Printing the Middle Ages

Table of contents :
Preface: The Mark of the Medieval
A Note on Bibliographic Formats
Introduction: Plowmen and Pastiche
Chapter One: Form and Rude Letters
Chapter Two: The True History of Sir Guy (and What Happened to Sir Bevis?)
Chapter Three: Aristocratic Antiquaries
Chapter Four: Bedtime Chaucer
Chapter Five Froissart’s not French (or Flemish)
Coda: The Ghost in the Machine

Citation preview

Printing the Middle Ages

M AT E R I A L T E X T S Series Editors Roger Chartier Joan DeJean Joseph Farrell

Anthony Grafton Janice Radway Peter Stallybrass

A complete list of books in the series is available from the publisher.

Printing the Middle Ages ˆ N ECHARD SIA

University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia

Copyright 䉷 2008 University of Pennsylvania Press All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of review or scholarly citation, none of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104–4112 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Echard, Siaˆn. Printing the Middle Ages / Siaˆn Echard. p. cm.— (Material texts) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978–0-8122–4091–7 (acid-free paper) 1. Books—History. 2. Printing—History. 3. Manuscripts, Medieval—Editing. 4. English literature—Middle English, 1100–1500—Criticism, Textual. 5. Literature, Medieval—Criticism, Textual. 6. Literature, Medieval—Appreciation—English-speaking countries. 7. Transmission of texts. 8. Bibliography, Critical. 9. Medievalism— English-speaking countries. I. Title. Z4.E25 2008 686.209—dc22 2008010934


Preface: The Mark of the Medieval A Note on Bibliographic Formats

vii xvii

Introduction. Plowmen and Pastiche: Representing the Medieval Book 1 1. Form and Rude Letters: The Representation of Old English 2. The True History of Sir Guy (and What Happened to Sir Bevis?) 60 3. Aristocratic Antiquaries: Gower on Gower


4. Bedtime Chaucer: Juvenile Adaptations and the Medieval Canon 126 5. Froissart’s not French (or Flemish): The Travels of a Medieval History 162 Coda. The Ghost in the Machine: Digital Avatars of Medieval Manuscripts 198 Notes


Bibliography Index






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Preface: The Mark of the Medieval

Between 1902 and 1905, the Ashendene Press printed a three-volume quarto edition of Dante’s Commedia. The press, which produced fine limited editions from 1895 to 1935, was the consuming passion of C. H. St. John Hornby (1867–1946), the businessman responsible for the expansion of the W. H. Smith chain. The 1909 Ashendene edition of Dante’s complete works is one of the press’s most famous books, revered as part of the ‘‘triple crown’’ of early twentieth-century fine press printing.1 But I begin this study of medieval writers in later print with the colophon from the lesser-known 1902 Inferno (figure 1) because that colophon so neatly illustrates the focus of this book. This is a study of the postmedieval life of medieval texts, as those texts are embedded in their many material forms. D. F. McKenzie has observed that ‘‘Every society rewrites its past, every reader rewrites its texts, and, if they have any continuing life at all, at some point every printer redesigns them.’’2 What I will argue, in the pages that follow, is that there are particular imperatives at work in the redesigns of medieval texts. Chief among these is a persistent claim to authority and authenticity; and this claim is linked to a persistent attempt, through various kinds of bibliographic coding, to present a book as authentically medieval. The Ashendene colophon contains many references to those elements of the book that connect this new Inferno to its past. Some of these are visual signs; some are gestures toward past book practices; all are what we might think of as the mark of the medieval. At the same time, the colophon points toward ways in which the Ashendene Inferno belongs to its own period. Even as the book is stamped with the aura of the past, it profoundly reimagines that past. The colophon speaks to the longing for direct connection, as well as to the inevitable mediations, of both mind and matter, which must always intervene. A colophon is a convention of both manuscript and, later, print production. In a typical early print colophon, the printer names himself and says something about the production of his work. The simple presence of a colophon in the Ashendene Inferno functions as a kind of quotation which deliberately links these modern hand printers to the early modern artisans they saw as their spiritual ancestors. Hornby’s day job



Figure 1. Colophon from Dante Alighieri, Lo inferno, Chelsea, 1902, 238–39. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia.

embedded him in the world of mass-market publishing, as the Smith firm expanded from its beginnings in railway stalls to a huge chain of bookstores across the country. The Ashendene Press, hand-operated from Hornby’s home, was the antithesis of this world dominated by what nineteenth-century commentators had taken to calling ‘‘railroad speed.’’3 Early modern printers were, of course, every bit as entrepreneurial and interested in selling books as was William Henry Smith (1825–1891) when he set up his first bookstall in Euston Station in 1848, but what Hornby evokes through his colophon is both the craftsmanship of early books and, what is perhaps even more important, the connection between the book and its hand-makers, a connection increasingly alienated in the world of steam printing. The medieval practice of hand decoration is called up through the naming of the calligrapher Graily Hewitt as the rubricator of the hand-painted initials, a gesture which connects this book to an even more remote past, and once again sets the human hand against the mechanized modern world. Language offers another connection to origins, as the colophon is in



Italian. There is no particular reason it should be so: the Ashendene Press was in Chelsea, and the names embedded in that Italianate colophon are as English as it is possible to be. But this linguistic flourish is a common gesture in the printing of Dante in England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Lord Vernon’s 1858 London facsimile edition of four early printings of the Commedia offers its paratextual material in Italian rather than English, underscoring the promise of works ‘‘letteralmente ristampate,’’ as the title page has it, with the language of the original text.4 And like Vernon’s facsimile, the Ashendene colophon also promises literal reproduction. It identifies the woodcut illustrations as copies of the 1491 Venetian originals. But the past does not rule the colophon exclusively, for the text’s authority is guaranteed in terms of conventional, contemporary scholarship by the reference to Edward Moore, coeditor of the 1894 Oxford Dante. This last element moves the text into the modern world, as does the lament for the destruction of the campanile of St. Mark’s in Venice, which had collapsed in July 1902. The colophon thus encapsulates the two senses of re-creation—as duplication and as making anew—that dominate the printings to be explored in this study. Further examination of the Ashendene Commedia reveals more of this kind of mixing. The limp vellum bindings with cloth ties; the Subiaco type based on early Italian models; the initials hand-painted in gold, red, blue, and green—all these features quote early modern book production. The woodcuts, based on the 1491 Venetian edition of the Commedia, also suggest that world, while beginning to show the degree to which the past has been refashioned rather than simply mirrored. The source edition5 was a profusely illustrated copy, with a woodcut for each canto, and these have been carefully copied in the Ashendene printing. They are nevertheless also manipulated. For example, Inferno 5, the Circle of the Lustful, is illustrated in the 1491 edition by two images, of Minos and of the spirits whirled about in the circle, combined in a single frame. The Ashendene Inferno separates these elements, creating a cleaner, less cluttered image. And the desire to unclutter the Venetian original has extended beyond the illustrations to the text-block and the page as a whole, in that the Ashendene version dispenses with the commentary of Cristoforo Landino (1424–1504?), first introduced in the 1481 Florentine edition and frequently reappearing thereafter in editions of the Commedia to the end of the sixteenth century. In the 1491 Venetian printing used by Hornby, Landino’s Latin prose commentary shares the text columns with Dante’s verse, sometimes spanning both columns and, despite its smaller font, occupying the lion’s share of a page. The decision to remove the commentary allows Hornby to draw attention to Dante’s verse text, now in sole possession of a single- rather than a dou-



ble-column layout, and to the illustrations, no longer wrapped or cramped by the learned commentary. There is clearly an aesthetic reason for this decision, at least to eyes conditioned by the tastes of modernism: the Ashendene page has more white space and thus appears cleaner than the fifteenth-century Venetian page. It is also true that the very earliest editions of the Commedia were printed without commentary, and the first edition, printed in Foligno in 1472, was also a single-column design. Thus to remove the commentary and give visual precedence to a single verse block is to return the page to a kind of pristine state, to an originary (print) moment—but that pristine state was not accompanied by pictures. Printing the Middle Ages will argue that iconic images are understood by many later eras to be central to the transmission of medieval texts, as the Hornbys suggest by choosing to draw on an illustrated edition of Dante. Glosses, whether in print or in script, are, by contrast, often understood as dispensable, perhaps because of a post-Romantic distaste for what could be seen as scholastic accretion on works of original genius. And it is here that I touch a final peculiarity in the authenticating gestures of the Ashendene Commedia, for they depend, to a great extent, more on the world of early print than on the medieval manuscript realizations of Dante’s poem. The Ashendene Dante retains those features of manuscript practice which migrated into certain early modern prints, such as the hand-painted initial letters, while eliding both the poem’s first manuscript context and other ‘‘antique’’ book contexts less to the taste of the early twentieth-century artist-readers responsible for this realization of the work. There is an idea of both Dante and of the Middle Ages expressed in the pages of the Ashendene printing, and that idea combines attitudes toward the medieval author and toward the artifacts which have transmitted his text. In pointing to the various accommodations to and compromises with the past made by the Ashendene Commedia, it is not my purpose to deny the sheer beauty and appeal of these books. Indeed, bibliophilia (including my own) is a persistent thread in the story to be told in these pages. In ‘‘Reading Matter,’’ her introduction to a recent special issue of PMLA on the history of the book and the idea of literature, Leah Price suggests that many twentieth-century literary critics have been taught ‘‘to filter out the look, the feel, the smell of the printed page.’’6 My occasionally uneasy tracking between ‘‘text’’ and ‘‘book’’—the first term gesturing toward some (impossible) disembodied condition, the second locating itself between a particular set of covers—confirms the justice of this observation, but such blurring also suggests that it has never been possible to escape the material, even when there has been a clear will to do so. That will, no matter who the reader, is subject to con-



tinual undermining by the delicious materiality of books. It is in this context that Printing the Middle Ages seeks to understand the lasting impact, on both the scholarly and the popular imagination, of the physical objects which transmitted the Middle Ages to the English-speaking world. Its largest framework is book history, of the kind motivated by Roger Chartier’s observation that ‘‘any comprehension of a writing, no matter what kind it is, depends on the forms in which it reaches the reader,’’7 or by Jerome McGann’s assertion that ‘‘reading itself can only be understood when it has assumed specific material constitutions.’’8 Dante, like any other writer, reaches us in matter, in particular objects, and in this study I argue that we make, and read, and delight, in books like the Ashendene Commedia in part by way of the other books to which they connect us. Beneath the foundational works of scholarly recovery in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there is a vast terrain of books—books that were scholarly or popular, grubby or beautiful, widely disseminated or privately printed, and often varying combinations of these things. Printing the Middle Ages is ordered in a roughly chronological fashion: the chapters move gradually from the first age of print to the early twentieth century. Each chapter has a particular text-object at its core, and from that object arises the examination of the kind of transmission and reception story it represents. Thus while each chapter tends to have a particular period as its main emphasis, the chapters also range backward and forward in time with respect to their thematic concerns. The objects chosen illustrate the links between high-, middle-, and lowbrow culture. They aim to show that scholarly attitudes toward the Middle Ages are, and always have been, part of the web of popular perception and reception, a web in which the physical object and the imaginative response are inextricably linked. The introduction, ‘‘Plowmen and Pastiche: Representing the Medieval Book,’’ expands the theoretical context suggested here by my reading of the Ashendene Inferno, delineating the contours, and implications, of the mark of the medieval. It takes as its starting-point an instance of what I am calling the impulse to facsimile: a nineteenthcentury copy of an illustration to a medieval manuscript of Piers Plowman. The landscape against which this object is considered is that of nineteenth-century discussions and practices with respect to the reproduction of medieval textual objects. This section of the book examines the slippage between the work of facsimile artists such as Henry Shaw and the bald-faced forgeries of the Spanish Forger—the commercial success of the books that fed the nineteenth-century taste for facsimile both stimulated and supplied raw material for imitation of a more under-



handed kind. The claims made both overtly and covertly by these reproductions of medieval and early modern books show how traditions of illustration and design speak to the perception and reception of medieval texts. These traditions continue to acquire meaning across centuries and technologies, influencing and reflecting both scholarly and popular attitudes down to the present day. Chapter 1, ‘‘Form and Rude Letters: The Representation of Old English,’’ opens with William Camden’s remarks about the inscription on the famous Glastonbury Cross. Camden labels the form of the letters barbarous, while taking great care to reproduce them exactly, in one of only two illustrations to be found in the first edition of his Britannia (1586). The chapter then considers the emphasis, in the first printings of Old English material, on reproducing the exact form of Anglo-Saxon letters. Archbishop Matthew Parker had special fonts made to support his program of printing Old English texts, a program driven by the desire to carve out an ancient and indigenous history for the English Church. But the emphasis on the actual appearance of Anglo-Saxon script extends beyond Parker’s concerns and beyond his circle, becoming definitive of the treatment of Old English in many contexts and over several centuries. The history of Camden’s own text helps to illustrate the point, as subsequent editions place more and more emphasis on the reproduction of ancient objects and their inscriptions. The treatment of Old English in the works of Camden and other early antiquarians and scholars raises the question of what it means when the medieval past is increasingly understood visually, through illustrations such as those in Camden, and also through what we might think of as the signs of the medieval: fonts, styles of paper, layout, kinds of binding, and the like. The question is one which is central to the project of Printing the Middle Ages as a whole, and its continuing purchase is suggested in the ending of this chapter, which looks briefly at the design practices in a recent graphic novel of Beowulf. Chapter 2, ‘‘The True History of Sir Guy (and What Happened to Sir Bevis?),’’ opens with the attempt of an eighteenth-century gentleman of letters to decipher the inscription and illustration on a medieval bowl. In a note in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1784, ‘‘Eugenio’’ draws on an eclectic range of medieval, early modern and antiquarian texts in an attempt to make out the meaning of the object, which shows Guy of Warwick killing a dragon. The chapter unpacks the assumptions made by this eighteenth-century reader in order to introduce a discussion of the role of illustration in the transmission histories of two popular Middle English romances, Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton, particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It shows how the illustrations in the 1503 printing of Bevis by Richard Pynson persist and influence



the reading of the romance up to the eighteenth century, while the visual program which comes to define Guy is of considerably later date, and more in keeping with the retooled emphases of the story in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century adaptations of the romance. The appeal of the exotic in Bevis’s story, first underlined by the turbaned figures in the Pynson illustrations, has remarkable staying power, but eventually gives way to one of the many strands, visual and textual, surrounding Guy of Warwick, and it is the latter figure who strides most confidently into the nineteenth century, to become the example of the quintessential English hero. Chapter 3, ‘‘Aristocratic Antiquaries: Gower on Gower,’’ charts the history of the representation of the Trentham Manuscript, a trilingual collection of some of John Gower’s poems. The chapter opens with the story of the transcription of the manuscript, a transcription which had been commissioned in 1764 by the Lord Gower to whom it then belonged. Family pride certainly played a role in the copying of the manuscript, as Gower believed himself to be a descendant of the poet, and family pride was still at work in the next reproduction of the manuscript, when a later Gower, using the eighteenth-century transcription as his base text, edited some of the poems for the Roxburghe Club in 1818. This club edition was printed in black letter and carefully reproduced the damage in the manuscript—as the handwritten transcription had also done, albeit in elegant contemporary script. The Roxburghe Club printing also reproduced the provenance inscriptions found in the manuscript, as well as the signature which was taken to indicate that the book had once belonged to Henry VII. The background against which the history of this manuscript is charted includes eighteenth-century copying practices, the role of the aristocratic Roxburghe Club in the transmission of the medieval objects in the possession of its members, the intersections of family and national pride which sometimes ensured the survival of medieval texts and objects, and the shifting definitions of what marked something as authentically medieval, in a period which was to see as well significant moves toward the scholarly editing of medieval texts. Chapter 4, ‘‘Bedtime Chaucer: Juvenile Adaptations and the Medieval Canon,’’ takes as its centerpiece Mary Eliza Joy Haweis’s Chaucer for Children (1877). Haweis’s book included her own extensive notes and commentaries, some directed at the juvenile audience and others at the mothers who were understood to be directing their children’s familiarization with the foundational figure of the English canon. Haweis illustrated the book as well, and the pictures and notes reveal her familiarity with nineteenth-century scholarship on Chaucer, and with the medieval manuscript collection of the British Museum, a common resource for



the decorative artists and facsimilists of the time. The late nineteenthcentury vogue for children’s adaptations of the classics presented many medieval texts to that period, and the various readings they provided through selection, introduction, and illustration necessarily transmitted an impression of these texts and their era to an adult audience as well. The particular emphasis on the biography of Chaucer found in the juvenile adaptations is also a preoccupation of adult scholars, and can in fact be traced back to medieval and early modern emphases on the reproduction of the poet’s likeness. Medieval writers who cannot be named or pictured or ‘‘storied’’ in the same way occupy a different space in the popular consciousness, as Chaucer is gradually separated from the rest of the medieval canon, whether for children or for adults. Chapter 5, ‘‘Froissart’s not French (or Flemish): The Travels of a Medieval History,’’ considers the Englishing of Froissart, by which I mean the transformation of this French-speaking historian from Valenciennes into the voice of English national pride. It considers as well the way in which this transformation occurs in design contexts which, in their mimicry of medieval manuscripts, insist visually on authenticity even as Froissart’s text is thoroughly refashioned. The chapter ranges through the comments written by sixteenth-century owners in their early printings of Froissart’s Chroniques, the modernizing translations of the nineteenth century, and the return to prominence of Lord Berners’s sixteenth-century translation in such deliberately medievalizing designs as those planned by William Morris, and actually carried out by the Shakespeare Head Press in its 1927 multivolume printing, dedicated to the king and illustrated throughout with hand-colored representations of the shields of the noble families found in Froissart’s pages. It also considers the popular deployment of Froissart’s work in times of trouble, such as its occasional appearance in the ‘‘Old and True’’ column, which ran in the Times during World War II. A comparison to an illustrated Parisian printing, in a later nineteenth-century French translation, shows that the desire to present Froissart’s history through visual reference to artifacts of the medieval past, even as the text is formed and conformed to contemporary needs, is not unique to Britain. But the Froissart we meet in the pages of British transmitters, whether these are the editors of the Globe or Tudor Translations volumes, or the adaptors writing for young people, or the writers of prospectuses aimed at the book-collecting public, is made over both to English taste, and in the English language. The Coda, ‘‘The Ghost in the Machine: Digital Avatars of Medieval Manuscripts,’’ takes a necessarily provisional look at what happens (is happening) to the medieval textual world after print. The assessment must at this stage be a provisional one because we are merely poised on



the brink of this change, yet it is my conviction that the habits traced in these pages with respect to the presentation and transmission of medieval books continue to govern our own textual manipulations, even in a new technological era. While visionary theorists of the digital age have imagined the ways in which the new forms of presentation allowed by computers would free us from the confines, mental and physical, of the printed book, the use of digital technologies to reinscribe medievalizing gestures, such as the computer-game-inspired stone halls inhabited by more than one digital manuscript facsimile, shows that we continue to search for the aura of the medieval, expecting to find it in some kind of visual reproduction of medieval forms as much as in the words of medieval texts. The digital fate of the monumental Sherborne Missal also reminds us of the complex world of publication, a world in which various players—scholars, institutions, mass audiences, national governments, and the marketplace—continue to condition how any technology is deployed. The digital dispersal of manuscripts is seen as providing heightened access to the material remains of the medieval world, but as has always been the case in the transmission of medieval textual artifacts, the kind of access provided is in fact highly mediated. The summary above highlights some gaps in this study. While the scholarly traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries make occasional appearances in these pages, they are not separated and examined in depth, nor is there any special discussion of the school texts upon which today’s medievalists cut their teeth. In this case I consider Printing the Middle Ages a companion volume to the many outstanding editorial histories that have charted the reception and teaching of such figures as Chaucer and Langland.9 The giants of recuperative and contemporary editing alike have received far more detailed analysis either than I could provide, or that would suit, the visual emphasis of these pages. Another obvious lacuna—the absence, except in passing references, of Malory and the Arthurian tradition—is similarly pragmatically explained by the enormous amount of attention which all aspects of Arthurian medievalism have already received.10 As for the chronological scope, it would of course have been possible to stop this study after Froissart’s propagandistic deployment in World War II; there could be few objections to taking the war years as the dividing line between ‘‘before’’ and ‘‘after’’ for medieval texts, as for so many things, and the sober scholarly editions and cleaned-up school texts of the postwar era certainly suggest a deliberate (if temporary and of course illusory) cultivation of text over the thing-ness of the book. But the digital age, as reprise and not conclusion, proved irresistible, for it is in this period that we see the wholesale



return, in a new technology, to claims of authentic visual reproduction. The digital age, in an intriguing paradox, expands the terrain of medieval materializations to which I referred in my opening pages. In my coda, then, as in the book as a whole, I have attempted to map some of that terrain—but many worlds remain to be discovered.

A Note on Bibliographic Formats

A book of this sort inevitably produces almost insurmountable difficulties when it comes to consistency of documentation. Conventions (when they exist) regarding titles, publication information, and capitalization have changed a great deal across the period covered here, and older formats are particularly unwieldy. In the interest of legibility and evenness of presentation, I have made the following decisions. All modern titles have been capitalized according to modern style. Titles from earlier periods have also been capitalized, but with a somewhat lighter hand after the main title. I have modernized the format for place and printer/ publisher. Truncations at the end of titles and publication information are not indicated by ellipses; internal truncations of titles, of course, are. Many early modern books have their titles imposed on them retrospectively, and their dates of publications may be the conjectures of later bibliographers. I have removed the square brackets which, in the ESTC, indicate such conjecture, but I have indicated ESTC numbers, where available, throughout.

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Plowmen and Pastiche Representing the Medieval Book

This is a book about books, and so I begin with a frontispiece, that piece of a book which conditions a reader visually before she ever experiences the text to follow. This one (figure 2) is the illustration of medieval plowing that begins Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.14, a manuscript of the A-version of Piers Plowman, dating to around 1400.1 That dating means that in one sense, it is not proper to call this image a frontispiece at all, but it is worth pausing to consider the development of the term in relation to the work this image performs. The first English sense of frontispiece (at c. 1597 postdating our image by almost two hundred years) is ‘‘the principal face or front of a building’’ but, the Oxford English Dictionary continues, ‘‘the term is more usually applied to the decorated entrance of a building.’’ A related and roughly contemporary use is also architectural, understanding the ‘‘frontispiece’’ as a pediment over a door. It is not much of an imaginative stretch to see how the specifically bookish uses of the term then evolved, from the general use (c. 1607) as the first page of a book or pamphlet, to the specific and still current sense (1682) of the illustration facing the title page or division of a book.2 In the Trinity Piers, the image occurs in the middle of the verso of a blank page, while the text of the poem begins on the recto of the same opening. It is the only illustration in the manuscript, the decorated doorway into the structure that is both Langland’s poem and this particular materialization of it. And like many a decorated doorway and many a literary frontispiece, it features a scrap of text along with its evocative image; here, the motto ‘‘God spede 3e plou9/ and sende us korne I now.’’ The motto appears alone in another Piers manuscript, pasted to the flyleaf of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 293,3 but it is fair to say that both the image and the motto are unusual rather than ubiquitous.4 Yet this image has considerable traction in the postmedieval history of Piers. The account of how an uncommon medieval manuscript image came to function as a kind of frontispiece to the whole Piers tradition serves as a fitting introduction to Printing the Middle Ages—as,



Figure 2. Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.14, fol. 3v. By permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge.

indeed, its frontispiece—because it tells a story of reproduction in all its senses, as duplication, as proliferation, as simulation, as replication. The fate of the Piers image is a rich instance of the general argument of this book, which is that from an early period, the texts of the Middle Ages have been understood at least in part in terms of their appearance. This study attempts to articulate why the aura of the past should be so particularly desirable in printings of medieval texts, why that aura should so often be particularly tied to the visual,5 and what it might mean to understand medieval texts in this way. In the pages that follow, I will argue that any reading of a medieval text, past or present, amateur or professional, floats on the surface of a complex sea of expectations and desires which both governs, and is governed by, the books that mediate those readings. I begin with the Trinity image, opening the door onto what it has meant, and still means, to print the Middle Ages. Figure 3 is the foldout frontispiece to an 1842 printing, for William Pickering by the Chiswick Press, of The Vision and the Creed of Piers Plough-

Plowmen and Pastiche


Figure 3. Frontispiece to The Vision and the Creed of Piers Ploughman, London, 1842. The facsimile of Trinity R.3.14 (compare figure 2) was drawn by Henry Shaw. The editor was Thomas Wright.

man.6 The plowing image was copied from Trinity R.3.14 by Henry Shaw (1800–1873), fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and illuminator, who also used the image in his Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages (1843).7 The two uses tell us something about attitudes toward medieval images, medieval texts, and their connections, in the nineteenth century and indeed earlier. In the first case, the frontispiece image is part of a modest, modern printing that nevertheless takes care, through this first glance, to quote the manuscript tradition to which the poem belongs. Shaw’s facsimile of the Trinity image is carefully drawn, probably (as was common at the time) traced from the original.8 David McKitterick argues that the facsimile representations of old books which proliferated in the nineteenth century had a clear purpose: ‘‘to create, by means of historical allusion, if not an illusion in the minds of readers then at least



a reminder of the age or status of the document before them.’’9 McKitterick is writing here specifically of type facsimiles, but picture facsimiles like Shaw’s perform the same function. Shaw’s copy has its limitations, if what we expect of a facsimile is exact reproduction: it cannot, for example, reproduce the original’s colors, except in the red ink used in both manuscript and print copy for the motto. But this representation is close enough to assure a reader that the book which it prefaces is the ‘‘real thing,’’ a reliable materialization of the medieval text it contains, with some connection to the manuscript tradition from which that text springs. It thus participates in what Daniel Woolf, writing of an earlier period, has described as ‘‘a visual culture of ‘pastness’.’’10 McKitterick points out that facsimiles always have limitations, and that readers must always be willing to suspend disbelief.11 That suspension is performed here, I would suggest, because a mid-nineteenth-century reader of a text like Piers was looking, consciously or unconsciously, for what I am calling the mark of the medieval. Facsimile reproduction was one such mark, but there were others, more concerned with what might be called emulation or hommage than with exact reproduction.12 The title page which forms the rest of this first opening of the book (figure 4) has a number of such features, and these show that Piers is understood to belong as much to the world of early print as to the world of manuscript. The black letter font, decorative bars, the phrase ‘‘newly imprinted,’’ and the printer’s device all suggest early prints, rather than hand copies, of Piers, but they do not reproduce any particular copy. The Chiswick Press, founded by Charles Whittingham the Elder (1767–1840) and by 1842 run by his nephew (1795–1876) in close partnership with the publisher William Pickering (1796–1854), was a small, hand-operated press that specialized in fine print and work for antiquarian and bibliophilic societies. Whittingham the Younger and Pickering collaborated in the perfection of a ‘‘refined antique style,’’13 commissioning woodcut ornaments based on fifteenthcentury book design and pioneering the reintroduction of older type such as the eighteenth-century Caslon fonts. The result is an eclectic mix of design elements which conveys a general sense of antiquity, along with an occasional sense of fun: the printer’s device used here puns on Pickering’s name through its combination of a pike and a ring, thus echoing in print the medieval heraldic practice of ‘‘canting’’ arms or armes parlantes.14 The frontispiece and title page together, in combining careful facsimile with a more general sense of the ‘‘old,’’ thus make two kinds of visual truth-claims for the text that is to follow, embedding it in its physical transmission history and suggesting a continuity between this realization and those of the more distant past. But the reappearance of the Trinity image in the 1842 Piers has still

Figure 4. Title-page, The Vision and the Creed of Piers Ploughman, 1842. The pike and ring device puns on the name of the publisher William Pickering.



more to tell: about what conveys the impression of authenticity and authority in the centuries that lie between medieval originals and their later readers, and about the role of images in the construction and transmission of ideas about medieval books and the texts they contain. It is characteristic of these procedures that the same materials that are used to claim connection to an authentic past should be routinely redeployed to match the tastes and ideas of the present about that past.15 Wright’s 1842 edition is based, not on Trinity R.3.14, but rather on Cambridge, Trinity College MS B.15.17, a manuscript of the B-tradition chosen by the editor, he says, ‘‘because it appears to him to be the best and oldest manuscript now in existence. It is a fine folio manuscript, on vellum, written in a large hand, undoubtedly contemporary with the author of the poem, and in remarkably pure English, with ornamented initial letters.’’16 The fineness of the manuscript, again rather unusual for manuscripts of Piers, seems to have been a deciding factor in Wright’s choice. Charlotte Brewer points out that ‘‘None of these attributes, of course, other than the date, make the manuscript likely to be more authoritative than any other,’’17 but Wright is hardly alone among nineteenth-century editors in his preference for attractive manuscripts, and Trinity B.15.17 is indeed an important witness to the B-tradition. It does not, however, have any illustrations. The addition of the image from Trinity R.3.14 to the 1842 Piers thus provides what the source manuscript lacked, creating a ideal realization of Piers based on the desires and expectations of this particular editor and audience. The medieval manuscript image remains attached to the medieval poem in the nineteenth- century printing, even if it has become slightly unmoored from its specific textual correlative; that is, from its originating manuscript. The other context for Shaw’s facsimile reproduction, however, suggests how the common and reasonable desire to represent the objects of the past can produce, paradoxically, an even greater gap between copy and original. Shaw’s Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages (1843) draws on manuscripts, sculpture, objects, windows, and effigies, carefully identifying sources and commenting on the character of the medieval objects. Both text and image strive, then, to offer as faithful an account of their medieval originals as possible. And yet at the same time, Shaw sometimes combines elements, producing what we might see as pastiche out of facsimile parts. The Trinity plowing image occurs in a section of Shaw’s study which also discusses Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodley 264, a deluxe copy of the French verse Romance of Alexander lavishly illustrated by the Flemish artist Jehan de Grise. Shaw carefully groups source materials of the same period together, and in this respect the two manuscripts can (barely) coexist: Jehan de Grise’s section of Bodley 264 dates to around 1338–1344, but there are addi-

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tions to it from around 1400, the approximate date of the Trinity Piers. In other respects, however, the two manuscripts could not be more different. Trinity R.3.14 contains an allegorical, alliterative vision poem; Bodley 264, a courtly French verse romance. One manuscript is handsome but plain, an indigenous English production; the other is lavishly painted and illuminated, with exquisite illustrations, several of them fullpage, largely the work of continental artists. What brings these manuscripts together on Shaw’s pages? Shaw himself gives us the answer, when he says of Bodley 264 that ‘‘The margins of this volume are filled with grotesque figures and other popular subjects. It was from this manuscript that Joseph Strutt obtained his most valuable illustrations of ancient English games and pastimes.’’18 The reference to the engraverantiquarian Joseph Strutt (1749–1802) makes clear that like his eighteenth-century predecessor, Shaw views medieval manuscripts as sources for information about life in the past. The subtitle of Strutt’s first book, The Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of England (1773), promises authenticity through recourse to these materials, noting that ‘‘The figures are principally introduced in antient delineations of the most remarkable Passages of History; And are correctly copied from the originals, which particularly express the dress and customs of the Time, to which each Piece respectively relates.19 The Whole carefully collected from antient illuminated manuscripts.’’ The key words here fall into two groups: authenticity is guaranteed both by the antiquity of the sources, and by the technical expertise of the copying. These twin assurances—of antiquity and its accurate representation through facsimile—characterize many postmedieval presentations of medieval texts. Antiquity, however, can be a vague concept, as is demonstrated by yet another appearance of Shaw’s facsimile from Trinity R.3.14. The image appears in Paul Lacroix’s 1871 Moeurs, usages et costumes au moyen aˆge, one volume of his enormously popular series on medieval life and art.20 It is found in the section ‘‘Les personnes et les terres,’’ labeled ‘‘Laboureurs. Fac-simile d’une miniature d’un manuscrit anglo-saxon tre`s-ancien.’’21 The Trinity manuscript is old, of course, but it is not a very ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript. Michael Camille remarks upon the ‘‘dehistoricization of images’’ common to the depiction of plowing in popular history books, and while his main concern is the continuing ubiquity of the plowing image from the Luttrell Psalter,22 he could as easily have used the Trinity image to make his point about the detaching of image from contexts of many kinds.23 The 1842 Piers uses an image from the A-tradition to introduce the B-text; Lacroix reassigns Trinity to a different era, perhaps by mistake (the term acquires perhaps unintended precision in English translations of Lacroix) but certainly as part of his push to claim the authenticity of the antique—and a current visi-



tor to the Wikipedia article on the plow will find it illustrated by Lacroix’s version of Shaw’s plate, drawn from the English translation of Lacroix and with the original caption’s reference to ‘‘a very ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript.’’24 Both Piers and Trinity R.3.14 have, in this version of the image, completely disappeared, leaving only the sense that an old image is, somehow, self-evidently ‘‘true.’’ In The Past Is a Foreign Country, David Lowenthal notes our need to label the remnants of the past: ‘‘Markers magnify our sense of the past simply by echoing the condition of being historical; the echo alone may suffice.’’25 In the particular world of the medieval literary past, we frequently underline that condition of being historical through visual markers like the Shaw facsimile and the many other bibliographic codes to be discussed in these pages. What of Strutt’s other claim, respecting the exactitude of the copying? Lacroix’s book is one of many late nineteenth-century French printings that made a particular point of profuse, facsimile-style illustration based on medieval models. The Preface to Moeurs, usages et costumes stresses the use of chromolithography in the effort to ensure exact reproduction: ‘‘engraving and chromolithography have come to our aid, reproducing, by means of scrupulous facsimile, the most rare impressions of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the most precious miniatures from the manuscripts preserved in the principal libraries of France and Europe.’’26 The full-page chromolithographs in Lacroix’s books were sufficiently detailed and exact to become a resource for the so-called Spanish Forger, an anonymous artist active in Paris between the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.27 Paris in the latter part of the nineteenth century had seen a rise in popular medievalism, reflected in and fed by the World’s Fairs, and as Elizabeth Emery and Laura Morowitz point out, the rise of chromolithography made it possible to expand the possession of medieval objects from the cabinets of collectors to the living-rooms of the bourgeoisie.28 Not everyone could own a medieval manuscript, but the new technology put convincing versions of those manuscripts within reach of many more people. The Forger’s work passed as authentically medieval for some time, but like that of the chromolithographers who provided the illustrations for Lacroix,29 to modern eyes it betrays what has been called ‘‘the sweet and sentimental aesthetic response to the Middle Ages’’ characteristic of his period.30 No technology of reproduction is free, in other words, from the preconceptions of its users and consumers. Figure 5 shows a detail of facial expression from a chromolithograph by Franz Kellerhoven (c. 1814–1872) in Lacroix’s Moeurs, usages et costumes next to its original, Paris, Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal MS 5073, a manuscript of the Histoire de

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Figure 5 (left). Paris, Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal MS 5073, fol. 148r. Detail. By permission of the Bibliothe`que nationale de France. (right)Facsimile of Arsenal 5073 from Les Chroniques de J. Froissart, Paris, 1881. Detail.

