norse because of its relevance to the history of English),
it does not attempt to cover them in any systematic way.
It's important to point out that this work is not a complete
list of Indo-European roots, since those roots which don't
have an English reflex are not included. Furthermore,
since the work is focused on English, the root forms are
listed without laryngeals, since these are irrelevant
to the history of Germanic. The work was published
three separate times, all of which are slightly different
even though they are not labeled as separate editions.
These are referred to as AHD1, AHD2, and
AHD3; the later versions are not necessarily more
complete than the earlier ones--each contains information
that the others do not. AHD1, the original
version, was published in the back of the American Heritage
Dictionary as an appendix. Later, the decision was
made to publish this appendix as a separate volume, known
as AHD2. Finally, the work was re-installed
in the back of the American Heritage Dictionary again
as appendix, and this version is known as AHD3.
This work is frequently misused by scholars who treat
it as if it were a complete dictionary of Indo-European
roots, and who ignore the fact that it is specifically
focused on those roots relevant to the English language.
The only "complete" etymological dictionary of Indo-European
roots is Julius Pokorny's Indogermanisches Etymologisches
Wörterbuch, which is badly out of date (e.g.,
it was published before laryngeals were known about) and
incomplete. Unfortunately, despite its problems, Pokorny
is the best work of its kind available today.
and Etymological Works (Latin).
Ernout, Alfred. Dictionnaire étymologique de
la langue latine. 4th ed., rev. and updated by A Meillet.
Paris: Klincksieck, 1960. [Davis Ref. PA2342 .E7 1960].
Grösse, Johann Georg Theodor. Orbis Latinus:
Lexikon lateinischer Namen des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit.
Ed. Helmut Plechl with Sophie-Charlotte Plechl. 3 vols.
Braunschweig: Klinkhardt and Biermann, 1972. [Davis Ref.
G107 .G8 1972].
of Latin place-names that gives their vernacular equivalents.
This is a useful resource, because medieval Latin place-names
frequently do not have obvious correspondences with the
familiar modern names.
Latham, R. E. Revised Medieval Latin Word-List from British
and Irish Sources
. London: Oxford University Press,
1964. [PA2891 .L3].
work is a dictionary of medieval Latin, based on the specialized
semantics these words often took on in British and Irish
sources. Be careful not to mistake it with its forerunner
(without "Revised" in the title), or the much more
weighty Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources
by the same author (see below).
Latham, R. E. Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British
. London: Oxford University Press, 1975-. [Davis
Ref. PA2891 .L28].
work is, just as it claims to be, a dictionary of medieval
Latin based on the specialized semantics certain Latin
words took on in British sources. It makes an attempt
to provide illustrative examples. It is currently a work
in progress (completed up to the letter "L" in Jan. 2000)
under the editorial leadership of David Howlett (of "books
in biblical style" fame).
Niermeyer, Jan Frederik and C. Van de Kieft. Mediae Latinitatis
Brill, 1976. [Davis
Ref. PA2364 .N5 197].
covers Late Antique and Medieval Latin in a one-volume
handbook intended for quick reference, which is more up-to-date
and easy to use than the "Old Du Cange" dictionary.
(A "New Du Cange" is in preparation, and will be
for a long time to come. It, like the "Old Du
Cange," will also have the disadvantage of being too
bulky for quick reference). Niermeyer does not focus
on providing a lexicon derived from belles-lettres,
but rather the "great body of technical words which .
. . denote the concepts belonging to the wide field of
law and institutions, to describe the social facts referred
to in charters, laws, and chronicles." It provides
definitions in both French and English, occasional, brief
etymological infomation (usually limited to what language
a word was borrowed from), and representative quotations.
Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1982. [Davis Ref. PA 2365 .E5 O9 1982].
is the standard dictionary of Classical Latin, covering
the period from the beginnings to approximately 200 A.D. This
scope is roughly defined, however, since works such as
the Digests of Justinian (early 3rd century) are
covered, while early Christian Latin, even those texts
composed before the end of the second century, are not
included. Its layout is based on the format of the Oxford
English Dictionary. Each entry, based on a new
reading of the primary texts, is quite extensive, including
the word itself, exhaustive definitions supported by ample
quotations, brief grammatical and etymological information
(frequently including cognates in certain other major
Indo-European languages), and the morphological elements
of a word’s formation. One innovation in this dictionary
is the inclusion of separate entries on the principal
suffixes used in Latin word-formation.
Souter, Alexander. A Glossary of
Later Latin. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949; reprint,
1957. [Davis Ref. PA 2308 .S6 1957].
begun under the editorship of Alexander Souter, the first
editor of the the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD),
intends to pick up where OLD leaves of (i.e., c. 180 A.
D.) and continue to c. 600 A. D. This stipulation
applies only to the date when the words or word-forms
are first attested, even if there is evidence that such
words may have been in use much earlier. Given its stated
period of coverage, this work is good for Christian authors
(otherwise uncovered by the OLD) such as Augustine, Boethius,
Gregory the Great, Gregory of Tours, Caesarius of Arles,
and Cassiodorus, though not for even slightly later medieval
authors such as Isidore of Seville and the Venerable Bede. The
entries are rather sparse, especially for the most common
words. Generally, just the word, its definition(s),
and its basic grammatical information areincluded, though
occasionally one may find brief citation references, date
of probable first attestation, and even more occasionally
a note on the word’s history in certain European vernacular
languages. In 1957, the Glossary was “reprinted
from corrected sheets of the first edition.”
Walde, Alois and J. B. Hofmann. Lateinisches Etymologisches
3 vols. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1938-56.
[Davis Ref. PA2342 .W2 1938].
and Etymological Works (Old Irish).
Dictionary of the Irish Language:
Based Mainly on Old and Middle Irish Materials. Dublin:
Royal Irish Academy, 1913-76. [Davis Ref. PB1291 .R7].
Compact edition (1983): [folio PB1291 .D49 1983].
of the Irish Language (DIL) is the standard
dictonary of Old and Middle Irish. It is, however,
an extremely problematic work, and it is certainly worth
reading the introduction before attempting to use it--doing
so will help prepare you for at least some of the difficulties
you will likely encouter. The most obvious problem
with this work is that it includes only the barest cross-referencing
of the many various orthographical forms of Old and Middle
Irish words, so it's extremely difficult to find the entry
you're looking for if you aren't already familiar with
the common practices of Old and Middle Irish orthography.
Even more frustrating is the inconsistency of the kinds
of information provided in the work: some sections of
the Dictionary are more complete than others: for
some letters of the alphabet, a full listing of occuring
nominal and verbal inflections is provided, but for others
this information is not provided. Likewise, for
some letters of the alphabet, proper names of literary
significance are included, but they are left out elsewhere.
In addition to these problems, its etymological information
is seriously out of date (one should consult Vendryes'
Lexique étymologique de l'irlandais ancien,
though this, too, is a bit out of date). Despite
these problems, it is still an impressive work and the
only usable dictionary of Old and Middle Irish. Many of
the problems that it contains result from the mere skeleton
crew of scholars who put it together, working heroically
under very taxing conditions. The Dictionary
exists in two forms, a multivolume edition and a compact,
single-volume editon, which are identical in content.
Vendryes, Joseph. Lexique étymologique de l'irlandais
Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,
1959-. [Davis Ref. PB1288 .V4].
the standard etymological ditionary of Old Irish.
Though it's a bit out of date, it's certainly preferable
to the etymological information provided in the Dictionary
of the Irish Language, which is seriously out of date
and quite often incorrect.
McCarran, Vincent P. and Douglas
Moffat, eds. A Guide to Editing Middle English.
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998. [PR275
.T45 G85 1998].
and Moffat have assembled a volume whose usefulness extends
beyond what its title suggests. The book’s primary target
audience is those who are or will be involved in editing
Middle English texts; but many of its chapters—especially
the early ones, which give a good overview of ways modern
scholars and textual critics conceive of the medieval
text and the appropriate goals of an editor—will be of
interest to others as well. The later chapters are explorations
of and advice concerning the specific types of problems
editors encounter when working with particular types of
texts. McCarran and Moffat conclude with some useful appendices,
such as a list of dictionaries of use to an editor of
Middle English and a list of published facsimiles of Middle
Biggs, Frederick M., Thomas D. Hill, and Paul Szarmach,
eds. Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture: a Trial
Version. Binghamton, NY: Center for Medieval and Early
Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton,
1990. [Z2012 .S58 1990].
Cross, F. L. and E. A. Livingstone, eds. Oxford Dictionary
of the Christian Church. 3d ed. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1997. [Davis Ref. BR95 .O8 1997].
Farmer, David Hugh. Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. [Davis
Ref. BR1710 .F34 1997].
A very handy
and thorough alphabetical listing of Christian saints,
with a short article for each saint summarizing his or
her traditional story, associations, and feast day.
Each article is followed by a bibliographical note indicating
the resources upon which Farmer has drawn for his information.
Although these bibliographical notes make no claim of
comprehensiveness, they are one means of finding some
of the major written accounts of particular saints.
Note that this reference tool is not designed exclusively
for medievalists and does contain post-medieval material.
Kibler, William W. and Grovera A. Zinn, eds. Medieval
France: An Encyclopedia.
New York: Garland, 1995. [Davis
Ref. DC33.2 .M44 1995].
Lapidge, Michael, et al., eds. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia
of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. [Davis
Ref. DA152 .B58 1999].
work has good, if rather short entries on all things related
to Anglo-Saxon England. Since its focus is on Anglo-Saxon
England, it tends to be more complete than Szarmach’s
Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. The work has
excellent but brief bibliography at the end of each entry,
so it’s a good place to go for references to standard
New Catholic Encyclopedia
. 19 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill,
1967-. [Davis Ref. BX841 .N45 1967].
Ogilvy, Jack David Angus. Books Known to the English,
597-1066. Cambridge, MA: Mediaeval Academy of America,
1967. [Z6602 .O35].
For a long
time, this very incomplete work was the only one that
attempted to catalog all of the major resources available
to the English during the early Middle Ages. It
is now in the process of being superseded by the SASLC
project. It's important to emphasize that this work
is very incomplete and out of date, even taking into account
Ogilvy's corrections, published later (Books Known
to the English, 597-1066: Addenda et Corrigenda [Binghamton,
NY: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies,
State University of New York--Binghamton, 1985]). [Z6602
.O35]; volume of addenda and corrigenda, [Z6602 .O455
Pulsiano, Phillip, et al., eds. Medieval Scandinavia:
New York: Garland, 1993. [Davis Ref.
DL30 .M43 1993].
Strayer, Joseph R., ed.-in-chief. Dictionary of the
Middle Ages. 13 vols. New York: Scribner, c1982-c1989.
[Davis Ref. D114 .D5 1982].
work contains encyclopedia-type entries, usually several
pages long, on all topics related to the Middle Ages.
It’s a good place to go for the basic facts and some of
the basic scholarly points-of-view on a particular topic.
Also, though a work like this gets out of date pretty
quickly, it’s a fair source to go to for basic bibliography,
since each entry ends with a basic list of primary and
secondary related sources.
Szarmach, Paul E., M. Theresa Tavormina, and Joel T. Rosenthal,
eds. Medieval England: An Encyclopedia
. New York:
Garland, 1998. [Davis Ref. DA129 .M43 1998].
work has a series of good, short entries on some major
issues related to the Old and Middle English periods (several
of which were written by our own UNC faculty). The entries
are followed by brief but solid bibliography. It’s a good
place to go if you want to find basic information or the
standard edition of a particular work.
Andrew, Malcolm and Ronald Waldron,
eds. The Poems of the “Pearl” Manuscript: “Pearl,”
“Cleanness,” “Patience,” “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”
Rev. ed. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1996. [PR1972
the best edition of all four Gawain-Poet works under one
cover, but it is a student edition rather than a research
edition. Andrew and Waldron include footnotes—usually
good—clarifying difficult passages, as well as an introduction
and a complete glossary.
Gollancz, Sir Israel, intro. Pearl,
Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain, Reproduced in Facsimile
from the Unique MS. Cotton Nero A.x in the British Museum.
EETS OS 162. London: Oxford University Press, 1923. [Folio
PR1119 .A2 no. 162].
facsimile of the unique manuscript that is our only surviving
record of the Gawain-Poet’s works. This is sort of a no-frills
volume; Gollancz’s introduction is brief and not particularly
enlightening, but he does include a catalog of the types
of scribal errors found in the manuscript.
Gordon, E. V., ed. Pearl. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1953. [PR2111 .A243].
Tolkien, J. R. R. and E. V. Gordon,
eds. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 2d ed., rev.
Norman Davis. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967. [PR2065 .G3
second edition, revised by Norman Davis (and referred
to informally as “Tolkien, Gordon, and Davis” or just
“TGD”), is the standard edition of Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight. It includes a very thorough etymological
glossary and informative notes as well as a good basic
introduction (completely rewritten by Davis after having
gone virtually unchanged since the first edition’s original
publication in 1925).
Andrew, Malcolm. The Gawain-Poet:
An Annotated Bibliography, 1839-1977. New York: Garland,
1979. [Z2014 .P7 A55].
comprehensive coverage of scholarship on the Gawain-Poet
from the rediscovery and first publication of Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight in 1839 (by Sir Frederic Madden—see
the Middle English Romance [Primary] section of this bibliography)
through 1977. In addition to work that has been done on
Pearl, Patience, Cleanness, and Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight, Andrew includes published
scholarship on closely related subject matter, such as
the Percy Folio romance The Grene Knight, which
is a later version of the same story that appears in Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight. For an annotated bibliography
of work on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and
related matters (but not the other works of the Gawain-Poet)
between 1977 and 1985, refer to Rice (see the Middle English
Romance [Secondary] section of this bibliography).
Benson, Larry D. Art and Tradition
in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” New Brunswick,
NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1965. [PR2065.G31 B4].
still probably the single most important monograph on
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Benson undertakes
a detailed and lucid examination of the poem’s literary
affiliations and possible sources, in the process dismantling
George Lyman Kittredge’s much earlier conclusion that
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is merely a translation
of a lost French source (Kittredge, A Study of “Gawain
and the Green Knight” [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 1916]). Though Benson’s book is now several decades
old, it has not been seriously challenged.
Kottler, Barnet and Alan M. Markman.
A Concordance to Five Middle English Poems: “Cleanness,”
“St. Erkenwald,” “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Patience,”
“Pearl.” [Pittsburgh]: University of Pittsburgh Press,
1966. [PR265 .K6].
In its cataloguing
method, this is a hybrid of a glossarial concordance and
a form concordance: variant graphic realizations are normalized
to a single prevailing spelling, as in a glossarial concordance,
but inflected forms are listed individually, as in a form
concordance. The grouping of works—the four thought to
be by the Gawain-Poet, plus St. Erkenwald—reflects
an earlier view (no longer advocated) that St. Erkenwald,
which is similar in dialect and style to the four poems
of the Pearl manuscript, might be by the same author.
One drawback to this concordance is that it is now outdated;
the editions on which it relies have in some instances
been superseded by better ones, particularly in the case
of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Kottler and
Markman’s concordance appeared the year before the publication
of the current standard edition. This fact now limits
the appropriate use of Barnet and Markman’s concordance
to very general inquiries or as a starting point for more
and Linguistic Works, etc. (Germanic, other than Old English).
Braune, Wilhelm. Althochdeutsche Grammatik. 14th
ed. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1987. [PF3835 .B838 1987].
Braune, Wilhelm and Ernst A. Ebbinghaus. Gotische
Grammatik mit Lesestücken und Wörterverzeichnis.
17th ed. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1966. [PD1123 .B6
Coetsam, Frans van and Herbert L. Kufner. Toward a
Grammar of Proto-Germanic. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer,
1972. [PD76 .C6].
Gordon, E. V. An Introduction to Old Norse. 2d
ed. Oxford: Clarendon press, 1981. [PD2237 .G6 1981].
the standard English introductory grammar of Old Norse.
The grammar section is rather brief, and laid out like
a reference grammar, so it's not particularly user-friendly
in that area. On the other hand, the selection of
texts is wonderful, and the the glossary is very helpful
and easy to use. Furthermore, the texts are supplied
with ample (though sometimes dated) notes on grammatical,
literary, and cultural topics.
Hirt, Herman Alfred. Handbuch des
Urgermanischen. 3 vols. Heidelberg: C. Winter,1931-34.
Prokosch, Eduard. A Comparative Germanic Grammar.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1939.
and Linguistic Works, etc. (Latin).
Allen, W. Sidney. Vox Latina: A Guide to the Pronunciation
of Classical Latin. 2d ed. New York: Cambridge University
Press, 1978. [PA2117 .A5 1989].
Ernout, Alfred. Morphologie historique du latin.
Paris: C. Klincksieck, 1945. [PA2133 .E7].
Leumann, Manu, J. B. Hoffmann, and A. Szantyr. Lateinische
Grammatik. Munich: Beck, 1972-79. [PA31 .M9 Abt. 2,
T. 2, 1972].
Sommer, Ferdinand. Handbuch der Lateinischen Laut.
Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1977. [PA2071 .S6 1977].
and Linguistic Works, etc. (Old and Middle English).
Campbell, Alistair. Old English Grammar. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1959. [PE 131. C3].
is still the standard grammar of Old English, but organized
in a pretty traditionally descriptive way: phonology,
accidence, etc. There isn’t much in the way of syntax
here—for that you’d want to consult Bruce Mitchell’s Old
English Syntax. This is also not the place to look
for a modern linguistic approach to Old English. It’s
excellent, however, for detailed description of sound
changes or particular inflectional forms synchronically
in Old English, and (to a slightly lesser degree) diachronically
in West Germanic and Proto-Germanic.
Colman, Fran. Evidence for Old English: Material and
Theoretical Bases for Reconstuction
. Edinburgh: J. Donald
Publishers, 1992. [PE1001 .E29v. 2].
Lass, Roger. Old English: A Historical Linguistic
Companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1994. [PE125 .L37 1994].
Mitchell, Bruce. Old English Syntax. 2 vols. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1985. [PE213 .M5 1985].
two-volume work is absolutely the final word on matters
of Old English syntax, but it’s not very easy to use.
Mitchell’s way of describing OE constructions is a bit
idiosyncratic, and as a result, it’s often quite a task
to find what you’re looking for. Once you do find your
topic, however, Mitchell’s discussion is usually staggeringly
exhaustive, and well supported with ample citations from
the body of Old English texts. These citations are (some
have criticized) perhaps too often drawn from poetry instead
of prose, which some have found problematic. It may also
be important to point out that Mitchell is concerned with
Old English syntax alone and therefore does not consider
parallel constructions in other Germanic languages.
and Linguistic Works, etc. (Old Irish).
Lehmann, R. P. M. and W. P. Lehmann. An Introduction
to Old Irish. New York: Modern Language Association
of America, 1975. [PB 1218 .L4].
grammar is intended to serve as an introduction not only
to the Old Irish language, but to the literature as well.
It divides the basics of Old Irish grammar into twenty
lessons, which inlclude, in addition to the basic grammatical
information, selections from the Old Irish glosses and
Scéla Mucce Meic Dathó. Unfortunately,
the book is riddled with errors and thus--despite its
user-friendliness compared to other grammars--it has not
enjoyed widespread use, and there is currently no talk
of publishng a corrected second edition. Despite
this reputation for errors, the book tends to appeal to
beginners for a number of reasons: its non-threatening
format, its neatly included (and often fully parsed) selections
from the glosses and Scéla Mucce Meic
Dathó, and its inclusion of historical, literary,
and cultural information. And the book can in fact
still be useful to a student willing to utilize it conjunction
with Thurneysen (see below), Quin (see below), and an
occasional grain of salt.
Lewis, Henry and Holger Pedersen. A Concise Comparative
Göttingen:Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht,
1937. [PR 1018 .L4].
is ostensibly an abridged English translation of Hoger
Pedersen's Vergleichende Grammatik der Keltische Sprache
(VKG), revised to reflect advances in scholarship
made since the publication of VKG. However, this
new version, reflecting Lewis's expertise, goes significantly
beyond VKG in its treatment of Brythonic material.
Revisions of the Goedelic material are less far-reaching,
consisting primarily of the omission of out-of-date portions,
especially those theories relating to etymological explanations
of verbal endings. There are, in any case, references
to work done by other scholars during the interim, notably
to Pokorny's ideas about Irish palatalization rules.
Overall, this abridged version follows the organization
of VKG, though it is condensed into one volume.
The text is replete with useful paradigms which often
juxtapose forms from various Celtic languages, both Goedelic
and Brythonic. Most notably, it includes an updated
list of Irish strong verbs (organized alphabetically by
root, and then, as subcategories, the forms with pre-verbs)
paralleling the one in VKG, but revised to include
notes referring to Brythonic forms.