Renaud de Montauban, produced in Bruges, 1468–1470. The faces of the figures are fuller in the nineteenth-century copy, the details of the female figures in particular generally softer and accommodated to contemporary ideas about beauty. The comparison shows, then, that even when copying is claimed to be exact, the facsimile in fact constitutes a kind of translation.31 The adaptations made in the production of facsimile can in addition be considerably more extreme than the relatively subtle differences illustrated by figure 5. To return for a moment to Strutt, it is clear that his reliance on original objects was not accompanied by any belief in the integrity of the original page. He commonly seized bits and pieces from different images to combine them into collages of ornaments, or even to overlay them to create new pictures. The companion volume for the recent exhibition Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age argues that Strutt ‘‘was doing in the simulacral realm of print what some collectors were to do a decade or so later to actual manuscripts—cutting them up and pasting them into new collages more compatible with their own contemporary tastes.’’32 Shaw’s pages, too, are collages which typically draw on several manuscripts at a time to produce handsome compositions in which modern text is framed by hand-painted initials and linedrawn illustrations. Immediately below his remarks about Bodley 264, for example, Shaw offers a line drawing of the bas-de-page figures from folio 59r of that manuscript. The illustration occupies the bottom quar-



ter of what is otherwise a plain, single-column text-page: it is a substantial visual constituent of the printed page. In the manuscript, on the other hand, the figures are little more than six lines of text high, on a double-columned, forty-five-line page which further subordinates the bas-de-page illustrations to decorative bars, a column-width miniature, and several painted initials. The Trinity plowing image is similarly dislocated from its original manuscript, but, in another kind of collage, Shaw attempts to anchor it in the textual Middle Ages, writing that ‘‘In the poem entitled The Creed of Piers Ploughman, written about the reign of Richard II., we have the following description, which may serve to illustrate this cut.’’33 The quotation which follows is lines 422–32 of Pierce the Plowman’s Crede. Wright’s edition had printed both texts together (a practice which first occurred in 1561). Shaw might not have understood the difference between the two texts, or he might have been indifferent to using one text to explain an image drawn from another, but what is clear is that by 1843, the Trinity image has been chosen as an appropriate shorthand visual cue, not just for Piers, but for a whole tradition. This conflation of the plowman with the poem and its tradition rapidly becomes a critical as well as an illustrative practice. The place of the Trinity R.3.14 image in the Piers tradition opens a window onto the operations which ultimately manage and channel our reception of the medieval textual past, and I will return shortly to that image and to the general category of the visual in the history of Piers. But I would pause here to consider the textual, and its place in the transmission histories being traced here. We are accustomed to thinking first in terms of the text, and of the scholarly credentials of that text, when we consider the authority of a book, particularly of that special subset of books, the scholarly edition, and this is not a merely modern habit. Early printing abounds with references to authentic sources (and, as Seth Lerer has pointed out, with acknowledgments of error as well).34 One thinks of William Caxton’s claim, in his second edition of the Canterbury Tales, to have corrected it on the basis of a new manuscript loaned him by a client, ‘‘a book . . . that was very trewe and accordyng vnto hys owen first book by hym made’’;35 or of Thomas Berthelette’s preface outlining for his readers the differences between the manuscript versions of Gower’s Confessio Amantis as part of his claim to reproduce Gower ‘‘in his owne shappe and lykenes’’36 —this latter phrasing suggesting the visual category of the author portrait even as it is used to describe Berthelette’s textual procedures. Piers was late to come to print compared to Chaucer and Gower, a phenomenon which is often attributed to the poem’s potentially controversial nature, and like many medieval texts, it disappeared after the sixteenth century and did not fully emerge again until the early nineteenth. Between the manuscript image and the 1842 edi-

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tion that duplicated it, then, lies a print tradition that is limited as to both instances and kinds. Such a situation is in fact the norm for many medieval texts between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, with Chaucer, in the English tradition, constituting a notable exception. Chaucer is exceptional, too, in the style of the printings that lie between the Middle Ages and the present day: Ralph Hanna points out that Chaucer is ‘‘the only medieval author routinely consumed ‘normalized,’ with the signs of his medievalism expunged so far as possible.’’37 It is perhaps for these reasons that the physical clothing of medieval texts in later periods is so important: for most medieval texts, the small number of books which convey the text acquire heightened significance, and if those books emphasize visual markers of antiquity, that emphasis weighs heavily on their traditions. Robert Crowley was the first to print Piers, producing three editions in 1550. Like Caxton and Berthelette, Crowley makes an appeal to the authority of old manuscript copies, telling the Reader, ‘‘I did not onely gather togyther suche aunciente copies as I could come by, but also consult such men as I knew to be more exercised in the studie of antiquities, then I my selfe haue ben.’’38 The explicit appeal to the authority of both manuscripts and scholars is matched by implicit claims for the representation of the poem’s language: Crowley warns the reader that ‘‘The Englishe is according to the time it was written in, and the sence somewhat darcke, but not so harde, but that it may be vnderstande of suche as will not sticke to breake the shell of the nutte for the kernelles sake.’’39 The ubiquitous metaphor for allegorical exegesis—cracking the nut— combines with the assurance that the language is ‘‘according to the time it was written in,’’ to give the sense that a reader who accepts and embraces the language is on the way to the truth of the poem, a truth accessed through this authoritative representation of it. But as Charlotte Brewer has pointed out, Crowley silently changes that language by amending orthography and some grammatical forms.40 Owen Rogers then reprinted Crowley’s work in 1561. None of these printings varied significantly from each other in terms of type or design for the poem itself,41 but while none of these printings was illustrated, the plowman tradition that is summarized visually by Trinity R.3.14 and its descendants asserts itself when Rogers decides to combine Crowley’s Piers with Pierce the Plowman’s Crede. The combination is advertised on the title-page of the poem, thus constituting part of the printer’s sales pitch: The Vision of Pierce Plowman, newlye imprynted after the authours olde copy, with a brefe summary of the principall matters set before euery part called passus. Wherevnto is also annexed the Crede of Pierce Plowman, neuer imprinted with the booke before.42 Pierce had been printed alone by Reynold (Reyner) Wolfe in 1553,43 part of a modest flurry of plowman printings from around the



same period.44 Rogers’s title page uses Crowley’s reference to ‘‘the authors olde copy,’’ thus explicitly making the kind of originary truthclaim I have been discussing in later references to ‘‘ancient’’ books and images. The Pierce/ Piers combination does in fact mimic a certain kind of original context, since in its two manuscript survivals, Pierce occurs with Piers, and is probably roughly contemporary with it.45 But the Pierce/ Piers pairing, like the Trinity plowing image, is unusual rather than typical in the manuscript survivals. Nevertheless, the print practice started by Rogers took hold, appearing, as we have seen, in Wright’s 1842 edition. And because the Piers print tradition was thin well into the nineteenth century, these few realizations of the poem and its tradition acquired particular weight. The first printing of Piers to appear after Rogers was Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s edition of 1813, a book that combines several of the practices I have been tracing thus far. Whitaker (1759–1821) also produced a Pierce, in identical format to, and often found bound with, his Piers.46 This Piers has been roundly criticized since its appearance, both for its faulty text and its eccentric design. It was huge, expensively printed in red and black, and used a black letter face and elaborate initials and devices throughout. At least two modern commentators have cited the description of the book by the literary historian (and father of the future prime minister) Isaac D’Israeli (1766–1848), in his 1841 Amenities of Literature, as ‘‘the most magnificent and frightful volume that was ever beheld in the black letter.’’47 Sarah Kelen has suggested that Whitaker’s choice of black letter was intended to visually distance ‘‘the poem’s discomfiting Catholicism from England’s now (officially) Protestant reading public.’’48 In England at least, black letter had long evoked antiquity, but not always in a positive sense, as the response to Whitaker suggests. ‘‘Black letter men’’ were fusty antiquaries, dilettantish amateurs, foolish bibliophiles.49 For example, Thomas Johnes, reacting in 1805 to a rather patronizing review of his translation of Froissart’s Chroniques into modern English, wrote to a friend in Edinburgh, ‘‘I suspect your reviewer is some young man who has not read much, nor is very learned in books but, smitten with the love of Black letter, sees nothing beautiful but in that.’’50 In 1834, Thomas Wright challenges Whitaker’s design choices when, proposing a new edition of Piers, he writes, ‘‘We hope and trust that the time is now gone by . . . that the black letters and so-called Saxon character, in which old Thomas Hearne loved to see himself in print, have disappeared. We think we can see springing up around us, a better taste, which shall lead to the cultivation of our old literature on a sounder foundation.’’51 Such comments aside, black letter persisted in certain kinds of printing through the nineteenth century, sometimes in decorative use, and

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sometimes as part of the guarantee of authenticity and antiquity so important to men like Strutt.52 It is true that black letter can be difficult to read, but otherwise, it might seem that Whitaker’s choice of typeface was in fact highly congruent with nineteenth-century perceptions of Langland. Isaac D’Israeli, despite his call for a white letter edition of Piers, writes of the poem and the poet in terms which would not have been unfamiliar to sixteenth-century antiquarians. He characterizes Langland as a rustic genius with a direct line to the Saxon past, referring to the ‘‘antiquated Saxon and rustic pith of this genuine English bard.’’53 He accounts for this appearance of antiquity by suggesting that Langland was either unfamiliar with court poets, or that ‘‘he disdained their exotic fancies, their latinisms, their gallicisms, and their italianisms,’’ along with their ‘‘trivial rhymes.’’54 This is a more positive presentation of the British past than is commonly found among humanistinfluenced antiquarians of earlier periods, but it shares with them a sense that this is rough, rustic, ancient work. The real problem with Whitaker’s edition, then, might not be the black letter, so much as it is the rest of the edition. D’Israeli characterizes Whitaker as one ‘‘whose delicacy of taste unfitted him for this homely task,’’ and making the implicit stakes in this commentary explicit, he goes on to assert that in Whitaker’s edition, ‘‘the plain freedom of the vigorous language is sometimes castrated, with a faulty paraphrase and a slender glossary.’’55 With these views of the manly, rugged Saxon Langland on the one hand, and the delicate, trivial, Eurocentric court poets (and Whitaker, who is somehow like them) on the other, the design aspects of Whitaker’s Piers other than the text font begin to emerge as particularly problematic for readers like D’Israeli or Wright. Figure 6 shows one of the less fanciful initial letters, a C which, shorn of its floral excrescences, suggests both the work of such Parisian publishers as Antoine Ve´rard, and the copies of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century continental letters and devices favored by nineteenth-century printer-publishers like William Pickering and Charles Whittingham the younger. But in contrast to the judicious and consistent archaizing designs of the Chiswick Press, Whitaker’s Piers jumbles elements that could belong to the world of the poem and its first printers, with others from a completely different visual register—figure 7 is one of many possible examples. There is, interestingly, no plowman in Whitaker’s Piers at all. While there are no stand-alone illustrations, the consistent use of decorative page closures like the one shown in figure 7 below would have allowed ample room for evocations of the richly symbolic agricultural tradition crystallized in the Trinity image. Instead, a single agricultural decoration (a sheaf of wheat) is more than crushed, on Whitaker’s pages, under an avalanche of putti, monkeys, parrots, mermen and so on. Yet even here,

Figure 6. Initial letter ‘‘C’’ from Visio Willı¯ de Petro Plouhman, London, 1813.

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Figure 7. Chapter closing from Visio Willı¯ de Petro Plouhman, 1813.

the plowman tradition makes itself felt. Whitaker also produced a matching edition of Pierce the Plowman’s Crede, basing it on Wolfe’s 1553 printing. Figure 8 is the only illustration in Whitaker’s printing, at the very end of the work, and it is indeed a plowman. With this visual gesture we return again to the Trinity image. Whitaker’s plowman resembles most closely a late eighteenth-century Italianate peasant, but he is there, and he is there, not in Piers itself, but in a poem of the Piers tradition. One remembers Shaw’s use of Pierce to explain the Trinity image from Piers. Even Lacroix’s apparently confused caption referring to the ancient ‘‘Anglo-Saxon’’ manuscript has a different resonance when the tradition I have been tracing is taken into account, as it accords very well with D’Israeli’s characterization of Langland’s ‘‘antiquated Saxon’’; and, indeed, with Whitaker’s own attention in his introduction to what he characterizes as Saxon poetic practice. The design practices of Whitaker’s edition allow us to see what was understood to be essential to the representation of Piers: the putti, in other words, are authorized by the black letter and, I would argue, by the plowman. The analysis I have just offered tends to assume, of course, a degree of deliberation, or deliberate intention, which may well be at odds with the rather haphazard way that print history often seems to develop. Design choices may have deliberate, even ideological import, as is the case in

Figure 8. End of Pierce the Plowman’s Crede, bound with Visio Willı¯ de Petro Plouhman, 1813.

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the first uses of Saxon font discussed in Chapter 1. Books may be conceived of to speak directly of and to medievalizing desires, as is the case with some of the printings of Froissart’s Chroniques in Chapter 5. But it would be hard to argue with the contention that production decisions are often pragmatic, and that sometimes no one is thinking much at all about the final book ‘‘package.’’ David McKitterick reminds us just how ‘‘messy’’ the reality of a print house could be, and it is a warning to be taken to heart.56 Yet it is in precisely this kind of fluid context that we can see the power of certain persistent ideas about the medieval past and its texts. The book, Adrian Johns suggests, ‘‘can be seen as a nexus conjoining a wide range of worlds of work.’’57 I hope to show, by tracing ideas of authentic representation from medieval printers through later editors, publishers, and scholars, the extent to which medieval booktexts are inextricably and perhaps uniquely embedded in all those worlds of work—in their own production and transmission histories, both deliberate and accidental.58 The plowman image, then, can be seen as a crystallization of the process by which many medieval texts have made their way into our hands, a process in which both deliberation and chance play a vital part. And this process continues. One of Michael Camille’s examples of the ubiquity of the plowing image from the Luttrell Psalter is its appearance on the cover of a Penguin version of Piers:59 a modern translation of the medieval text, stamped with the mark of the medieval plowman as if to convey an authenticity which an early modern printer like Crowley had located in ‘‘The Englishe . . . according to the time it was written in.’’ The Trinity plowman also continues to represent Piers, featuring for example on the cover illustration for the electronic edition of a Trinity Piers manuscript—not an edition of R.3.14, but rather, of Trinity B.15.17. The material accompanying the CD identifies the source of the image on the cover, but this use nevertheless suggests that this particular image has come to encompass a whole tradition; that it did so over 150 years ago; and that it did so, and continues to do so, across popular and scholarly, amateur, and professional contexts. Today we continue to grapple with Berthelette’s problem: what does it mean to reproduce a medieval author (or text) in ‘‘his own shape and likeness’’? I suggested above that Berthelette’s phrase invokes the author portrait, even though his Gower volumes are not illustrated: they are in themselves Gower’s ‘‘shape.’’ The meaning-laden image from Trinity R.3.14 is, I would argue, another version of that shape, and both these instances may help to explain why it should be that medieval texts seem so particularly tied to their physical avatars. Henry Shaw’s Dresses and Decorations offers another instance of the need to delineate a ‘‘shape’’ for a medieval text/ author, and of the effects of that need. Figure 9 is his copy of the presentation page (fol. 37r) of London, Brit-

Figure 9. Facsimile of London, British Library MS Arundel 38, fol. 37r, in Henry Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages, London, 1843. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

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ish Library MS Arundel 38, a manuscript of Thomas Hoccleve’s De regimine principum. The miniature of Hoccleve occupies a full page in Shaw’s book, yet it is abstracted from the frame found in the manuscript original, and the manuscript text is replaced by a caption identifying the scene (though in a nice flourish, the manuscript folio’s decoration frames the text page which follows). The importance of the manuscript is in this case understood to reside in its author portrait, as Shaw writes: ‘‘Many illuminated manuscripts contain drawings representing an author presenting his book to his patron, and these furnish us with portraits of the literary men as well as of the kings and princes of former days, in cases where otherwise we should have no such memorials of them.’’60 The facsimile is important because Shaw and his audience need and want to know what authors look like: the selection and reproduction of the manuscript image both fills and perpetuates that need and the associated understanding of what literary tradition is. Shaw also includes the Chaucer portrait affixed to London, British Library Additional MS 5141, along with several pages discussing Chaucer’s merits as the true founder of English poetry (Gower, Hoccleve, and Lydgate, purveyors of ‘‘heavy and spiritless versification,’’ are said to ‘‘stand like pigmies beside the giant’’). Here, as with the Hoccleve portrait, the main interest is in the likeness—and in particular, in the accuracy of the likeness, as a paragraph on the portrait tradition draws attention to the similarities between various manuscript copies with an assurance that ‘‘the likeness is correct.’’61 The facsimile of the Chaucer portrait is itself extremely close to its original in appearance, and one could argue that it is equally close, in this case, in function. That is, the portrait’s role in Additional 5141 is the same as it is in Dresses and Decorations: the verso of the portrait page in the manuscript offers a short life of the poet, just as the facing page does in Shaw’s book, and both Martha Driver and Derek Pearsall have discussed the Additional portrait in the context of the consolidation of Chaucer’s place in the canon in the sixteenth century.62 The portraits continue to play a role in other acts of canon-formation: the children’s versions of Chaucer discussed in Chapter 4 frequently feature reproductions of one of the author portraits as part of their introduction to young audiences of the first English poet. Author portraits thus come to be central in the process of creating a visual correlative for literary history. Where there are none to be had—a fact for many medieval texts—then another image, like the plowman, often moves quickly to fill the breach. The Trinity plowing image and the reproductions of the Chaucer portrait all participate in a process by which an image comes to stand for a text, a tradition, and sometimes both, passing from century to century and medium to medium, carrying those symbolic associations with it and, along the way, acquiring new ones.



In the twenty-first century, digital technologies continue to re-create medieval books for a variety of audiences, and digital facsimiles, like the hand- and machine-produced realizations that preceded them, continue to reproduce and relocate their medieval objects. Walter Benjamin famously lamented the destruction of the aura of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, commenting despairingly on the urge of the masses to ‘‘get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction. . . . [and thus to] pry an object from its shell, to destroy its aura.’’63 What I am trying to suggest is that reproduction is considerably more complicated than the mechanical production of copies; and that the motives driving reproduction are equally complicated. The limits on facsimile are as much mental as they are technological, and it is in fact the attempt to recapture ‘‘aura,’’ as part of a drive to make a genealogical connection, which drives the understanding of the process of making-like. For the medieval textual object, the problem is precisely that it is understood as object—that it is contained in artifacts that are first understood physically, tactilely, visually.64 Of course there is a difference, and there was in the Middle Ages, between a lavishly decorated service book in Latin, and the often rather grubby vernacular manuscripts in which the treasures of so many literary canons have survived to us. But I am arguing that the attitude toward the medieval manuscript-book today continues to be composed of the complex layers I hope to trace in these pages. The new technology gives us an unprecedented ability to reproduce medieval manuscripts, but the results are governed by our sense of what it is we need to see—or even more, our sense that we need to see it at all.

Chapter One

Form and Rude Letters The Representation of Old English

. . . which Inscription or Epitaph, as it was somtime exemplified, & drawn out of the first Copie in the Abbey of Glascon, I thought good for the antiquitie of the characters here to put downe. The letters being made after a barbarous maner, & resembling the Gothish Character, bewray plainly the barbarism of that age, when ignorance (as it were) by fatall destinie bare such sway, that there was none to be found, by whose writings the renowme of Arthur might be blazed, and commended to posteritie. . . . and the Crosse of Lead, with the Inscription, as it was found and taken off the stone, was kept in the Treasurie or Reuester of Glastenburie Church, saith Stowe, till the suppression thereof in the raigne of King Henry the eight, whose forme and rude letters we haue here expressed to thy sight.

The picture which accompanies these two extracts (figure 10) is the same: an engraving of the Glastonbury Cross, the object said to have been affixed to the underside of the slab covering the burial place of King Arthur, and unearthed by the monks of Glastonbury Abbey in 1191.1 The two works are the 1610 English translation of William Camden’s Britannia by Philemon Holland (1552–1637), and the 1611 printing of John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain; the drawing is probably Speed’s own. By the early seventeenth century, in response to a growing taste for antiquarian material, the pages of works like Camden’s and Speed’s were adorned with illustrations of coins, seals, monuments, inscriptions, and other objects from the past. This chapter will take up the role of these illustrations in due course, but I would like first to discuss the treatment of the inscription on the cross in these extracts. It is noteworthy that while the drawing of the cross does not appear until the sixth Latin edition of Camden’s Britannia in 1607, the inscription had been part of the work from the beginning: figure 11 shows the rendering of the inscription in the first, 1586 printing, and this version

Figure 10. The Glastonbury Cross from William Camden, Britain, London, 1610. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

Figure 11. The Glastonbury inscription from William Camden, Britannia, London, 1586. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.


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Figure 12. The Glastonbury inscription in John Leland, Assertio Arturii, London, 1544, fol. 30r. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

remained stable until the inscription was replaced by the drawing of the cross.2 The letterforms are produced carefully enough to have allowed some modern scholars to offer a date for the cross on epigraphic grounds, and it is clear that Camden and those who came after were similarly concerned with the antiquity of the lettering.3 Camden called the letters ‘‘barbarum quiddam et quasi Gothicum,’’ a description duly translated by Holland and echoed in Speed’s reference to the ‘‘rude’’ lettering on the cross. This treatment can be usefully compared to an earlier representation of the inscription, in John Leland’s 1544 Assertio Arturii (figure 12). Because the Assertio is a compilation of documents relating to King Arthur, the inscription appears in its pages four times in all. There is no comment on its appearance, as Leland merely replicates his sources’ assertion that ‘‘a lead cross was found there, fixed not on the top but rather on the underside of the stone, and having these letters engraved upon it.’’4 One of these sources is the account in the Chronicon Anglicanum for 1191, where there is some mention of the letterforms on the pyramids said to have marked the grave site: ‘‘on which letters had been engraved, but, because of their barbarity and deformity, they could not be read’’5 —but as the text of these inscriptions is illegible, there is no attempt made to represent the letters. Figure 12 shows that the first printing of Leland’s Assertio makes use of a handsome Roman font throughout: the Roman capitals used for the inscription are of a piece

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with an overall design suggestive of the influence of humanist books.6 The Glastonbury inscription is subsumed in this design, but within a few decades, the representation (and negative judgment) of antique letterforms will become a standard practice in many books dealing with British history. And while the appearance of antiquity conveyed by attempts at authentic letterform could confer authority, it could also relegate the texts so represented to the cultural backwater implied by such words as ‘‘barbarism’’ and ‘‘rude.’’ The (sometimes inadvertent) effects of type will be a recurring theme of the chapters that follow, but in this first chapter, the letter is particularly and peculiarly central. The treatment of the Glastonbury inscription is simply an indication of a much larger phenomenon, and the part of the medieval past most affected is not the history of King Arthur, but rather that of the Saxon age. In 1610, Philemon Holland uses ‘‘Gothish’’ to translate Camden’s Gothicum. Gothicum simply means pertaining to Goths, a reasonable enough adjective to describe an inscription supposed to have dated from the sixth century. By the early seventeenth century, however, while ‘‘Gothic’’ still has a neutral, merely descriptive sense, there are signals that the later seventeenth-century usage (barbarous, rude) is already in play, particularly in the form ‘‘Gothish.’’7 And Camden had of course attached barbarum to his description. He had also taken care to reproduce the forms so that a reader could see what the original looked like. Britannia, even in its earliest editions, has a few such instances of illustration. In addition, it begins with a letter table designed so that the Saxon letterforms presented in the place names may be more easily read (figure 13). The table in figure 13 comes from the 1594 printing of Britannia,8 but a version of it is present in the first printing as well, and I will return to the use of Saxon letterforms in Camden’s work in due course. First, however, a history of the letter table is helpful. While what I think of as the impulse to facsimile governs the presentation of many medieval texts in later eras, there is a particular attachment to the physical form of the letter in the printing of Old English. A table similar to that in figure 13 appeared in the first printed book to contain Anglo-Saxon characters, the 1566 Testimonie of Antiquitie,9 an edition of Aelfrician homilies and related material which was part of the program of Matthew Parker (1504–1575), archbishop of Canterbury, to use Anglo-Saxon scholarship to solidify the doctrinal and institutional position of the Church of England. The impulse for the printing was the discovery of Aelfric’s Easter homily In die sancto pascae, a text which appealed to Parker, Richard Clement points out, because it seemed to offer an ancient precedent for communion in both kinds.10 The significance of antiquity is stressed on the title-page of the book, which urges the reader, quoting Jeremiah

Figure 13. Table of Saxon letterforms from William Camden, Britannia, London, 1594. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

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6:16, to ‘‘Goe into the streetes, and inquyre for the olde way: and if it be the good and ryght way, then goe therin, that ye maye finde rest for your soules.’’ The verse speaks to the Reformation’s concern with authentic origins. The Testimonie, along with other printings encouraged by Parker in this first period of the printing of Old English,11 was intended to show that the Church of England shared the beliefs of the ancient Saxon church, and thus had a pedigree that was both long and indigenous. Many people have written about the implications for the reception of Old English that it should first reappear in this particular ideological context;12 of particular interest to me is the physical presentation of the text. The Preface to the Testimonie observes, ‘‘And the words of these two epistles, so much as concerne the sacramentall bread & wyne, we here set immediatlye after the Sermon: fyrst in Saxon, then the words of the second epistle we set also in Lattyne: deliuering them most faythfully as they are to be seene in the bookes from whence they are taken. And as touching the Saxon writings, they be set out in such forme of letters, and darke speech, as was vsed, when they were written: translated also for our better vnderstanding, into our common, and vsuall Englishe speech.’’13 Here, as in the introduction of the Glastonbury inscription, a point is made of the obscurity of the letterforms and language of the original text (a contrast to the ‘‘vsuall Englishe’’ of the translation). And as in the treatment of the Arthurian artifact, that acknowledgment of obscurity is nevertheless married to a stated desire to reproduce accurately the ‘‘forme of letters.’’ The language stresses the faithfulness of the reproduction, and what one could actually see in the original books. This commitment to the authentic representation of Old English text required that special fonts be commissioned and used. This was no simple or cheap undertaking: as Peter Lucas has pointed out, most of the tools of the printing trade in England at the time still came from the continent.14 Continental advances in printing and Biblical scholarship meant that fonts for the printing of, for example, Hebrew and Greek were available for import.15 But when entirely new types were required, models had to be found, matrices made, punches cut—and the provision of a whole new font would require a considerable outlay of both time and money. As a result, more typical were the attempts to work with existing fonts, applying them, with more or less success, to the demands of languages for which they had not been designed. Adaptation was one solution: for example, the first book printed in Welsh was Sioˆn Prise’s ( John Price) Yny lhyvyr hwnn . . . (London, 1546), a short collection of basic religious materials printed in a black letter font with an eth used to render the Welsh sound indicated today by the ‘‘dd’’ spelling, while the ‘‘ll’’ was indicated by the combination ‘‘lh.’’16 The book included a Welsh alpha-


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bet that spelled out these equivalents. The first translation of the Bible into Welsh, printed in London by Christopher Barker in 1588, also in black letter, employed the ‘‘dd’’ and ‘‘ll’’ spellings throughout, rather than using special sorts (letters) for the Welsh letters. The black letter font in both these printings is generic; that is, it does not appear to be attempting to copy any particular Welsh manuscript form.17 These kinds of typographic accommodations must have seemed both pragmatic and unremarkable, though Alastair Crawford has pointed out that Welsh only ‘‘appeared to use the same alphabet system as English,’’ and in fact is a language which generates very different letter frequencies. Thus, he argues, the long tradition of printing Welsh in fonts not designed specifically for its own letter combinations has until recently marked it visually as peculiar, cramped, and strange.18 The situation for Anglo-Saxon type was quite different, because it was first presented in print with fonts designed specifically for it (though, as we will see, such special attention carries its own set of liabilities). The first Anglo-Saxon type designed for Parker had twenty-six sorts,19 and was based on Old English manuscript models, probably of the eleventh century.20 This is the font used to print the Testimonie, and Clement argues that ‘‘the font had a subliminal ability to authenticate the antiquity and authority of a text.’’21 It is significant that this authority is conferred by language and letterform but not necessarily by the production of a true facsimile. While the work uses the Saxon font, other elements, such as overall design and the ornamental capitals, are typical of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century book design. Figure 14 shows the opening of the sermon. The Old English appears on the left, with a facing-page modern English translation. The layout is clear enough to allow a reader to compare the two versions and presumably, therefore, to learn something of the language. Elsewhere in the book, an interlinear presentation is used for the Creed, Ten Commandments, and Lord’s Prayer.22 The layout suggests that ideological motives are not the only ones for this printing, then, as it seems clear that the designers intended to facilitate the comparison of versions. The introduction offered to Aelfric’s epistle seems intended to reassure a reader as to the truth of what is contained in the Testimonie: ‘‘Nowe because verye fewe there be that doe vnderstande the old Englishe or Saxon (so much is our spech chaunged from the vse of that time, wherin Elfrike liued) and for that also it maye be that some will doubt how skilfullye, and also faithfullye these wordes of Elfrike be translated from the Saxon tounge: we haue thought good to set downe here last of all the very wordes also of his latyne epistle, which is recorded in bokes fayre wrytten of olde in the Cathedrall Churches of Worcester and Excester.’’23 The reference to ‘‘bokes fayre wrytten’’ makes the authority

Form and Rude Letters


Figure 14. Opening of the homily In die sancto pascae, from A Testimonie of Antiquitie, London, 1566, fols. 19v and 20r. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

of manuscript evidence clear; the endorsement of the book’s contents by a long list of bishops reaffirms this authority when it states that the sermons ‘‘are truelye put forth in Print without any adding, or withdrawing any thyng for the more faithfull reporting of the same,’’24 suggesting that, while print is potentially deceptive, it can also be a true window into the past. Edward Christie has suggested that for Parker and his contemporaries, Anglo-Saxon type ‘‘made the letter the locus of ostensibly transparent contact with the past.’’25 Presenting Old English text in a font based on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts underlines the truth of a text which is, after all, understood to be making important doctrinal claims. But this authoritative design also carries with it the potential for other ways of responding to the Old English, arising from the habits of association readers might have with respect to the types used. The Old English text is rendered in Saxon characters which would have been foreign to most readers (as the necessity for a letter table indicates), and which belong to the realm of the ‘‘Gothish,’’ with all its potentially negative


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associations. The font used for the contemporary English text is a handsome italic, suggesting the appearance of humanist Latin texts; that is, the English and the Old English are assigned, by their typography, to realms with vastly different implications and prestige values.26 As time goes on, the Saxon font, used to underscore antiquity, will come to have an almost symbolic, even totemistic, presence in texts that deploy other fonts to signal quite clearly to a reader the various categories of written work on the page, in a visual classification which often implies a limited and limiting role for the texts of the Anglo-Saxon past.27 The character table appeared at the end of the first printing of the Testimonie, directly opposite the printer’s colophon, but such tables rapidly became a fixture in books containing Old English, and were typically found in the front matter. Often the tables would be one of the first things a reader would encounter, an early signal of the difficulties that lay within. They can be found, for example, in copies of William Lambarde’s Archaionomia (1568) into the seventeenth century and in his Perambulation of Kent (1576); in John Foxe’s edition of the Gospels in Old English (1571); in Parker’s own edition of Asser’s life of Alfred (1574), and in many printings of William Camden’s Britannia, both of the Latin and of the English translation. The tables are usually presented with a simple rubric which indicates that the table is intended to make the reading of Saxon letterforms easier. Sometimes, however, the foreign nature of the letterforms may be referred to, as in the letter table which precedes William Lisle’s Saxon Treatise (1623), a work which includes material from the Testimonie. Here, the table refers to ‘‘The Saxon Characters or Letters, that be most strange’’; they are to be understood by the ‘‘other common Characters set ouer them.’’28 Perhaps the characters become less strange as time goes by, because in later works that include Saxon characters, the table may be shifted further into the book again, or it may be reduced. There is a complete table in the naming appendix to Edmund Gibson’s Chronicon Saxonicum (1692), for example, while Abraham Wheelocke’s edition of the Old English translation of Bede (1643) and John Spelman’s posthumously published life of Alfred the Great (1678) include descriptive paragraphs on the letterforms, rather than the full tables.29 By this time, the representation of the letters often forms part of a discussion of etymology or grammar, again suggesting a movement away from the iconic presentation of the letter, but as I will argue below, this greater familiarity with the forms of the Saxon past does not necessarily imply a greater degree of identification with Old English. The lawyer and antiquary William Lambarde (1536–1601) was another key figure in the early printing of Old English. His Archaionomia (1568) was an edition and translation of the Saxon laws.30 Like early

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Church documents, the laws were seen to underpin and justify contemporary practice, in this case in the realms of government and the judiciary.31 It was clearly important to Lambarde, as it was to Parker, that a reader be able to read the original texts. His Epistola to the reader presents his task as rescuing the old laws from neglect, bringing them out of shadows and into the light, cleaning them up and presenting them in such a way that they can be plainly seen by all . . . the language of light and vision is not, I think, accidental.32 The physical design of the text is part of rescuing these ancient words which are, he suggests, like an oaken wall (moeniorum robur) for the nation. The Archaionomia makes use of the facing-page layout favored by the Testimonie. As in the Testimonie, the capitals and ornaments which surround the Saxon text are typical of contemporary printing rather than Saxon manuscripts, yet authenticity at the level of the letter is clearly important: in addition to the character table in the front matter, for example, there is also a map of England in Saxon times, with the names of the Saxon towns and kingdoms written in an imitation of an appropriate Saxon script. This geographical presentation of Old English forms a link between works like the Archaionomia, with its full-length Old English texts, and works in which Old English is simply part of what is mapped onto the history of England. Lambarde’s Perambulation of Kent,33 published in 1576, is the first example of the kind of chorographical history which becomes, through such works as William Camden’s Britannia (1586), John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain (1611), and Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion (1612), a standard way to represent the history of Britain, by charting that history across the landscape. Figure 15 is the map of the Saxon kingdoms as it appears in the 1596 printing of the Perambulation.34 The map, like the almost identical one found in the Archaionomia,35 mixes Latin and Old English place-names, and makes some attempt to differentiate between the script used for the two languages, not only in the letterforms, but also in the appearance (though this is nowhere near as careful a rendering of Saxon script as that attempted by the font of the Testimonie).36 As usual, a reader is provided with a table of characters, but while there are some instances of longer sections of Old English in the Perambulation—an interlinear version of the description of the bridgework at Rochester, for example—it is in the treatment of individual words and phrases that the effects of type are most clearly evident. In the Perambulation, in addition to supplying the initial representations of place-names which are then explained, the Anglo-Saxon letterforms are also used for occasional historical/ anthropological notes, as in figure 16, which shows Lambarde’s account of the story of Vortigern and Renwein, taken over from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum britannie. Geoffrey recounts how the Saxon Renwein catches the eye of the British

Figure 15. Map of the Saxon heptarchy, from William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent, London, 1596. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

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Figure 16. Account of the origins of wassail, from William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent, 1596, 21. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

ruler at a banquet, offering him a cup and saluting him in Old English, here rendered on Lambarde’s page with the Saxon font. Lambarde’s marginal gloss explains that this incident shows the origin of the custom of wassail: ‘‘The first wasseling cup.’’ The Saxon script, then, both transcribes a conversation presented as historical and visually reifies the ancient custom (I am thinking here of David McKitterick’s remarks, discussed in the Introduction, about the effect of ‘‘historical allusion’’ created by type facsimile).37 Authenticity is thus underpinned typographically, but this typographic practice soon comes to have the effect of distancing Old English from contemporary readers. Lambarde’s Perambulation did for Kent what William Camden (1551– 1623), herald and historian, did for the whole of Britain.38 Camden’s Britannia first appeared in Latin in 1586, and by 1610 had also appeared in English translation. Figure 17 is a typical entry from the 1594 Latin


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Figure 17. Chapter opening for Dorsetshire, William Camden, Britannia, 1594, 145. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

version. This section, introducing Dorsetshire, shows a typographic approach similar to that in Lambarde’s head notes, in which the AngloSaxon characters are used for the Old English root, while Brythonic roots (that is, belonging to the pre-Roman Celtic languages) appear in Roman. Both Old English and Brythonic are set apart, then, from the scholarly italic of the rest of the passage, and there is an added layer of typographic meaning here. ‘‘Dorsetshire’’ is rendered in black letter, and the name is glossed as vti nobis hodie; that is, as used by us today. Black letter here goes along with a domestication, an identification of what is ‘‘ours.’’ At this stage in its life, black letter is a standard vernacu-

Form and Rude Letters


Figure 18. (top) Penrith, in Saxon letters, from William Camden, Britannia, 1594, 121. (bottom) England, in Saxon letters, from William Camden, Britannia, 1594, 81. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

lar type in countries with Germanic languages.39 And while Welsh as a language might require explanation, its letterforms as represented here do not: in other words, it is the Old English which is marked as most foreign. In figure 18 (top), the black letter fairly leaps off the page, as it offers the modern English translation/ name for Penrith, embedded in a page of Roman font and Latin text. In a context such as this, it is striking when Saxon characters appear, as they do in figure 18 (bottom), in


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the etymological explanation for ‘‘England.’’ Here the Saxon characters are a physical representation of origins and yet they also, perhaps perversely, create a distance from those origins, as the eye is simultaneously attracted and perhaps baffled. Even texts which have very little Saxon font sometimes use the font for the country’s name and for other place names. One such example appears in Speed’s History of Great Britaine, in the discussion of the various names that had been applied to Britain, though in this printing, while the Saxon origins of England are outlined, it is the Saxon word for the British which appears in Saxon characters.40 ‘‘England’’ itself is rendered in a Roman italic. The use of Saxon font for place-names by Lambarde, Camden, and Speed is part, I have suggested, of the chorographical impulse; it is also part of the etymological impulse which lay behind much of the early printing of Old English. I have already noted that the design of works such as the Testimonie seems intended, at least in part, to allow readers to learn something of the old language, and that impulse certainly could lead to a championing of Old English. William Lisle (c. 1569–1637), as noted above, reprinted much of the material from the Testimonie in his Saxon Treatise of 1623.41 The work was dedicated to the Prince of Wales, and a poem under the representation of the prince’s heraldic emblem (the badge of three feathers and the associated motto) uses the Germanic origins of the phrase ‘‘Ich dien’’ to praise the Prince as an upholder of the English tongue, traced to its ancient origins: The Prince his Emblem shal the man conuince, Who blames my Dedication to the Prince. That Word still Saxon, shewes he doth protect From throat of time our ancient Dialect; And, as the Sense is, sith He serues his Father, O let vs all him serue so much the rather!42

Lisle’s lengthy preliminary address to the reader includes his own rather charming account of how he learned Old English, and mounts a spirited defence of that tongue: ‘‘But some will say, they are too too old words, and far out of knowledge, and differing much from our speech now currant. What then? Shall we therfore vtterly neglect them? by the same reason might the Grecians haue made light account of Orpheus & Museus; the Latins of Ennius and Plautus; which neither did, but honoured them highly; as other nations do their most ancient writers.’’43 The defense includes the same religious element which attracted Parker and his circle, but it also picks up the etymological fascination suggested in the onomastic sections of works such as Camden’s, and spends some time on the Old English roots of various modern English words and expressions. But the terms of the defense (not to mention the rubric to

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the letter table, discussed above) themselves make it clear that Lisle was fighting a prevailing opinion, outside scholarly and antiquarian circles at least, something he recognizes when he opens his letter with an avowed intention to preserve the ancient monuments ‘‘euen in this old garbe and character now almost forgotten.’’44 Like others before him, he insists on the importance of that garb, the physical appearance of the language. The facing-page presentation of the Old English text in Saxon character, with the modern English translation, thus once again simultaneously makes the language accessible and underlines its remoteness. Lisle’s work provides a bridge to another strain of early scholarship in Old English, work on the language itself—and suggests in its own form and text how an interest in Old English language, like the interest in Saxon history, simultaneously rescued Old English and constricted the reception of it. Philology (here in the sense of historical linguistics), like institutional history, impelled much early work on Old English, and was often part of texts whose primary focus might have been chorographic, or religious, or institutional. Camden’s Remaines, published posthumously in 1605,45 included a discussion of Old English language, and two Old English versions of the Lord’s Prayer, in this case in a format which concentrated on the (changing) details of the language rather than on the appearance of the letterforms,46 though other early versions of this kind of discussion did return inexorably to the physical appearance of the language. John Foxe’s preface to his version of the Saxon gospels (1571) is a case in point. He writes that his intention in the printing is not so much to make the language accessible, however useful such an effort might be, but rather to preserve a textual monument: to be seene, & red of all men in the self same auncient tounge, in which it was then both written & reserued in the Saxons Church, not so much for any great necessitie, we sawe in that / speach now to be vsed, and practised, being growen out of vse, & continuance. Albeit in some cases the same may serue to no small good steede, namely in courtes, & for them that be learned in the lawes, wherby they may more readily vnderstand many of their olde wordes & termes, also very many deedes and Charters of Princes giftes, and foundations geuen to the Church, and to Byshops Seas, and other ecclesiasticall foundations. . . . Howbeit not so much therfore we haue published thys treatise: but especially to this end, that the said boke imprinted thus in the Saxons letters, may remaine in the Church as a profitable example, & president of olde antiquitie, to the more confirmation of your gratious procedinges now in the Church agreable to the same.47

Foxe’s list of the potential uses of a knowledge of Old English includes an emphasis on old deeds and charters: attention to early legal documents paralleled Parker’s interest in finding precedent for the practices


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of the English church, as landholders, institutions and eventually politicians sought ancient precedents for their claims.48 There are, then, economic and political motives behind the recovery of Old English, but Foxe also suggests the onomastic and more broadly etymological interests displayed in the texts discussed thus far, even as emphasis on the monumentality of a text printed in Saxon letters suggests a subsidiary role for those interests. But by the early seventeenth century, the linguistic analysis of Old English had become a primary focus for many AngloSaxon scholars. And in these lexicographical contexts, too, design and typography reveal a great deal about how Old English was perceived. Much has been written about the development of English lexicography, from the first handlists of foreign or specialized terms to the massive undertaking represented by the Oxford English Dictionary.49 What is less frequently commented upon is the physical presentation of languages of origin in historical dictionaries. Two examples will suffice to show that here is another context in which type creates hierarchies that in turn ‘‘type’’ Old English, in quite specific ways. John Minsheu’s (1559/60–1627) Ductor in linguas (1617) is a polylingual dictionary whose title-page self-promotion hits many of the notes familiar from works we have seen thus far: the work (‘‘for all Louers of any kinde of Learning’’) is a ‘‘Guide into the tongues. With their agreement and consent one with another, as also their Etymologies, that is, the Reasons and Deriuations of all or the most part of wordes, in these eleuen Languages’’; it also offers ‘‘the Exposition of the Termes of the Lawes of this Land, drawne from their originall the Saxon and Norman tongues.’’50 Minsheu, whose previous work was a Spanish-English dictionary, here drew on Welsh, Low and High Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew to show English speakers the origins and cognates of many of their words.51 The bilingual Latin-English title page suggests a dual audience. The Latin certainly seems to be aimed at a learned audience, and the Latin preface, as well as the internal trappings, would seem to confirm such an intent. At the same time, the English front matter, after repeating much of the Latin material, goes on to suggest a pragmatic audience of lawyers, merchants and the like, and defends Minsheu’s decision to use English (rather than Latin) for the lemmata on the grounds of practical utility for English speakers, thus suggesting more popular aspirations for the work. Ju¨rgen Scha¨fer has shown persuasively that Minsheu was less a scholar than a collector of the (unacknowledged) scholarship of others, often lifting his most celebrated etymologies from previously published work.52 As many of these involved Old English derivations, Minsheu’s dictionary is particularly useful as a reflection of the status of Old English. In the pages of the dictionary, we find the same typographic practice

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Figure 19. (top) ‘‘Daisy,’’ in John Minsheu, Ductor in linguas, London, 1617. (bottom) ‘‘Loaf,’’ in John Minsheu, Ductor in linguas. Both by permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

as in the onomastic etymologies in Camden: the modern English word is rendered in black letter, with definitions in various forms of Roman. There are also fonts for Greek, Hebrew, and Anglo-Saxon, the latter the font created first for Matthew Parker. The familiar letter table in the front matter underlines the role of Old English in the dictionary, and the general appearance of the book—the large format, variety of types, and marginal notations—sets up an expectation of comprehensive learnedness which Minsheu himself is eager to claim. Yet the Old English origins (and Saxon characters) are not always used when they could be. Figure 19 (top) shows the entry for ‘‘Daisy’’ in the 1617 edition. It is odd that the Old English origin does not appear in this entry, yet the Welsh equivalent for the Old English ‘‘day’s eye’’ (‘‘llygad’’ is ‘‘eye,’’ and ‘‘dydd’’ is ‘‘day’’) is the last part of the entry. Perhaps Minsheu was unaware of the Old English etymology, though its popularity (and appearance in such contexts as Chaucer’s Prologue to the Legend of Good Women) makes that seem unlikely.53 The ‘‘daisy’’ entry nevertheless has some significant features. The European language equivalents are, like the lemma, also rendered in black letter, giving a visual sense of the connection between these languages. Scha¨fer argues that Mins-


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heu was influenced by the theories of Jan van Gorp, the Dutch physician who argued that Dutch was the language of Paradise, and thus the origin of all languages; in this view, while Old English was related to Dutch, as the primary aim of Renaissance etymology was to trace words back to the earliest root, Old English would be simply ‘‘an intermediary step in the search for the original etymon.’’54 The visual identification of English with its contemporary Germanic equivalents, then, stresses that common descent. Minsheu was also interested in evoking an aural connection between words of different languages—he notes that he ‘‘lay[s] the Languages which are of one sound (for memories sake) together’’55 — hence the grouping of the ‘‘marguerite’’ variations. As there is nothing with which to group the Old English, perhaps it was the more easily omitted (though the Welsh hardly fits euphoniously with anything). The daisy could have appeared in the very long entry for ‘‘day,’’ in which Minsheu does note the Old English origin of that word, printed there and in the etymology for ‘‘Friday’’ in the Saxon characters, but it does not. I do not mean to argue here that there is a completely deliberate principle guiding the presence or absence of either Old English etymons or Saxon characters; rather what these entries show us is how Minsheu’s careless eclecticism, when combined with the overall typographic habits of the volume, can reinforce a sense that Old English is simultaneously foundational to, and removed from, the seventeenth-century English linguistic universe. The typographic separation of Old English from the web of modern European languages can be seen in the treatment of Old English roots in those entries in which (unlike the entry for ‘‘daisy’’) Minsheu does include those roots. In figure 19 (bottom), the entry for ‘‘loaf ’’ foregrounds the Saxon characters—Old English is presented as the root of this word—but the type used differentiates the Old English word from its modern equivalent. The modern English is visually linked, not to Old English, but to other contemporary Germanic languages, through the common use of black letter for all these languages. Greek characters similarly distance the Greek roots, of course, but that distancing in itself seems to me to underscore the process by which Old English is made strange even as it is introduced into the etymological conversation; that is, Old English belongs to the realm of the remotely historical and unreadable, while modern English has more in common with German and Flemish. The title page presents the Ductor in linguas as being of particular interest because of its store of institutional terminology, and throughout the pages of the work, legal and related terms are signaled for the reader by pointing hands. The work of men like Parker (with John Joscelyn), Lambarde, Camden, John Selden, and others had of course made the

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Saxon origins of many English laws and customs clear, so it is not surprising to see many instances of Saxon type in Minsheu’s entries for terms belonging to this register. Consider, for example, the entry for the peculiar term ‘‘Haye boote’’: ‘‘of Haye, i. sepes, a hedge, and boote, i. compensatio, amends. Vi. Boote, an old word. The former is French, and the second is Saxon. And although it doe fall out sometime, that our words be so compounded, yet it is seldome. Wherefore it may be from two Saxon words: Hae9-boote, of Haeg, i. a hedge, and boote, i. amends.’’56 The use of Saxon type for the Old English words underlines the antique origins of the peculiar custom being defined—and it may have another purpose. This is one of many entries lifted more or less wholesale from John Cowell’s The Interpreter of 1607. Cowell (1554–1611) was professor of civil law at Cambridge, specializing in English common law, and The Interpreter belongs to that class of dictionaries directed at special uses: in this case, collecting legal terms, many of which, of course, happen to have origins in the Anglo-Saxon world. The book was reprinted many times, despite being formally suppressed by James I during the debates over royal supremacy in the parliament of 1610.57 Cowell writes of Haye boote that it ‘‘seemeth to be compounded (Haye .i. Sepes) and (Bote .i. compensatio) The former is french, and the second is Saxon. And although it doe fall out sometime, that our words be so compounded: yet it is rare, wherefore it may be thought peraduenture to come as well from (Hag) and (boote) which be bothe saxon words.’’58 Minsheu has obviously appropriated the entry, with the only significant change being the typographic representation of the Old English. Scha¨fer argues that Minsheu’s adoption of Saxon characters in entries such as this one is part of an attempt to pass Cowell’s work off as his own: ‘‘In several instances he lends his unacknowledged borrowings from Cowell a semblance of greater authenticity by having the Old English words set with Anglo-Saxon letters, whereas Cowell had simply used italics.’’59 Certainly the many instances discussed thus far in this chapter show how the letter impresses the seal of authenticity, but I would suggest that it is the appearance of general antiquity and general (rather than personal) authority which was of more interest in Minsheu’s dictionary. In the entry for ‘‘constable,’’ for example—another entry taken from Cowell and provided with Saxon type—Minsheu replaces Cowell’s first-person observations with more general pronouns. Cowell writes that constable ‘‘is a Saxon word, compounded of (cuning or cyng) and (staple). . . . But I haue heard it made heretofore of these two words, (comes stabuli)’’; Minsheu’s version notes that constable ‘‘is as some thinke a Saxon word compounded of Cunin9 or Cin9 and aple . . .). Others say of these two words Comes stabuli.’’60 In its direct, unattributed copying of Cowell’s original, this entry is still an offense against scholarly convention (and


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plain good manners!) but it suggests to me that the real importance of the Old English etymologies in the Ductor is the transmission of the Saxon originals, rather than the heightening of Minsheu’s reputation for scholarship. Minsheu is playing to a perceived market, as the title page clearly indicates. That market wanted legal terms, but it also wanted that almost iconic representation of the Saxon past. When Minsheu is not stealing from Cowell, it is often the case that Saxon characters appear in the etymologies for everyday words, such as ‘‘blood,’’ ‘‘boat,’’ ‘‘boar,’’ or ‘‘loaf.’’ Like the place names in Camden and related works, these words can become signs of the past, the mark of the medieval, and their Saxon dress simultaneously asserts their historicity and separates them from the present to which they speak. The use of Saxon type in the Ductor in linguas is haphazard, and sufficiently occasional that a casual reader might not notice it at all. Anyone merely flipping the pages would register the Roman and black letter, but might well not see the Saxon letters until reading one of the entries that happened to use them. Saxon characters—and Old English—are far more consistently represented in the next lexicographic work I consider here, the Etymologicum anglicanum.61 This book was published in 1743 but represented the work of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677). In his lifetime, Junius pursued the study of art and of language, particularly those languages related to Dutch. He became an expert in Gothic and Old English, for example, and used his vast philological scholarship in the compiling of his English etymological dictionary.62 Like other early Anglo-Saxonists, he made his own transcriptions of manuscripts, and had his own version of Anglo-Saxon script. Imitation scripts are part of the arsenal of many working Anglo-Saxonists for the first few centuries of scholarship: John Joscelyn, Laurence Nowell, Junius, and later the paleographer Humfrey Wanley (1672–1726) all sometimes copied manuscripts and/or alphabets in Saxon characters.63 Another impulse behind the creation of special fonts is surely this basic focus on the letter, and in Junius, the combination of that focus with his philological pursuits produced an expansion in the types used to represent old languages. Like Parker, Junius saw the need for special fonts for Old English and other languages, and Peter Lucas has traced his use of continental artisans in the creation of these fonts.64 The range of historical types is broad, with fonts particular to Gothic, Runic, Danish, Icelandic, and Saxon.65 Junius bequeathed his types to Oxford, and they were used in, among other things, this posthumous printing of his Etymologicum. The deployment of the fonts is far more systematic than in Minsheu’s work, and the different fonts clearly differentiate between languages and categories. Figure 20 (left) shows the entry for ‘‘loaf.’’ The etymology includes the

Figure 20. (left) ‘‘Loaf,’’ in Franciscus Junius, Etymologicum anglicanum, Oxford, 1743. (right) ‘‘Daisy,’’ in Franciscus Junius, Etymologicum anglicanum. Both by permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.


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Old English, and offers, not simply the word, but a fairly long piece of illustrative prose. This use of a substantial amount of Old English is, however, unusual in the Etymologicum, as the next two examples indicate. Figure 20 (right) is Junius’s definition of ‘‘daisy.’’ The entry differs from Minsheu’s in including the Old English, in this case at the bottom of the entry; but pride of place is given to the inset poem attributed to Chaucer, rendered in the black letter font that, in Camden’s day, had been attached to contemporary English. By the middle of the eighteenth century, black letter could be used to mark the archaic or the antique, but even so, Middle English is typographically separated from, and one might argue privileged over, Old English. The use of a quotation from ‘‘Chaucer’’66 (the illustration is in fact from the Chaucerian apocrypha) is particularly significant, as the typographic distinction is underlined by a distinction in kind. Old English is the institutional language, and Middle English the language of poetry, and more particularly of the man by this time recognized as the foundational figure in the language’s artistic development. Black letter Middle English appears over and over in Junius’s pages as poetry, while Old English appears as fragmentary words or, occasionally, pieces of prose from various kinds of institutional documents. The entry for ‘‘timbestere’’ (female timbrel player) offers two kinds of verse: Chaucer’s Middle English in black letter, and its French original in a Roman italic directly below. Elsewhere in the Etymologicum one encounters Latin verse (in Roman), and Middle Scots in black letter: these languages are presented in the category of the literary, while Old English remains, by and large, in the realm of the linguistic, etymological, geographical, and the anthropological. It is at this point that we can turn from the use of typography in the creation of this distinction, and look at another element which forms a crucial part of the marking of Old English texts, the engraving. The first printings of many of the texts discussed above were quite plain, but subsequent editions were often enlarged—with supplemental text, endless encomia in praise of the author or editors, and, particularly for the more historical works, with illustrations. Camden is a notable example of this kind of growth. The 1594 printing discussed in the early pages of this chapter had a few images, including the Glastonbury inscription, but it was a book of modest size with relatively little illustrative material. As time goes by, editions of Camden are expanded with illustrations of maps, inscriptions, coins, and various archaeological objects, and some of these help to create the picture of the Saxon past discussed in this chapter.67 Similar books come to be similarly illustrated, so that by the seventeenth century, there is a considerable visual vocabulary associated with antiquarianism, and the letter continues to hold an important place. Figure 21 is a map of the Saxon heptarchy—a map

Form and Rude Letters


Figure 21. Detail of map of the Saxon heptarchy, from Edmund Gibson, Chronicon Saxonicum, Oxford, 1692. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

which had been a feature of the earliest printings of Camden as well— here taken from the 1692 printing of Edmund Gibson’s Chronicon Saxonicum. Gibson (bap. 1669, d. 1748), eventually named bishop of London, produced various editions of classical and medieval works over his lifetime, including the Chronicon, and he oversaw a revised edition of Camden’s Britannia in 1695, along with a further expansion in 1722.68 The same map, with different marginalia, appears in the 1695 and 1722 editions of Britannia, for which the famed cartographer Robert Morden provided the maps. This version of the map of the heptarchy is more densely populated with place names than are earlier versions (such as the map that appears in the Perambulation; see figure 15), and when compared to later, similarly crowded renditions, shows more Saxon script and more variety in the representation of the letterforms. It also includes its own version of the character table, as the monks in the top right corner pore over the ‘‘Explicatio Notarum et Literarum.’’ This marginal decoration also embeds the geographic representation firmly in the institutional, with kings on the left, monks on the right. The map appeared again, though without this latter embellishment, in Gibson’s 1722 edition of Camden, thus transmitting the link between the calligraphic and chorographic to the eighteenth century. The earliest editions of Camden tended to choose objects bearing text for illustration—the Glastonbury Cross, epigraphs, other engraved letterforms. The maps discussed above are a logical outgrowth from this


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Figure 22. The Alfred Jewel, in William Camden, Britannia, London, 1722. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

interest in the letter, as are the pictures of coins and seals which rapidly fill the pages of subsequent editions of Camden and related texts.69 Like the maps, the coins and seals often include inscriptions and representations of old letterforms, so that this growing antiquarian fascination continues to shore up the significance of Saxon script in later copies of Camden and of similar books. Engravings of seals are often part of histories of the Saxon past and of editions of Old English texts, appearing, for example, in Henry Spelman’s history of church councils held in Britain, the Concilia of 1639, and in John Selden’s 1623 edition of Eadmer’s History.70 Gradually drawings of other objects appear, so that by the 1722 printing of Camden, for example, we find figure 22, a representation of the Alfred jewel, which had been discovered in 1693.71 The illustration is presented in three views, necessary to include all of the lettering on the object, but epigraphy is not the only fascination this object held for its audience. The discussion in the body of the work takes up the question of Alfred’s likely involvement in the making of the jewel, and this interest points to another kind of engraving and its impact on the representation of Old English text: the likeness. If maps of former configurations of English governance, drawings of monuments, and pictures and descriptions of grave-goods rendered the Anglo-Saxon past as both indigenous and alien, the likeness had the potential to establish a link across the centuries through recognition and human contact, particu-

Form and Rude Letters


Figure 23. (left) Portrait of Franciscus Junius, frontispiece to his Etymologicum anglicanum, Oxford, 1743. (right) Portrait of Franciscus Junius, frontispiece to his De pictura veterum, Rotterdam, 1694. Both by permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

larly to periods that increasingly associated books with their authors through the visual means of the title portrait. Medieval texts have some difficulties in this regard, and Old English texts have more than most. The next figures show two portraits of Franciscus Junius. Figure 23 (left) is the portrait that accompanies the 1743 printing of Junius’s Etymologicum anglicanum. The portrait includes an elaborate framework which pays tribute to Junius’s linguistic accomplishments in specifically typographic terms, as the bust is surrounded by the alphabets created for him, with the Saxon type discussed above in the lower left corner. Figure 23 (right), in which the portrait is surrounded by putti, is the frontispiece accompanying a 1694 printing of Junius’s art historical work, De pictura veterum (originally printed in 1637).72 The source for both of these illustrations is Anthony van Dyck’s portrait of around 1640, now in the Bodleian. Each image presents Junius and his various accom-


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plishments to the reader with a visual shorthand that defines both the person and his place in various disciplinary narratives ( Junius the linguistic scholar; Junius the art historian). The images also of course present the author of the work, and it is this desire to picture authors or historical agents which presents particular challenges in printings of Old English texts, given the anonymity of so many of their authors. There is no Chaucer to be the author/authority: perhaps this absence is another reason for the tenacious clinging to the letterform that characterizes the early print history of the Saxon past. The portraits of Junius suggest one possible solution. The scholar takes the place of the author, thus tightly tying Old English visually to the worlds of institutional history, lexicography and the like, rather than to the literary canon inhabited by Chaucer and his descendants. The images in figure 23 are from works penned by Junius, but the scholar can also be the face of an edition; thus, it is Junius who appears on the frontispiece of the 1698 edition of King Alfred’s translation of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy.73 It might be argued that Junius stands in for Alfred because there are no authentic images of the king—or indeed of any other Old English writer. The Chaucer portraits characteristic of the same period, for example, tend to draw on medieval manuscript images which were understood to be true portraits: the Hoccleve portrait, the pilgrim portrait in the Ellesmere Chaucer, and the portrait in Additional 5141 (which was in fact an addition of the late sixteenth century). Yet Alfred was nevertheless often pictured.74 The text of the 1698 edition, for example, opens with an image of the king in a roundel in the initial ‘‘O’’ (figure 24). This is a design feature clearly intended to suggest a medieval manuscript’s historiated (containing a figure or scene) initial. There is in fact a historiated initial featuring Alfred, in London, British Library MS Cotton Claudius D.ii, a fourteenth-century collection of Saxon laws and related materials. This is not to suggest that the 1698 design draws specifically on that manuscript (in the manuscript, the king is shown full-figure, seated inside the initial ‘‘E’’), but rather, that the seventeenth-century book quotes manuscript design practice as a way of suggesting a general kind of authenticity. The engraving also identifies its origins in a sculpture at Brasenose College, Oxford: ‘‘Aluredus Rex Lapide in Coll. AEnei n[asensi].’’ The illustration thus uses the college’s claims and its very fabric as further support for the visual truth-claim made by the initial: Alfred was there, and he is here, in this book. As figure 25 shows, the face appears at an earlier date without the roundel, in the 1678 edition of John Spelman’s Life of Alfred.75 The larger engraving above is based on a 1661 painting done for University College Oxford, and inscribed fundator—Alfred figured prominently in the ongoing quarrel between Oxford and Cambridge as to which was the older foundation.76 The text accompanying both

Figure 24. Preface to Christopher Rawlinson’s edition of Alfred’s Boethius, An. Manl. Sever. Boethi Consolationis philosophiae, Oxford, 1698, 1. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Figure 25. Portrait of Alfred the Great, from John Spelman’s Ælfredi magni anglorum, Oxford, 1678. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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images in Spelman’s Life emphasizes antiquity. The portrait is said to be taken from ‘‘tabella antiqva,’’ and the heads from ‘‘antiquis lapidibus,’’ when in fact the sources are roughly contemporary with the engraving. The seventeenth-century painting and its copies are clearly attempting to suggest antiquity, modelling an archaic style, perhaps as part of an implication that this likeness of the famous king is something more than a fabrication—that it has the same status as the depiction of Junius or other contemporary figures. Sometimes a portrait might opt for contemporary practice in the rendering of historical figures. One example is the ‘‘vera effigies’’ of Gildas which accompanies the 1638 and 1652 printings of the English translations of the De excidio et conquestu Britannie.77 Gildas is presented in medieval dress but, of course, this cannot in fact be a ‘‘true likeness,’’ and there is no attempt in terms of style to suggest medieval pictoral habits. By contrast, there are no visual truth-claims attached to the image of Alfred which appears on the title page of the 1574 printing of Asser’s Life of Alfred,78 another of the sixteenth-century books produced by Parker’s circle that made a point of using an Anglo-Saxon font (figure 26). Here the king appears in contemporary (that is, early modern) costume, surrounded by classicizing design elements. The preface continues the design implications of the title page, as it is printed in an elegant italic. But the text itself, though Latin, is rendered in Parker’s Saxon font, even opening, in the manner of insular manuscripts, with several lines set entirely in capitals. Other Latin works from the Saxon period, Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica or Gildas’s De excidio, for example, are routinely printed in the Roman fonts used for Latin texts, both in Parker’s era and later.79 Richard Clement argues that this particular printing used Parker’s Saxon font in order to give the book added weight: ‘‘Its use, though ahistorical, gave the book a far greater impact than it would have had otherwise.’’80 The use is not precisely ahistorical—that is, insular manuscripts could employ a single script to render both Latin and Old English—but the late sixteenth-century typographic practice clearly is intended to align Asser’s text with its Saxon identification and indeed with the person of the king, as the preface makes clear: ‘‘Although they are Latin, we have taken care to impress them in Saxon letters, in order that the antiquity of the original should better be venerated, particularly since (in my opinion) these same shapes of the letters stand as a monument to Alfred.’’81 Here is an explicit articulation of the link between two ways of marking and authenticating a text: the form of the letter, and what is felt to be a signifying connection between that form and the historical agent it conveys to a later era. What is notable is that while the figure may or may not be presented in medieval guise, the letter is much more likely to equate authentication with an attempt at facsimile, again

Figure 26. Title page from Matthew Parker’s edition of Asser’s Ælfredi Regis res gestae, London, 1574. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Form and Rude Letters


perhaps because there is a sense that the ‘‘real’’ letter can be found, when true pictures of authors and agents cannot. This combination of the figure (whatever the representational strategy) and the facsimile-like Saxon letter is particularly striking in figure 27, the frontispiece, engraved by Michael Burghers (1647/8–1727) to Edward Thwaites’s (bap. 1671–1711) 1698 edition of the Old English version of the Heptateuch.82 The banner above the figures is the opening of Genesis in Saxon script, as it is rendered in the pages of the text proper, in Junius’s types (as in other productions of the Sheldonian Theatre, this typographic practice is announced on the title page). The figures themselves and their setting, however, suggest something more akin to a Renaissance interpretation of a library; and the illustration evokes such common writing subjects as the Evangelists, or reading figures like St. Jerome. Within the book, Aelfric’s Preface is accompanied by an image (figure 28) of a monk writing the opening words in the same Saxon script, thus connecting the figure with both the particular letterforms and with the text. An anticipated need for or expectation of a certain kind of human presence is fulfilled, as is the desire for a visual representation of antiquity, here through an interpretation, rather than a facsimile, of the medieval—but these pictures clearly deploy a visual vocabulary which, despite an uproarious mixing of forms, fulfills a deepseated and persistent readerly taste. The printing of Old English in Saxon font continues in the eighteenth century and beyond, and the linguistic and historical emphases discussed in this chapter also continue. Old English literary texts, which I have had little occasion to mention thus far, claim the notice of scholars and of the public far later than do the historical texts of the Saxon past. While there was a considerable body of Old English poetry in print by the end of the eighteenth century, most of it, Richard C. Payne argues, failed to meet contemporary tastes and expectations for ‘‘primitive,’’ ‘‘heathen,’’ ‘‘scaldic’’ verse.83 It was the nineteenth century that saw critical attention turn to Old English poetry, and this turn has its own contributions to the typographic story told thus far. Grimu´r Jo´nsson Thorkelı´n’s edition of Beowulf dates from 1815, and it is perhaps no accident that, like other volumes in the series to which it belongs, it is printed with regularized orthography and in a Roman font, with an accompanying Latin translation.84 The classicizing features of Thorkelı´n’s Danish edition (discussed briefly in Chapter 3) are doubtless in part to be attributed to the competition which would arise to claim Beowulf as a foundational national epic, a Teutonic Aeneid, but it is also true that Thorkelı´n’s print format represents a kind of answer to the effects of attachment to the letterform that has been traced in this chapter, as everything about the packaging of Thorkelı´n’s edition seems intended