O'Connell, F. W. A Grammar of Old Irish.
Alexander, Mayne, & Boyd, 1912. [Dewey 491.62 O18g].
after Thurneysen's epoch-making Handbuch des Altirishen
(1909) but before its translation into English by
Daniel Binchy and Osborn Bergin (1946), O'Connell's work
is intended to serve as a condensed reference grammar
of Old Irish. It is almost entirely derivative of
Thurneysen and is not much used today.
Pedersen, Holger. Vergleichende Grammatik der Keltischen
und Ruprecht, 1909-13. [PB1019 .P4].
work covers the emergence of the major Celtic languages
from Indo-European and their early history. Though
somewhat out of date in certain sections, particularly
those relating to Indo-European, it is still a valuable
resource for comparative study. Volume one is dedicated
to phonology, volume two to accidence. Both volumes
are filled with examples and paradigms, but the list of
Irish strong verbs inthe back of volume two is particularly
useful to the modern student. This list is organized
alphabetically by verbal root, thus making it easier to
find compound verbs, which often exhibit irregularities
resulting from phonological changes arising from the collocation
of preverbal particles. Additionally, this list
provides definitions (mostly in German, but sporadically
in English) and inflected forms of the verbs. This
work was revised and translated into English by Henry
Lewis in his Concise Comparative Celtic Grammar;
and while the translation is indeed a shorter "concise"
version, it often has more information reflecting Lewis's
expertise with Brythonic languages.
Pokorny, Julius. A Concise Old Irish Reader and Grammar.
Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, and Co., Ltd., 1914. [PB 1220
work, published after Thurneysen's Handbuch des Altirishen
(1909), was intended to be an introductory grammar
for beginners. However, though it presents the material
in an extremely concise form (compared to Thurneysen),
it is organized like a traditional reference grammar and
requires some knowledge of comparative linguistics to
be of much use to the beginner. Pokorny's work contains
the standard sections on orthography, phonology, and accidence
presented in highly abbreviated form. The book is
replete with paradigms which in many cases provide the
reconstructed Indo-European forms side-by-side with the
Old Irish forms--a format some may find useful.
In general, this work's primary value lies in its conciseness
in comparison with Thurneysen and its inclusion of grammatical
explanations entirely absent in Strachan's Old Irish
Paradigms and Selections from the Old Irish Glosses
(1929). It does, however, provide an original theory
abou Old Irish palitalization rules.
Quin, E. G. Old Irish Workbook.
Dublin: Royal Irish
Academy, 1975. [PB 1218 .SB].
presents a basic series of lessons designed to introduce
a beginning student to the rudiments of Old Irish.
While some have criticized the work for its tendency to
oversimplify some of the more difficult parts of Old Irish
grammar, Quin's Old Irish Workbook is nonetheless
an essential tool for someone attempting to learn Old
Irish for the first time. This work is intended
to be used in conjunction with Strachan's Old Irish
Paradigms and Selections from the Old Irish Glosses,
and individual lessons make reference to the sections
of the standard Old Irish reference grammars.
Strachan, John. Old Irish Paradigms and Selections from
the Old Irish Glosses: With Notes and Vocabulary.
ed. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1949. [PB1218 .S8 1949].
Thurneysen, Rudolf. A Grammar of Old Irish. Translated
by D. A. Binchy and Osborn Bergin. Dublin: Dublin Institute
for Advanced Studies, 1946. (Originally published in German
as Handbuch des Altirischen [Heidelberg: C. Winter,
1909]). [PB1220 .T5131 1946].
work, updated and translated by D. A. Binchy and Osborn
Bergin in 1946, is the standard reference grammar of Old
Irish. Thurneysen himself began the translation
with Michael Duigan, a student of his, but the project
was interrupted by the outbreak of WWII in 1938 and Thurneysen's
death in 1940. The English version includes some
revisions made by Thurneysen and Duigan as well as some
changes introduced by Binchy and Bergin. In general, this
reference grammar is, in the words of its translators,
"primarily intended for philologists" and "intended to
make Old Irish accessible to those familiar with the comparative
grammar of other languages." The German version
originally appeared as part of the series Indogermanische
Bibliothek and thus, not surprisingly, approaches Old
Irish from an Indo-European perspective. The English
translation includes a (now largely out of date) introduction
to the history of the Celtic languages, a list of the
sources of Old Irish, a bibliography of reference materials,
and a section on orthography (including a discussion of
the ogam script), besides exhaustive sections on phonology
and accidence. Overall, though Thurneysen's work
is a bit out of date in places, it is still the standard
reference grammar of Old Irish. While its thoroughness
tends to make it a bit unwieldy for beginners, much of
its value lies in the many examples it provides to demonstrate
Vendryes, Joseph. Grammaire du Vieil-irlandais: Phonétique-Morphologie-Syntaxe.
Paris: E. Guilmoto, 1908. [PB1218 .V46 1908].
work is essentially a reference grammar, with the standard
sections on phonology, morphology, and syntax. It
is notable primarily as an early work on the subject of
Old Irish grammar, and has now been superseded by Thurneysen's
Handbuch des Altirische. It is of little
use to the modern student.
Zeuss, Johann Kaspar. Grammatica celtica. E monumentis
vetustis tam hibernicae linguae quam britannicae dialecti,
cambricae, cornicae, armoricae nec non e gallicae priscae
reliquiis construxit J. C. Zeuss
. Lipsiae: Weidmannos,
1853. [PB1019 .Z6 1871].
work is valuable only as a historical monument.
It is important as the first major grammar of any Celtic
language, and from that perspective it's quite impressive--all
the more so when one discovers that Zeuss never had a
university position but was only a high-school teacher.
Now his work is hopelessly out of date. Even the
selection of texts he presents (without glossary), which
includes glosses from the Wurzburg, Milan, St. Gall, and
Carlsruhe Bede codices as well as the Cambrai Homily,
etc., is not of much use, since these texts are readily
available in more recently edited editions such as Thesaurus
Paleohibernicus and Thurneysens's Old Irish Reader.
Besides large sections on phonology and accidence and
a selection of texts from the various Celtic languages,
Grammatica celtica also includes a chapter on Irish
and Welsh poetics, which is also out of date.
of the English Language (Miscellaneous).
Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable.
A History of the English Language. 4th ed. London:
Routledge, 1993. [PE1075 .B3 1993b].
in its successive editions, has been considered a standard
history of the language for more than six decades now:
a fact which suggests some of the great strengths as well
as some of the noticeable weaknesses of the book. Not
surprisingly for a book first published in 1935, revision
has not totally succeeded in freshening up the musty parts.
Despite the reviser's explicit acknowledgment that there
is no clear measuring-stick for a language's absolute
difficulty (if indeed we can meaningfully talk about varying
difficulty in languages), the last few sections of chapter
1 retain earlier editions’ flavor of earnest evaluation
of the English language’s chances for world domination.
Very outmoded ways of thinking about language—though liberal
a half-century ago—echo between the lines of the section
“A Liberal Creed” (pp. 341-42). The new or expanded sections
on varieties of English spoken outside England and the
U.S. (pp. 311-28) are only minimally adequate, and certain
comments in the brief survey of Old English literature
(pp. 67-70) lag behind the present thinking about early
English literary culture. But Baugh’s coverage of the
social history of English is unsurpassed among the current
handbooks, and he has joined it well with his thorough
treatment of what Millward (see below) calls the language’s
“inner history.” The fact is that language and history
(both social and intellectual) are inextricable from one
another, and one can understand the limitations of Baugh’s
approach and still consider his book the best available
Beekes, Robert Stephen Paul. Comparative Indo-European
Linguistics: An Introduction
. Trans. UvA [sic] Vertalers
and Paul Gabriner. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing,
1995. [P575 .B4413 1995].
originally published in Dutch (Vergelijkende Taalwetenschap),
is the only modern handbook of comparative Indo-European
lingusitics. For the most part, it's an extremly
reliable and useful work that covers all topics thoroughly
and includes lots of useful appendices, e.g., samples
of MS reproductions from many of the older Indo-European
languages with translations, an example of the sound shifts
from Indo-European into Albanian, and many other items.
One aspect of the work which some view as problematic
is that it includes many of the "Leiden School" theories
about Proto-Indo-European which the majority of Indo-Europeanists
do not accept, such as the theory that Indo-European was
an ergative language. However, the peculiarities
of the "Leiden School" effect a relatively small portion
of this work, and for the most part it's well regarded
as an excellent work on the subject of comparative Indo-European
Blake, N. F. A History of the English
Language. New York: New York University Press, 1996.
[PE1075 .B45 1996].
of this book is misleading: it is not a history of English,
but a history of Standard English—or more precisely, a
history of the various standardized dialects for writing
(and where evidence is available, for speaking) that have
existed at different times in the history of the language.
Blake’s goal, then, is to systematically outline the development
of standards in their different incarnations in Old, Middle,
and Modern English. He focuses heavily on Old and Middle
English and gives relatively short shrift to later developments;
there is also very little attention to varieties of English
spoken in places other than England (although American
English does get some very general treatment along the
way). One peculiarity of this textbook is that despite
its strongly chronological orientation, it contains no
primary texts from various periods for students’ direct
examination apart from the few brief quotations (from
Dr. Johnson and the like) that were easily integrated
into the running text.
Buck, Carl Darling. A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms
in the Principal Indo-European Languages
. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1949. [Davis Ref. P765 .B8].
a dictionary of synonyms--not cognates--organized by semantic
category, for example, all the words for "sword," whether
they derive from the same Indo-European root or not. Buck
had limied resources available to him, and as a result
the entries he lists for certain languages are not always
the most common word in that language; he also does not
include exhaustive lists of synonyms, so the work must
be used with care. That said, it's a monumental
work, and the only resource of its kind.
Burchfield, R. W. “The Language and
Orthography of the Ormulum MS.” Transactions of the Philological
Society (1956): 56-87. [P11 .P6].
manuscript, with its unusual orthographic scheme for representing
vowel length and certain aspects of the consonantal system,
is a uniquely informative document for the historical
study of English. Burchfield’s article is a standard analysis
of Orm’s dialect and orthography.
Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia
of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1995. [Davis Ref. PE1072 .C68 1995].
book is organized topically, arranged into large sections
that represent a taxonomy of topics for study of the English
language. Each section, in turn, consists of a set of
chapters that systematically explore the subject matter
of that section; where it makes the most sense, the chapters
follow historical development, and where a more thematic
or associative topical treatment is most appropriate,
that’s the scheme Crystal uses. This organizational strategy
reflects the enormous scope of the Cambridge Encyclopedia
of the English Language: as the title suggests, Crystal
really has attempted to provide a comprehensive introduction
to the study of English, and he has come closer to success
than I would have imagined possible in a single volume.
Rather than confining himself almost exclusively to the
historical development of English grammar, orthography,
lexis, etc. or (on the other end of the spectrum) confining
himself to present-day concerns of linguists who are most
interested in studying English as an active language,
Crystal tries to cover all the bases. Inevitably, then,
the individual sections tend to be brief and summary in
nature. They are usually very succinct, informative, and
well conceived, but they necessarily cannot treat any
topic at much length or in much depth.
D’Ardenne, S. R. T. O., ed. Þe
Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Iuliene. EETS OS 248.
London: Oxford University Press, 1961 for 1960. Pp. 173-250.
[Folio PR1119 .A2 no. 248].
is an edition of the Katherine Group life of St. Juliana;
what makes it an important resource for the study of the
history of English is D’Ardenne’s detailed analysis (on
pp. 173-250) of the AB dialect, which had been first identified
by Tolkien in 1929 (see his article cited below). D’Ardenne’s
description of this literary standard has formed the basis
of all subsequent discussion, and it has been challenged
only in its details.
Fisher, John H. The Emergence of
Standard English. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky,
1996. [PE524.7 .F7 1996].
Gneuss, Helmut. “The Origin of
Standard Old English and Æthelwold’s School at Winchester.”
Anglo-Saxon England 1 (1972): 63-83. [DA152.2 .A75].
Hofstetter, Walter. “Winchester
and the Standardization of Old English Vocabulary.” Anglo-Saxon
England 17 (1988): 139-61. [DA152.2 .A75].
Hogg, Richard M., gen. ed. The
Cambridge History of the English Language. 5 vols.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992-99. [Davis
Ref. PE1072 .C36 1992].
work aims to provide a single authoritative treatment
of the history of the English language. The breakdown
of the volumes is as follows: vol. 1, ed. Richard M. Hogg,
The Beginnings to 1066; vol. 2, ed. Norman Blake,
1066-1476; vol. 3, ed. Roger Lass, 1476-1776;
vol. 4, ed. Suzanne Romaine, 1776-1997; and vol.
5, ed. Robert Burchfield, English in Britain and Overseas:
Origins and Development. Each volume is a composite
of brief contributions by many different authors. While
this collaborative approach is probably necessary—no individual’s
expertise could produce a work of this scope and detail—it
predictably leads to some variation in both methodological
orientation and reliability.
Millward, C. M. A Biography of
the English Language. 2d ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt
Brace College Publishers, 1996. [PE1075 .M64 1996].
might be described as Pyles and Algeo (see below), only
better. The formats and strategies of the two books are
in many ways quite similar, and they are even published
by branches of the same publishing company, but Millward
is more successful at producing a clean, thorough, usable
textbook within the parameters of what is recognizably
the same basic approach to the history of the English
language. Millward’s chapters are divided into clear sections,
but these sections tend to be more substantial than corresponding
sections in Pyles and Algeo; moreover, the sections within
a given chapter usually follow one another smoothly, which
facilitates consecutive reading. One other important organizational
difference between this book and Pyles and Algeo’s, and
one that facilitates consecutive use of the book’s contents,
is that Millward includes (in addition to her discussions
of syntax, morphology, and phonology) sections on semantics,
writing technology, borrowing, and word formation in her
chapters on each major period of the development of English
rather than relegating these topics to separate sections
of the book and treating them in a less historically oriented
way. Millward also includes a generous number of brief
illustrative textual samples within the appropriate chapters.
Each period chapter of A Biography of the English Language
is divided into two main parts, which Millward calls “Outer
History” (i.e., socio-historical context) and “Inner History”
(i.e., linguistic development). The only important drawback
to this book is the brevity of the “Outer History” segments,
which usually extend for only five to ten pages (with
the exception of the 27-page “Outer History” of Early
Modern English). It is clear, however, that providing
a plenary social history of the English language was not
Millward's goal, and what she set out to do, she has done
exceptionally well. I consider this book the chief rival
to Baugh and Cable (see above).
Pyles, Thomas and John Algeo. The
Origins and Development of the English Language. 4th
ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers,
1993. [UNC does not have 4th ed.; 3d ed. (1982), PE1075
is patchy in quality. It tends toward superficiality,
and questionable claims are not hard to find, although
these are often probably attributable less to error than
to the authors’ failure to develop or explain their generalizations.
However, there are instances of outright mistakes, such
as the list of supposedly non-Indo-European words that
are common to the Germanic languages (p. 85), in which
most of the items do in fact have probable Indo-European
roots—an embarrassment that could have been avoided through
only a few minutes spent with Calvert Watkins’ Dictionary
of Indo-European Roots. (The more basic claim, in
that case, is sound: the Germanic language group does
have many words of unknown origin, but Pyles and Algeo
have chosen the wrong ones.) The chapters are divided
into very brief sections, which can be an effective strategy,
but in this case it contributes to a sense that the book
has been assembled piecemeal as a series of mini-essays
that are sometimes only tenuously connected to those that
precede and follow.
Richardson, Malcolm. “Henry V, the
English Chancery, and Chancery English.” Speculum
55 (1980): 726-50. [PN661 .S6].
Tolkien, J. R. R. “Ancrene Wisse
and Hali Meiðhad.” Essays and Studies
14 (1929): 104-26. [PR13 .E4].
demonstrates the existence of a literary standard dialect,
the “AB dialect,” in the Southwest Midlands in the early
thirteenth century. This is the dialect of the Corpus
manuscript of Ancrene Wisse (the “A” in Tolkien’s
designation) and of the Bodleian manuscript of the Katherine
Group (the “B”). Tolkien’s student S. R. T. O. D’Ardenne
later expanded on his treatment of the AB dialect (see
her edition, cited above), but Tolkien’s essay is the
and Textual Histories.
Bennett, J. A. W. Middle English
Literature. Ed. and completed by Douglas Gray. Vol.
1, part 2 of The Oxford History of English Literature.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986. [PR255 .B45 1986].
English literary history, sometimes referred to informally
as “Bennett and Gray” and part of the multi-volume Oxford
History of English Literature, surveys the
period from the Norman Conquest through the fourteenth
century, excluding Chaucer. The Bennett and Gray volume,
having appeared in the mid-1980s, is less outdated than
the other two volumes of this series cited below.
Bennett, H. S. Chaucer and the
Fifteenth Century. Vol. 2, part 1 of The Oxford History
of English Literature. New York: Oxford University Press,
1947; corrected reprint, 1961. [PR255 .B43 1961].
another volume of The Oxford History of English Literature.
In addition to Chaucer, Bennett (not the same Bennett
who began volume 1, part 2 cited above) treats Chaucer,
Lydgate, Hoccleve, Pecock, Caxton, and others, but not
Malory. This survey is now dated; the enormous amount
of scholarship that has appeared since the book’s original
publication in 1947 makes it obsolete in some ways, but
it is still a good place to find basic information about
the surviving works by the authors covered.
Chambers, E. K. English Literature
at the Close of the Middle Ages. Vol. 2, part 2 of The
Oxford History of English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1945; corrected reprint, 1947. [Undergraduate Library
PR291 .C5 1947].
S. Bennett’s volume cited above, Chambers’ volume of The
Oxford History of English Literature is outdated,
but it can still be useful as a survey of the surviving
literature within its parameters. Chambers covers Malory,
late medieval drama, lyrics, popular narratives, and ballads.
Clanchy, M. T. From Memory to Written
Record: England, 1066-1307. 2d ed. Oxford: Blackwell,
1993. [DA176 .C54 1993].
a significantly revised and updated edition of a work
that has been important since its first appearance in
1979. Clanchy is learned, rigorous, and insightful, and
he offers a fascinating study of the interactions between
the technology of writing and the idea of writing during
the two and a half centuries following the Norman Conquest
in England. This book is part manuscript study, part social
history, and part intellectual history, focusing on the
written word as a point of intersection for these disciplines.
Curtius, Ernst Robert. European
Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Trans. Willard
R. Trask. New York: Pantheon, 1953. (Originally pub. 1948
as Europäische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter.)
book is something of a monument of medieval scholarship,
which is not to say that it has outlived its usefulness.
Curtius read extraordinarily widely and deeply, and European
Literature is an eclectic collection of chapters summarizing
and discussing various motifs, influences, traditions,
and relationships pertaining to medieval literature: chapter
topics include such diverse matters as “Heroes and Rulers,”
“The Goddess Natura,” “The Book as Symbol,” and “Poetry
and Rhetoric.” Following the main sequence of longer chapters
is an equally diverse series of excursuses, brief essays
on topics such as “Misunderstandings of Antiquity in the
Middle Ages,” “Etymology as a Category of Thought,” “Mention
of the Author’s Name in Medieval Literature,” and “God
as Maker.” This is a difficult book to read straight through;
it is more easily (and more commonly) used as a reference
work, beginning with its table of contents and its index.
Wallace, David, ed. The Cambridge
History of Medieval English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1999. [PR255 .C35 1999].
History of Medieval English Literature, which covers
the period from 1066 to 1547, is the only volume of The
New Cambridge History of English Literature that has
appeared to date. Unlike The Oxford History of English
Literature (whose volumes with medieval content are
cited individually above), each installment of The
New Cambridge History will bring together essays by
many different authors. The thirty-three contributors
to the volume cited here are all prominent contemporary
scholars, but in some cases not the ones you might expect:
there is a clear attempt to include essays from less traditional
viewpoints as well as those that more directly reflect
received understandings of the period and its literature.
This effort to balance traditional and innovative treatment
of the period is summed up in the introductory statement
that The New Cambridge History will “accommodate
the range of insights and fresh perspectives brought by
new approaches to the subject, without losing sight of
the need for essential exposition and information” (iii).
Wilson, R. M. Early Middle English
Literature. [Rev. ed.]. London: Methuen and Co., 1968.
[PR1120 .W58 1968].
the re-emergence of a vernacular literary tradition after
the Norman Conquest. This literary history was originally
published in 1939; the 1968 edition cited here has a prefixed
list of addenda to the bibliographical references. The
additions are fairly few, and even where they might have
sufficed in 1968, they are themselves more than thirty
years old now.
Wilson, R. M. The Lost Literature
of Medieval England. 2d ed. London: Methuen, 1970. [PR255
and discusses all references to medieval works that are
believed no longer to survive.
Theory (Primary Sources).
Augustine of Hippo. De Doctrina
Christiana. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 32,
suppl. A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1982. Esp. book 1, chaps.
1-6, 35-40 and book 2, chaps. 1-10. [BR60 .C49 vol. 32,
This is Augustine's
treatise on scriptural hermeneutics, and it is an epoch-making
text for medieval interpretational practices. The passages
specified in the citation above are particularly direct
treatments of linguistic and hermeneutic theory. A good
translation is On Christian Doctrine, trans.
D. W. Robertson, Jr. (New York: Liberal Arts Press,
De Consolatione Philosophiae. Ed. Ludovicus Bieler.
Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 94. Turnhout: Brepols,
1984. Book 1, prosa 1. [BR60 .C49 vol. 94 1984].
classic treatment of fortune, providence, and adversity
was an enormously influential text throughout the Middle
Ages. The passage specified in the citation above is
relevant to this category of the bibliography because
it provided medieval writers with an authoritative precedent
for regarding certain types of literature as worthless
or even harmful. A good translation is The Consolation
of Philosophy, trans. Richard Green (Indianapolis:
Minnis, A. J. and A. B. Scott,
eds. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism, c. 1100-c.
1375: The Commentary Tradition.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988. [PN88 .M45 1988].
Preminger, Alex, O.B. Hardison,
Jr., and Kevin Kerrane, eds. Medieval Literary Criticism.
New York: Frederick Ungar, 1985. [PN88 .M43 1985].
Wogan-Browne, Jocelyn, Nicholas
Watson, Andrew Taylor, and Ruth Evans, eds. The Idea
of the Vernacular: An Anthology of Middle English Literary
Theory, 1280-1520. University Park: Pennsylvania State
University Press, 1999. [PR255 .I34 1999].
part of this interesting recent anthology is a “wide selection
of Middle English discussions of writing: its composition,
cultural position, real and imagined audience, and reception”
(xiii). The book concludes with five essays by its editors
and an often simplistic glossary of “The Language of Middle
English Literary Theory.”
Theory (Secondary Sources).
Auerbach, Erich. “Figura.” Trans.
Ralph Manheim. In Scenes from the Drama of European
Literature: Six Essays. New York: Meridian, 1959.
11-76, with notes on 229-37. (Orig. pub. in German in
Archivum Romanicum 22 : 436-89.) [PN511 .A8].
essay analyzes the medieval conceptual paradigm of figural
interpretation—the Christian interpretation of Old Testament
characters and events as “prefiguring” New Testament characters
and events which imbue them retrospectively with their
full significance—and explores its origins and development.
Auerbach’s study remains an excellent introduction to
this habit of medieval thought.
Allen, Judson Boyce. The Ethical
Poetic of the Later Middle Ages: A Decorum of Convenient
Distinction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982.
[PN88 .A44 1982].
Atkins, J. W. H. English Literary
Criticism: The Medieval Phase. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1943. [PN99 .G7 A8].
Clanchy, M. T. From Memory to
Written Record: England, 1066-1307. 2d ed. Oxford:
Blackwell, 1993. Esp. part 2, “The Literate Mentality,”
pp. 185-334. [DA176 .C54 1993].
Illich, Ivan. In the Vineyard
of the Text: A Commentary to Hugh’s “Didascalicon.”
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. [AE2 .H833
Minnis, A. J. Medieval Theory
of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later
Middle Ages. London: Scolar Press, 1984. [PN88 .M5
Murphy, James J. Rhetoric in
the Middle Ages: A History of Rhetorical Theory from St.
Augustine to the Renaissance. Berkeley: University
of California Press, 1974. [PN173 .M8].
Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy:
The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen, 1982.
Esp. chaps. 4-6. [P35 .O5 1982].
Ong, Walter J. “Orality, Literacy,
and Medieval Textualization.” New Literary History
16 (1984): 1-12. [PR1 .N44].
Ryding, William W. Structure
in Medieval Narrative. The Hague: Mouton, 1971. [PQ156
Vinaver, Eugène. The
Rise of Romance. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1971. Esp. “The Poetry of Interlace” (pp. 68-98) and “Analogy
as the Dominant Form” (pp. 99-122). [PN671 .V5].
Zumthor, Paul. “The Text and the
Voice.” New Literary History 16 (1984): 67-92.
Ker, N. R., intro. The Winchester
Malory: A Facsimile. EETS SS 4. London: Oxford University
Press, 1976. [Folio PR1119 .S9 no. 4].
a photographic facsimile of British Library MS Additional
59678, the only known manuscript of Malory’s Morte
Darthur, which was discovered in Winchester in 1934.
Spisak, James W., ed. Caxton's
Malory: Edited with an Introduction and Critical Apparatus.
2 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.
edition of Caxton’s 1485 text of Malory’s Morte Darthur.
Caxton’s text differs from the Winchester MS in several
respects; most notably, Caxton systematically edited the
alliteration out of the parts of the text that Malory
had adapted from the alliterative Morte Arthure.
Despite the fact that the Winchester MS is closer to Malory’s
intended text than Caxton’s printed version, Caxton’s
text remains important to Malory scholars, as it was the
only Malory any later writer knew until the discovery
of the Winchester MS in 1934.
Vinaver, Eugène, ed. The
Works of Sir Thomas Malory. 3d ed., rev. P. J. C. Field.
3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990. [PR2041 .V5 1990].
1990 revision of Vinaver’s edition is the standard text
of Malory’s Morte Darthur as it is found in the
Winchester MS (British Library Additional 59678). Prior
to Vinaver’s edition, all editions of the Morte Darthur
had been based on Caxton’s printed version, which we now
know (since the discovery of the Winchester MS in 1934)
differs considerably in some parts from what Malory wrote.
The one real idiosyncrasy of Vinaver’s great edition (preserved
in Field’s revision of it) is its advocacy of the theory
that the Morte Darthur as a single romance is an
editorial creation, and that Malory’s intention was to
present his material as several separate Arthurian tales
(hence the plural “works” in Vinaver’s title). Modern
scholarship generally accepts the authorial unity of the
Kato, Tomomi, ed. A Concordance
to “The Works of Sir Thomas Malory.” Tokyo: University
of Tokyo Press, 1974. [Folio PR2045 .K37].
Life, Page West. Sir Thomas
Malory and the “Morte Darthur”: A Survey of Scholarship
and Annotated Bibliography. Charlottesville: University
Press of Virginia, 1980. [Z8545.5 .L53].
Sandved, Arthur O. Studies in
the Language of Caxton's Malory and That of the Winchester
Manuscript. Oslo: Norwegian Universities Press, 1968.
[PR2048 .S2 1968].
Catalogs and Facsimiles (Old and Middle English).
Fitzgerald, Wilma. Ocelli nominum:
Names and Shelf Marks of Famous/Familiar Manuscripts.
Subsidia Mediaevalia 19. Toronto: Pontifical Institute
of Mediaeval Studies, 1992. [Davis Ref. Z6601 .F58 1992].
Ker, Neil R. A Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing
Anglo-Saxon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957. [Davis
Ref. Z6605 .A56 K4].
(Germanic, Including Old and Middle English).
Fulk, Robert D. A History of
Old English Meter. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 1992. [PE257 .F85 1992].
Hutcheson, B. R. Old English
Poetic Metre. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995. [PE257
McCully, C. B. and J. J. Anderson,
eds. English Historical Metrics. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1996. [PE253 .E54 1996].
Whitman, F. H. A Comparative
Study of Old English Metre. Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1993. [PE257 .W44 1993].
English Lyrics (Primary Sources).
Brown, Carleton F., ed. English
Lyrics of the XIIIth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1932. [PR1203 .B68].
edition of thirteenth-century lyrics includes both secular
and religious pieces, unlike Brown’s compilations of poems
from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (see below).
Far less English poetry survives from the thirteenth century
than from the fourteenth or the fifteenth, so the ninety-one
lyrics in this volume represent a sizable sample of what
is available. Brown has included virtually all of the
English lyrics from before about 1250 and a selection
from the major collections of the period 1250-1300. Brown’s
introduction gives a concise survey of these collections.
Brown, Carleton F., ed. Religious
Lyrics of the XVth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1939. [PR1191 .B75].
collection is in most respects similar to its counterpart
covering the fourteenth century (see below), and Brown’s
goals as a compiler and editor are similar as well. This
collection is even more selective, however, because far
more English poetry was produced in the fifteenth century
than in the fourteenth. For this reason, as Brown indicates,
he was forced to exclude works by prominent fifteenth-century
authors (such as Hoccleve and Dunbar) in favor of less-known
works, the only exception being the inclusion of two pieces
by Lydgate. The volume is organized thematically, not
Brown, Carleton F., ed. Religious
Lyrics of the XIVth Century. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1957. [PR1203 .B7 1957].
collection of Middle English religious lyrics is only
a small selection of the available material. Brown’s goal,
as he explains in his introduction, is to provide a generally
representative sample of fourteenth-century religious
lyrics, with some emphasis on poems of high literary quality,
underrepresented poems and poem types, and poems that
have been previously available but only in low-quality
editions. The volume is organized roughly chronologically.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular
Lyrics of the XIVth and XVth Centuries. 2d ed. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1955. [Undergraduate Library PR1203 .R6
is the secular counterpart to Brown’s two volumes of fourteenth-
and fifteenth-century religious poetry (see above). Robbins
attempts, with his 212 selected pieces, to provide a representative
sample of the secular lyrics of the period, and approximately
a quarter of the poems printed here were previously unedited.
Most of the poems included are from the fifteenth century,
as relatively few secular Middle English lyrics can be
dated to the fourteenth century.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical
Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries. New York: Columbia
University Press, 1959. [PR1203 .R58].
intends this collection as a complement to Brown’s three
editions of Middle English lyrics (see above), and in
general he does not revisit material that has been printed
in those volumes. He has selected and edited 100 of what
he estimates to be fewer than 250 fourteenth- and fifteenth-century
political poems in existence.
English Lyrics (Secondary Sources).