Figure 27. Frontispiece by Michael Burghers to Edward Thwaites, Heptateuchus, liber Job, Oxford, 1698. This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Figure 28. Opening of Ælfric’s Preface from Thwaites, Heptateuchus, liber Job, 1698. This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


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to suggest the world of classical epic, and not the worlds of ecclesiastical, institutional, and linguistic history.85 Thorkelı´n’s edition was not the means of introducing Beowulf to the English-speaking public more broadly (that was the work of such scholars as John Mitchell Kemble and John Josias Conybeare),86 but it is not difficult to find nineteenth-century examples of more popular discussion of Old English poetry that suggest attempts to fit and fix these works in the English canon, and those discussions sometimes take on the question of typography. Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), in an oftcited letter about the future of Old English studies, suggests an awareness of the ways in which both the panoply of linguistic scholarship and the typographic convention of archaic fonts could mark Old English to its detriment. Writing to the English parliamentarian J. Evelyn Denison (1800–1873) on November 9, 1825, he calls for a freeing of the language from both its academic and typographic imprisonment: We are greatly indebted to the worthies who have preserved the Anglo-Saxon form, from Doctor Hickes down to Mr. Bosworth. Had they not given to the public what we possess through the press, that dialect would by this time have been irrecoverably lost. I think it, however, a misfortune that they have endeavored to give it too much of a learned form, to mount it on all the scaffolding of the Greek and Latin, to load it with their genders, numbers, cases, declensions, conjugations, &c. Strip it of these embarrassments, vest it in the Roman type which we have adopted instead of our English black letter, reform its uncouth orthography, and assimilate its pronunciation, as much as may be, to the present English, just as we do in reading Piers Plowman or Chaucer, and with the contemporary vocabulary for the few lost words, we understand it as we do them.87

Jefferson’s comments represent one sort of attitude toward Old English, and one cannot help but think of J. R. R. Tolkien’s essay ‘‘Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,’’ a little more than one hundred years later, which also pointed to the limiting consequences of certain kinds of scholarship. Tolkien’s attempts to rescue Beowulf from the effects of generations of linguistic and historical scholarship make clear that even in the 1930s, it was still a fairly radical notion to propose that Beowulf should be considered as a poem, rather than merely as a source for information about the obscure customs of the distant past.88 But as subsequent chapters of this study will show, even as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries broadened the readership for both Old and Middle English texts, facsimile types continued to be used, often because of a sensibility which connected an aesthetic appreciation of old letterforms with an ideological and/ or nostalgic approval of the methods of production they implied. In 1829 and 1830, the publisher William Pickering produced two beautiful books in Anglo-Saxon font.89 The first is J. S. Cardale’s facing-

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page translation of King Alfred’s translation of the prose portion of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy.90 The Old English text opens, as it did in Christopher Rawlinson’s edition of 1698, with an image of the king in the initial O; in fact, with the same head used in that seventeenthcentury printing. The second book, printed for Pickering by Thomas Combe of Leicester (1796–1872), is a copy of an Old English Menologium, a calendar of Saxon saints, first published in George Hickes’s Thesaurus linguarum septentrionalium of 1703–5, here edited and translated by the Rev. Samuel Fox (1801–1870), rector of Morley, Derbyshire.91 Pickering later published Fox’s edition and translation of the metrical portion of Alfred’s Boethius.92 Fox’s notes to the Menologium suggest that the impulse which in Parker’s day linked Old English texts (and letterforms) with an imagined pristine, English religious past, has not disappeared: This calendar evidently belongs exclusively to this country, as it is not swelled by the enrolment of foreign saints. It is also evident that it belonged to the AngloSaxon church, and enumerated the festivals observed by it; because these festivals were not instituted at the pleasure of private individuals, but by command of some king, who reigned over this country subsequently to the formation of the heptarchy into one kingdom; and, as was customary, they probably received the sanction of the witena gemot, or chief council. There is in many parts a singular coincidence between this relic of the AngloSaxon church, and the calendar of our own reformed church. . . . The menology furnishes us with an unquestionable proof, that the church originally established in this kingdom was independent of the see of Rome, and that its subsequent dependence on the Roman pontiff arose from the encroachment of his usurping power.93

Fox’s references here to Saxon legal as well as religious practice, his use of the term ‘‘witena gemot,’’ all in a book carefully printed in Saxon font, are indications that many of the interests and habits of the first champions of Old English have not altered a great deal with the passage of centuries. Old English is still a source of information about and sanction of past historical and religious practices, its ancient letterforms underscoring its antiquity and authority. Jefferson’s call for an assimilation of Old English to more contemporary conventions also has its descendants, however. Like generations of students, I first read Beowulf in a version of Frederick Klaeber’s 1922 edition,94 in my case the third as reprinted in 1950 (this despite the fact that it was 1986). This is a book which treads a typical modern line between accurate representation of a medieval text—in such features as the capitalization of the first words (as in the manuscript) and the use of Saxon letterforms for unique letters—and accommodations to the needs of students, such as the otherwise modern font, the silent95 expan-

Figure 29. ‘‘To Eastern Danes.’’ Image 䉷 Gareth Hinds, The Collected Beowulf, 2000.

Form and Rude Letters


sion of manuscript abbreviations, and the use of modern punctuation and vowel-length markers. The edition renders the poem in full lines composed of marked half-lines, instead of in the manuscript’s continuous lines demarcated by dots, an accommodation which could represent both the needs of students and the tastes of contemporary scholars alike. Even when Old English has moved into the plainer realm of school text, then, conventions of design point to underlying ideas about the tradition and its audiences. Even at the turn of the twenty-first century, the link between Old English text and Saxon letterform persists. In 1999 and 2000, the graphic artist Gareth Hinds produced his own version of Beowulf, using the 1910 translation by Francis Gummere as the base text.96 He worked with a calligrapher in developing the script, which was designed to suggest insular letterforms (figure 29). Hinds responded to my queries about the genesis of the script by writing that he found ‘‘a couple of different flavors of Carolingian that I thought suited the text and the feel of the book well. I preferred it to an uncial both for aesthetic reasons (uncial seems a little too friendly with its roundness, and we’ve been overexposed to it in random calligraphic contexts), and because uncial takes up a lot of room.’’97 The calligrapher then made adaptations intended to heighten the impact of hand-lettering: as with the newold types to be discussed in later chapters, here the letterform evokes not only a time past, but also a kind of production now largely lost. The nostalgic nod to handwork appeals to a contemporary, self-published producer of small runs of graphic novels in more or less the same way it appealed to such figures as William Morris or C. H. St. John Hornby. The appearance of the font in a printing of Beowulf (as opposed to, say, a collection of Saxon laws) suggests that the limiting aspects of the attachment to the letter which I have been outlining have relaxed, even as the ‘‘Gothish’’ characters still stand as powerful signs of the past.

Chapter Two

The True History of Sir Guy (and What Happened to Sir Bevis?)

It is a maple bowl, used on the feast days at the hospital, and of great antiquity. The rims are of silver, gilt; and in the bottom is fastened a medallion, which evidently represents a story of Guy Earl of Warwick, with this motto: gy de warwyc : adanovn : feei occis : le dragovn. —‘‘Legendary Tale of Guy Earl of Warwick Killing a Dragon’’

In this contribution to the Gentleman’s Magazine of April 1784, ‘‘Eugenio,’’ otherwise the printer and publisher John Nichols (1745– 1826), later to become the editor of the magazine,1 describes a fourteenth-century drinking bowl, a treasure of Herbaldown (Harbledown) hospital, which features an illustration of Guy of Warwick killing a dragon (figure 30). Nichols was an avid antiquarian all his life, well connected with such figures as the local historian Richard Gough, and both a contributor to and publisher of many antiquarian histories;2 this note fits well with those preoccupations. Nichols’s suggested interpretations of ‘‘adanovn’’ run through several possibilities. First he considers etymological explanations: John Shurley, in his Renowned History of Guy Earl of Warwick*, 4to, tells a story of his seeing a dragon and lion fighting together in a forest bordering on the sea. . . . No scene of action is assigned; but I suspect some real or fictitious place is concealed under the name of Danoun, perhaps for a rhyme-sake, and then the inscription will signify that ‘‘Guy of Warwick at Danoun slew the dragon.’’ Some have thought that the fourth word may be adorovn, ‘‘on the back of a roan horse;’’ but that the letters evidently will not bear; some that the fifth word may be icci, or ycci, ‘‘here;’’ and others, that danovn might be the name of Guy’s sword, as Durindana was that of Orlando, &c.

Nichols then adds a few remarks about dragons:

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 30. Drawing of medieval mazer with image of Guy of Warwick, from the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1784. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

In Dr. Percy’s very valuable Collection of Ancient Ballads, vol. III. p. 106, Guy says, A dragon in Northumberland I alsoe did in fight destroye, Which did bothe man and beast oppresse, And all the countrye sore annoye. But this seems to have been a different dragon; and in the famous Romance ‘‘of Bevis and Sir Guy,’’ quoted by Chaucer, is said to be ‘‘a fowle dragon, That sleath men and beastes downe.’’


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No reader seems to have responded to ‘‘Eugenio’s’’ invitation to shed further light on the inscription in his lifetime, though in fact he got it quite wrong himself: the text is Anglo-Norman, and ‘‘ad a novn’’ is literally ‘‘has as his name,’’ so the inscription reads something like ‘‘Guy of Warwick is his name; he who (keci) here kills the dragon.’’3 The errors were finally pointed out in 1833, by one ‘‘M’’; that is, the eminent paleographer Sir Frederic Madden (1801–1873), at this point assistant keeper (later to be keeper) in the Department of Manuscripts of the British Museum. Madden straightens out Nichols’s errors, dismissing them as an ‘‘exquisite sample of the twaddle of the antiquaries of old,’’ and writing that ‘‘it is a little amusing to find such egregious nonsense written and printed on so plain a sentence.’’4 Nichols’s contributions to the magazine were as eclectic as the periodical itself, and the point of interest for me, pace Madden, is not so much his skills or failures in deciphering the inscription. Rather I have chosen to begin this chapter with his modest intervention in the vast sweep of the history of Guy of Warwick because it showcases so clearly the common tools and assumptions of many of the people who made up the readership for Middle English romances in the eighteenth century. Madden represents a later, professionalized generation of reader, undoubtedly crucial in the development of medieval literary and manuscript studies; but by the time texts like Guy reached the nineteenth century, they had already passed through generations of readers and producers who permanently affected their reception and transmission. The sequence of impression and evidence in ‘‘Eugenio’s’’ letter bears much unpacking. First, there is the suggestion of a kind of folk memory of Old England in the assertion of the ‘‘great antiquity’’ of the bowl and its association with feasting. Next comes the reference to the account of the dragon fight in John Shurley’s Renowned History: a footnote observes that ‘‘This History has no date; but was printed by A.M. for C. Bates and J. Foster, about the beginning of the present century.’’5 Again there is more of an appearance of learnedness than a fulfillment of it, as Shurley’s prose version of Guy’s tale, The Renowned History, or the Life and Death of Guy Earl of Warwick. Containing his noble exploits and victories, was in fact first printed in 1681.6 There is, however, a surviving printing of Shurley’s version, from circa 1710, by ‘‘A.M.’’ and ‘‘J. Foster’’ for ‘‘C. Bates’’; this is probably the version Nichols knew.7 This particular adaptation (there were many, as will be discussed further below) was frequently reprinted, sometimes in abridged form, throughout the eighteenth century. Next comes an approving citation of Percy’s ‘‘Collection of Ancient Ballads,’’ by which is meant Bishop Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry: consisting of old heroic ballads, songs, and other pieces of our earlier poets, (chiefly of the lyric kind.)

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Together with some few of later date of 1765. Arthur Johnston stresses the significance of Percy’s collection to the fate of medieval texts in the eighteenth century, noting that it ‘‘made the work of the literary antiquary acceptable to the man of culture, while at the same time making respectable to the scholar a range of literature that had hitherto been neglected’’;8 learned, gentlemanly speculations such as Nichols’s were one result. In the case of the Guy of Warwick story, Percy included the ballad which begins ‘‘Was ever knight for ladyes sake/ Soe tost in love, as I Sir Guy,’’ one of two pieces in the collection referring to the story of Guy. The path taken by the story on its travels from the Middle Ages to Nichols is clear in this reference as well. Percy’s introductory remarks link the ballad version to the original romance, which he twice designates as ‘‘ancient’’ (as the bowl is also ‘‘ancient’’).9 But as Velma Richmond has pointed out, the ballad itself can be traced to Richard Lloyd’s A Briefe Discourse of the most renowned actes and right valiant conquests of those puisant Princes, called the Nine worthies (1584)10 —old, to be sure, but not medieval.11 The story is however apparently traced by Nichols back past Lloyd and to its medieval romance origins through the reference to Chaucer, but this too is a peculiar case: the first part of the line he quotes is from Sir Thopas: ‘‘Men speken of romances of prys,/ Of Horn child and of Ypotys Of Beves and sir Gy.’’12 Eugenio seems to think that there is one ‘‘romance of Bevis and Guy,’’ but he has clearly read something upon which to base his ideas about that romance, as the lines which follow are drawn from William Copland’s 1560s printing of the medieval romance.13 This last piece of evidence not only tells us much about the furnishings of a typical eighteenth-century literary gentleman’s mind when it comes to the medieval textual world; it also offers an instructive instance of the degree to which the vagaries of transmission dictated the arrangement of that furniture. Nichols clearly wants to find the most ancient reference possible for his letter: hence the link to Chaucer and the use of Chaucer’s name to bolster the authority of the quotation which follows. In fact, the lines quoted from Copland’s printing (‘‘a fowle Dragon,/That sleath men and beastes downe’’) do not survive in exactly this form in any Middle English manuscript version of the romance.14 The Auchinleck version describes a beast which ‘‘frete3 men & bestes also,’’ and saves the statement ‘‘Men sey3 3at it is a dragoun’’ for the climax of the report of the beast’s activities.15 But Nichols, drawing on print and not manuscript, is limited to Copland’s slightly different version, because it is a peculiarity of the early print history of Guy of Warwick that there is not, in fact, a print copy of this most popular of romances which is close in date to its medieval manuscript originals. William Caxton, England’s first printer, seems not to have printed Guy at all, and


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while his successor Wynkyn de Worde did print an edition of Guy, only a single leaf survives.16 Richmond suggests that de Worde might have been working from a copy printed by Richard Pynson between 1496 and 1500; of this edition, too, only a fragment remains.17 Thus Copland’s is the earliest complete printed version of the text, and I will discuss its illustrations and descendants further below. Here, it is important to note, through the variations between the line quoted in Copland and in the manuscript versions, how the later renderings of the story overwrite the medieval origins even as they are invoked in Nichols’s performance of antiquarian curiosity and erudition. A final point about Nichols’s letter demonstrates further how this overwriting comes about. He correctly infers from Shurley’s version that the dragon fight represented on the bowl is the first monster fight in the medieval romance, in which Guy takes the part of a lion in a struggle against a dragon. The lines quoted from Copland later in the letter refer to the second fight, in which Guy kills the dragon of Northumberland. Why would Nichols quote lines from the second dragon fight, when attempting to decipher an inscription attached to an image clearly relating to the first? Why would he say that these lines ‘‘seem’’ to refer to ‘‘a different dragon,’’ when they clearly do so refer? Setting aside for the moment the possibility that this expressed uncertainty is itself part of the posture of antiquarian inquiry, there may again be an explanation rooted in the peculiar postmedieval textual history of Guy. Nichols may not have not read Copland through: Madden, for example, quotes the correct lines from Copland, about the dragon and lion fight, in his demolition of Nichols’s speculations.18 Nichols may have merely scanned Copland for a dragon reference (or indeed gotten it from someone else’s quoting of the text)—and he could not then make this dragon fit the image that he had in front of him. The image on the bowl does, however, fit with other images that would be familiar even if he had not read any version of Guy at all. An eighteenth-century reader could in fact have a very clear picture of Guy’s activities simply from skimming through the illustrations commonly attached to the ubiquitous adaptations of the story. The dragon fights are among the favored subjects for illustration in the many adaptations, verse and prose alike, of the medieval romance,19 but there are very seldom two different illustrations for the two dragon fights. In keeping with common seventeenthand eighteenth-century printing practice, those versions which illustrate both dragon fights usually do so simply by repeating the first illustration, the one of the dragon and the lion (figure 31).20 One exception to this practice is in fact found in an abridgement of Shurley’s version printed in 1720, which uses a single figure of a dragon for the second fight,21 but it is far more common to see illustrations which would raise inevitable

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 31. Guy defends the lion, and Guy fights the dragon of Northumberland, from a 1680 printing of Samuel Rowlands’s Famous History of Guy of Warwick. BL G.18792.(1), 37 and 49. By permission of the British Library.

comparisons between the pictures and the bowl, in that both clearly feature a lion. In other words, it might be possible to be confused by the reference to the second dragon fight, as Nichols seems to be in his conflation of Copland with Chaucer, because there is commonly no visual correlative for this particular fight in eighteenth-century textual culture. This chapter will use the illustrations to printings of Guy and of Bevis of Hampton to illustrate the close linkage between the visual and the textual in the postmedieval understanding of these Middle English romances. It will also show how the illustrations challenge the common critical tendency to link or even to conflate these two works. While there is no doubt that they have much in common, their material history suggests that each was, from quite an early period, targeted at slightly different (albeit complementary) readerly desires. The coupling of these romances is not a purely postmedieval phenomenon, as Nichols’s own reference to Chaucer clearly indicates.22 But it is true that the period of antiquarian inquiry which gave rise to Nichols’s letter was also the period which solidified this tendency, thanks to attempts to produce synthetic, thematic, chronological literary history (as distinct from lists or catalogues). Thomas Warton (1728–1790) may be said to have started the practice in the History of English Poetry (1774).


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Bevis and Guy both appear in support of his contention that ‘‘monks often wrote for the minstrels’’;23 and they are offered as well (along with works such as Sir Isumbras and The King of Tars) as examples of the effects of the Crusades on minstrel romance. Both romances are also briefly treated in a section on English romances received from the French. For each, Warton lists the source, geographical and genealogical evidence and tradition, and (very briefly) those details which confirm the date of composition as coming after the Crusades.24 Warton also discusses the tradition that a tapestry depicting Guy’s fight with the dragon of Northumberland hung in Warwick Castle,25 but tellingly, he cites Copland’s printing in support of the tradition, quoting these lines: ‘‘In Warwike the truth shall ye see/ In arras wrought ful craftely.’’26 These lines are not found in any of the surviving medieval manuscript versions of Guy’s story. It was precisely this habit of using the more recent print, even when manuscript versions were available, that Joseph Ritson (1752– 1803) criticized in Warton’s work. In Observations on the Three First Volumes of the History of English Poetry. In a familiar letter to the author (1782), Ritson shows an unusual awareness of the complex (and different) manuscript and print histories of Bevis and Guy (and also of Richard Cuer de Lyon), observing that all ‘‘are extant in MSS. above 300 years old’’; and that Bevis shows few differences between the print and manuscript tradition, while there are, he says, two distinct versions of Guy in the manuscript tradition.27 But despite his awareness of these differing transmission histories, Ritson’s more general critique of Warton also links the romances together, just as Warton did. In the ‘‘Dissertation on Romance and Minstresly’’ which introduces his Ancient Engleish Metrical Romance¨es, Ritson’s main concern is to show that English romance-writing derived, not from native or from Welsh tradition, but from the French, and so Guy and Bevis appear linked in his statement that ‘‘Bevis and Guy were no more ‘English heroes’ than Amadis de Gaule or Perceforest: they are mere creatures of the imagination, and onely obtain an establishment in history because (like mister Wartons) it was usually writen upon the authority of romance.’’28 The appearance of the texts of Bevis and Guy in collections such as George Ellis’s (1753–1815) frequently reprinted Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances (1805)29 certainly did nothing to suggest one should decouple the romances, and much to encourage the idea that they are both about more or less the same thing; that is, English encounters with monstrous others (a tendency in modern scholarship as well).30 The source and analogue studies popular in the first part of the twentieth century did make a contribution to countering these conflationary tendencies: Laura Hibbard Loomis’s discussions in Mediaeval Romance in England (1924) are, for example, very detailed.31 But studies emphasiz-

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


ing the more explicitly literary qualities of the works followed the trail laid down by Warton, Ritson, and Ellis in taking the romances as instances of broader types and tendencies. Dieter Mehl’s descriptive study of the Middle English romances put Guy and Bevis into a chapter called ‘‘Novels in Verse.’’32 Mehl outlines Bevis’s remarkably convoluted plot, and concludes, ‘‘Beues of Hamtoun, then, is an extremely lively and entertaining, though on the whole rather artless verse-novel, which is mainly concerned with presenting an exciting plot and with engaging the listeners’ interest by a swift narrative and a wealth of colourful episodes. . . . The equally popular and well-known verse-novel of Guy of Warwick can be dealt with more briefly.’’33 Some twenty years later, another very useful overview of the romances, W. R. J. Barron’s English Medieval Romance, puts Guy and Bevis into a section on the matter of England, under the subclassification ‘‘ancestral romances.’’ In this case, the transition of the story of Bevis from chanson to romance is described: ‘‘Early in the thirteenth century a Continental French version bloated its spare, swift narrative with a mass of roman courtois incident whose appeal was nevertheless sufficiently popular to produce versions in many languages up to the nineteenth century, while the Anglo-Norman text inspired adaptations in Welsh, Norse, and Middle English which kept Bevis a hero of children’s literature until living memory.’’34 And then Guy becomes the focus of the chapter. The point is that in modern study of medieval romance, as in the eighteenth century, it is not uncommon for the Bevis/ Guy pairing to work in a way that suggests one romance can exemplify or typify the other. If Nichols gives the impression in his quotation from Sir Thopas that there is one romance of ‘‘Bevis and Guy,’’ he is simply reflecting this practice in its most extreme form. And there are many reasons for this conflation: there are undoubted similarities of production, transmission, and of course of plot. But while Bevis and Guy traveled together for most of their history, their print history is marked by difference as well as by similarity. That difference is, at least in part, the chance result of the vagaries of preservation. Surviving leaves indicate that both Bevis and Guy were printed in England’s first age of print: there are fragments of Guy printed by both Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson, and Bevis was printed by de Worde (twice), Pynson, and Julian Notary. However, while these remains are fragmentary in the case of Guy, the Pynson text of Bevis (1503) survives complete.35 What is more, that text persists for a remarkably long time. Jennifer Fellows points out that, up to the last printing of the metrical version in 1711, Bevis is quite recognizably related to its manuscript roots, and Maldwyn Mills writes that ‘‘Bevis of Hamtoun was the only Middle English romance to be repeatedly printed in something like its original form after 1575. . . . It also survived in sub-


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stantially more printed copies than Guy of Warwick, even if we count among these last a number of late rewritings of the story.’’36 We are thus able, in the case of Bevis, to trace the tradition of illustration to its earliest print beginnings, and the illustrations are central to the argument of this chapter, because the ‘‘overwriting’’ of medieval texts in some popular eighteenth-century forms is a visual overwriting. That is, the woodcuts associated with the texts in their early printings come to stand in for the texts, to signify these stories to later readers. Even as scholarly antiquarianism begins to put the romances of Bevis and Guy together through taxonomies, the illustrations differentiate one hero from the other. Ironically, a learned commentator with recourse to the pages of Warton or Ritson might in fact be less well positioned to appreciate the differences between these romances than a child with a badly printed, cheap edition of an adaptation (though we should remember that adult collectors also owned chapbooks),37 because of the work done by the illustrations. The illustrations also show that Bevis acquired its particular identity early, and retained it for a remarkably long time; Guy, on the other hand, achieved the form which underwrites the Nichols letter much later in its print history. In order to illustrate the difference, we can consider two iconic images from the print tradition of the romances (figures 32 and 33 [left]). The first shows Guy killing the monstrous cow of Dunsmore heath; the second shows the giant Ascopart carrying Bevis, Josian, and Arondel the horse onto a ship. It is common in early printing to use stock images of certain kinds of scenes, and to repeat these illustrations, often several times, throughout an edition; I will discuss the use of stock images in Guy and Bevis further below. But certain plot elements both cry out for illustration and cannot be accommodated from what we today might think of as the early modern version of clip art; these two moments are examples of the response to that fact. They differ in two crucial ways. The first has to do with the relation of each image to the corresponding medieval romance. Guy’s epic battle with the Dun Cow, pictured here, is not part of the surviving medieval textual tradition. There are medieval references to the cow, though these are not in Guy’s narrative as it has come down to us; instead, they are visual records which may suggest that a wealth of popular tradition surrounded the surviving medieval literary version of Guy’s life. Richmond and David Griffith both believe that the illustration of a knight killing a brown cow in the fourteenth-century Smithfield Decretals represents Guy and the Dun Cow, and both the Smithfield Decretals and the roughly contemporary Taymouth Hours use episodes from the stories of Guy and Bevis as part of their decorative program.38

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 32. Guy killing the Dun Cow, from the History of the Famous Exploits of Guy, Earl of Warwick, 1680. BL 12450.f.8, 10. By permission of the British Library.

Another possible manuscript link between Guy and the cow suggested by Richmond is found in the Middle English version of the late fifteenthcentury Rous Roll.39 Both George, Duke of Clarence, husband to Lady Isabel Neville of Warwick; and their son Edward, Earl of Warwick, are shown with a brown bovine at their feet, which Richmond identifies as the Dun Cow of Warwick40 (the animal is similar in outline to the pied bull of Neville at the feet of Richard Neville the Kingmaker, but it is clearly brown). But whether or not these manuscript appearances are in fact Guy’s cow, the fact remains that the cow does not appear in the Middle English poem. Its story is first told in print in Richard Lloyd’s idiosyncratic representation of Guy as one of the Nine Worthies, in his Briefe Discourse of the most renowned actes and right valiant conquests of those puisant Princes, called the Nine worthies (1584). The cow then becomes a standard part of Guy’s legend in both text and image: the example given in figure


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Figure 33. (left) Ascopart carries Bevis, Josian and Arondel onto a ship, from Richard Pynson’s printing of Bevis, 1503. The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Douce B.subt.234, 40. By permission. (right) Ascopart carries Bevis, Josian and Arondel onto a ship, from Richard Bishop’s 1639 printing of Sir Bevis of Hampton, C.3 v. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

32 is found in a 1680 adaptation41 and recurs frequently thereafter, including in the eighteenth-century printings of Shurley’s adaptation to which Nichols refers in the letter that opens this chapter. The second iconic image with which we have to deal differs in some significant ways from the image of the Dun Cow. Unlike the illustration for the cow episode, it relates directly to the text of its medieval romance source; in this case, the story of Bevis. The image (figure 33) shows the giant Ascopart carrying Guy, Josian, and Guy’s horse Arondel onto a ship. However, unlike the Dun Cow image in the seventeenth-century Guy, this woodcut is part of the earliest print cycle of illustrations for the romance. It occurs in Richard Pynson’s 1503 printing of Bevis, and was probably created specifically for it.42 This image then recurs, and even when the original woodcut is no longer being used, new illustrations are based on it, as in Richard Bishop’s 1639 printing, shown in figure 33 (right).43 Like the image of the Dun Cow for the story of Guy, then, this picture becomes a standard part of the visual transmission of Bevis. The difference is that Guy’s instantly recognizable visual cue depends on later versions of the story, while the image that can immediately suggest the story of Bevis is directly occasioned by the words of the medieval romance.

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Once one looks closely at the tradition of illustration surrounding these two romances, it becomes clear that whatever the origins of an image, it eventually assumes a permanent role in the transmission and, I would argue, interpretation of the romance narrative. But this process occurs more rapidly with Bevis, because while the definitive Bevis images are late medieval, the characteristic Guy images are of later date. As noted above, there is no early illustrated print of Guy, but the fate of the images from Copland’s version of about 1565 nevertheless suggests how in Guy’s story, later images come to overwrite the emphases of the medieval romance. Copland makes use of a generic illustration of a pair of lovers in a garden, inserted at two points in the story which are concerned with the progress of the love affair between Guy and Phyllis (Phelys, Felice, etc.). The same woodcut appears on at least three of Wynkyn de Worde’s title pages, illustrating The iiii. Leues of the Trueloue, Vndo your Dore (The Squire of Low Degree), and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.44 Vndo your Dore opens with reference to a squire of low degree who loved a king’s daughter, so the story clearly has some resonance with that of Guy; still, it seems clear that this is an example of the common case of a printer using what is to hand, here in response to a sense that the love affair is somehow definitive of the story. Exactly what part of the love affair is considered definitive, however, changes over time. While the illustrations in later versions of Guy continue to show Guy with Phyllis, they focus, not on the winning of the lady, but rather on the final meeting in the hermit’s cave. Unlike the Dun Cow episode, the encounter at the end of Guy’s life does occur in medieval versions of Guy’s story, although the setting is not specific. In Auchinleck, for example, Guy simply retreats to ‘‘a forest’’ (10302) and serves in a ‘‘hermitage’’ (10315). The popular (and textually specific) illustration of this moment (figure 34) may well owe something, then, to the later adaptations of the romance.45 These adaptations alter Guy’s death scene in a way which reorients the meaning of the love affair, thus making the stock couples that people Copland’s pages less useful as visual correlatives than the cave scene, an illustration which does not occur until the seventeenth century. In the Auchinleck version of the poem, Felice arrives in time for Guy simply to see her before he dies; in the Caius manuscript, he kisses her and then dies. By the time of the fifteenth-century version, the death scene is somewhat more protracted, but still largely silent: The cowntas ly9t downe in grete hye And, hur lordys body when sche sye, Wondurly hygh sche caste vp a crye. Wyth 3at hys eyen openyd syr Gye: Vp he loked anon ry9t And clepyd Felyce, as he myght,

Figure 34. Guy and Phyllis in his hermit’s cave, from Humphrey Crouch’s Heroick History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 1673, C.2 v. This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


And helde vp bo3e hys handys Before 3at lady, as sche standys, In tokenyng hur mercy for to crye Of 3e sorowe, sche dud for him drye. Hedde to hedde 3ere lay they thoo: Swetely eyther kyssed other also. But oon worde Gye 3ere ne speke, And 3e goost 3en fro hym breke.46

The typical print illustration of Guy and Phyllis embracing enthusiastically in his cave, then, is more accurately matched to the prolonged death scenes which are found in some of the later adaptations of the medieval narrative. In The History of the Famous Exploits of Guy Earl of Warwick (1680), for example, Guy has quite an extensive final conversation with Phyllis: ‘‘My dear Lady, I am very well satisfied of your Chaste life, and pious doings since my departure, I have, since my return, lived some time here, and have been my self partaker of your bounties. Ah! my Lord, replied she, how could you be so unkind for to live so long by me, and not let me enjoy the felicity of your company? the want of which hath been the greatest trouble I could have. Heaven knows (says Guy) I love no Earthly thing like thy self, but the cure of my immortal soul, made me despise all earthly Felicitys, but willing to see thee once more, before my life was spent, I sent the Ring according to my promise, that thou mightest come and close my dying Eyes.’’47

Shurley’s full version includes a description of the tomb, once more emphasizing Guy and Phyllis’s end, a conclusion which receives visual underlining by the cave image: Under this sacred Pile of Marble Stone Doe lye the Wonders of the World, whom none Could ever match, her’s War and Beauties Pride, The far-Famed Bridegroome and his lovely Bride. Great Mars and Venus here Entombed lye Whose Names Immortal are and cannot Dye.48

There is a certain Protestant discomfort expressed in many of the adaptations with the close of Guy’s life: Richard Lloyd, for example, feels the need to excuse Guy’s ‘‘punishing his bodie so, as then it was the wonted vse,/ Which of repentance plain doth sho a token, thogh through great abuse,/ For want of knowledge of the truth, of holie scriptures: the more ruth,’’ by noting that God accepted the contriteness of Guy’s heart despite the faults of his practice.49 Yet despite these concerns, the image of Guy with Phyllis in his hermit’s cave is repeated again and again, with the same picture used across a span of many years.


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John Simons has argued that the chapbooks make a real ‘‘effort to identify and preserve a central core of experience in the romance’’;50 the cave illustration underlines one of those central moments. But the selection and presentation of those moments is, inevitably, also a process of interpretation and adaptation to the expectations of later periods. One of the later additions to Guy’s story in the early modern adaptations was a prolonged graveyard scene added by Samuel Rowlands in his early seventeenth-century Famous History. Rowlands’s stanzaic verse adaptation, divided into cantos, abounding in classical references and noble sentiments, seems intent on moving Guy’s story very squarely into the realm of contemporary ‘‘high’’ literature,51 and the graveyard scene is part of that effort. Guy, traveling homeward after his adventures in the Holy Land, muses over the skulls of rulers and beautiful women, offering memento mori sentiments in elevated language. It is possible, then, that the cave illustration of Guy and Phyllis, with its austere surroundings, matched the sensibility to which such additions catered. A similar ‘‘match’’ between illustration and a postmedieval sensibility may be suggested by the rare persistence of one of the 1565 woodcuts, an image illustrating Phelys’s vision of a cherub-like angel who says to her, ‘‘Despyse not Guy . . ./ That is thyne owne true love and man.’’52 The woodcut itself is not copied in subsequent printings, and is another instance of a generic illustration applied to what it perceived as an important textual moment. The almost unrecognizable image in Copland in fact shows a man in bed, and it appeared first in Wynkyn de Worde’s 1515 printing of Ranulf Higden’s Cronycle of Englonde.53 The Copland image is unreadable at least in part because it has been rotated 90 degrees clockwise, but even were it printed in its original orientation, it could not, after drawing a reader’s eye to this moment in the text, offer much more to interpret that moment: there is no useful information in this illustration, and it functions as little more than punctuation as a result. The adaptations which follow expand the dream section and, tellingly, continue to illustrate it, using a picture much more closely matched to the text.54 In Rowlands’s Famous History, for example, the illustration shows a sleeping female figure, with Cupid hovering above aiming his bow, and a fully armed figure at the foot of the bed. The accompanying text reads, By Morpheus possest of quiet fleepe, In dead of night vvhen visions doe appeer, The heart tormenter, he that pierceth deepe, And maketh louers buy their bargaines deere, Sends from his bowe a shaft with golden head, And woundeth Phelis in her maiden bed.

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Before her he presents a martiall wight, Clad all in armor, for encounters fit, And saies, sweet Virgin loue this man of might, Giue him thy heart for he doth merrit it, For valour, courage, comely shape, and limme: The world hath not a Cahampion [sic] like to him.55

The influence of Rowlands’s adaptation was such that this moment and its matching illustration persist across many printings and further versions. While the oldest surviving print version of Guy (Copland’s) inaugurates both the cherub’s warning and the habit of illustrating the dream, it is not until the later adaptation that both warning and illustration become expanded and specific. And even in Copland’s text, what is being emphasized is a moment that is not in the Middle English romance as it survives to us. Like the story of the Dun Cow, the elaboration may have a traditional association with Guy’s story (the cherub’s warning to Phelys suggests medieval warnings to ‘‘daungerous’’— standoffish—women), but its adumbration and the emphasis made by illustration are early modern interventions. Like the final encounter between Guy and Phyllis in the cave, the fight between Bevis and the dragon of Cologne is part of the knight’s story in its medieval form. Yet while the particular realization of the cave image in later printings of Guy seems to favor the expansion of the death scene found in postmedieval versions, the image used to picture Bevis’s dragon after the Middle Ages may trace its peculiarities to a (perhaps desperate) attempt to fit the monster to its medieval description. Thomas East’s 1585 image (figure 35) is the first surviving representation of the dragon, though many of the other illustrations in this printing are taken from Pynson’s 1503 edition.56 This peculiarly human dragon is a constant feature into the late seventeenth century, as the picture is either reused or copied—it appears in a more elegant rendering in a 1630 verse edition, for example, and in a cruder version in a 1691 prose retelling.57 It seems at first that this figure is out of keeping with the medieval poem’s description of the dragon: His eren were rowe and ek long, His frount be-fore hard and strong; Ei9te toskes at is mou3 stod out, 3e leste was seuentene ench about, 3e her, 3e cholle vnder 3e chin, He was bo3e lei3 and grim; A was i-maned ase a stede; 3e heued a bar wi3 meche pride, Be-twene 3e scholder and 3e taile Foure and twenti fot, saunfaile. His taile was of gret stringe3e,

Figure 35. Bevis fights the dragon of Cologne, from Thomas East’s printing of Syr Bevis of Hampton, 1585. The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, S. Seld.D.45 (2), F.ii r. By permission.

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Sextene fot a was a ling3e; His bodi ase a wintonne. Whan hit schon 3e bri9te sonne, His wingges schon so 3e glas. His sides wer hard ase eni bras. His brest was hard ase eni ston; A foulere 3ing nas neuer non.58

This dragon is huge, tusked, with an enormous tail and a body like a wine tun; it is hard as brass and stone, and shines like glass. Many elements of the dragon’s description are lost in the shift to print, and what is left seems to suit the illustration in East’s version more closely.59 In the 1503 print, the dragon is not described until Bevis actually meets it, and then in much more general terms, but a few crucial details overlap with the manuscript version: And whan the dragon that foule is, Had a syght of syr beuys, He cast vp a loude crye, As it had thundred in the skye. He tourned his bely agaynst the sonne, Whyche was as great as any tonne. His skales bryghter were than glasse. And moche harder than any brasse. Bytwene his shulders and his tayle. Was .xl. fote wythouten fayle.60

The illustration in East picks up on the emphasis in both the manuscript and early print versions on the dragon’s tail and on the comparison of his body to glass and brass. The human face in the picture is not described in either manuscript or print, though it could, through a stretch of the imagination, be made to fit the medieval poem’s assertion that the dragon of Cologne was once a human king. In any case, the peculiarities of the dragon illustration all suggest a purpose-made illustration, and indeed the 1585 picture was purpose-made—but not for Bevis. Instead, it seems likely to have been made originally for Wynkyn de Worde’s printing of Stephen Hawes’s (c. 1474–before 1529) The Pastime of Pleasure. Hawes’s dragon is a fantastic mixture of metals, feathers, and bristles, with a face ‘‘lyke a mayden’’ and another head on its tail.61 This is a particularized illustration, then, and when Thomas East went looking for pictures to expand the basic series of Pynson’s Bevis illustrations, this one was close enough to seem, like those original 1503 images, to have been specifically intended for Bevis.62 I do not mean to suggest that more care was necessarily taken with Bevis than with Guy. For example, East actually reuses the dragon illustration elsewhere, in his printing of Arthur of Little Britaine,63 and as noted above, at least some


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of the Pynson woodcuts are general enough to have been widely used. But it does seem that the combination of chance survival and deliberate choice has meant that Bevis is still recognizably related, visually, to its medieval roots into the eighteenth century, in a way that Guy is not. Thus far I have dealt with illustrations which were specifically created or chosen for either Guy or Bevis. I would like now to consider the effects of truly generic images and/ or the reuse of textually specific pictures in later printings of these two romances, in order to argue that here again, differing transmission histories have resulted in the preservation of one text, and the transformation of the other. It is of course common in early print for woodcuts to be reused, and for new woodcuts to be modeled on old ones. These habits are not unique to printers of Guy or Bevis. There are prints of both romances in which stock images—generic pictures of knights or of weddings, for example—are used to illustrate the text. There is repetition from one romance to the other of some these sorts of images. Both Bevis and Guy fight giants, and in fact the same picture is used to illustrate Guy’s fight with the Danish giant Colbrond and Bevis’s battle with Ascopart.64 Yet even in this apparently haphazard treatment of illustration there are differences between the visual histories of Bevis and Guy. The stock images found in the earliest printings of Bevis persist, while those found in Guy do not. For example, the woodcut illustrating the forced marriage of Ivor and Josian in Pynson’s 1503 edition is still being used in Thomas East’s 1585 printing; another variation on the wedding picture, also in East’s 1585 printing, is still used as late as 1610, and can also be traced back to the earliest English printers (figure 36).65 A woodcut of knights jousting, used by Pynson in 1503 to illustrate the section in which Josian gives birth in the forest, becomes a common feature of later printings too. As is the case with the marriage woodcut, there are various stock images available for this use. The image of knights used by Pynson at this place in the text occurs in several printings by Wynkyn de Worde.66 What is more, the fragment that survives of Wynkyn de Worde’s 1533 printing of Bevis67 makes use of a different woodcut of knights jousting at this point: in this case, the woodcut appears as well in several other prints by de Worde, and seems clearly to be the basis for a recut image in Copland’s Guy of Warwick.68 That is, the first printer decides to insert a stock image at this point in the text, and a stock representation of knightly conflict then remains a part of the print tradition of Bevis well into the eighteenth century. The illustrations to versions of Guy are remarkably persistent too, but as I have suggested, the program which persists represents a somewhat later set of readings of Guy’s story. Two visual strands develop around Guy, each conforming to later adaptations and/ or expansions of the narrative. By the end of the eighteenth century, there is Guy the (dying)

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 36. (left) Josian marries Ivor, from Richard Pynson’s Bevis, 1503. The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Douce B.Subt.234, 26. By permission. (right) Josian marries Ivor, from Thomas East’s Bevis, 1585 (1590?). The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, S. Seld.D.45 (2), fol. Dii v. By permission.

lover, and Guy the monster killer. These strands frequently coexist, both visually and textually, but the careful treatment of the events that characterizes the manuscript versions is often lost. While Guy is a monsterkiller in the medieval poem (even if the Dun Cow is not one of the monsters), and while he is also a repentant lover, the deployment of these elements in his story is considerably more subtle in the medieval texts than in the picture-story told in later versions. Figure 37 shows a laterseventeenth century version of the ballad ‘‘Was ever knight for lady’s sake/ So tosst in love as I Sir Guy.’’69 The text of the ballad was familiar to readers like Nichols, as we have seen, through its appearance in Percy’s Reliques, while the pictures used to illustrate it were common in seventeenth-century adaptations. This broadside uses the boar-on-a-stick image and the cave image next to each other, referring visually to the two parts of Guy’s life, but the ballad’s title makes clear that the shift from one role to the other is treated in a fairly facile manner. Individual


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moments also often lose their complexity in Guy’s transmission history. For example, the boar/ Earl Florentin episode in the Auchinleck version is the catalyst for the unrolling of another sequence of vengeance. Guy, having killed the earl’s son in self-defense in a dispute over the boar, is enjoying the earl’s hospitality, unaware of the connection, when the body is brought into the banquet hall; battle ensues. Richmond argues that the presence of the Earl Florentin episode in the Taymouth Hours suggests that the medieval illustrator has understood very well how this incident illustrates the limitations, as well as the glories, of chivalric activities: in one image Guy stands over a pile of bodies, while in the other the hospitality which has been disrupted is illustrated.70 By the late seventeenth century, however, the boar is deployed visually and textually simply as one of the many creatures killed by Guy: commonly used pictures are the dragon fights, the Dun Cow encounter, and the slaying of the boar. The boar’s head becomes a kind of token for Guy in pictures such as the broadside illustration in figure 37, and the related pictures used on the covers of chapbooks in the eighteenth century. Guy, in other words, leaves the Middle Ages in a visual package which strips some aspects of his story of their medieval emphases and/ or subtleties. Eventually Guy’s fame as a monster-killer is so pronounced that the version of his story in Andrew Lang’s 1905 Red Romance Book begins by disposing of the Dun Cow to turn to who ‘‘Sir Guy really was’’;71 though as Lang retains the dragon in a version which otherwise focuses mostly on the winning of Felice, it seems the pull of the monsters remains. The visual characterization of Guy as a monster-killer tends to run somewhat counter to the textual unfolding, both medieval and early modern, of the significance of at least some of these encounters; namely, the giant fights. Because Bevis also fights giants, it is worth looking at how these encounters are treated in the postmedieval life of these stories, and it becomes clear that once again, the Bevis illustrations look back to the medieval version of the story in a way that the Guy illustrations do not. Modern commentators often note the nationalism involved in Guy’s battles with Amorant and Colbrond. Both giants are explicitly non-English: in the Auchinleck version, for example, Guy tells Amorant ‘‘Cristen icham, wele 3ou wost,/ Of Inglond born,’’ and Amorant responds by wishing that this Englishman were Guy.72 As for the Danish champion, the giant Colbrond, he comes ‘‘Out of Aufrike,’’ and the poem emphasizes the presence of the ‘‘Danismen’’ and the threat they pose to ‘‘Inglond.’’73 The postmedieval adaptations pick up on these associations and indeed expand upon them. The adaptations are often preceded by poems to ‘‘the noble English nation’’ extolling the virtues of Englishmen in general and Guy in particular, and the battle against Colbrond gets special attention as a triumph of the best England can

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 37. A Pleasant Song of the Valiant Deeds of Chivalry, atchieved by . . . Sir Guy of Warwick. The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Bodleian Wood 401 (3). By permission.

produce over an altogether alien threat. This last battle is sometimes presented, in those accounts that present themselves as history rather than as fictional narrative, as the factual kernel of Guy’s legend. William Dugdale, writing in 1656, remarks on the memory of which Guy, for his great valour, hath ever since been, and yet is so famous, that the vulgar are of opinion that he was a man of more then ordinary stature; and the Welch, taking notice of his brave exploits will needs have him to be descended from Brittish parentage: but of his particular adventures, least what I say should be suspected for fabulous, I will onely instance that Combate betwixt him and the Danish Champion Colebrand, whom some (to magnifie our noble Guy the more) report to have been a Giant.74

The reference to Welsh claims on Guy suggests another strand to the nationalist discourse surrounding Guy. But in the medieval versions of


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Guy’s story, the conflict is not only national, but also and even more important, religious in character. Athelstan is guided by an angelic vision to the pilgrim Guy, and Guy explicitly calls on Christ before his battle: ‘‘ ‘Lord,’’ seyd Gij, ‘‘3at rered Lazeroun, & for man 3oled passioun, & on 3e rode gan blede, 3at saued Sussan fram 3e feloun, & halp Daniel fram 3e lyoun, To-day wisse me & rede: Astow art mi9ti heuen king, To-day graunt me 3i blisseing, & help me at 3is nede. & leuedi Mari ful of mi9t, Today saue Inglondes ri9t, & leue me wele to spede.75

England’s right is here in God’s hands. There are some early modern adaptations that share the religious coloring of the medieval romance. In Lloyd’s Briefe Discourse (1584), for example, Guy introduces himself as a kind of crusader, an opponent of infidels: I Am Guy the Barron bold, of deede the doughtiest knight That in my daies in England was, with shield or speare in fight. An English man I am by birth, in faith a Christian true: The wicked lawes of Infidels I vtterlie eschue.76

More common, however, is the tendency to cut down on some of Guy’s foreign battles, and/ or to emphasize the conflict with Colbrond as one of nation to nation. In these cases, religion is certainly important, but the expression of the conflict is explicitly ethnic. In Rowlands’s influential adaptation, for example, there is no angelic voice; Guy is in the crowd to hear Colbrond’s taunting of the English, and he begins his battle with the Danish giant, not with a prayer, but with a warrior’s challenge: ‘‘manhood should never rayle,/ To beate the ayre with blasts of idle winde:/ A souldiers weapon, best can tell his tale,/ Thy desteny vpon my sword I finde.’’77 Rowlands’s Guy does tell Athelstan after the battle to give the glory to God, but the encounter is not presented as a religious conflict to nearly the same extent as in the medieval versions. The Famous History of Guy Earl of Warwick, a seventeenth-century prose version, spends much time on ‘‘our knight,’’ the English, and the ‘‘Bloody Danes.’’ Again Athelstan’s angelic dream is excised, and again Guy fights in particular response to Colbrond’s disparagement of the English: ‘‘Is now said Colbrond all your English courage become so Timerous that you dare not fight? What mighty boasting hath there been in

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


forraign nations of these English Cowards, as if they had done deeds of Wonder, who now like foxes hid their heads.’’78 Yet printing practice with respect to the giant fights tends to pull against both the hagiographic, medieval readings of Guy’s combats as religious in character, and against the emphasis, in some of the adaptations, on the ethnic and nationalist qualities of these encounters. As is the case with the other monster fights, the pictures that illustrate Guy’s encounters with giants are frequently repeated and/ or copied from printing to printing, and there is no concern for preserving the association of one particular image with one particular giant—Amorant may be Colbrond, and even, as noted above, Bevis’s Ascopart. Sometimes, as with the dragon fights, the same illustration is used for both giant fights. The conflict illustrated by one of these pictures can even be a human one: in one 1681 printing of Shurley’s Renowned History (figure 38), the chapter which recounts how Guy kills the wicked Duke Oton is headed with a picture used in other contemporary printings to illustrate one or the other of the giant fights.79 There are also few visual cues in these images as to the specifically non-Christian nature of Guy’s opponents. It seems to me particularly significant that there is no attempt to represent Colbrond’s African descent. The Caius MS version of the poem specifies that the giant has a ‘‘blake visage,’’ and all the medieval versions make much of his black armor, appropriate to ‘‘a fende of helle.’’80 Yet all the giant pictures simply show the giants as larger white figures,81 often indistinguishable, at least in dress, from the figure intended to represent Guy. Even when we can isolate an obviously ‘‘othered’’ giant figure, printing practice rapidly undermines any apparent security in the visual story being told. For example, figure 39 shows the giant illustrations from a printing (c. 1620) of Rowlands’s Famous History.82 Here Amorant does appear outlandish, and Guy, rather than wearing the plate armor in which he normally appears, seems more believably a figure of an earlier period.83 But in the second image, both figures are conventionally armed and equipped, and Colbrond is merely larger than Guy. What is more, in a 1654 printing of the same text, these two pictures are reversed, so that the armored figure represents Amorant and the one armed with a club represents Colbrond.84 The giants, like the boar and the dragon, are presented and thus read, at least visually, purely as fearsome opponents, functioning merely as trophies, tokens of the hero’s general prowess. It does matter that Guy fights giants; it does not seem to matter that these giants should carry any markers more specific than those of simple size. Like Guy, Bevis is a fighter against an explicitly non-Christian other,85 but unlike Guy, he is shown to be so visually, as well as textually. In the medieval versions of his story Guy fights plenty of Saracens, but it is Bevis who is overwhelmingly associated through illustration, from an early


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Figure 38. Guy fights Oton, in The Renowned History, or the Life and Death of Guy Earl of Warwick, 1681. BL 12403.aa.35, F.2 v. By permission of the British Library.

stage, with this kind of struggle. Only one of Guy’s eastern battles is illustrated, the fight with the Egyptian giant Amorant, and as I have noted above, there is nothing in those illustrations to suggest what kind of giant Amorant is; even when he is clearly a wild man, as in the Rowlands illustration in figure 39, he is not marked as eastern. Ascopart, on the

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 39. Guy fights Amorant and Guy fights Colbrond, from a 1620 printing of Samuel Rowlands’s Famous History; M v and P v. By permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University.

other hand, clearly wears a turban in the Pynson woodcut discussed above, and turbans are a prominent feature of Bevis’s Christmas Day combat (a combat provoked when the Muslim members of court insult Bevis’s religion) and of the boar-killing episode as well. The boar incident is particularly interesting (figure 40). As we have seen, a boar is one of several fearsome creatures slain by Guy, and the boar’s head becomes his insignia in the image used on broadsides and on the title pages of the chapbooks and their immediate predecessors. The common title page image for Guy’s story shows a knight carrying a boar’s head on a stick, while the image used to illustrate the fight simply offers two figures, the knight and the boar. In Bevis’s case, the killing of the boar is visually contextualized in such a way as to emphasize where Bevis is when it occurs. The boar-slaying happens when the young Bevis is at the court of the Armenian king, and the picture commonly used to illustrate the moment, from Pynson on down, includes many turbaned figures. The illustration shows, in other words, the wonder of the heathens as they observe the prowess of the Christian boy. And because the images associ-


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Figure 40. (left) Bevis kills the boar, in Richard Pynson’s Bevis, 1503; The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Douce B.Subt.234, 13. By permission. (right) Bevis kills the boar, in Richard Bishop’s 1639 printing of Sir Bevis of Hampton, B.3 v. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

ated with Bevis’s story tend to persist from this earliest printing, the emphasis on the eastern setting moves from Pynson’s late medieval printing and into the early modern world. It is important to note that the illustrations discussed above represent two different types of textual tradition. On the one hand, many of the Guy illustrations, as we have seen, are first found in, and speak most clearly to, the later adaptations of the medieval poem. Thus far for Bevis on the other hand, we have been looking at illustrations that, even into the seventeenth century, accompany what is still essentially the medieval verse romance. The influence of the 1503 illustrative program is such that even when the woodcuts are redone or replaced, as in the 1639 printing by Richard Bishop which contributes the second example in figure 40, the emphasis on the foreignness of Bevis’s adventures remains and is even enhanced. Bishop’s illustrations are based on the Pynson series and its survival/ expansion in Thomas East’s 1585 printing. East had used an image found in Pynson’s 1513 printing of Lydgate’s Hystorye, Sege and Dystruccyon of Troye to illustrate Bevis being sold into slavery,

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


and had also included an illustration for Bevis’s destruction of the idols. In Bishop’s copies of these illustrations, the headdress on the merchant is much more obviously a turban, and Bevis’s destruction of the idols is more specifically rendered than in the generic woodcut used by East for this scene.86 Thus by 1639, the eastern element is visually enhanced, but within a framework of illustration first established by Pynson’s turbaned giant and Saracens. The cycle of Bevis illustrations even in the seventeenth century is old, then, in its consonance with the 1503 printing. And yet the illustration series is also in keeping with new textual emphases, and this perhaps explains the continuing influence of the late medieval illustrations even once the medieval text comes to be adapted. This point can be illustrated through two seventeenth-century adaptations of Bevis. Michael Drayton (1563–1631) features both Guy and Bevis in his Poly-Olbion of 1612. His account of Bevis’s feats includes this description of the Christmas battle: Then sang shee, in the fields how as he went to sport, And those damn’d Paynims heard, who in despightfull sort Derided Christ the Lord, for his Redeemer’s sake He on those heathen hounds did there such slaughter make, That whilst in their black mouthes their blasphemies they drue, They headlong went to hell.87

Bevis’s anti-pagan role is clear in Drayton. Guy, for his part, is the ‘‘English Hercules.’’88 Drayton concentrates on the battle with Colbrond, so that Guy’s heroism, while certainly involving the defeat of a monstrous ‘‘other,’’ is couched in terms of English nationalism. Bevis’s exploits are clearly intended to suggest those of St. George, so this failure of his combat to shade from religious into ethnic nationalism is curious, but it can I think be explained through reference to another version of his story. A 1689 prose adaptation, the Famous and Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Southampton, has a preface which presents the tale as being retold ‘‘for the honour of our Country,’’ asking that it should ‘‘live in the thoughts of every true English Man, and be to them a pattern of Heroick Virtue, that by imitating him, they may raise the very name of the British Empire, as formerly it was, to be the Terror of the World.’’89 Yet despite the words of the preface, the adaptation itself concentrates more on the foreign battles than on Bevis’s Englishness. Indeed, I would argue that it is precisely because of his imperialist possibilities that Bevis in fact becomes less English, or less a representative of the English—that the fascination is in the exotic and religious aspects of the eastern encounter, as the illustrations discussed above suggest. In the 1689 adaptation, elements of the medieval story which root Bevis in English soil are written out; for example, the second conflict with Edgar


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and the battle between Bevis and his sons and the populace of London are gone. It is of course problematic to have a British hero slaughtering his countrymen, so the excision makes some sense, but it does leave a gap in Bevis’s history. On the other hand, this adaptation adds extra episodes in Babylon, creating for example a romance between Bevis’s son Miles and the sultan’s daughter (rather than the marriage to Edgar’s daughter that is arranged for Miles in the medieval poem). And this printing makes use three times of the redrawn version of the Pynson illustration for the Christmas combat (figure 41). John Ganim has argued that the study of medieval romance has always had as one element a fascination with the East, and that the eighteenth-century scholars who brought renewed attention to romance—men like Warton and Percy—‘‘constructed a medieval world that was both a native past and an exotic otherness.’’90 The illustration programs that accompanied Guy and Bevis into this crucial century, whether by accident or design, played into both this fascination and its role in the construction of medieval romance as an object of study. It would be misleading to suggest that the particular Bevis we meet in Pynson’s illustrations and from then onward is a complete version of the medieval romance hero. Bevis, like Guy, is very English, and both Bevis and Guy were inscribed on the English landscape in medieval and postmedieval times. Arundel Castle was said to have been named for Bevis’s horse, who had won Bevis a race there, while Warwick was a popular tourist destination in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet the extra stamp of Englishness continues to attach particularly to Guy, at least in the literary tradition. A popular chapbook version of his story, first printed in 1706, became the basis for The Noble and Renowned History of Guy Earl of Warwick as printed for John Merridew of Warwick in 1821 and reprinted and sold in various forms to tourists throughout the nineteenth century.91 The poem ‘‘In Praise of the Foregoing History’’ presents Guy as the chapbook pictures also did. He is the English champion, but his fame as a monster-killer nevertheless receives greater emphasis than his military role. While the poem acknowledges Guy’s martial exploits—‘‘His courage made the haughty Colbron yield,/ And all the Danish army fly the field’’—the interest quickly shifts to the many ‘‘savage beasts’’ Guy fought: Witness the monstrous cow on Dunsmore Heath, Within whose bowels he his sword did sheathe: Witness that dragon, whose envenom’d breath Had almost like to’ have been a lion’s death, Yet this fell beast, though pointed round with flame, To Guy’s bright sword a victim soon became. And witness also that prodigious boar,

Figure 41. Battle scene from The Famous and Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Southampton, 1689. This instance is on page 35; the image occurs twice more. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.


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Figure 42. The Noble and Renowned History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 1821.

Which his resistless courage caused to roar; This mighty monster having stricken dead, He, as a trophy, carry’d off his head. He in like manner served a dragon too, Which in Northumberland he also slew.

There is a nod to Guy’s Englishness, as the reader is urged, ‘‘And as thou reads’t be this remember’d too,/ He was an Englishman all this did do.’’92 Guy’s role as a lover also receives mention, but his medieval identity as a Christian champion does not. It is worth noting that G.L.’s version, reprinted here for the tourists of Warwick, is one of those later adaptations which omits elements such as Athelstan’s dream and Guy’s prayer, thus deemphasizing the religious nature of the conflict, in the manner discussed above with respect to the seventeenth-century Famous History. The little traveler’s book has as its frontispiece an engraving of the statue at Guy’s Cliff (figure 42); like Nichols’s maple bowl, this

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


object is a token for Guy’s story, and both accord a kind of historical authenticity to that story through their presence and their reproduction. Merridew makes particular reference to the accuracy of the engraving, vouching for ‘‘the correct engraving of the statue, as it now appears in the chapel of Guy’s Cliff.’’ Bevis was similarly memorialized for tourists by the presence of his sword, Morglay, at Arundel Castle, but there seems to be less investment in asserting the truth of the story. This, for example, is the account in The Southampton Guide of 1774: A sword of a vast magnitude is shewn at Arundel-castle, which, they pretend, belonged to Sir Bevis; and the vast mound of earth, which is now converted into a wilderness at Bevis-Mount, is supposed to have been thrown up by the Saxons, under the command of this champion, to oppose the passage of the Danes over the river, who lay encamped on the opposite shore. I have seen an old book, without date, entitled, ‘‘The famous and renowned history of Sir Bevis of Southampton,’’ who, the writer observes, for his worthy exploits, and great actions, may be justly ranked with the best champions of Christendom. . . . At this day are two gigantic pictures to be seen, one of Bevis, the other of Ascupart, on each side of the bar-gate, Southampton.93

The somewhat skeptical tone is heightened in a very similar account in Britannica Curiosa of 1776, an account which makes it clear that the story of Bevis is regarded as more fiction than history, and which underlines as well the focus of Bevis’s later survival: This vast mound of earth is now converted into a wilderness, and the whole laid out with great taste and judgment. At Arundel-Castle they shew a sword of a vast magnitude, which they pretend belonged to Sir Bevis; and there are two gigantic pictures still to be seen, one of Bevis, the other of Ascupart, on each side of the Bargate, Southampton. The following couplet will give the reader a sufficient history of this warrior, without relating the whole fable. ‘‘Bevis conquered Ascupart, and after slew the boar,/ And then he crost beyond the sea, to combat with the Moore.’’94

It is worth noting that neither of these accounts tells the story of how Arundel (the place) got its name. Bevis survived much longer in something close to its original verse form than did Guy, appearing in print largely unaltered well into the seventeenth century, but it too was eventually adapted. A common feature of the later adaptations was to all but remove the wonderful horse Arondel from the tale, thus deemphasizing the strongest geographical link between Bevis and the English countryside. One mid-eighteenth century printing does include a handsome illustration of the horse,95 but the story of the race, which had been part of the print tradition through the end of the seventeenth century, is gone.96 The legend may have diminished even further in the nineteenth


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century because George Ellis does not specifically mention the naming of the castle (which occurs at line 3542 in the medieval romance), though he describes the race, in the pre´cis he offers of Bevis in his very influential Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances (1805).97 David Matthews notes Ellis’s tendency to a detached irony in his retellings, and suggests that there is an element of the ‘‘bluffer’s guide’’ in his work.98 Both these aspects of Ellis’s influence can be seen in, for example, a paper read to the Sussex Archaeological Society in 1851, challenging the traditions associated with the town of Arundel’s name. Mark Antony Lower (1813–76), an indefatigable antiquary and a key member of the Society, treats the tradition with considerable condescension. He cites Ellis at length, closes with the final lines from the romance, and then remarks, ‘‘So ends the celebrated medieval romance, upon which one or two very brief remarks will suffice. First, it will be observed that no mention whatever of the town of Arundel occurs in it.’’99 Lower might have missed the incident in the medieval romance or in the many printings which included it, but it is also possible that he never read it, relying on Ellis or on the later adaptations of the romance. In the nineteenth, as in the eighteenth century, then, gentlemanly antiquarianism continues to depend on transmission histories as well as upon ‘‘original’’ documents, and with similar results. The rhyme quoted in Britannica Curiosa, however arch the tone of the report, does give us Bevis as a killer of monsters both domestic and foreign: this representation may be seen as a continuation of the emphasis on turbans and idols in the earliest illustrative program. It seems that for Bevis, his connection to the foreign, to the exotic, was at least as important as his local associations. Bevis begins to merge with St. George in the printings of this period: as Arthur Johnston points out, ‘‘The story of St. George and the fair Sabra, which is a version of the romance of Bevis, was extracted from Johnson’s romance [Richard Johnson’s The Seven Champions of Christendom] more than once before 1700, and printed in chapbook form later.’’100 One could argue that even this assimilation of Bevis to St. George arises as much from Bevis’s similarly exotic exploits as from any nationalist associations: George travels to Egypt to kill his dragon and then returns to England with his foreign princess. The pragmatic economies of print contribute to the conflation, as one, 1693 printing of the Ballad of St. George for England, features the picture used in 1585 to show Bevis killing the dragon of Cologne.101 Thus in the end, despite the longer survival of the medieval version of Bevis’s story, both Bevis and Guy come to be defined by the emphases and tastes of later adaptors and readers, though Bevis remains more closely related to his medieval textual roots, thanks in large part to the

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


influence of Pynson’s illustrations. I close with the illustrations of the retelling of both heroes’ stories in the antiquary William J. Thoms’s Gammer Gurton’s Story Books (c. 1843).102 Thoms (1803–1885) founded Notes and Queries in 1849 as an offshoot of a column he had overseen at The Athenaeum devoted to old customs and popular superstitions, coining the term ‘‘folk-lore’’ to describe its focus.103 The Gammer Gurton series, which he published under the pseudonym Ambrose Merton, consisted of thirteen storybooks issued separately between 1843 and 1845 by the publisher Joseph Cundall (1818–95), who had already entered the world of publishing for children through Felix Summerly’s Home Treasury.104 The Gammer Gurton stories were The Famous History of Sir Guy of Warwick; A True Tale of Robin Hood; Gammer Gurton’s Garland; The Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Hampton; The Doleful Story of the Babes in the Wood; A Merry Tale of the King and the Cobbler; The Famous History of Friar Bacon; The Romantic Story of Princess Rosetta; A Rare Ballad of the Beggar’s Daughter; The Excellent History of Tom Hickathrift; The Mad Pranks of Robin Goodfellow; A Famous Ballad of Fair Rosamond; and The Pleasant Story of Patient Grissell. Later the books were issued with several stories bound together. The storybooks are an odd mixture of titles and of elements. The name ‘‘Gammer Gurton’’ (a gammer is the female equivalent of a gaffer, an old man) and certain stories in the list suggest Thoms’s interest in ‘‘folk’’ culture, as do other associations with the name: Gammer Gurton’s Needle (c. 1533) is one of the oldest comedies written in English and Gammer Gurton’s Garland (c. 1783/1795) is Joseph Ritson’s collection of nursery songs and verses. The presence of both Guy and Bevis in the list of ‘‘Gammer Gurton’’ texts, then, may serve to contextualize them as simple, as remnants of a childlike culture of the past. Johnston suggests that the movement of medieval romances into chapbooks and thence ultimately the nursery was congenial to the eighteenth-century tendency to see the Middle Ages as the childhood of literature;105 that view persists (as Chapter 4 will also show) into the nineteenth-century medieval revival. But these particular children’s books are also elegant and sophisticated productions of one of the best presses in England, the Chiswick Press. They include elaborate initials and page borders, clearly inspired by medieval illuminated books of hours; some printings are colored;106 the bindings of some are based on designs by Hans Holbein; and the frontispiece illustrations are elaborate.107 That is, these are visually quite distinct from the increasingly poorly produced chapbooks to which Guy and Bevis had, by the end of the eighteenth century, been reduced. Their illustrations, however, suggest some thematic continuities with the emphases I have been tracing throughout this chapter. In figure 43, Guy is presented with Phyllis, who gazes adoringly at him, as do his bird, his horse, and his dog. This illustration is the work of John


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Figure 43. Opening of Guy of Warwick in Gammer Gurton’s Famous Histories, c. 1845.

Frederick Tayler (1806–89), a water colorist and etcher known for his equestrian and historical subjects. He was a favorite of Queen Victoria’s.108 If in some of the earlier images we have explored Guy is largely shown to be a monster-killer, here is an illustration which shows Guys as the perfect (nineteenth-century) English gentleman. Just as the Red Romance Book felt the need to begin by dismissing Guy’s more outlandish exploits, this version of his story aims to reinscribe him firmly as a noble model for English children. Thus Guy is once again undergoing a transformation, one that is here pictured for us. As for Bevis, he is still associated, as he has been from 1503, with the mysterious East. Here, in another illustration by Tayler (figure 44), he is shown with his princess (who looks reassuringly English), but he is fully armed and turned away from her, and the monstrous Ascopart, noticeably dark of skin and with hair suggestive of horns, dominates the illustration. In the medieval romance, Guy resists all the women he meets on his travels in favor of his first, English love, Phyllis. Bevis finds love abroad, marrying his foreign princess and eventually settling with her away from the land of his birth, and while his role as converter of the Saracens is

Sir Guy (and Sir Bevis)


Figure 44. Opening of Bevis of Hampton in Gammer Gurton’s Famous Histories, c. 1845.

insisted on and even heightened in some seventeenth-century retellings, the illustrations tend to confirm the suspicion that the emphasis on exotic locales and opponents is as important as the Christian coloring. Guy and Bevis travel to many foreign lands, but (when he is more than a mere slayer of odd beasts), Guy’s Englishness and piety trump his travels. Bevis appeals to different tastes and desires, and whether it is the accident of printers’ pragmatic reuse of woodcuts that are to hand, or a deliberate visual emphasis to bring out a particular aspect of Bevis’s story, he remains for his whole history the character seen in Auchinleck: an action hero who either kills Saracens or marries them. By the nineteenth century, Guy is the more prominent of the two heroes, featuring in more reprints and retellings than does Bevis. The thematic strand of Guy’s Englishness perhaps combined with the flexibility of his story in order to allow him yet another life in the social context which gave rise to, among other things, the children’s version of the medieval past to be discussed in Chapter 4. Perhaps Bevis was a bit marred, for such purposes, by his marital history. Or perhaps it was merely chance which brought about these two print histories, with their intertwining and diverging threads. The 1691 printing of The Gallant History of the Life and


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Death of that Most Noble Knight, Sir Bevis of Southampton ends with a truism: ‘‘So I conclude his Famous Acts here Pen’d;/ For Time and Death brings all things to an end.’’109 For its part, print brings both continuity and transformation—as the textual travels of these two medieval heroes have shown.