Preston, Michael James. A Concordance
to the Middle English Shorter Poem. 2 vols. Leeds:
W. S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1975. [Davis Ref. PR1175.8 .P7].
a form concordance to ten prominent editions of Middle
English lyric poems, which are listed in the front of
volume 1. The concordance is to these editions, not to
the words as they appear in the manuscripts (a potentially
important distinction where there may have been editorial
emendations), and because it is a form concordance rather
than a glossarial concordance, variant or inflected forms
of the same word are listed separately, not grouped together
under a single lemma. Though Preston’s concordance is
not comprehensive for the Middle English lyric, it does
cover a great many of these short poems (and all of the
familiar ones), sometimes in multiple manuscript realizations.
English Poetry (Primary Sources; see also special authors,
Furnivall, Frederick J.,
ed. Loose and Humorous Songs from Bishop Percy’s Folio
Manuscript. London, 1868; reprint, Hatsboro, PA: Folklore
Associates, 1963. [PR1181 .B622 1868a].
contains the items that were omitted from Hales and Furnivall’s
edition of the Percy Folio Manuscript (see below) due
to their bawdy or otherwise undignified content. Instead,
they were published privately in a separate book. Together
with the main Hales and Furnivall volumes, then, Loose
and Humorous Songs makes a complete (though discontinuous)
edition of the famous Percy Folio.
Gower, John. The Complete Works
of John Gower. Ed. G. C. Macaulay. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1899-1902. [PR1980 1899].
still the definitive edition of Gower’s works, including
his writings in Anglo-Norman and Latin as well as English.
Macaulay includes an “analysis” (actually a detailed summary)
of each of Gower’s three major works: the English Confessio
Amantis, the Anglo-Norman Mirour de l’Omme,
and the Latin Vox Clamantis. These summaries are
very helpful as a road map to all three works and may
prove especially useful in the case of the Vox Clamantis,
which has never been translated into English. (There is
a good translation of the Mirour de l’Omme: William
Burton Wilson, trans., Mirour de l’Omme [The Mirror
of Mankind], rev. Nancy Wilson Van Baak [East Lansing,
MI: Colleagues Press, 1992].)
Hales, John W. and Frederick J. Furnivall,
eds. Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript: Ballads and Romances.
3 vols. London, 1867-68. [PR1181 .B62].
Percy Folio Manuscript (British Museum MS Additional 27879)
is an important repository of popular romances and ballads.
The manuscript itself is very late, written between 1643
and about 1650, but some of its contents date from as
early as the fourteenth century. It is a very amateurish,
low-quality manuscript, and part of its significance is
the record it offers of what kinds of works were in popular
(and in some cases, apparently oral) circulation during
the late Middle Ages. Many of the romances preserved in
the Percy Folio are unique to that manuscript, including
several of the surviving Gawain romances; others are popularized
or devolved forms of romances that exist in more aristocratic
versions elsewhere. Hales and Furnivall’s edition includes
introductions to each work, notes, and several essays
and appendices, but it omits those items in the manuscript
that were deemed to be of questionable taste. These were
edited separately in a privately published volume by Furnivall
(see above); the three volumes cited here plus that one
make a complete (though discontinuous) edition of the
Hoccleve, Thomas. Hoccleve’s
Works. Ed. F. J. Furnivall (vols. 1 and 3) and Sir
Israel Gollancz (vol. 2). 3 vols. (numbered out of order
by EETS). EETS ES 61 (vol. 1), 72 (vol. 3), and 73 (vol.
2). London, 1892-97. [PR1119 .E5 nos. 61, 72, and 73].
still the citation edition of Hoccleve’s Regement of
Princes and minor poems, but part of volume 1 has
been superseded by Burrow’s edition (see below). Volume
1 (EETS ES 61) contains the Complaint, the Dialogue
with a Friend, and some minor works; volume 2 (EETS
ES 73) contains some minor works; and volume 3 (EETS ES
72) contains the Regement of Princes.
Hoccleve, Thomas. Thomas Hoccleve's
“Complaint” and “Dialogue.” Ed. J. A. Burrow. EETS 313.
London: Oxford University Press, 1999. [Folio PR1119 .A2
Burrow’s new edition
of the Complaint and the Dialogue with a Friend
supersedes Furnivall’s text of those poems in volume
1 of the Furnivall and Gollancz edition (see above).
Lydgate, John. Lydgate’s “Siege
of Thebes.” Ed. Axel Erdmann; apparatus completed
by Eilert Ekwall. 2 vols. EETS ES 108 and 125. London:
Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and Co., 1911 (vol. 1);
London: Oxford University Press, 1930 (vol. 2). [PR1119
.E5 nos. 108 and 125].
Lydgate, John. Lydgate’s “Fall
of Princes.” Ed. Henry Bergen. 4 vols. EETS ES 121-24.
London: Oxford University Press, 1924-27. [PR1119 .E5
Lydgate, John. Lydgate’s “Troy
Book.” Ed. Henry Bergen. 4 vols. EETS ES 97, 103,
106, and 126. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner
and Co., 1906-10 (vols. 1-3); London: Oxford University
Press, 1935 (vol. 4). [PR1119 .E5 nos. 97, 103, 106, and
Mannyng, Robert. The Chronicle.
Ed. Idelle Sullens. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and
Studies 153. Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early
Renaissance Studies, State University of New York, 1996.
[PR2056 .A63 1996].
the only complete edition of Mannyng’s Chronicle.
Parts 1 and 2 of the Chronicle had previously been
printed only separately, in editions published in 1887
and 1725 respectively. Sullens’ text is an edition of
one manuscript (the Petyt MS), with variants from the
other two manuscripts (the Lambeth MS and the one-leaf
Rawlinson fragment) given in the margin.
Mannyng, Robert. Handlyng Synne.
Ed. Idelle Sullens. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies
14. Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance
Studies, State University of New York, 1983.
edition of Handlyng Synne supersedes the much earlier
one by Frederick J. Furnivall (Robert of Brunne's "Handlyng
Synne," A.D. 1303, with Those Parts of the Anglo-French
Treatise on Which It Was Founded, William of Wadington's
"Manuel des pechiez," EETS OS 119 and 123 [London:
K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, and Co., 1901 and 1903])
as the citation text, although Furnivall’s edition may
still be of use since it presents parallel texts of Mannyng’s
work and the Anglo-French original from which he translates,
the Manuel des Pechiez.
Wirtjes, Hanneke, ed. The Middle
English Physiologus. EETS 299. London: Oxford University
Press, 1991. [Folio PR1119 .A2 no. 299].
English Poetry (Secondary Sources; see also special authors,
Brown, Carleton F. A Register
of Middle English Religious and Didactic Verse. 2
vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1916-20. [Davis
Ref. Z2012 .B87].
provides information concerning all Middle English poetry
to which Brown had access, excluding chronicles, “political
pieces,” romances, secular lyrics, charms, alchemical
poems, and dramatic works (as Brown explains in his foreword).
Volume 1 consists of a listing of all manuscripts containing
eligible material, with an itemization of the eligible
contents of each of these listed manuscripts. Volume 2
contains an alphabetical listing of poems by first line,
giving references in each case to the relevant manuscripts
as they are cataloged in volume 1 and also to any previously
published editions in which the poem appears. An index
of subjects and titles concludes volume 2.
Brown, Carleton F. and Rossell Hope
Robbins. The Index of Middle English Verse. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1943. [Davis Ref. Z2012 .B872].
(often referred to informally as “Brown-Robbins”) is described
in its preface as the completion of the project begun
by Brown with his Register of Middle English Religious
and Didactic Verse (see above). It complements the
earlier work by including those categories of poems which
Brown had originally excluded, as well as additional religious
or didactic poems. In effect, then, Brown and Robbins’
Index of Middle English Verse absorbs and supersedes
volume 2 of Brown’s earlier Register. It does not,
however, replace volume 1 of Brown’s Register--for
this, see Hamer's Manuscript Index (below). Note
that the Brown and Robbins Index has a supplement
by Robbins and Cutler (see below), with which it must
Hamer, Richard. A Manuscript
Index to “The Index of Middle English Verse.” London:
British Library, 1995. [Davis Ref. Z2012 .B873 1995].
an updated and completed manuscript list for Brown and
Robbins’ Index (see above); it absorbs and supersedes
volume 1 of Brown’s Register (see above) just as
Brown and Robbins’ Index absorbed and superseded
volume 2 of the Register.
Nicholson, Peter. An Annotated
Index to the Commentary on Gower’s “Confessio Amantis.”
Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies. Binghamton:
Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State
University of New York, 1989. [PR1984 .C63 N53 1989].
reference tool is not a bibliography as such, but (as
the title indicates) an index to the body of scholarship
and criticism on Gower’s major English work, the Confessio
Amantis. It is organized according to Gower’s Confessio
Amantis itself: Nicholson breaks the poem into passages
of a few lines each and gives references, for each passage,
to all published commentary on those lines. The Annotated
Index is intended to give comprehensive coverage of
the period from the publication of Macauley’s standard
edition of Gower’s works (1900-1) through 1986 (though
Nicholson vaguely cautions the reader that “a certain
number of items had to be omitted for practical reasons”
[vii]), and it also includes references to a few items
that were published in 1987. The annotations are brief,
generally consisting of a one- or two-sentence synopsis
of the commentator’s thesis. This useful reference work
might be thought of as the free-standing footnotes to
a variorum edition of the Confessio Amantis (i.e.,
a variorum edition minus the edition).
Pickles, J. D. and J. L. Dawson, eds.
A Concordance to John Gower’s “Confessio Amantis.”
Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1987. [PR1984 .C63 C66 1987].
Robbins, Rossell Hope and John
L. Cutler. Supplement to “The Index of Middle English
Verse.” Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965.
[Davis Ref. Z2012 .B872 Suppl.].
to Brown and Robbins’ Index (see above) is often
referred to informally as “Robbins-Cutler.” The two works
are mutually dependent and must be used together. Robbins
and Cutler’s Supplement adds approximately 1500
all-new entries to the original 4365 entries of the older
Index, and it also revises about 2300 of those
original 4365 entries.
Yeager, Robert F. John Gower
Materials: A Bibliography through 1979. New York:
Garland, 1981. [Z8362.35 .Y4].
supersedes all prior Gower bibliographies. It is intended
to provide a comprehensive listing of pre-1980 Gower editions,
commentaries, manuscript studies, and criticism.