Chapter Three

Aristocratic Antiquaries Gower on Gower

My Lord. The Copy of Gower’s Poems was began some Time ago by my Son, who would have finish’d it according to his promise, by Midsummer, if every moment that could be spared from the War Office, for several Weeks past, had not necessarily been employ’d with Lord Clive, with whom he sailed last Monday for Bengall. In his great hurry on leaving London, the safe returning of the Manuscript to Your Lordship, was committed to my Care, with great Regret that after so long Delay, Your Lordship should be disappointed of having the Copy compleated. This unexpected Voyage to India, will, I hope plead his Excuse, who most earnestly wish’d for the honour of finishing the Work, to your Lordships Satisfaction.

On June 9, 1764, Henry Strachey of Sutton Court, Somerset, wrote to Granville Leveson-Gower (1721–1803), at that time second Earl Gower, regarding the latter’s commission to have a copy made of one of his manuscripts. The copyist was to be Henry Strachey (1736–1810), recently appointed secretary to Clive of India.1 The manuscript, now British Library Additional MS 59495, was the Trentham Manuscript, a collection of John Gower’s works which contained, among other things, the sole copy of the poet’s Cinkante Balades. The transcription (now British Library Additional MS 59496), despite the comments of Strachey senior, is complete: the signature of Henry Rooke, Clerk of the Rolls, witnessing to the truth of the copy, is found on the final folio.2 The existence of the transcription reminds us of the persistence of a kind of scribal culture long after the Middle Ages, and shows as well the persistent postmedieval linkages between handwriting and print.3 Today the manuscript and the transcription sit on the British Library’s shelves next to each other, and next to the proofs of the 1818 printing of Gower’s Balades and Other Poems which was produced for presentation to the aristocratic bibliophiles of the Roxburghe Club.4 The eighteenth-century


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transcription was the basis for this early nineteenth-century edition, and is in fact marked up in pencil for the direction of the printers. The edition was the work of George Granville Leveson-Gower, Earl Gower and later second Duke of Sutherland (1786–1861), the grandson of the Gower who commissioned the handwritten copy. The Roxburghe printing was the first complete printing of the Balades,5 and would remain the only edition until G. C. Macaulay produced the collected Works of Gower for Oxford between 1899 and 1902.6 The task of reproducing the Trentham manuscript shifts, between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from the hands of professional copyists to those of amateur dilettantes, though always under the direction of the noble family to whom the manuscript belonged. Facsimile is very much part of this story, as both early transmissions consciously mimicked certain aspects of the manuscript original, while overlooking others. Both productions made visual reference to the damage in the original manuscript, but one copied the text in an eighteenth-century hand, while the other used black letter type to mimic the medieval manuscript book. The transcription signalled the work’s importance through size and magnificence; the print made a point of reproducing the provenance signatures which witnessed to the object’s royal and aristocratic connections. And both versions approached the text in ways which do not meet modern editorial norms. By the time Gower’s poems receive what we might think of as professional, scholarly editorial attention, their reception has to some extent been predetermined and conditioned by this earlier history. This preconditioned reception exists in general terms for all the medieval works examined in this study, but the particular nature of Gower’s reception history throws the issues raised into sharp relief. The story of the Trentham manuscript, and of the postmedieval history of John Gower’s work more generally, underlines the mixed blessings of textual culture. Without the objects to be discussed in this chapter, Gower would not have survived the Middle Ages—but these same objects have had a great deal to do with setting the terms of that survival. And in Gower’s case, because there has not been a new complete scholarly edition of the poet’s works for more than a century, the effects of the past are particularly lingering. The welcome new student edition of the Confessio Amantis is still built on Macaulay; its modern and attractive presentation should do much to bring the poet into the twenty-first century, but the fact remains that the last time Gower was edited from the ground up, it was the ideas of the nineteenth century that ruled;7 and these ideas had themselves been shaped by the history that led up to the Trentham transcription. Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate were famously the triumvirate of ‘‘laureate’’ medieval poets, praised in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as

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the founders of the English poetic tradition.8 By the time of the Trentham transcription, however, Gower’s fortunes (along with Lydgate’s), had waned. Gower’s English Confessio Amantis was printed by William Caxton in 1483, and twice by Thomas Berthelette, in 1532 and 1554. These are significant printings, whose details I will discuss further below, but it should be remarked at the outset that as soon as he enters the age of print, Gower’s status as a multilingual poet disappears. There are no pre-nineteenth-century printings of the Latin or the French works.9 Even in the later Middle Ages, it seems clear that Gower’s great English poem is his most popular work, surviving as it does in some forty-nine manuscripts.10 But there is a substantial manuscript history for many of the other works as well, with eleven full or partial copies of the Vox Clamantis, five of the Cronica Tripertita, and thirteen of the Traitie´ Pour Essampler les Amantz Marietz (one of these in the Trentham manuscript). Some of these are found in manuscripts of the Confessio; some are freestanding; and some are part of manuscripts like Trentham, manuscripts which seem to have been intended almost as collections or anthologies. Certainly Gower himself reiterated, in both textual and physical monuments, his trilingual status. Most of the manuscripts of the English Confessio Amantis and the Latin Vox Clamantis end with the prose Latin Quia vnusquisque, an account of the poet’s books which stresses that he wrote first in French, then in Latin, and finally in English (and Latin, as the Confessio has a substantial Latin frame).11 The poem Eneidos Bucolis, found among the Latin end matter in two manuscripts of the Confessio and four of the Vox Clamantis and Cronica tripertita, praises the poet above Virgil because Gower mastered more than Latin: Romaque precipuis laudibus instat eis. Gower, sicque tuis tribus est dotata libellis Anglia, morigeris quo tua scripta seris. Illeque Latinis tantum sua metra loquelis Scripsit, vt Italicis sint recolenda notis; Te tua set trinis tria scribere carmina linguis Constat, vt inde viris sit scola lata magis: Gallica lingua prius, Latina secunda, set ortus Lingua tui pocius Anglica complet opus. [So Virgil’s honor’s claimed at Rome, While, Gower, you weave gifts at home Of little books for Englishmen– Your threefold song within the ken Of all. Virgil’s Latin verse Italic letters must rehearse; But French, then Latin stirred your tongue, That, last and best, in English sung.]12

The praise seems so much in keeping with Gower’s carefully crafted image that one cannot help but wonder if the ‘‘certain Philosopher’’ to


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whom the poem is attributed is in fact a mask for the poet himself.13 A last piece of that image is the poet’s tomb in Southwark Cathedral. This tomb (pictured in a nineteenth-century engraving discussed below as figure 45) features the poet’s effigy resting its head on a stack of three books, books which despite their Latinate titles in fact represent the major work in each of Gower’s three languages: the Latin Vox Clamantis, the French Speculum Meditantis (or Miroure de L’Omme), and the English Confessio Amantis. The tomb painting includes French inscriptions and a Latin epitaph, the latter also found at the end of a manuscript copy of Gower’s major Latin works.14 It is generally agreed that Gower had much to do with the arrangements for his tomb, as he did with the nods to poetic posterity in his manuscripts.15 Gower seems to have made efforts, in text, painting and stone, to ensure that his trilingual attainments would be honored beyond his death. These efforts, however, were partially thwarted, as I have suggested above, by the early print tradition. William Caxton’s 1483 printing of the Confessio Amantis has only a brief preface, in which the printer explains his decision to include a lengthy table of contents at the front of the work.16 The poem’s Latin frame and the usual Latin end matter from the manuscript tradition are represented, however,17 so while Caxton makes no specific reference to Gower’s other works, they continue to have at least some presence on his pages. Thomas Berthelette’s edition of 1532 goes somewhat further toward erasing Gower’s trilingual voice. Like Caxton’s edition, Berthelette’s offers the poem with its Latin frame, and it could be argued that he in fact emphasizes the poem’s Latinity through such humanistic design features as the book’s monumental format and the italic and small Roman types used for the Latin frame material.18 His printing, however, suppresses all the Latin end matter, concluding with the final English lines, followed by a perfunctory explicit which, oddly, mingles English with a grammatically correct adaptation of the poem’s Latin title: ‘‘Thus endeth De confessione Amantis.’’ Berthelette’s preface, more expansive than Caxton’s, includes a description of the tomb and its French inscriptions, but there is no mention of the Latin epitaph, and the Latin indulgence offered for those who pray for Gower’s soul appears only in English paraphrase. There is no description of the books under the poet’s head. Instead, Berthelette remarks that ‘‘somwhat after the olde fasshion he lyeth ryght sumptuously buryed with a garlande on his heed, in token that he in his lyfe dayes flourysshed fresshely in literature and science.’’19 Gower’s ‘‘laureate’’ status is clear in the preface, because Berthelette remarks on the connection between, and mutual excellence of, Chaucer and Gower. But that status has less to do with Gower’s mastery of Latin and French than the poet himself might have thought or wished. The importance of

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Gower’s Englishness is made explicit in Berthelette’s address to Henry VIII: There is to my dome no man but that he may bi reding of this warke get right great knowlege as wel for the vnderstandyng of many & diuers autors whose resons sayenges & histories are translated in to this warke as for the plenty of englysshe wordes and vulgars . . . whiche olde englysshe wordes and vulgars no wyse man bycause of theyr antiquite wyll throwe asyde. For the wryters of later dayes the whiche beganne to loth and hate these olde vulgars whan they them selfe wolde wryte in our englysshe tonge were constrayned to brynge in in their writynges newe termes . . . whiche they borowed out of latyne frenche and other langages . . . where as we haue all redy wordes approued and receyued of the same effecte and strength. The whiche if any man wante let hym resorte to this worthy olde wryter John Gower that shall as a lanterne gyue hym lyghte to wryte counnyngly and to garnysshe his sentencis in our vulgar tonge.20

For Berthelette, Gower is an example of good English usage, to be placed against the fashionable exoticisms of his own day. Such a contention may seem to sit somewhat oddly with a layout and typography that emphasize the poem’s Latin frame, but it is possible to see how a design which mimics humanist printings, along with editorial matter that asserts Gower’s laureate English status, combine to package the poet as a great English classic—as England’s Virgil, to return to the lavish praise of the possibly self-authored Eneidos Bucolis. But by the sixteenth century, this Virgil is indeed supremely and exclusively English. After Berthelette’s 1554 printing, Gower’s work experienced a decline in visibility much like that experienced by most of the monuments of medieval English literature, not appearing in complete form in print again until the nineteenth century; in Gower’s case, in 1810.21 Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur appeared last in 1634, in an edition based on sixteenth-century prints; William Langland’s Piers Plowman appeared last in 1561; and John Lydgate, so often linked in the sixteenth century with Chaucer and Gower, also last saw print in that century.22 Chaucer is of course the notable exception, and the links between Chaucer and Gower were understood to be such that the latter poet had a kind of ghostly existence through the dead years as a companion to Chaucer (a linkage which became increasingly problematic for Gower).23 The Trentham transcription, then, comes at a time when the poet’s fortunes have been at their lowest. And it bears witness to an aspect of Gower’s oeuvre which barely survived the Middle Ages, let alone the sixteenth century. Why, then, this particular reemergence? It is worth noting that Gower’s reputation as a writer in several languages, while it may not be well represented in his own print tradition, was nevertheless still alive in the later eighteenth century. Some of the literary historians of the period passed quickly over the non-English


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works, but there were a few who specifically praised Gower’s command of French and Latin. Joseph Towers (1737–1799), for example, remarked in his British Biography that Gower ‘‘was a great master of the French and Latin languages, as well as his own; and has left excellent specimens of his poetical genius in each of these languages.’’24 Brief samples of the non-English works are sometimes offered in the histories as well. But it was Gower’s tomb which was chiefly responsible for keeping the poet’s trilingual reputation alive. While Berthelette’s description of the tomb omits reference to the books under the poet’s head, the more complete description in John Stow’s Survey of London (1598) mentions the books, their titles, and their respective languages. Stow’s description was then repeated and incorporated into the many literary histories and biographies which followed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but while the detail of the trilingual books was thus preserved (though one careless plagiarist accidentally put them under the poet’s feet!),25 the perpetuation of the tomb description tended to lend Gower a monumentalism as much literal as literary, particularly in a period which routinely used the language of artifact and curiosity to refer to all the products of the past. Gower was by no means the only medieval poet whose works were presented to the public as specimens, relics, curiosities, and so on, but in Gower’s case several other factors colluded to reinforce the implications of this kind of language. The first is that the decoration of the tomb whetted the appetite of antiquarians, who began to quarrel over the poet’s exact armigerous status. Stow (1524/5–1605) opens his description in this way: John Gower a learned Gentleman and a famous Poet, (but no knight as some haue mistaken it) was then an especiall benefactor to that worke [the church of St Mary Overies], and was there buried on the North side of the said church vnder a tombe of stone, with his image also of stone lying ouer him: The haire of his heade aburne, long to his sholders, but curling vp, a small forked bearde, and on his head a chaplet, like a Coronet of foure Roses, therevpon an habite of purple, damasked downe to his feet, a collar of Esses gold about his necke, vnder his heade the likenesse of three bookes, which hee compiled. The first named Speculum Meditantis, written in French: The second Vox clamantis penned in Latine. The third Confessio Amantis, set forth in English.26

A marginal note adds ‘‘Iohn Gower was no knight neither had he any garland of Iuie & Roses but a Chaplet of foure Roses onely.’’ John Leland (c. 1503–1552) had asserted that the effigy was crowned in ivy and roses, signifying knightly rank.27 Leland also linked the poet to the noble family of the same name at Stittenham, Yorkshire: in the early eighteenth-century printing of Leland’s Itinerary, we read that ‘‘The House of Gower the Poe¨te, sumtyme chief Juge of the Commune Place, yet remaynith at Stitenham yn Yorkshir, and diverse of them syns have

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beene Knightes.’’28 Stow is probably reacting, not directly to Leland, but to John Bale (1495–1563). Leland’s notes became the basis for Bale’s entry on Gower in his Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytannie (1557–1559). In that entry, Bale writes unequivocally that Gower is of the knightly class and came from illustrious stock; and the entry closes with reference to Gower’s tomb and to the golden torque and the corona of ivy and roses, the first signaling knightly, and the second, poetic, rank.29 Thomas Fuller (1607/8–1661) takes up the entry and the argument in his History of the Worthies of England (1662), noting of Gower that: Bale makes him Equitem auratum & Poetam Laureatum, proving both from his Ornaments on his monumental Statue in Saint Mary Overies, Southwark. Yet he appeareth there neither laureated nor hederated Poet (except the leaves of the Bayes and Ivy be withered to nothing, since the erection of the Tomb) but only rosated, having a Chaplet of four Roses about his head. Another Author [Stow] unknighteth him, allowing him only a plain Esquire, though in my apprehension the Colar of S.S.S. about his neck speak him to be more. Besides (with submission to better judgements) that Colar hath rather a Civil than Military relation, proper to persons in places of Judicature, which makes me guess this Gower some Judge in his old age, well consisting with his original education.30

Fuller’s work is positioned conceptually somewhere between the cartographic antiquarian productions discussed in Chapter 1 and the literary biographies of the eighteenth century. It was organized by county, with attention paid to the notable landmarks, monuments, and inhabitants of each county. Gower’s entry appears in the section for Yorkshire, but the entry shows clearly that his London tomb is important in establishing his landmark status. The potent combination of poetic reputation, ancestry, and physical remains is seen clearly in these precursors to the literary biographies and histories which proliferated in the period that produced the transcription of the Trentham manuscript; but there is another way in which the tomb, and the family status it was thought to memorialize, are particularly relevant to Gower’s eighteenth-century reappearance. The connection between monuments and poetic posterity is suggested in one of the more original of the anthologies of the period, Elizabeth Cooper’s The Muses Library (1737), a chronologically organized collection of examples of English poetry. Cooper (1698–1761?) makes the connection between literary and natural history explicit in her preface: Philosophers, in a Series of Fossils, begin with Nature in her crudest State, and trace her, Step by Step, to the most refin’d.—In this Progress of English Poetry we must do the same; and they, who desire to see the Connexion, must bear with the rude Pebble, in order to be better pleas’d with the Ruby, and the Diamond. To set aside the Metaphor, few People suppose there were any Writers of Verse


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before Chaucer, but, as it appears there were many, ’tis absolutely necessary to give a Specimen from a few of them, both as Curiosities in themselves, and to manifest from what a low and almost contemptible Original, that happy Genius rais’d his Profession at once.31

Gower is rather more pebble than ruby to Cooper (though both, it should be noted, are readily found in cabinets of curiosities in the period): she writes that he ‘‘was a Man of Family, and Learning, but does not appear to have much Genius; his whole Work being little better than a cool Translation from other Authors.’’32 Cooper has little time for Latinity, remarking, in a reference to Joseph of Exeter, that as ‘‘He, Blanpain, Matthew Paris, William Ramsey, Alexander Nequam, Alexander Essebie and Havillan wrote all in Latin, the bare mention of their Names is rather more than belongs to this Collection.’’33 And she, unlike the authors of many similar books, is unimpressed with Lydgate: ‘‘Many Authors are so profuse in his Praise as to rank him very little below his Master, and, often, quote them together; which rais’d my Curiosity so high, that I gave a considerable Price for his Works, and waded thro’ a large Folio, hoping still to have my Expectation gratified.—But I must, either, confess my own want of Penetration, or beg Leave to dissent from his Admirers.’’34 The reference to the considerable price of the ‘‘large Folio’’ reminds us that these histories were being written against the backdrop of the trade in books—in old books and manuscripts, and in the many new books being created both to feed and to shape the appetites of the eighteenth-century reader.35 Many of the anthologists were connected in one way or another to the book trade, and the business of publishing is reflected in the appeals to and for patronage which are characteristic of the front matter in these volumes. Here again Cooper is a recognizably distinct voice, opening her work in this way: To the truly Honourable Society for the Encouragement of Learning. My Lords and Gentlemen, As the illustrious Families of the Howards, Sidneys, Sacvilles, Grevilles, &c have all an Interest in, and consequently should have a Respect for the Merit, and Fame of their most eminent Predecessors; ’tis morally impossible that a Work of this Nature shou’d want a Patron; yet I chuse rather to wave all private Applications, and address it to you: You have prov’d your selves ally’d to the Genius of those great Persons; their Descendants may be only Heirs to their Titles; and as you only have condescended to attempt the making a Provision for the living Learned, I may the more reasonably hope for your Assistance to preserve the Memories of the Dead.36

In addressing the Society for the Encouragement of Learning (founded in 1735 to help defray the costs of publishing scholarly books) Cooper deliberately draws a distinction between those with intellectual claims on the authors of the past and those with family claims. And it is here

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that the significance of Gower’s tomb and its prominence becomes clear. We may see the final working out of this prominence by jumping forward, past the Trentham transcription in 1764, to one of Gower’s reappearances in print in the early nineteenth century. In 1810, the Reverend Henry John Todd (1763–1845) published his Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer. Collected from Authentick Documents, dedicating it To the Most Noble George Granville Leveson Gower, Marquis of Stafford: My Lord, The dedication of a Work, which consists chiefly of materials interesting to curiosity and subservient to useful criticism, will not, it is hoped, be thought obtrusive. What respects the reformers of our language, and the fathers of our poetry, may be inscribed, I trust, with absolute propriety, to him who is the friend of Literature and the head of the illustrious House of Gower. To these motives of thus addressing your Lordship, must be added the wish of gratitude to acknowledge benefits received. From your Lordship’s Manuscripts many of these materials, by your permission, have been copied.37

Figure 45 shows that Todd’s Illustrations include that familiar object in treatments of Gower’s biography, the tomb. Chaucer’s tomb appears a few pages later, but Chaucer is also represented on the book’s frontispiece, in an illustration based on the famous Ellesmere portrait (figure 46). The poet’s finger points to Todd’s title, taking an active role, it seems, in the promotion of the work. The contrast to Gower could not be more marked. What is also notable is that this emphasis on Gower’s tomb, so much the norm in centuries past, is now a more self-conscious gesture, and one which depends on a fundamental and, it would seem, wilful error. The dedication is the key that explains Todd’s interest and his methods. These had everything to do with the world of proud ancestral patronage to which Cooper referred in her preface. By 1810, Todd had established his literary reputation through editions of the works of Milton and Spenser, and while the Illustrations suited his antiquarian interests, the volume seems at first an odd choice for one at his stage of career. But Todd had dedicated his first major work, an edition of Milton’s Comus, to Francis Henry Egerton (1756–1829), eighth Earl of Bridgewater, and he had been chaplain since 1803 to another member of the Egerton family, John William Egerton, the seventh Earl of Bridgewater. When Francis Egerton (1736–1803), the third and last Duke of Bridgewater, died in 1803 without issue, the dukedom lapsed, the earldom passed to his cousin John William Egerton, and his main heir was his nephew George Granville Leveson-Gower (1758–1833), that Marquess of Stafford whom Todd addresses in his dedication.38 It is against this family history that we can make sense both of Todd’s dedication, and of Cooper’s reference in her preface to those who are merely descended from great poets. The noble Gowers of the nineteenth cen-

Figure 45. Gower’s tomb, from Henry J. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writing of Gower and Chaucer, 1810.

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Figure 46. Frontispiece and title page from Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, 1810.

tury, like those of the eighteenth, when the Trentham manuscript was first copied, believed themselves to be descended from John Gower, through their assertion that they and he could all claim connection to the medieval Gowers of Stittenham in Yorkshire. Todd follows a familiar path in devoting much of his attention to Gower’s life-records. While he offers very little in the way of specimens of Gower’s writing—about fifteen pages of extracts from the Confessio with notes and about eight pages of extracts from and notes on the Balades39—he lavishes attention on manuscripts and historical documents. His commentary on Gower’s will, for example, is intended to support his contention that Gower was both wealthy and ‘‘well born.’’40 Todd then passes on to a deed preserved


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among ‘‘the ancient records of the Marquis of Stafford’’; this deed, localized to Stittenham and dated 1346, is witnessed John Gower, and on the back of the deed, in a later hand, this signature is annotated as that of ‘‘Sr. John Gower the Poet.’’41 Thus Todd asserts that John Gower was a member of the Yorkshire Stittenham family, concluding, ‘‘The proud tradition in the Marquis of Stafford’s family has been, and still is, that he [John Gower] was of Stitenham; and who would not consider the dignity of their genealogy augmented, in enrolling, among its worthies, the moral gower!’’42 In this context, then, Gower, presented chiefly by means of his visual and historical, rather than poetic, record, is a monument both to the past and to the genealogy of Todd’s patron. That the Leveson-Gowers could persist in their view of the relationship, and that Todd could thus encourage them in it, suggests wilful ignorance, since by 1810 it was certainly clear that Gower was not correctly to be linked to the Yorkshire Gowers. I have shown above how early the argument over Gower’s descent entered into the antiquarian and literary-historical discussions of his biography, as from the time of Bale and Leland onward, scholars had discussed the tomb and its heraldic significance. By the time Todd was writing, the argument over John Gower’s Stittenham connection was of several centuries’ duration. Perhaps Todd had not read these debates, yet his Illustrations includes Francis Thynne’s Animadversions (1598), the long letter directed to Thomas Speght to point out the latter’s errors in his edition of Chaucer. Thynne argues, among other things, with Speght’s repeating of Leland’s claims via Bale: Then in a marginall note of this title you saye agayne oute of Bale, that Gower was a Yorkshire manne. . . . Wherfore Bale hath mistaken yt, as he hath donne infynyte thinges in that Booke de Scriptoribus Anglie, beinge for the most parte the collections of Lelande. For in truth your armes of this Sr John Gower beinge argent on a cheuerone azure, three leopardes heddes or, do prove that he came of a contrarye howse to the Gowers of Stytenham in Yorkeshyre, who bare barruyle of argent and gules a crosse patye florye sable. Whiche difference of armes semeth a difference of famelyes.43

Thynne (1545?–1608) was soon to become Lancaster Herald and thus had a professional interest in the claims made for Gower’s descent. The attention he drew to the arms on the tomb was followed up by John Weever in his Ancient Funerall Monuments of 1631. Weever (1575/6–1632) recorded the inscription on the tomb of Sir Robert Gower of Braborne, in Kent, and asserted ‘‘From this familie Iohn Gower the Poet was descended.’’44 The poet is still of the gentry in this reading of his descent, and Weever elsewhere calls him ‘‘that old Poet Sir Iohn Gower Knight’’45 in keeping with the image that had taken such strong hold

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from the sixteenth century onward. But the poet is thus separated from the Stittenham Gowers. Yet despite reprinting Thynne’s Animadversions, Todd does not himself address the question of heraldry, leaning heavily instead on the deed and on the Leveson-Gower family’s own traditions. He may have had a perfectly pragmatic reason for so doing, but the book spurred another heraldically minded antiquary, Sir Harris Nicolas (1799–1848), to publish his ‘‘John Gower the Poet,’’ a scathing indictment of Todd’s neglect of armorial and other kinds of evidence in the advancing of the connection.46 Nicolas is clear as to Todd’s motive: ‘‘The desire of complimenting a noble house, seems to have induced the author . . . to adopt the opinion of those writers who have considered that [Gower] was a member of the family of Gower of Yorkshire, not only without evidence, but in direct opposition to the little which has been hitherto adduced.’’47 Nicolas concludes categorically that what Todd calls ‘‘the proud tradition in the Marquess of Stafford’s family’’ ‘‘has been founded upon error.’’48 But without this error, the history of at least one of Gower’s works would have been quite different. We return, then, to the Trentham transcription. Todd described the Trentham manuscript at some length, along with two other notable manuscripts in the larger family collection: the Ellesmere-Stafford copy of Gower’s Confessio, and the Ellesmere Chaucer (which contributed the frontispiece portrait of Chaucer). While there are also brief notices of many other Gower and Chaucer manuscripts, it is clear that Stafford’s possessions were the focus of Todd’s interest.49 Todd had before him, in fact, one of the more attractive of the Confessio manuscripts, as well as the rather atypically magnificent Ellesmere Chaucer, and he concludes his descriptions by remarking that ‘‘it will readily be conceded that, in possessing two such manuscripts of our ancient poetry, the noble owner may be justly congratulated by every Englishman.’’50 The noble Gowers thus own the medieval poet whose name they share in more ways than one, and are clearly inserted by Todd into the literary genealogy of English poetry, by means of both their descent from, and their custodial relationship to, their illustrious ancestor. And Todd’s manuscript descriptions underline another point: the family’s collection included a far more imposing Gower manuscript (the Ellesmere-Stafford Confessio) than the Trentham manuscript. But the Trentham manuscript, despite its modest size, had a history which lined up perfectly with the family’s own claims and aspirations. The bulk of the Trentham manuscript appears to be in one of the revising hands of the Fairfax 3 manuscript of Gower’s Confessio Amantis, and it is, as I noted at the outset, the only surviving copy of Gower’s Cinkante Balades. The French poems were first described by Thomas Warton, whose descriptions Todd repeats. It did not leave Trentham until


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1975, when it was bought by the British Library. The manuscript has several records of provenance which show how important its family connections have been to its survival. The lower inscription on the flyleaf (figure 47) records the manuscript’s passage from ‘‘Fairfax’’ to Thomas Gower in 1656.51 Fairfax is Sir Thomas, third Baron Fairfax (1612–1671) leader of the Yorkshire parliamentarians and eventually commander-inchief of the parliamentary forces—famous to booklovers for protecting the Bodleian Library from being pillaged after Oxford surrendered to his forces during the Civil War. After 1650, he led a life of rural retirement, translating and writing. He collected manuscripts, twenty-eight of which he left to the Bodleian on his death.52 It seems that the Trentham manuscript passed through his hands very quickly, however. Before Fairfax it belonged to Charles Gedde, who on folio 5r records the passage of the work, as a gift, from his hands to Fairfax’s, in 1656.53 In the same year Fairfax acquired the manuscript, he gave it to Sir Thomas Gower (1604/5–1672) of Stittenham,54 and though Fairfax does not say so, it is reasonable to suppose that the assumed family relationship prompted the gift. The flyleaf includes another inscription by Fairfax, and this inscription invokes another family history. He writes (see figure 47) that this is ‘‘Sir John Gower’s learned Poems/ The same booke by hymself presented to kinge Edward [del.] Henry [sup.] ye fourth att or [del.] before his Coronation.’’ G. C. Macaulay argues that a presentation copy would have been more elaborate than is this one, but agrees that the manuscript may have been assembled as the exemplar for such a purpose, and this view has been recently repeated by R. F. Yeager, who imagines that Henry might have owned ‘‘a fancier version’’ of the Trentham manuscript.55 John Fisher, however, points out that the style of the manuscript is not that different from some of the best Gower manuscripts; in any case, he agrees that the collection, which besides the Cinkante Balades includes other pieces in English, French, and Latin, is probably intended as a sampling of Gower’s work in all three languages, put together around 1400 to honor Henry IV’s coronation.56 A royal connection is asserted again on folio 6v (figure 48), where the faint signature ‘‘Rychemond’’ is annotated ‘‘Liber. Hen: Septimi tunc Comitis Richmond manu propria script.’’ Macaulay was willing to entertain the idea that this might be an authentic signature of Henry VII when he was Earl of Richmond,57 but the current record in the British Library catalogue identifies the annotating hand as Fairfax’s, and calls the attribution false. Whatever the authenticity of the signature, however, the subsequent history of the manuscript shows that, while Fairfax may have been entirely wrong about the relationship between his kinsman and Gower,

Figure 47. Note of gift, in the hand of Sir Thomas, third Baron Fairfax, in London, British Library Additional MS 59495 (the Trentham MS), fol. 1r. By permission of the British Library.


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Figure 48. Signature ‘‘rychemond,’’ annotated ‘‘Liber. Hen: Septimi tunc Comitis Richmond manu propria script.’’; detail of BL Additional 59495, fol. 6v. By permission of the British Library.

and about the royal provenance of the manuscript, both features were essential in its preservation down the centuries. Once in the hands of Sir Thomas Gower, the Trentham manuscript stayed with the Gowers, and so we return to Granville Leveson-Gower’s commissioning of the transcription in 1764. There were, as noted above, more magnificent Gower manuscripts to be found. There were many attractive manuscripts of his English Confessio Amantis, the work on which his reputation chiefly rested in the eighteenth century, and one of these, as noted above, was the Ellesmere-Stafford copy owned by Todd’s patron—but only the Trentham manuscript carried, for the LevesonGowers, the double associations of family pride and historical dignity.58 The transcription of this manuscript suggests that pride on every page. The transcription is more than a third larger than its original: the manuscript is 232 x 155mm, while the copy is 375mm x 245mm. The transcription thus reproduces the smallish Trentham manuscript with the imposing size and generous margins more typical of Confessio manuscripts.59 The large size may have simply been for the ease of the copyist, but it might also have been a nod, even a subconscious one, to the importance of the manuscript to the Gowers.60 The medieval manuscript is well written and modestly decorated, with major capitals distinguished by painted four-line initials, minor two-line initials in gold over modest ink filigree, and minor enlarged capitals in blue on red or gold on blue/ black. The effect is pleasing but not particularly lavish, lacking, for example, the borders and bars often found in Confessio manuscripts. Thomas Warton’s note on the manuscript, found on pages iii–iv of the transcription, remarks that the manuscript is ‘‘elegantly written and illuminated,’’ which might be overstating the case somewhat—though the full note offers a provenance that might explain a slightly rosy view of the manuscript. Warton describes it as ‘‘Lord Trentham’s thin octavo Manuscript on vellum lettered Gower’s Poems. This Volume was most probably a present from the poet Gower to King Henry the fourth, about

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the year 1400.’’ The affixing of this note to the transcription, along with the careful transcription of the provenance notes and the ‘‘rychemond’’ signature, make clear the importance accorded the manuscript’s history. It is curious to note that the one element of the flyleaf inscription omitted by the copyist is the 1656 date, an omission which leaves the large, flourished ‘‘Fairfax’’ as the dominant element on the page. The transcription, as noted above, is endorsed by Henry Rooke’s note attesting to the faithfulness of the copy, and there are certainly features that suggest an impulse to facsimile. Despite the increase in page size, the copy is line-for-line and page-for-page. This careful attention to layout is not a universal feature of manuscript transcriptions (and even less, of course, of printed editions). The most famous transcriptions of the eighteenth century are arguably those of the Beowulf manuscript done in 1787, one by Grimu´r Thorkelı´n himself and one by a scribe commissioned by Thorkelı´n. The two transcriptions show two different approaches in a period very close to that of the Trentham transcription. The scribal copy reminds us immediately of the first generations of Old English scholarship discussed in Chapter 1, in that the scribe takes as his primary duty the reproduction of manuscript letterforms. He was one who, like the men around Matthew Parker, was skilled in ‘‘counterfeiting antiquity,’’ so long as the representation of letterforms is what is meant by that phrase. But the Thorkelı´n scribe does not copy layout, simply filling his page margin to margin and giving no indication of where line breaks fall in his original. As for Thorkelı´n himself, he copied the manuscript in his normal hand, but took far more pains than did his scribe to represent some features of layout. In the preface to his 1815 edition, he writes, By painful labor, I copied the text as faithfully as possible from the original; and conscience did not allow me to change, remove, or add anything, much less to separate Fitts XXVIII, XXIX and XXX, which the scribe joined together for I know not what reason. It was nonetheless my duty to display the proper shape and structure of the poem in clearly divided and punctuated verses, which, being written on the parchment in a continuous series of lines, have been obscured through faulty punctuation. I am, however, experienced enough at editing texts that I deemed it unsafe to depart even a finger’s breadth from the original and the spelling.61

Thorkelı´n’s attention to what he calls the ‘‘proper shape and structure of the poem’’ did not, however, prevent him from making changes in his transcription. He modified the orthography, routinely using ‘‘w’’ for wynn, for example, and he silently expanded abbreviations, so ‘‘faithfulness’’ does not mean a protophotographic reproduction. Thorkelı´n may have regarded his own transcription as a working copy for his edition, hence his anxious care: the edition itself, however, offers yet another


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representation, presenting the poem in half-lines with a parallel column of Latin translation in italic script, the latter doubtless a classicizing gesture that is to be understood as a salvo in the nationalist competition to claim Beowulf as a foundational epic, a Scandinavian Aeneid. The Trentham copyist seems, in his treatment of layout, to line up rather more with Thorkelı´n than with his scribe, both in what he copies and what he is happy to change. The copyist reproduces much of the manuscript apparatus as it appears. He has copied the Roman chapter numbers and he has put the marginal material in the margins—this last is a feature which even medieval scribes could not have been counted on to reproduce, as it is typical, for example, for most later manuscripts of the Confessio Amantis to shift the marginal Latin material from margin to text column.62 Where there are lacunae in the manuscript (as in figure 49), the copyist leaves a blank, and even mimics the shape of the excision, as figure 50 shows. Yet this figure also shows some of the copyist’s other habits. He does not copy every display capital in the manuscript, and when he does recognize manuscript capitals, he uses a range of approaches, none of which is particularly close to the manuscript practice. In this example, for instance, the two-line capital on ‘‘A’’ is presented as an enlarged, single-line capital. For the large display capitals that open major sections of the manuscript, he uses pen-flourished display script for the opening words, a practice found in other medieval manuscripts, to be sure, but not in this one. His orthography is the same peculiar mixture of faithfulness and silent adaptation to contemporary norms. He turns ‘‘v’’ to ‘‘u,’’ and ‘‘u’’ to ‘‘v,’’ according to eighteenthcentury usage. While he renders thorn as ‘‘th’’ (a habit still with us, in the multitude of ‘‘normalized’’ texts which introduce most students to Middle English for the first time), he retains yoghs—one might speculate that he has no idea how to expand them. He expands abbreviations with no indication that he has done so, a habit that at least once comes into conflict with his mimicry of the gloss layout. On his folio 34r, he wraps the gloss under the text column, as the manuscript does (36r), but because he expands the abbreviations, the line breaks in the glosses occur in different places in the copy than they do in the manuscript. The manuscript had been trimmed in rebinding by the time the Trentham copyist saw it, and so some of the glosses are partially lost: here, the copyist carefully notes the damage with blank space, but again, because of his habit of expansion, the blanks often occur medially, rather than at the end of lines of text. There is a contrast throughout this transcription, then, between faithfulness to the integrity of the page, even when that integrity has been itself compromised by damage, and a willingness to alter, particularly at the level of the letter. It is tempting to suggest that the physical aspect of the manuscript is retained because it

Figure 49. Damaged folio in BL Additional 59495 (fol. 12r). By permission of the British Library.

Figure 50. Copy of damaged folio in London, British Library Additional MS 59496 (transcription of BL 59495). By permission of the British Library.

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is the artifact itself, and the provenance and family history it is believed to carry, that matters, rather than the text it contains. A contrast with the Thorkelı´n transcriptions and edition is again useful, in that the 1815 edition of Beowulf, in abandoning the different kinds of faithfulness witnessed by the two transcriptions, concentrated on packaging the text in such a way as to earn recognition and credibility with an early nineteenth-century, academic audience: here it was the text and its claims that mattered the most, not the tattered vehicle that carried Beowulf out of the Middle Ages. As the Thorkelı´n transcriptions became the basis for the first edition of Beowulf, the Trentham transcription became the copy text for the edition of Gower’s Balades produced in 1818 for the Roxburghe Club. Family history continued to be important, as this edition was presented to the club by the grandson of the Gower who had commissioned the copy, that grandson being George Granville Leveson-Gower (1786–1861), Earl Gower and later second Duke of Sutherland. Lord Gower was one of the original members of the Roxburghe Club, which took its name from the events surrounding the auction of the library of the Duke of Roxburghe, on June 17, 1812. The aristocrats and gentlemen present for that famous sale, at which unprecedented prices were paid for old manuscripts and books, met for dinner afterward and conceived the idea of founding a club, to hold an annual dinner in commemoration of the sale.63 It is important, given the story of the Trentham manuscript, that this club had two kinds of members, hereditary aristocrats who passed their seats to their sons and held the highest club positions, and gentlemen collectors and antiquarians. In 1818, the year Gower edited the Trentham manuscript, the president of the club was George John, second Earl Spencer (1758–1834), a formidable collector of books. The rest of the membership list that year was made up of seven titled members—two dukes, Earl Gower, two viscounts, and two baronets—and twenty-three gentlemen. The former included other famous collectors such as William George Spencer Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire (1790–1858) and Sir Mark Masterman Sykes (1771–1823); the latter included collectors; such bibliographic luminaries as Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1776–1847), author of the Bibliographic Decameron; editors of medieval and early modern works such as Joseph Haslewood (1769–1833) and Edward Vernon Utterson (bap. 1777–1856); and the classical scholar Henry Drury (1778–1841). The members were each expected to present the club with a reprint of an old, rare text: many of the members, like Lord Gower, had countless possibilities in their own libraries. Roxburghe Club books were jealously guarded from public circulation. Club membership was eventually set at forty, and each book was to


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be printed in no more than one hundred copies, two going to each member. Of this arrangement, David Matthews remarks, ‘‘in general the aim was to keep the books out of the hands of the public and even out of the libraries. Celebrating bibliomania, the club seems to have tried to preserve a sense of the rareness of the works being edited and reprinted by reproducing them only in rare editions.’’64 The exclusiveness of the club’s behavior is in keeping with the kind of self-interested aristocratic antiquarianism traced, through the Leveson-Gowers, in this chapter; the club certainly offered Lord Gower a gratifying venue for the promotion of his own family history. The Trentham manuscript, under other circumstances, might have languished in obscurity—too unprofitable for popular republication, too French to be of interest to the growing world of Middle English literary scholarship, too small and plain to be much of a collector’s item—but it was admirably suited to be Earl Gower’s presentation to the club. To be able to present the club with one’s ancestor’s own writings was doubtless a temptation too great to be resisted (and the relatively slim Trentham collection also offered a far less cumbersome way of doing that than would the typical Confessio manuscript).65 Certainly Lord Gower’s handling of the transcription produced for his grandfather suggests that it is the manuscript as vessel of family history that matters most. At this point in the story of the manuscript, there seem to be two facets which its transmitters find appealing, neither of which has to do with the poetry it contains. On the one hand is the provenance story, with its twin connections to the Lancastrians and to the noble house of Gower. On the other is the manuscript itself, which, as the focus of this history, has become an artifact to be reproduced and passed along from one century to the next, with each generation having its own ideas about what parts of that artifact should be reproduced, and how. The Roxburghe printing suggests, on the surface, an even greater adherence to the facsimile impulse, an impulse which I have been linking here to the emphasis on the physical object over its textual content. The text is printed in red and black, thus quoting the manuscript, which uses red for Latin. That this is a deliberate reference to the manuscript, rather than a purely decorative flourish, is suggested by the marking-up of the transcription which served as copy-text for the edition. Folio 8v of the transcription, for example, has the instruction ‘‘in red type’’ scribbled in pencil next to the Explicit—and that explicit, while black in the eighteenth-century transcription, is indeed red in the manuscript original. The black letter font is also a deliberate choice, for while many Roxburghe Club books used medievalizing fonts, they did not all do so; for example, while the 1819 Le Morte Arthure is in a Gothic type, the 1818 Diluvio Noe from the Chester plays is printed in modern face. Figure 51

Figure 51. Portion of damaged folio in Balades and Other Poems by John Gower, 1818; BL C.101.a.17. By permission of the British Library.


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shows that the printed edition of the Trentham manuscript takes the same approach to the damage in the original as does the transcription, mimicking the actual shape of the missing parchment, but a quick comparison with figure 49 will show that this is not in fact an exact duplication of either the medieval manuscript or the eighteenth-century transcription. Some features of the transcription are preserved and thus perhaps given even more prominence than is the manuscript original, a facet at odds with the type practices discussed above. Figure 51 shows, for example, that the printed edition has copied the wrapping of the text necessitated in the transcription by the expansion of the manuscript abbreviations. But while the transcription is a line-by-line and page-bypage copy, the print taken from it is not. In figure 51, the address to Henry is given visual primacy by its appearance at the top of the page. In the manuscript, the poem begins on the previous folio. This layout is not accidental, but rather is the result of the instruction to the printer written on folio 10v of the transcription, ‘‘to begin a page.’’ The isolation of individual poems on their own pages in the Roxburghe edition draws more attention to them and may suggest an impulse contrary to the one I have been concentrating on thus far: here the poem is underlined qua poem, even as the layout reminds the reader of the physical character of the underlying original. But other aspects of the printing do tend toward emphasizing the artifact and its history, as is the case with the next feature I would like to consider. Figure 52 shows the page facing the brief introduction to the Roxburghe edition, a facsimile of the provenance signatures found in the Trentham manuscript. The facsimile work is signed ‘‘Swaine,’’ doubtless John Swaine (1775–1860), a printmaker who specialized in the facsimile reproduction of both contemporary and old master works.66 The British Library catalogue erroneously describes the signature page as collotype—a photographic process which did not come into wide use until the end of the century—but the error is useful in that it indicates the precision with which the provenance signatures have been reproduced. The same techniques of tracing and engraving which produced the Froissart illustrations to be discussed in Chapter 5 here create an impression of verisimilitude far beyond that of the transcription. But unlike the eighteenth-century transcription, this edition places all three important manuscript notes—Fairfax’s inscriptions from the flyleaf and the ‘‘Rychemond’’ signature from folio 6v—together on the same page, creating a collage which does not exist in the original, but which highlights the reason this manuscript has been chosen for presentation to the club. The facsimile page faces Lord Gower’s brief account of the manuscript and its contents. He begins by referring the reader to Warton’s description of the manuscript, a description which was, it will be remembered,

Figure 52. Facsimile reproduction of provenance signatures in Balades and Other Poems, 1818, BL C.101.a.17. By permission of the British Library.


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copied into the Trentham manuscript. But while Warton was a champion of these particular poems, praising their ‘‘delicacy of sentiment, and elegance of composition,’’67 it seems clear that Lord Gower is thinking mainly of the literary historian’s manuscript descriptions, as he also refers the reader to Todd’s Illustrations. The Illustrations are notable, not merely for their lavish praise of ‘‘the illustrious house of Gower,’’ but also for their evident distaste for Gower the poet. Todd, it will be remembered, included very little of Gower’s poetry in his Illustrations. He also felt compelled to apologize for putting Gower first in the collection: ‘‘no one will suppose me influenced by any other motive than that of attention to chronological propriety. He was born before Chaucer. Authors, both historical and poetical, in the century after the decease of these poets, usually coupling their names and describing their accomplishments, place Gower before Chaucer; not intending (for I cannot think so badly of their taste as to suppose that they preferred Gower to Chaucer,) any precedence in respect to talents, but merely the accustomed tribute due to seniority.’’68 When Lord Gower refers to the ‘‘judicious remarks’’69 of Todd, then, it seems clear that he is referring to the latter’s manuscript descriptions (and perhaps his references to the Gower family traditions). Lord Gower’s reference to the manuscript descriptions, while it may have a role in the family history being materialized here, also serves as a scholarly gesture, and there are other such gestures in the brief preface. Gower says that ‘‘the spelling of the original has been faithfully adhered to.’’ The original in question is in fact the eighteenth-century transcription and not the medieval manuscript, but the suggestion of scholarly accuracy remains. The introduction also notes that a poem already published elsewhere (the English In Praise of Peace) has been omitted. In other words, this printing has begun to shape itself as a critical edition: there is a brief introduction with an appeal to authority, a claim of accuracy, and an indication of selectivity. This is now an edition of some of Gower’s work, rather than simply a physical reproduction of a particular manuscript. But it is not in fact a truly scholarly edition, and it still echoes the reproductive impulse, in the facsimile of the signatures, the choice of type and in the representation of the gap on the page, even as the page itself is rearranged. Finally, Gower closes with a splendidly snobbish gesture that claims both the old poet and a taste for his work for the rarefied world of the Roxburghe Club: ‘‘Many imperfections may be found—but fortunately our most ancient Poet has not to encounter the rough hands of ill natured critics, or of the profane vulgar; he may confidently expect a kind reception from the courtesy of the Society to which he has the honour of being presented.’’ The critics did eventually get their say. In 1858, an article in the British

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Quarterly Review assessed recent printings of the works of Gower. Most of the article was devoted to Reinhold Pauli’s beautiful but idiosyncratic 1857 edition of the Confessio Amantis, an edition printed in an eighteenth-century Caslon Old Face type evidently chosen for its aesthetic appeal and general whiff of the antique.70 The writer did nod to the Roxburghe edition, noting that Lord Gower printed the balades ‘‘under the belief that he belonged to the family.’’71 The Trentham manuscript receives its last important repackaging in what is still today the only scholarly edition of all of Gower’s works, the Complete Works of John Gower produced from 1899–1902 by G. C. Macaulay. It is striking to note at the outset that Macaulay himself had doubts about the production of a complete Works. In his preface he writes, ‘‘I submitted to the Delegates of the University Press a proposal to edit the Confessio Amantis, and this proposal they accepted on the condition that I would undertake to edit also the other works, chiefly in French and Latin, of the same author. . . . To this condition I assented with some hesitation, which was due partly to my feeling that the English text was the only one really needed.’’72 Macaulay has little praise for the editing done thus far on the non-English works. Of the 1850 Roxburghe Club edition of Gower’s Vox Clamantis, for example, contributed by Henry Octavius Coxe (1811–1881), then sublibrarian of the Bodleian Library, he notes drily that ‘‘it was perhaps on a level with the critical requirements of the time when it was published.’’73 It seems unlikely, then, that he favored editing the English text because the non-English works had been adequately dealt with. Instead, Macaulay is reflecting the same tendency to concentrate on Gower’s English that I have traced in this chapter from the fifteenth century onward. He has very little time for Gower’s Latin, which he views as at best ‘‘not . . . very bad,’’ and at worst, as ‘‘nearly as bad as it can be.’’74 He shares Warton’s fondness for the French lyric, but finds little of value in the Miroure. One of Macaulay’s most significant decisions, both with respect to the general representation of Gower’s oeuvre and with respect to the particular case of the Trentham manuscript, is the division of the Works into volumes by language: the French in volume I, the Confessio in volumes II and III, and the Latin in volume IV. This division creates barriers between the languages which, as we have seen, were not Gower’s, either in his own self-fashioning or in the manuscript record. The Trentham manuscript is hardly the only multilingual Gower manuscript. For example, there are at least eight Confessio manuscripts which also contain both the Latin Carmen super multiplici viciorium and the French Traitie´; and the Hunter and All Souls manuscripts of the Vox Clamantis and Cronica Tripertita also contain the Traitie´.75 Macaulay’s separation of the languages makes it easy to place one’s hands on Gower’s Latin or French, but it


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also makes it easy to overlook them. The Early English Text Society reprinted volumes II and III, retitling them The English Works of John Gower—fair enough, given the society’s mandate, but this is also another reflection of how postmedieval reading habits and disciplinary divisions can carve up the medieval literary past in ways its creators might not have anticipated. One manifestation of the Englishing of Gower in Macaulay’s work is his treatment of the Middle English poem ‘‘In Praise of Peace.’’ This is the poem Lord Gower omitted from the Roxburghe Club edition in 1818. Macaulay includes it in the second volume of Gower’s English works, placing it on a page facing the conclusion of Gower’s Latin account of his books, the Quia vnusquisque. As I have noted above, many manuscript copies of the Confessio end (or begin to end), as does Macaulay’s edition, with this Latin prose piece. But the case is quite different for ‘‘In Praise of Peace.’’ This poem survives only in the Trentham manuscript. It is not an integral part of the final manuscript presentation of the Confessio in the way that the Explicit and Quia vnusquisque are; it is unique rather than ubiquitous. If the Trentham manuscript was indeed either an exemplar for a presentation copy or the presentation copy itself, intended to showcase Gower’s linguistic and poetic skills while honoring Henry IV’s coronation, then the poem emphatically belongs in a trilingual context. Instead, Trentham’s particular poetical and linguistic themes become muted in Macaulay’s rearrangement of its contents. What is emphasized, however, is the overall Henrician flavor of Macaulay’s representation of the Confessio. It was Macaulay who divided the manuscripts of the Confessio into three recensions, based on the degree to which they had shifted from Ricardian to Henrician sympathies, and it was Macaulay who decided that the Henrician version should be considered as Gower’s last word. The Ricardian version of the poem—which includes such moments as the commissioning scene and the greeting to Chaucer, both integral to earlier commentators’ understanding of Gower—lives on Macaulay’s pages literally below the line, presented as variant. The edition foregrounds the Henrician Confessio, then, and the hijacked Trentham poem in praise of Henry is the final flourish. Macaulay thus produces another kind of collage, reminding us of the facsimile page fronting Lord Gower’s 1818 edition: but here, the assemblage is a neat arrangement of materials toward what is now an editorial, rather than a familial, teleology. This urge to tidiness can be seen in the treatment of the damaged section of the Trentham manuscript. The lacunae are represented on Macaulay’s page with a sequence of dots, justified left and right, and the clipped line endings are ‘‘conjecturally restored.’’76 For some of the poems in the Trentham manuscript, Macaulay had access to more than

Aristocratic Antiquaries


one witness, and in those cases, he completes the clipped glosses. Thus his edition of the Traitie´ and of the Balades removes them from a highly significant original manuscript context, while producing a text that is far more readable than Lord Gower’s presentation to his exclusive club. The French poems come into clearer focus, but the Trentham manuscript itself fades into the footnotes, far from its long history as a unique material object. But a medieval manuscript never really loses its mystique, and often the stories attached to it are part of that mystique. In 1975, Christie’s sold the collections of the Countess of Sutherland, and the catalogue description of the Trentham manuscript manages delicately to suggest the more romantic aspects of the manuscript’s past, while never actually committing itself to that history. The description of provenance begins with the presentation to Henry IV. Cautions abound—it is noted that this attribution depends on Fairfax’s inscription, and that ‘‘there is no internal evidence of this.’’77 There is also a question mark next to this first attribution. But the attribution is there, and it is followed by the explanation that Fairfax gave the manuscript to Sir Thomas Gower, ‘‘a supposed descendant of the poet’’; there is no further comment as to the accuracy of that supposition. The provenance section closes by noting that the manuscript then passed ‘‘from [Thomas] Gower by descent through the Earls Gower, Marquesses of Stafford, and Dukes of Sutherland, to the present owner’’: one could imagine this account as a sort of tacit endorsement of the family story around the manuscript. The British Library doubtless bought the Trentham manuscript because it contains the work of a major English poet, not because of any of the many stories that had been told about it throughout its history. And Christie’s was careful not to sensationalize that history. But I do think we can hear the ghost of Todd’s own effusions in the toned-down sales pitch of the auction catalogue. This tension between the material object, with its curious accretions of history, myth, and wish fulfillment, and the text which it conveys, is repeated in the history of many medieval manuscripts. But the lust for origins makes the appeal to ‘‘the noble house of Gower,’’ I would argue, particularly seductive, and may make the pages of the manuscript, transcription, and club edition, whatever their gaps, ultimately more alluring than the sober text of Macaulay.

Chapter Four

Bedtime Chaucer Juvenile Adaptations and the Medieval Canon

The First Edition of ‘‘Canterbury Chimes’’ dates back to 1878, and to-day it would be nearer the truth to say that there is not an English author of preeminence, capable of being brought within the comprehension of children, whose works, either in the form of translation, paraphrase, or abridgment, have not been adapted for school use or reading at home. Children, if they are so minded, or if their pastors and masters so ordain, can now peruse the masterpieces of English literature from ‘‘Beowulf ’’ to ‘‘The Earthly Paradise,’’ from ‘‘Gulliver’s Travels’’ to ‘‘Waverley,’’ in peptonized editions in usum Delphini. —Francis Storr and Hawes Turner, Canterbury Chimes or Chaucer Tales Retold for Children

Writing in 1914, Francis Storr (d. 1919), a noted schoolmaster and for many years editor of the Journal of Education, reflected on the proliferation of adaptations of classic literature for children.1 He was looking back to 1878, when in cooperation with Hawes Harrison Turner, then at the Royal Academy and later Keeper and Secretary of the National Gallery, he produced a collection of adaptations of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales aimed at children. In 1878, Storr and Turner lamented the situation of children’s literature in general by noting that ‘‘There is so little supremely good literature within the reach of children, that it is a matter for regret that the ‘Canterbury Tales’ have been hitherto unknown to them.’’2 By 1914, a revolution had clearly taken place—one whose effects have already been noted in passing in the pages of this study through the discussion of the adaptations of the stories of Guy and Bevis. There had also been, pace Storr and Turner, some imagining of a younger audience at an earlier period than the late nineteenth century: the chapbook versions of stories such as Guy’s and Bevis’s, discussed in Chapter 2, were shared by both children and adults alike, and there were, as we will see, earlier retellings even of Chaucer than Storr and

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Turner acknowledged. But it is true that the end of the nineteenth century saw a sharp rise in such material. Velma Bourgeois Richmond links this phenomenon to the nineteenth-century tendency to imagine the Middle Ages as the childhood of European nations: ‘‘there was a substantial, patriotic enthusiasm for medieval narratives—epics, sagas, romances, chronicles, and tales of King Arthur and Robin Hood. Edwardians deemed these stories of ‘the childhood of the race’ especially apt reading for children.’’3 Storr’s digestive metaphor (‘‘peptonized’’), and his arch reference to expurgated classics (‘‘in usum Delphini’’) make clear that this enthusiasm was accompanied by a sense that the past had to be manipulated, in order to make it both palatable and acceptable for nineteenth- and early twentieth-century children. Among the medieval narratives receiving this kind of attention, Chaucer’s stories seem to have been directed to the attention of children more than almost any other medieval texts. A possible exception is the Arthurian legend, but the treatment of this material in adaptations for children differs significantly from the treatment of Chaucer. In Chapter 1 I suggested that nameable and knowable authors are clearly desirable for many later transmitters of medieval narrative. While there is one author—Thomas Malory—who can be attached to Arthurian narrative, neither his biography nor his canonical status can compete with what was understood or believed to be true of Chaucer. It is perhaps for this reason that the Arthurian retellings for children often drew on more than just Malory’s Morte Darthur, and often filtered the many medieval sources through Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Arthurian poetry.4 Tennyson had been Poet Laureate since 1850, a status that might have encouraged the overwriting of much medieval Arthurian material with his interpretations of it. Chaucer, understood as a poet laureate himself, did not experience a similar erasure, but as this chapter will show, the children’s adaptations of his work nevertheless thoroughly refashioned it. It should be noted that this attention is devoted almost exclusively to the Canterbury Tales. There are adult adaptations and translations of Troilus and Criseyde, for example, and some adapters included some lyrics, but there is no question that the Tales and Chaucer are for most of these writers synonymous. It may be for this reason that Frank Ernest Hill (1888–1969) characterized his 1930 modern verse translation, The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue and Four Tales with the Book of the Duchess and Six Lyrics, as ‘‘something of an experiment.’’ The volume is illustrated, but the notes and introduction, along with the acknowledgment that ‘‘some readers may find the collection short in ribaldry,’’ indicate that a popular adult audience is anticipated.5 Hill later expanded his translation of the Tales for the 1934 edition by the Limited Editions Club: this edition omitted Duchess and the lyrics, and was not illustrated—itself an experi-


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ment, said club founder George Macy, by the printer George W. Jones in producing a beautiful book without illustrations.6 The final fate of Hill’s experiment offers a neat transition to the children’s adaptations that are my subject here, as his translation was used once more by the Limited Editions Club for its new 1946 edition of the Tales. This time there were pictures, provided by Arthur Szyk, whose illustrations also grace the pages of the final children’s adaptation to be discussed in this chapter, the Heritage Illustrated Bookshelf edition of 1947. In 1878, Storr and Turner were apparently unaware of the publication the previous year of Mary Eliza Haweis’s Chaucer for Children: A Golden Key, though by 1914 they would certainly have known it as perhaps the most significant among the ‘‘some dozen adaptations’’ Storr refers to in the revised preface.7 Haweis’s book went through at least four editions, and its author also produced a very well-received Chaucer for Schools (1881) and Chaucer’s Beads; A Birthday Book (1884). 8 This last work, as Mary Flowers Braswell points out, is the first scholarly study of Chaucer’s proverbs,9 though in appearance it is a gift book. Mary Eliza Joy Haweis (1848–1898) is, similarly, a figure superficially decorative, but essentially scholarly. The surface suggests the recognizable outlines of a society hostess. She married the Reverend Hugh Reginald Haweis (1838–1901), rector of St. James Marylebone, in 1867. Both were well-known figures in London society, and both of them were well published. His works included the popular Music and Morals (1871) and other musical books, a good many theological works, and accounts of his travels through the Americas and Australia. Mary Eliza, for her part, became famous as an arbiter of Victorian taste and fashion by means chiefly of three books, The Art of Beauty (1878), The Art of Dress (1879), and The Art of Decoration (1881); she also published Rus in Urbe: Or Flowers that Thrive in London Gardens and Smoky Towns (1886). She was the daughter of the artist Thomas Musgrave Joy (1812–1866) and was a precocious artist herself, exhibiting at the Royal Academy when she was only eighteen. Her interest in art, design, and fashion is one link between her various works: she provided her own illustrations in Chaucer for Children and was hardly alone, among nineteenth-century illustrators, in finding medieval stories appealing because of their artistic possibilities. Aspects of her medievalism suggest the enthusiasms of her age: she held a ‘‘Chaucer ball,’’ for example, and in a letter to her mother expresses considerable satisfaction in the outcome: ‘‘Our own fancy ball was enormous trouble as I had to cut out half the dresses of the guests beside my own children, the costumiers knowing nothing about such an early period. Several papers have commented on it, of course.’’10 But as Haweis’s remarks about the importance of correct detail, even for her ball, suggest, she was unusual among nineteenth-century popularizers in devoting considerable schol-

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arship to her adaptations and illustrations of the medieval past. As an instance of both the general and the particular, then, she sheds considerable light on one means by which medieval texts were perceived and transmitted in the nineteenth century. Haweis dedicated her work to her son, ‘‘little Lionel,’’ suggesting in the preface that children had a particular affinity for medieval English verse: A Chaucer for Children may seem to some an impossible story-book, but it is one which I have been encouraged to put together by noticing how quickly my own little boy learned and understood fragments of early English poetry. I believe that if they had the chance, many other children would do the same. I think that much of the construction and pronunciation of old English which seems stiff and obscure to grown up people, appears easy to children, whose crude language is in many ways its counterpart. The narrative in early English poetry is almost always very simply and clearly expressed, with the same kind of repetition of facts and names which, as every mother knows, is what children most require in story-telling.11

It seems that for Haweis, to be a child—or indeed to be medieval—is to be in a state of simplicity and innocence, though as I will discuss below, she also advanced a more scholarly explanation for the affinity between children and Chaucer. In her sense of the childlike quality of the poet’s work here, however, she was certainly not unique. Katharine Lee Bates, in the introduction to her 1909 adaptation of the Tales, calls Chaucer as ‘‘the sweetest and most childlike spirit in English song,’’12 while Janet Kelman’s collection of four adapted tales opens with a similar tone: Very long ago, when children still walked softly through the Greenwood to surprise the fairies, and when big people were as fond of stories as little ones are now, a company of pilgrims went on horseback to Canterbury. The way was long, and, in order to make it seem less tiresome, the pilgrims tried to find out which of them could tell the best story. A grave and gentle man rode with them. His name was Geoffrey Chaucer. He wrote down the stories in a book, in quaint old English words. You would not know in the least what some of these words meant, although you looked at them all day long. But here, in simple words, are four of the most beautiful of all those stories that Chaucer tells us the big people loved to hear, when the world was young.13

This portrayal of an idyllic, childlike world is a common tendency in adaptations of Chaucer, a ‘‘sentimental infantilization of literary history’’ which, Steve Ellis argues, arose only too easily from a view of the poet as ‘‘a child moving in a child’s world.’’14 This vision of Chaucer and his work of course required adapters to grapple with those tales that were not felt to be suitable for children, and could lead to one of two responses. A minority of adapters, whose work will be discussed further below, made at least some representation of every tale, but reduced the


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problematic ones to bland, brief, or even misleading descriptions. But most adapters simply selected the tales which best suited their sense of what children should read. While some of their decisions seem obvious, others are at first glance perplexing. Haweis provided versions—passages of prose interspersed with the Middle English text, the latter accompanied by modern English verse translations—of the General Prologue, the Knight’s Tale, the Friar’s Tale, the Clerk’s Tale, the Franklin’s Tale, and the Pardoner’s Tale.15 It is an unexpected list from a modern point of view. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, for example, with its talking animals, might seem an obvious choice for a children’s adaptation, and indeed Barbara Cooney won the Caldecott Medal (awarded by the American Library Association annually for the most distinguished American illustrated book for children) in 1958 for Chanticleer and the Fox.16 In her 1952 novelization of Chaucer’s youth, Regina Z. Kelly imagines that young Chaucer first tells the story during his service as a page to the Countess of Ulster, who requests a story to entertain her small son, and several later twentieth-century picture-book retellings of the Tales feature the story of Chaunticleer.17 But Haweis has no beast-fable (although other adapters before Cooney had featured it); in the Clerk’s Tale, on the other hand, she tells a horrific story, duly illustrated, in which children are apparently murdered. Yet Haweis is not out of step with other adapters of the nineteenth and early twentieth century in her choices. In more than a dozen selective adaptations dated between 1833 and 1947, the Knight’s Tale is the single most popular tale for retelling, closely followed by the Prologue, the Clerk’s Tale, the Pardoner’s Tale, the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, the Man of Law’s Tale, the Squire’s Tale, and the Franklin’s Tale.18 The Miller’s Tale appears only in those adaptations that feel compelled to present the whole of the Tales (and the Reeve’s Tale appears in only one of the selective collections). One can see that the ‘‘ribaldry’’ which Hill apologized for omitting is clearly felt to be inappropriate for both a childlike audience and a childlike writer. But the choices reveal rather more than appears at first glance. A solid ‘‘moral’’ alone is obviously not enough, for example, as the tales of the Monk and the Parson are not particularly popular. Tales of wonders, chivalry, and suffering women clearly do meet audience expectations for Chaucer, and it is worth remembering that the audience for children’s adaptations would include adults: several reviews of Haweis’s Chaucer for Schools remark on the likelihood of adult, as well as juvenile, readers.19 And while many of the members of this audience may indeed have been motivated by a nostalgia for a simpler and more moral time, Haweis at least offers a tantalizing exception. Haweis’s long association with the suffrage movement, for example, shows through in her highly unsentimental treatment of courtly love.20

Bedtime Chaucer


Figure 53. Dorigen and Aurelius, from Mary Eliza Joy Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 1877; the inset is a detail of the cover illustration.