English Prose (Primary Sources; see also special authors,
Clark, Cecily, ed. The Peterborough
Chronicle, 1070-1154. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1970. [DA690 .P47 A49 1970].
is the standard edition of the Peterborough Chronicle,
the longest-continued recension of the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle. Apart from the record it provides of the
period from the Norman Conquest to 1154, the Peterborough
Chronicle is very significant as a linguistic record
of this period of transition from Old to Middle English.
Meech, Sanford Brown and Hope Emily
Allen, eds. The Book of Margery Kempe. EETS OS 212.
London: Oxford University Press, 1940. [Folio PR1119 .A2
still the standard edition of The Book of Margery Kempe
for scholarly use.
Staley, Lynn, ed. The Book of Margery
Kempe. TEAMS Middle English Text Series. Kalamazoo:
Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University,
1996. [PR2007 .K4 A199 1996].
not the standard edition of The Book of Margery Kempe;
it’s part of the TEAMS series of inexpensive paperbacks,
designed for classroom rather than scholarly use. But
Staley is a scholar who has spent a lot of time with the
Book—she’s the author of an influential critical
monograph, Margery Kempe’s Dissenting Fictions
(1994)—and her introductory essay reflects some current
thinking about Kempe that is not represented in Meech
and Allen's older edition.
Windeatt, Barry, ed. The Book of
Margery Kempe. Harlow, England: Longman, 2000. [PR2007
.K4 A199 2000].
edition of The Book of Margery Kempe, prepared
by a prominent scholar of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century
religious works, is a very good student text with thorough
annotations, textual notes, and an extensive bibliography.
Windeatt even includes an expecially useful appendix giving
a comprehensive listing of the annotations to the text
made by four late medieval and early modern hands. Still,
this is a student text, not a scholarly edition; for instance,
Windeatt has modernized the orthography (replacing thorn
with “th,” etc.).
English Prose (Secondary Sources; see also special authors,
Edwards, A. S. G., ed. Middle
English Prose: A Critical Guide to Major Authors and Genres.
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1984. [PR255
Jolliffe, P. S. A Check-list
of Middle English Prose Writings of Spiritual Guidance.
Subsidia Mediaevalia 2. Toronto: Pontifical Institute
of Mediaeval Studies, 1974. [Davis Ref. Z2014.P795 J64].
the title, this isn’t really a “checklist”: it provides
a guide only to the less-known works of the genre and
omits the better-known works, such as Ancrene Wisse.
Used with that caveat in mind, Jolliffe’s compilation—which
includes an index of incipits and another index of titles
and authors—is the best place to find manuscript and edition
information about all but the few most prominent examples
of the genre it covers.
Lewis, R. E., N. F. Blake, and A.S.G.
Edwards. Index of Printed Middle English Prose. New
York: Garland, 1985. [Davis Ref. Z2014.P795 L49 1985].
is a counterpart, for Middle English prose, to Brown and
Robbins’ and Robbins and Cutler’s indexes of Middle English
verse (see the Middle English Verse section of this bibliography).
One important difference is that whereas those volumes
cover all Middle English verse, both edited and unedited,
the Index of Printed Middle English Prose lists
only those works that have been edited and published.
It attempts to be complete, within these parameters, through
English Romance (Primary Sources; see
also special authors, works).
Madden, Sir Frederic, ed. Syr
Gawayne: A Collection of Ancient Romance-Poems by Scotish
and English Authors, Relating to That Celebrated Knight
of the Round Table. London, 1839; reprint, New York:
AMS Press, 1971. [PR2064 .M33 1971].
high standard of scholarship and his reluctance to interfere
with his texts set him apart from many other editors of
his time, and his 1839 edition of Gawain romances is a
landmark. This is the first appearance in print of Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight; along with it Madden
included The Awntyrs of Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne,
The Knightly Tale of Golagros and Gawane, Syre
Gawene and the Carle of Carelyle, The Jeaste of
Syr Gawayne, The Grene Knight, The Turke
and Gowin, The Carle off Carlile, King Arthur
and the King of Cornwall, The Marriage of Sir Gawaine,
and The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell.
Because of his almost encyclopedic knowledge, Madden's
introductions and annotations to these works remain useful
in many cases.
Smithers, G. V., ed. Havelok.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987. [PR2065 .H3 1987].
standard edition. Havelok (traditionally called
Havelok the Dane) is one of the very earliest romances
in Middle English and thus has received a fair amount
of critical attention, often focusing on those aspects
of the poem that are atypical of the romance genre or
English Romance (Secondary Sources; see
also special authors, works).
Jost, Jean E. Ten Middle English
Arthurian Romances: A Reference Guide. Boston: G.
K. Hall and Co., 1986. [Davis Ref. Z2014 .R6 J68 1986].
of editions and scholarship covers Arthour and Merlin;
Sir Tristrem; Sir Percyvelle of Galles;
Ywain and Gawain; the alliterative Morte Arthure;
The Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne;
the stanzaic Morte Arthur; The Avowynge of King
Arthur, Sir Gawan, Sir Kaye, and Sir
Bawdewyn of Bretan; The Turke and Gowin; and
The Knightly Tale of Golagros and Gawain.
Rice, Joanne A. Middle English
Romance: An Annotated Bibliography, 1955-1985. New York:
Garland, 1987. [Davis Ref. Z2014 .R6 R5 1987].
bibliography is intended as a continuation of volume 1
of A Manual of the Writings in Middle English,
which leaves off in 1955. Rice excludes Malory,
Chaucer, and pre-1977 work on Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight (for which Malcolm Andrew’s Sir Gawain and
the Green Knight bibliography can be used). Within
those parameters, Rice attempts to be comprehensive in
providing citations and annotations.
English Poetry other than Beowulf (Primary Sources).
Allen, Michael J. B. and Daniel G. Calder, trans. Sources
and Analogues of Old English Poetry: The Major Latin Texts
in Translation. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1976. [PA6164
Calder, Daniel G., Robert E. Bjork, Patrick K. Ford,
and Daniel F. Melia, trans. Sources and Analogues of
Old English Poetry II: The Major Germanic and Celtic Texts
in Translation. Cambridge: D. S.Brewer, 1983. [PR182
Muir, Bernard J., ed. The Exeter
Anthology of Old English Poetry: An Edition of Exeter
Dean and Chapter MS 3501. 2 vols. Exeter: University
of Exeter Press, 1994. [PR1505 .E858 1994].
Roberts, Jane, ed. The Guthlac
Poems of the Exeter Book. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1979. [PR1722 .A17].
English Poetry other than Beowulf (Secondary Sources).
Fulk, R. D. A History of Old English Meter. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992. [PE257 .F85 1992].
Hutcheson, B. R. Old English Poetic Metre. Cambridge:
D. S. Brewer, 1995. [PE257 .H88 1995].
Scragg, Donald, ed. The Battle of Maldon, AD 991.
Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991. [DA154.7 .B38 1991].
English Prose Other than Ælfric and Alfred (Primary
Baker, Peter and Michael Lapidge, eds. Byrhtferth's
Enchiridion. EETS SS 15. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1995. [PR1119 .S9 no. 15].
along with Æthelwold, Ælfric, and Wulfstan,
was one of the major prose writers of the mid-tenth-century
Benedictine reform in Anglo-Saxon England. His major
work was the Enchiridion, a macaronic work (Latin
and Old English) ostensibly designed to be a textbook
on the calendar, but actually covering a strikingly wide
variety of topics--Byrhtferth is known for his digressive
style. This text is the standard edition of Byrhtferth's
Herzfeld, George, ed. An Old English
Martyrology: Re-edited from Manuscripts in the Libraries
of the British Museum and of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
EETS OS 116. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and
Co., 1900. [Folio PR1119 .A2 no. 116].
introduction to this text gives a concise account of its
four partial manuscripts, its sources, and its linguistic
features. This is a composite best-text edition: Herzfeld
edits from the fragmentary British Museum Additional MS
23211 (the oldest of the four manuscripts) where it is
available, and otherwise from the more complete British
Museum Cotton Julius A.x, sometimes emending or correcting
it by reference to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,
196. He also provides a facing-page translation, but it
tends to be loose.
English Prose Other than Ælfric and Alfred (Secondary
Quinn, Karen J. and Kenneth P. Quinn. A Manual of
Old English Prose. New York: Garland, 1990. [Davis
Ref. PR221 .Q5 1990].
Irish Prose (Primary Sources).
Binchy, Daniel A., ed. Corpus Iuris Hibernici.
6 vols. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Study, 1978.
work is the standard edition of the Old Irish laws.
It is very austerely edited, without indexing, glossary,
or cross-referencing, and as a result it is very
difficult to use. To make matters worse, it was
organized by what manuscripts or photostats were available
to Binchy at a given time. Nonetheless, it
is the only reliable source of its kind and a distinct
improvement on O'Donovan and O'Curry's earlier error-ridden
attempt at an edition of the body of Irish law, Ancient
Laws of Ireland.
Irish Prose (Secondary Sources).
Kelly, Fergus. A Guide To Early Irish Law. Dublin:
Dublin Institute for Advanced Study, 1988. [KDK156 .K45
the standard reference work for Old Irish law. It
provides brief overviews to various topics treated in
the Old Irish law codes, with copious notes referring
the reader to actual passages in the laws themselves (i.e.,
to Binchy's Corpus Iuris Hibernici--see above).
The work also includes several extremely useful appendices
and is superbly indexed.
and Paleographical Resources.
Alexander, J. J. G., gen. ed. A
Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles.
6 vols. in 9. London: H. Miller, 1975-96.
The breakdown and location
of the volumes are as follows: vol. 1, Insular Manuscripts,
6th to the 9th Century, by J. J. G. Alexander [Davis
Epig. Folio ND3128 .S96 vol. 1]; vol. 2, Anglo-Saxon
Manuscripts, 900-1066, by Elzbieta Temple [Folio
ND3128 .S96 vol. 2]; vol. 3, Romanesque Manuscripts,
1066-1190, by C. M. Kauffmann [Folio ND3128 .S96
vol. 3]; vol. 4 in 2 parts, Early Gothic Manuscripts,
by Nigel J. Morgan [Folio ND3128 .S96 vol. 4, pt. 1-2];
vol. 5 in 2 parts, Gothic Manuscripts, 1285-1385,
by Lucy Freeman Sandler [Folio ND3128 .S96 vol. 5, pt.
1-2]; vol. 6 in 2 parts, Later Gothic Manuscripts,
1390-1490, by Kathleen L. Scott [Art Library ND3128
.S96 vol. 6].
Bischoff, Bernhard. Latin Palaeography:
Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Trans. Dáibhí
Ó Cróinín and David Ganz. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1990. [Davis Ref. Z114 .B5713
not only a translation, but also a slightly revised and
updated version of its original, Bischoff’s Paläographie
des römischen Altertums und des abendländischen
Mittelalters (1979, rev. ed. 1986). Bischoff is a
world-renowned paleographer, and this book is a very thorough
introduction to the forms and use of the Roman alphabet
in classical and medieval times, with broader attention
given as well to the making and use of books during these
periods. Illustrative samples are included within the
body of the text, and there are additional plates in the
Brown, Michelle P. A Guide to Western
Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1990. [Davis Ref. Z113 .B855
an introductory textbook by the curator of the British
Library’s manuscript collections. It is organized in a
facing-page format: each recto has a monochrome plate,
and the facing verso has a brief description of the script
shown in the plate, a partial transcription (sometimes
with mistakes by Brown), and a few noted points of interest.
The book’s brevity (55 plates and facing descriptions),
combined with its broad scope (the “West” from classical
times to 1600) and the fact that the sets of description,
partial transcription, and notes are limited to one page
each, makes for a pretty sketchy treatment; but on the
other hand, Brown doesn’t claim to be providing anything
more than a survey of the field for newcomers: “The author”
wryly “extends her apologies to those aggrieved by omissions
(or inclusions)” (1). A section at the front of the book
gives a helpful list of introductory bibliography.
Brown, Michelle P. Understanding
Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms.
Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994. [Art Library
ND2889 .B76 1994].
by the curator of the British Library’s manuscript collections,
is a glossary of terminology associated with illuminated
manuscripts. It is concise, clear, generously illustrated,
and well cross-referenced. A vade mecum (q.v.) for aspiring
students of medieval manuscripts.
Cappelli, Adriano. Lexicon abbreviaturarum: Dizionario
di abbreviature latine et italiane
. 6th ed. Milan: Ulrico
Hoepli, 1979. [Davis Ref. Z111 .C24 1979].
dictionary of the abbreviations used by writers of manuscripts
in Latin and Italian, particularly during the Middle Ages.
The section for each letter is headed by a graphic of
the various forms that letter takes in manuscripts.
The entry for each abbreviation begins with a graphic
of the abbreviation, followed by a transcription of the
abbreviation into typeface, its expansion into Latin or
Italian, and an indication of the centuries during which
it is attested. The introductory matter is in Italian,
but knowledge of Italian is not required for basic reference
to the entries. The book includes nine "tables"
(tavole), actually photographic facsimiles of manuscript
pages that provide samples of the abbreviations in context.
Ker, N. R., ed. Medieval Libraries
of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books. 2d ed.
London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1964. [Davis
Ref. Z723 .K47 1964].
(See also Andrew G. Watson's
O'Neill, Timothy P. The Irish Hand: Scribes and Their
Manuscripts from the Earliest Times to the Seventeenth
Century with an Exemplar of Scripts. Mountrath, Portlaoise,
Ireland: Dolmen Press, 1984. [Davis Ref, Davis Epig. folio
Z115.I7 O53 1984].
provides a very basic description of the Irish medieval
script aimed primarily at a general audience. It
contains a large number of high-quality plates as examples
which may be of some interest to a student interested
in the general scope of Irish writing in the Middle Ages.
Preston, Jean F. and Laetitia Yeandle.
English Handwriting, 1400-1650. Binghamton, NY: Medieval
and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1992. [Davis Epig. Folio
Z115.E5 P74 1992].
for those beginning to approach late medieval and early
modern English manuscripts. Preston and Yeandle arrange
their book much like Brown’s Guide to Western Historical
Scripts (see above): its central feature is its collection
of plates, each with a brief facing-page description and
transcription (but the transcription is full in most cases,
not partial, as Brown’s usually are). One major difference—and
an especially helpful feature of this book—is its inclusion,
after many of the plates, of the full alphabet of forms
produced by that hand in that manuscript sample. This
enables a reader to see, in tabular form, the range of
variation that may occur in a given letter as written
by a single scribe.
Watson, Andrew G., ed. “Medieval
Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books,”
Edited by N. R. Ker: Supplement to the Second Edition.
London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1987. [Davis
Ref. Z723 .K47 1964, Suppl.].
Tools (Miscellaneous; see also specific authors, works,
Kaske, R. E. with Arthur Groos
and Michael W. Twomey. Medieval Christian Literary
Imagery: A Guide to Interpretation. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1988. [Davis Ref. Z6517 .K38 1988].
is an indespensible research tool. Its utility is best
explained in the opening sentences of Kaske’s introduction:
A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050-1500
the past several decades, we have become increasingly
aware of the allusive density of medieval literature,
and of the extent to which much of its imagery depends
on certain large bodies of traditional Christian learning—the
Vulgate Bible and its voluminous commentaries, the liturgy,
hymns and sequences, sermons and homilies, the pictorial
arts, mythography, commentaries on major medieval authors,
encyclopedias of various kinds, and so on. If so, it
seems clear that this whole miscellaneous ragbag of
traditional medieval lore is potentially of enormous
value, as a kind of great awkward index to the connotations
of a good deal of the imagery on which the meaning of
medieval works partly depends. The difficulty, of course,
is in finding one’s way around in it. If, say, one suspects
that an echo of a biblical verse in Chaucer or Dante
may somehow depend for its meaning on traditional commentary
on that verse, how does he go about finding the relevant
commentaries? Or if one finds the word “fire” in a context
that suggests resonances beyond the literal without
satisfactorily identifying them, how does he go about
learning what the traditional associations of fire were?
The purpose of Kaske’s
book is to help researchers find their way around in the
abstract world of medieval association and connotation
so that they can solve such problems. His presentation
is lucid, and the book is surprisingly easy to use (if
you have a major research library handy).
J. Burke Severs, gen. ed. (vols. 1-2); Albert E. Hartung,
gen. ed (vols. 3-). 25 chaps. in 10 vols. to date. New Haven:
Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1967-. Davis
Ref. PR255 .M35].
referred to informally as "Severs and Hartung" or simply
"Hartung." This massive research tool is intended
to provide a complete listing of extant Middle English
writings, along with descriptive commentary on each item
and a bibliography of editions and scholarship up until
close to the time the individual volumes go to press.
The Manual is organized (roughly speaking) by genre,
or for the works of major authors, by author. It
supersedes the original, single-volume Manual of the
Writings in Middle English, 1050-1400, by J. E. Wells
(1916, with 9 supplements through 1951), which is still
mentioned occasionally (informally as "Wells") though
it is now all but entirely obsolete. The amount
of information provided by many of these volumes is almost
astonishing, and the series is now advanced to a point
at which few really conspicuous absences remain; the most
conspicuous of these is Chaucer, and other reference tools
exist for his works. The contents of the individual volumes
are as follows. Vol. 1 (1967): chap. 1, "Romances,"
by Mortimer J. Donovan et al. Vol. 2 (1970):
chap. 2, "The Pearl Poet," by Marie P. Hamilton;
chap. 3, "Wyclyf and His Followers," by Ernest W. Talbert
and S. Harrison Thomson; chap. 4, "Translations and Paraphrases
of the Bible, and Commentaries," by Laurence Muir; chap.
5, "Saints' Legends," by Charlotte D'Evelyn and Frances
A. Foster; and chap. 6, "Instructions for Religious,"
by Charlotte D'Evelyn. Vol. 3 (1972): chap.
7, "Dialogues, Debates, and Catechisms," by Francis Lee
Utley; chap. 8, "Thomas Hoccleve," by William Matthews;
and chap. 9, "Malory and Caxton," by Robert H. Wilson.
Vol. 4 (1973): chap. 10, "Middle Scots Writers,"
by Florence H. Ridley; and chap. 11, "The Chaucerian Apocrypha,"
by Rossell Hope Robbins. Vol. 5 (1975): chap. 12,
"Dramatic Pieces," by Anna J. Mill, Sheila Lindenbaum,
and Francis Lee Utley and Barry Ward; and chap. 13, "Poems
Dealing with Contemporary Conditions," by Rossell Hope
Robbins. Vol. 6 (1980): chap. 14, "Carols,"
by Richard Leighton Greene; chap. 15, "Ballads," by David
C. Fowler; and chap. 16, "John Lydgate," by Alain Renoir
and C. David Benson. Vol. 7 (1986): chap. 17, "John
Gower," by John H. Fisher et al.; chap. 18, "Piers
Plowman," by Anne Middleton; chap. 19, "Travel and
Geographical Writings," by Christian K. Zacher; and chap.
20, "Works of Religious and Philosophical Instruction,"
by Robert R. Raymo. Vol. 8 (1989): chap. 21 [misprinted
on title page as XII], "Chronicles and Other Historical
Writing," by Edward Donald Kennedy. Vol. 9 (1993):
chap. 22, "Proverbs, Precepts, and Monitory Pieces," by
Cameron Louis; chap. 23, "English Mystical Writings,"
by Valerie M. Lagorio and Michael G. Sargent with Ritamary
Bradley; and chap. 24, "Tales," by Thomas D. Cooke with
Peter Whiteford and Nancy Mohr McKinley. Vol. 10 (1998):
chap. 25, "Works of Science and Information," by George
Texts (Primary Sources).
Biblia Sacra Iuxta Latinam Vulgatam
Versionem ad Codicum Fidem. 16 vols. Rome: Typis Polyglottis
Vaticanis, 1926-. [BS75 1926].
work, often refered to as "the Rome Biblia Sacra"
and compiled by Benedictine monks, is one of the standard
sources to go to to find variant readings of the Vulgate
text. It only covers only the Old Testament, so it must
be used in conjunction with other resources
this section) to cover
the entire Bible. For example, volume 10, the Psalms,
provides the basic Gallicanum text and only a limited
number of Romanum variants, so it must be used in conjuction
with Robert Weber's Le Psautier Romain to find
a more complete listing Romanum readings.
Texts (Secondary Sources).
Fischer, Bonifatius. Novae Concordantiae Bibliorum
Sacrorum Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem Critice Editam.
5 vols. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1977-.
[Davis Ref. BS423 .F58].
Liuzza, R. M. The Old English
Version of the Gospels. 2 vols. EETS 304 and 314.
London: Oxford University Press, 1994 and 2000. [Folio
PR1119 .A2 nos. 304 and 314].
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