Her illustration to the Franklin’s Tale (figure 53) suggests Dorigen is not entirely unwilling, and Richmond senses a tension here between the importance of chivalry to Victorian medievalism and a moral ‘‘Victorian severity.’’21 Haweis’s ‘‘key’’ to her illustrated cover of Dorigen and Aurelius offers (figure 53, inset) a more complex interpretation: ‘‘The 2nd


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[arch] contains Aurelius and Dorigen—that loving wife left on Breton shores, who was so nearly caught in the trap she set for herself. Aurelius offers her his heart aflame. It is true his attitude is humble, but she is utterly in his power—she cannot get away whilst he is kneeling on her dress.’’22 Care in the presentation of the details of behavior and dress goes hand in hand, in this adaptation at least, with commentary that carefully repudiates romantic identification, instead recognizing the limiting structures of chivalric idealism (medieval or contemporary). Haweis’s correspondence suggests a particular interest in late nineteenth-century discussions around the reforming of marriage laws, and her commentary on Griselda has much to do with the absolute power held by Walter over his wife and children. While Haweis draws Griselda, as figure 54 shows, in the attitude of a saintly martyr, her footnote to the Clerk’s Tale makes it clear that she is not in fact recommending this posture for modern women: Resignation, so steadfast and so willing, was the virtue of an early time, when the husband was really a ‘‘lord and master’’; and such submission in a woman of the present civilization would be rather mischievous than meritorious. If a modern wife cheerfully consented to the murder of her children by her spouse, she would probably be consigned to a maison de sante´, while her husband expiated his sins on the scaffold; and if she endured other persecutions, such as Griselda did, it is to be hoped some benevolent outsider would step in, if only to prevent cruelty to animals.23

Richmond suggests that Haweis’s notes to the Clerk’s Tale both judge severely and ‘‘attempt to rationalize,’’24 but the above remarks suggest judgment is, for a moment at least, the dominant mode. It is useful to compare Haweis’s tone in these remarks with a printed altercation she had in the pages of The Times with the prominent historian Goldwin Smith (1823–1910) on the subject of women’s suffrage: ‘‘The thoughtful woman does not laugh at the Cimabue Madonna for all it is so out of drawing—though she does not want to be one. The old presentment was meant seriously, we respect the earnestness, and there is a glamour about the gold background. Still in more intense and modern moods—say, when we have a drunken husband; when, work as we may, we cannot keep body and soul together; when the harness, whatever harness, is cutting into our flesh—then, we have not much patience with archaism.’’25 The reference to contemporary spousal abuse suggests that the story of Walter’s treatment of his wife cannot be offered as an encouragement to modern women to adopt the archaism of Griselda’s posture, however saintly she may appear in Haweis’s illustration. The letter suggests that however aware Haweis might have been of the aesthetic appeal of the past, she does not view this ‘‘glamour’’ as any kind of cor-

Bedtime Chaucer


Figure 54. Griselda’s sorrow, from Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 1877.

rective to the contemporary life. It is worth noting that Florence Eleanor Booth (1861–1957) of the Salvation Army, who was responsible for the organization’s social work with women, wrote to Haweis, on the day this letter appeared, ‘‘I am proud of your letter in today’s Times.’’26 Haweis’s further comments on the Franklin’s Tale make it clear that she views the mores of Chaucer’s time, not as something to be recovered, but as a partial step along the way to the maturity of the modern world:


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One of the most interesting illustrations of the singular morality which was the outcome of woman’s transition state from a position of slavery to one of equality with man, is to be found in this curious but beautiful tale: a tale which in any other age could scarcely have been popular. . . . It is seen that woman, from being regarded as a mere chattel, like horse or dog, came to be unnaturally exalted. . . . We must remember that society had then the virtues and vices of immaturity. The Franklin’s Tale, with its pathos and earnestness, passing at times into burlesque, is as quaint and instructive as an early effigy on some cathedral door.27

The comparison of medieval courtly love to an effigy on a cathedral door is telling: courtly love is an artifact of the past, from which we may learn (it is ‘‘instructive’’) but which is ultimately not of our world (‘‘quaint’’). Nevertheless, Haweis praises the ‘‘tender pathos’’ of the story and draws Griselda, and Emily from the Knight’s Tale too (figure 55), as if they were saints. And while Haweis may have a sense of how to maintain distance from the Cimabue Madonna, other retellings of Chaucer’s Tales suggest that her careful distinctions were not universal. The most dramatic example of the appeal of tales about women is Janet Harvey Kelman’s Stories from Chaucer (1906?). This adaptation consists simply of four tales, each titled to make its primary focus very clear: ‘‘Dorigen, the story by the Man of Land,’’ ‘‘Emelia, the story by the Man of Might,’’ ‘‘Griselda, the story by the Man of Books,’’ and ‘‘Constance, the story by the Man of Law.’’28 Heath Robinson’s lovely illustrations concentrate on the women, and tend to show them as solitary, sad or wistful creatures: figure 56 shows Constance adrift, and figure 57, Dorigen gazing out to sea. This latter image is the frontispiece for the book; its cover reproduces the moment when Griselda first sees Walter. Other images include Constance leaving for her first marriage; Emily gazing at the tower; and a placid grouping of Griselda with her baby and Walter. Haweis’s illustration in figure 54, by contrast, features the grimacing soldier with his dagger and the baby struggling in his arms. Richmond calls Griselda the ‘‘icon of the [Kelman] volume’s values,’’29 and the illustrations here, unlike Haweis’s, do not complicate those values (I am reminded of Harry Bailey’s own reaction to the Clerk’s tale, which is to remark that he wished his wife could hear it). Richmond suggests that the illustrations in the Kelman volume feature women in part because the book is intended for very young children, whose education was in the hands of their mothers.30 Haweis’s own notes to mothers, discussed further below, certainly confirm such a reading, but there is more to say here. Constance, Griselda, and Emily appear in the illustrations to many of the adaptations. This is not to suggest that men are invisible in the retellings—many versions of the Knight’s Tale, for example, include images of Palamon and Arcite—but

Figure 55. Emily in the garden, from Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 1877.

Figure 56. Constance adrift; illustration by Heath Robinson to Janet Harvey Kelman, Stories from Chaucer Told to the Children, c. 1906.

Bedtime Chaucer


Figure 57. Frontispiece, Dorigen gazing out to sea, and title page, from Kelman, Stories from Chaucer, c. 1906.

the opportunity to draw female figures does seem to have been particularly welcome. Perhaps the most striking instance of such practices is found, not in a children’s book, but rather in the Medici Society’s 1913 printing of the Tales.31 The Medici Society printed colored reproductions of paintings and also published illustrated books. This edition of the Tales appeared under the Society’s Riccardi Press imprint, in three volumes in a limited edition of five hundred copies, some of them bound in vellum (a less expensive single-volume edition followed in 1928). The text was taken from W. W. Skeat’s edition, and the illustrations were by William Russell Flint (1880–1969), famous for his watercolors and in particular for his treatment of the female form. Flint provided thirty-six plates for this handsome printing, and many of these concentrated on attractive women, often in a state of partial undress: figure 58 shows the magician’s demonstration of his prowess to Aurelius. Flint drew women wherever possible, using, for example, a woman to represent April in the General Prologue, female figures to illustrate the ‘‘old gods’’ referred to at the opening of the Knight’s Tale, and barmaids aplenty in the picture accompanying the Pardoner’s story of the revel-

Figure 58. The magician demonstrates his skills for Aurelius: illustration by W. Russell Flint to The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer, 1913.

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ers. The Medici edition, unlike the adaptations I have been discussing thus far, was not intended for a juvenile audience, but there is sufficient similarity in emphasis, in the choice of moments to illustrate, to suggest a common approach to and appeal for Chaucer’s stories. Shorn of Haweis’s learned notes, these illustrations show the appeal of stories about medieval women—an appeal which should probably be set in the context of such artistic movements as the Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts and Crafts movement, Aestheticism, and Art Nouveau,32 but which also needs to be set, as Haweis herself seems to do, against the women’s movement. While Haweis rejects the vision of past women as they appear in Chaucer’s world, many other readers seem to have found comfort in picturing, quite literally, a time when social organization was more certain. While the possibilities of illustration clearly had something to do with the appeal of Chaucer, there are adaptations which are only sparsely illustrated, and in any case, the text of the Tales is also crucial. These tales were understood by most adapters to demonstrate high moral seriousness,33 and for Haweis, Chaucer’s morality and religiosity are among his chief recommendations: ‘‘Chaucer is, moreover, a thoroughly religious poet, all his merriest stories having a fair moral; even those which are too coarse for modern taste are rather naive than injurious; and his pages breathe a genuine faith in God, and a passionate sense of the beauty and harmony of the divine work.’’34 Haweis is not alone in calling some of the stories ‘‘coarse’’; her defense of them is rather more unusual. Sometimes these stories are left out entirely, with no mention of their existence; sometimes they are merely hinted at. Storr and Turner skip the Miller and the Reeve with this note: ‘‘The tales were good of their kind, but not such as you would care to hear, so I will leave them out.’’ In 1914, Storr is somewhat more expansive: I must now skip several tales that you will read when you are older. They are all worth reading, for they show us more vividly than any history book can what the English people were like in Chaucer’s day; not only the kings and nobles who fought and made laws and levied taxes, but the common folk you meet every day—the parson, the lawyer, the squire, the farmer, the labourer, the butcher, the baker, the candle-stick maker. Chaucer, too, was a poet who saw with clearer eyes than other men. To him nothing was common or unclean. He drew men as he saw them, good and bad alike. Most of the badness you would fortunately not understand, and till you are older it is better for you not to understand it.35

It is important to note here that, like Haweis, Storr is not suggesting that Chaucer is somehow improper, but rather that some subjects are stronger meat, best left aside until readers are older. In this view, he and Haweis are at odds with a popular perception. In a draft of what seems to have been a lecture on Chaucer, Haweis reflects somewhat despairingly on current attitudes when she asks, ‘‘Am I wrong in saying that to


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many general readers Chaucer is still a sort of antique Bogey, too difficult to understand and too discursive and too dull for general readers— whilst his ‘funning’ is considered to be too coarse, at any rate for ladies?’’ She shows an acute awareness of the intersection of forms and canons when she points out that Shakespeare is normally printed in regularized spelling, and wonders why no one sees anything coarse in his work, before concluding that Chaucer is not ‘‘a heartless buffoon whose wicked stories are not to be named.’’36 In other words, for a minority of adapters, the suppression of certain stories comes with a consciousness of the potential harms that could result, in terms of pandering to or reinforcing audience perceptions of the poet. Haweis certainly played her part in conveying a watered-down Chaucer, but she clearly thought a great deal about her choices. Other adapters, however, were far less scrupulous. In Storr’s preface, it is at least clear that something has been omitted from the representation of the Tales. Potentially more misleading are the adaptations which deal with Chaucer’s ‘‘coarseness’’ by silently emending or eliding the tales. F. J. Harvey Darton (1878–1936), for example, is the author of Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life, first published in 1932. He was himself a publisher (through his birth into the family-owned firm of Wells Gardner, Darton), and author of children’s books. He had a wide knowledge of medieval literature. In Children’s Books in England, he discusses medieval versions of Aesop, the Gesta romanorum, the bestiaries, and the romances as among the works likely read by children. He spends some time on the development of the story of Bevis from its Anglo-Norman originals to its descent into the chapbooks, remarking of it, and of the romances in general, that ‘‘even when they got into English print they were what they have ever since remained, wonder-tales for simple minds.’’37 He adapted the Canterbury Tales in 1904.38 His treatment was published again in the United States in 1914, with new illustrations.39 So great was Darton’s desire for comprehensiveness—perhaps an offshoot of his scholarly attitude toward children’s literature—that he included Gamelyn as the Cook’s tale; Spenser’s continuation of the unfinished Squire’s Tale, along with the ending from ‘‘an inferior writer of the eighteenth century called Stirling’’40 (this is the Irish poet and antiquary Joseph Sterling fl. 1765– 1794) and tales for the journey home. The choices are carefully made: Gamelyn, by virtue of its survival in some twenty-five manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales, had been attributed to Chaucer and assigned to the Cook, and routinely appeared in earlier printed editions of the Tales. Darton’s note in the table of contents indicates that he is, however, aware the tale is no longer considered Chaucerian. An interlude in Canterbury allows John Lydgate to join the pilgrims and recount his own

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Destruction of Thebes on the way home. This apparent flight of fancy is not Darton’s but Lydgate’s own, and Darton is not the first to use it in this way: both John Stow (1561) and Thomas Speght (1598) printed the tale in their editions of Chaucer. The Merchant then offers his second tale, The Tale of Beryn, and once again the notion has its history in the transmission of the Canterbury Tales, as Beryn is part of the fifteenth-century Northumberland manuscript (Alnwick Castle, Duke of Northumberland, MS 455) of the Tales, and Beryn, too, appeared in editions of the Tales through the eighteenth century.41 In other words, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Darton was not behaving in a markedly different manner than might a late medieval patron of manuscripts, or an early modern compiler or collector of texts. But Darton’s target audience does have the effect of contracting other portions of his retelling, even as the book is generously expanded with long-standing Chaucerian apocrypha. For example, the tales of the Miller and Reeve are reduced to near-invisibility. The Miller’s Tale is told in a longish paragraph about ‘‘a clerk’’ persuading ‘‘a carpenter’’ that the flood was imminent, thus making a fool of him; the Reeve’s Tale is simply ‘‘the story of Simkin, the miller of Trumpington, who was cheated and laughed at, in spite of all his cunning, by two students from Cambridge.’’42 Although Darton’s usual method is this kind of decorous summary, the Summoner defeats him, and the tale is reduced thus: ‘‘He told a story about the cheating of a friar by a Yorkshireman, who excited his covetous greed with the promise of a very precious jewel but when the jewel was discovered, it turned out to be worthless.’’43 The virtuosity with which adapters sometimes deal with the bawdy tales can be quite startling. In 1923, Mary Sturt and Ellen Oakden published The Canterbury Pilgrims.44 Sturt and Oakden collaborated on several books on the history and psychology of education, and again, it may be that a scholarly impulse conflicted with a moralist’s. Like Darton, they apparently felt the need to provide an epitome of the whole work. When faced with the Miller, however, they did not so much reduce the story as change it completely. In their version, Nicholas and Alison want to go to see the mystery plays, but know that John will not let Alison go. The flood plot becomes part of a plan to get John out of the way, and Absolon disappears entirely. The cry of ‘‘water, water’’ at the end of the tale is explained in this way: ‘‘Just as they drew near the carpenter’s house, Nicholas bethought him of a new dance. He was so merry that he whirled and capered to show off his steps to Alisoun, quite forgetful of the lighted torch he was carrying, until the flame blew aside in the wind and caught one of Alisoun’s ribbons which began to burn. ‘Water, water!’ cried the wife.’’45 The Summoner’s Tale of the divided fart is reduced to a cleaned-up version of the anecdote about friars in hell, and


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the Merchant’s Tale of lusty May and Damian is passed over in one (very tame) sentence. The book is part of the series ‘‘The Kings Treasuries of Literature,’’ edited by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller Couch (1863–1944), professor of English at Cambridge, and lifelong champion of both the study of English literature and educational reform. The small size, attractive decorative endpapers, and careful language of the introduction to The Canterbury Pilgrims suggests that this is a book imagined as a gift for younger children, not much older than Haweis’s ‘‘little Lionel.’’ The age of the intended audience may explain the alterations and excisions mentioned above (even today, some adaptations for children are squeamish about Chaucer’s bawdier tales). But just as habits of illustration for children could also appear in works aimed at adults, so too could habits of selection. This situation is illustrated by the work of Eleanor Farjeon (1881– 1965). Farjeon was a prolific author of works for both adults and children, though it is as a children’s writer that she is chiefly remembered. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notes that ‘‘In her writing for children she made few concessions to a child’s immaturity,’’46 but she did make concessions to propriety in her adaptation of Chaucer for the Medici Society in 1930, a printing which made use of twelve of Flint’s illustrations.47 Her preface states the need to omit, suppress or alter certain incidents ‘‘which . . . would prevent [the tales] being given to young people.’’48 While Haweis was clearly addressing very young children like her ‘‘little Lionel,’’ Farjeon’s adaptation imagines an older, if still youthful, audience. Indeed she seems fairly clearly aware of the likelihood of a dual audience: ‘‘The one excuse for presenting Chaucer in any words but his own, is that he may be read, and a taste for him be got by people (especially young people) who would never try to read the foreign language of his English.’’49 Like the reviewers of Haweis’s Chaucer for Schools, Farjeon understands that adults may have recourse to packaged ‘‘classics’’ aimed at children. The interpenetration of reading markets is a significant factor in the reception of Chaucer, then, just as the chapbooks of the eighteenth century reached children and simpler readers, along with scholarly antiquarians and collectors. Haweis takes the opportunity of her edition to educate ‘‘the mother,’’ along with her child, about medieval dress, customs, history, and language (this double audience is suggested as well in the titles of such juvenile adaptations as The Vision of Dante, a Story for Little Children and a Talk to Their Mothers).50 And the difficulties, real or perceived, of medieval works, mean that for many readers works like Farjeon’s come to stand in for Chaucer (my university library’s copy of Farjeon is heavily highlighted in yellow). All these readers would, as a result of her adaptations, have absorbed the idea that Absolon kisses Nicholas’s face and then revenges himself by

Bedtime Chaucer


laying the hot iron to Nicholas’s cheek; that the bed switch in the Reeve’s Tale results only in the Miller’s wife attacking her husband with a cudgel; that the Summoner’s Tale is about bad breath; and that January’s rage at the end of the Merchant’s Tale is caused by seeing Damian offering May a green pear. It is perhaps not surprising that Flint’s illustrations should have been replaced in the 1959 edition: unlike Flint, Marjorie Walters divides her attention fairly evenly between male and female figures, and all are quite thoroughly clothed. Even the earliest adapter of Chaucer was keenly aware of the possibility of a dual audience for work ostensibly aimed at the young. This was Charles Cowden Clarke (1787–1877), a writer and lecturer especially known for his work on Shakespeare (his wife, Mary Victoria Cowden Clarke, produced a concordance to Shakespeare and the very popular Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines). He published several works on Chaucer, including Tales from Chaucer in Prose (1833), a work that was then widely republished, in various formats, for over one hundred years.51 He also produced the Riches of Chaucer,52 another brisk seller, and edited the text for an edition of the Canterbury Tales.53 Dual audiences are very much a part of his expectation. In The Riches of Chaucer, he begins by acknowledging explicitly the difficulty of appealing to many sorts of readers: ‘‘Some will condemn me for having done too little; others for being a ruthless mutilator. The blackletter men, and sticklers for not altering or removing the old land-marks, will sentence me without benefit of clergy: the modern reader, to whom any thing in the form of antique diction or orthography acts as a repellent, will inquire what service I have rendered towards reviving a taste for the poetry of Chaucer, seeing that I have retained all his obsolete terms and idioms, with several antiquated orthographies?’’54 The reference to ‘‘blackletter men’’ suggests an awareness of the antiquarians who had so much to do with the revival of interest, both scholarly and popular, in the medieval past, while the somewhat despairing characterization of the modern reader reminds us that even Chaucer had not yet been entirely rescued from the stigma of the ‘‘Gothish’’ which dogged the reception of the Middle Ages in the period discussed in Chapter 1. It later becomes clear that Clarke’s ideal audience for the Riches is the young, and even more particularly, young women: ‘‘In the advertisement to the present selection from the works of Chaucer, I proposed to omit all those tales and casual passages of ill-favoured complexion, which, if retained, would infallibly banish the book from the very circles whither it was directed, and whence I hope to hear of its welcoming—I mean those ornaments of this civilized age, and patterns to the civilized world, the ingenuous, intelligent, well informed, and artless young women of England.’’55 Some forty years later, Haweis addresses ‘‘The Mother’’ explicitly in


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Chaucer for Children. Clarke could be said to be forming the tastes and impressions of future mothers in the Riches. The usual suspects among the Tales are omitted as a result of this imagining; what remains is presented in modernized orthography, accented to facilitate reading. In his prose adaptations aimed explicitly at the young, Clarke also addresses his dual audience, speaking first to his young readers: I have endeavoured to put these Tales, written by one of the finest poets that ever lived, into modern language, and as easy prose as I could, without at the same time destroying the poetical descriptions, and strong natural expressions of the author. My object in presenting them in this new form was, first, that you might become wise and good by the example of the sweet and kind creatures you will find described in them: secondly, that you might devise improvement by the beautiful writing:—(for I have been careful to use the language of Chaucer whenever I thought it not too antiquated for modern and young readers:) and, lastly, I hoped to excite in you an ambition to read these same stories in their original poetical dress, when you shall have become so far acquainted with your own language, as to understand, without much difficulty, the old, and now almost forgotten terms.56

As in the Riches, the language is perceived to be a potential barrier to the modern reader, though it becomes clear in the Advertisement directed at adults that the taste for archaism dismissed in the reference to ‘‘blackletter men’’ is in fact part of the appeal: The adult reader, (should I be honoured with such), who can scarcely fail to discern an abrupt stiffness in the construction of the sentences in the following Tales, will bear in mind the complicated difficulties I have had to contend with, in retaining, as much as possible, Chaucer’s antique quaintness and distinctive character; . . . The task I proposed to myself, was, to render my translations literal with the original; to preserve their antique fashion; and withal to give them a sufficiently modern air to interest the young reader. I was to be at one and the same time ‘‘modernly antique,’’ prosaically poetic, and comprehensively concise.57

That is, the audience for Chaucer is perceived to be attracted precisely by the archaism that also risks causing them to drop the book as soon as they pick it up. The modernized orthography and glossing of the Riches is one solution to the problem; the prose adaptation and simplification of the Tales from Chaucer is another; and the expurgation which, as we have seen, extends far beyond books aimed at ‘‘little Lionel,’’ is yet a third solution. A fourth is to use the poet himself to keep readers glued to these pages. What Clarke’s various versions of Chaucer have in common is that they all contain quite lengthy accounts of Chaucer’s life. Ideas about Chaucer himself—Chaucer the pure spirit, Chaucer the child, Chaucer the father of English poetry—are as powerful as the sense of what is,

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and is not, appropriate in his text. Ellis has remarked on the persistent characterization of Chaucer in the popular realm as a representative of the ‘‘merrie England’’ whose nostalgic appeal is partly responsible for the whole phenomenon of ‘‘popular Chaucer’’ (and, I would add, for the popular Middle Ages more generally).58 A fondness for fanciful biography, and in particular the identification of Chaucer the pilgrim with Chaucer the poet, is a common characteristic of the adaptations of Chaucer for children, and while scholarly convention might control some of the wilder speculation in the pages of works sponsored by such groups as the Chaucer Society (though as we will see, Frederick Furnivall himself penned some of the most fanciful description), children’s books offered far more free rein to the imagination. It is also true that the emphasis on the author figure suited a practice which, as the opening of this study showed, goes back to the beginnings of canon-making in print. The desire to picture Chaucer, for children and adults alike, is not noticeably different from the desire to picture other figures. Shakespeare offers obvious parallels, for example, and present-day controversies over the Sanders portrait suggest that the appeal of the image is as strong as ever it was. The portraits of Chaucer reveal, in illustrations and words alike, how this figure was molded to fit with the goals of Chaucer for children (and children’s classics more broadly), as well as how that imagining of the poet and his work carried influence beyond the nursery. Chapter 1 suggested what could happen to texts that lacked a describable, picturable ‘‘author’’; the reception of Chaucer—and of Shakespeare, and of other canonical figures—suggests that to be picturable brings a host of other complications. One way in which adapters have, from the beginning, kept Chaucer himself firmly in readers’ minds is to make explicit an identification of Chaucer the pilgrim with Chaucer the poet. David Matthews argues that this move provides ‘‘a stable point of view around which to construct the collection’’59; it also speaks to the taste for literary biography which has been so important to the construction of many of the medieval authors I discuss in this study. Clarke’s version of the General Prologue is a typical example: In that pleasant season of the year when the April showers and the soft west wind make the grass and flowers to spring up in every mead and heath, and birds welcome the shining days, it is the custom with people from all parts of the country to set forth on pilgrimages to foreign lands, and more especially to pay their vows at the shrine raised in Canterbury to the holy martyr St. Thomas a` Becket. At this time of the year, I, geffry chaucer [sic], the writer of these Tales, was remaining at the sign of the Tabard, in Southwark, ready to set forth on my pilgrimage to Canterbury.60


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Storr and Turner are even more explicit: ‘‘Now one springtide it chanced that I, Chaucer, who wrote all these things you are going to hear, was staying at the sign of the Tabard, an inn at Southwark.’’61 Ellis argues that ‘‘Much general interest in Chaucer is indeed a disguised interest in history or topography, with the Tabard becoming at times as celebrated as any of the characters in the ‘General Prologue’,’’62 and the Tabard is a frequent subject of illustration in the adaptations dealt with in this chapter. The topographical interest of which Ellis speaks, in other words, receives visual confirmation. Darton’s version of the General Prologue, which works Chaucer’s phrasing into an apparently third-person introductory account of the nature of pilgrimage, is particularly striking in its combination of adaptation and (sometimes spurious) historical commentary, as respects both the inn and the poet: ‘‘The chief season for pilgrimages was spring, when the sweet showers of April had put to flight the dryness and cold weather of March. At that time of the year the west wind with his sweet breath is giving new life to all the plants and flowers. The young sun has just left the sign of the Ram in the heavenly Zodiac, and the little birds are beginning to sing again, and to sleep all night with one eye open. Men, too, like the flowers and birds, feel new strength in their veins.’’ Thus far, Darton has offered close paraphrase of the famous opening, but the next phrases set the Prologue firmly in the historical past: ‘‘and early spring in those far-off days, five centuries and more ago, seemed to bid them leave their homes and use their fresh vigor in a journey to some distant place, to renew their vows and repent of their sins.’’ A description of pilgrimage follows: Some pilgrims would go abroad, to sacred spots far distant in foreign lands—to the Holy Land, for instance, or to the shrine of St. James of Compostella in Spain—and they would come back wearing a token of palm from Jerusalem, or a St. James’s scollop-shell, as a sign of their devotion. But there were also in England itself many places which they visited, and the most famous of all was the shrine of the martyr Thomas Becket in the cathedral at Canterbury, to which men came from every part of the country, and even from Europe itself.

And finally the Chaucer-pilgrim is introduced into this scene, as the literary construct becomes the historical person, whose activities as described in the General Prologue are now presented as being as much a part of the historical fabric as are the Tabard or the garment for which it is named: ‘‘It chanced one year that Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet who wrote most of these ‘Canterbury Tales,’ made up his mind to go on a pilgrimage to Canterbury; and accordingly he set out early in April. On his way, he stopped one Tuesday evening at the Tabard Inn, in Southwark, kept by a certain Harry Bailly, close to the Bell. The Tabard (a tab-

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ard was a kind of sleeveless coat), or a rebuilt inn on the same site, was still standing nearly five hundred years later.’’63 I have quoted this passage at length to show how Darton weaves in and out of the General Prologue in such a way as to make of it a kind of historical record, one which includes an account of the real person Geoffrey Chaucer. There is a striking reifying of the Tales themselves in the statement that Chaucer wrote ‘‘most of these ‘Canterbury Tales’.’’ The modifier is of course a concession to Darton’s additions, discussed above, but it also suggests that the Tales have become a thing in themselves, perhaps precisely through the process of addition, edition, and adaptation that has been going on since the Middle Ages. At the same time, like other adapters, Darton very firmly links Chaucer the poet with Chaucer the pilgrim. All these versions share a desire to deliver the tales by means of close identification with the poet, and that identification is often made through illustration as well as through words. The illustrations commonly include an image of Chaucer, and care is usually taken to produce an ‘‘authentic’’ portrait.64 Louise Bishop has suggested that the emphasis on depicting Chaucer in the print tradition more generally ‘‘brings manuscript life to the printed book.’’65 The Chaucer portraits in children’s Chaucer are, then, another example of the mark of the medieval, the attempt to forge a connection through the visual representation of the past, here in an explicitly pedagogic context. The portrait image is often based on the Hoccleve portrait (the image of Chaucer found on fol. 88r of London, British Library MS Harley 4866, a copy of Thomas Hoccleve’s The Regiment of Princes) or on the pilgrim portrait in the Ellesmere Chaucer (San Marino, California, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.C.9, fol. 153v).66 The frontispiece for Canterbury Chimes, for example, used the Hoccleve portrait as its source, while figure 59 shows the title page of Darton’s 1904 edition, with a picture loosely based on the Ellesmere pilgrim portrait. The 1904 illustration is by Hugh Thomson (1860–1920), a popular book illustrator with a reputation for period illustration.67 The Thomson piece is a looser interpretation of its manuscript source than is the frontispiece for Storr and Turner, but it is important that in both cases, some representation of Chaucer appears in the front matter of these books, and in that of many other works as well, whether these are aimed at children or at adults. The practice continues today, with Reg Cartwright’s handsomely stylized version of the Hoccleve portrait featured in Selina Hasting’s 1988 adaptation of some of the Tales.68 In Congenial Souls, her exploration of the persistent desire, even among modern scholars, to ‘‘hear Chaucer directly,’’ Stephanie Trigg suggests that the habit of thought crystallized in these visual realizations continues to influence scholarly as well as popular reading.69

Figure 59. Title page to F. J. Harvey Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims, 1904; the illustration by Hugh Thomson is loosely based on the pilgrim portrait from the Ellesmere manuscript.

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Figure 60. Frontispiece to Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 1877; the figure of the poet is based on the Hoccleve portrait.

As in many things having to do with the adaptation of Chaucer in this period, Haweis is both typical and unusual. She makes use of the Hoccleve portrait and offers careful notes on the details she has taken up and those she has altered, though there is a slip in her notes to one of the two Chaucer illustrations: a handsome full-page portrait of Chaucer inserted opposite page 3 is clearly taken from the sixteenth-century portrait added to London, British Library Additional MS 5141, though Haweis attributes her drawing in her notes to the Hoccleve portrait in Harley 4866. Harley 4866 is, however, obviously the source for the portrait of Chaucer among the other pilgrims, shown in figure 60.70 In her notes, Haweis apologizes for altering the color of the poet’s dress, but both the illustration and the word-painting aimed at her youthful audience combine period detail with flights of fancy: How funny you would think he looked, if you could see him sitting in his house! He wore a hood, of a dark colour, with a long tail to it, which in-doors hung


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down his back, and out of doors was twisted round his head to keep the hood on firm. This tail was called a liripipe. He did not wear a coat and trousers like your father’s, but a sort of gown, called a tunic, or dalmatic, which in one picture of him is grey and loose, with large sleeves, and bright red stockings and black boots; but on great occasions he wore a close-fitting tunic, with a splendid belt and buckle; a dagger, and jewelled garters, and, perhaps, a gold circlet round his hair.71

The description is not confined to the physical details of dress. Next to her reproduced engraving of the Additional 5141 portrait, Haweis remarks, ‘‘You may see how good and clever Chaucer was by his face; such a wise, thoughtful, pleasant face! He looks very kind, I think, as if he would never say anything harsh or bitter; but sometimes he made fun of people in a merry way.’’72 The comment on the facial features shows that appearance and character are understood to be linked. Clarke drew similar connections between the poet’s face and his character in the essay that preceded both The Riches of Chaucer and Tales from Chaucer. He seems to have drawn his portrait from both the manuscript images and from Chaucer’s own description of the Chaucer-pilgrim: His face was full and smooth, betokening regular good health and a serene and cheerful frame of mind. His complexion was fair, verging towards paleness: his hair was of a dusky yellow, short and thin; that of his beard grew, or rather perhaps it was fashioned into a forked shape, and its colour was wheaten. He had an expansive and marble-like forehead, fair and unwrinkled; his eyes constantly tended towards the ground,—a habit he has likewise given occasion in the host to notice:—‘‘What man art thou, (quoth he),/ That lookest as thou wouldest find a hare;/ For ever on the ground I see thee stare.’’ The general expression of his countenance combined a mixture of animation, of lurking, good natured satire, of unruffled serenity, sweetness, and close thought.73

As did Darton, Clarke uses Chaucer’s own language as a springboard for this elaboration, here of the poet’s character as deduced from his face. In their period details, then, whether of image or of word, both Haweis and Clarke seek to authenticate their portraits of Chaucer, because these portraits both provide a way of relating to the text, and point to the character of its creator. It is important for all the adapters to show that Chaucer is a moral man. Haweis, for example, absolves him of the charge of attacking a Franciscan by writing that the evidence is scant and, ‘‘At any rate, Chaucer never got fond of the friars, and thought they were often bad and mischievous men, who did not always act up to what they said. This is called hypocrisy, and is so evil a thing that Chaucer was quite right to be angry with people who were hypocrites.’’74 Here as throughout her adaptation, Haweis deploys current scholarship on Chaucer. She cites various

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histories, as well as Skeat, Morris, Bell, and the six-text edition of the Tales, and she is more than willing to engage these authorities, as for example when she points out that Bell has missed the ‘‘sharp sarcasm’’ in Chaucer’s description of the Prioress.75 Among her correspondents she numbered Frederick Furnivall (1825–1910), founder of the Chaucer Society, and Israel Gollancz (1863–1930), famed for his contributions to the study of Old English, Middle English, and Shakespeare. Furnivall suggests in one letter that she leave her Chaucer essay out for him to read; Gollancz thanks her for her interest in his edition of Wulf and Eadwacer and goes on to agree with her that ‘‘The poem must have been set to music.’’76 Haweis is very scholarly in her approach to medieval literature, then, but other adapters invent far more freely in describing the poet, while sharing Haweis’s general aims in characterizing him. Clarke may have drawn from the General Prologue in the passage cited above, but his description of Chaucer at the court of Edward III seems pure fiction, perhaps intended to suit the tastes of the young women whom he imagined as the audience for The Riches of Chaucer. He writes, In this gay region of chivalry, mirth, and gallantry, surrounded by wit and beauty, . . . he started upon the full career of life: his age, the prime of manhood, (under thirty) and person of just proportion, with a fair and beautiful complexion, full and red lips, and a graceful and dignified carriage; to crown which attractions may be added his newly-fledged renown as a love-poet,—all gave him the advantage over any competitors. A handsome and modest young poet moving about a gallant court, is a beautiful picture for the mind to contemplate.77

As Richmond points out, Ford Madox Brown’s 1845 painting, The Seeds and Fruit of English Poetry, is eerily reminiscent of Clarke’s word-picture, featuring a handsome young Chaucer reading aloud to the gorgeous court, fondly watched over by Edward III, who leans paternally on the poet’s shoulder.78 One adapter explains this preoccupation with Chaucer’s appearance and character in terms of pedagogic value. Katharine Lee Bates, professor of English at Wellesley College (and author of ‘‘America the Beautiful’’), wrote The Story of the Canterbury Pilgrims Retold for Children in 1909, as part of the series of ‘‘Canterbury Classics.’’ In her introduction to the series, she remarks, ‘‘The biographical sketches emphasize, whenever it is appropriate, the childhood of the authors treated, and try throughout to give, by concrete illustration, impressions of personality and character.’’79 The details of the life, then, are understood as the means by which children can be enticed to learn about the writers. Haweis shares this view, suggesting that children can be induced to learn more about political history through an emphasis on domestic detail.80 In other ways, however, the two women have different attitudes toward historical


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detail. As we will see, while Haweis attempts to present as much Chaucerian text as possible to her young audience, going so far as to instruct both children and their mothers about Middle English language and meter, Bates presents Chaucer in translation, often substituting other English poets’ adaptations of Chaucer (Dryden’s Knight’s Tale, Wordsworth’s Prioress’s Tale, and Leigh Hunt’s version of the Squire’s Tale). There is a curious gap, then, between the desire to attract through biography and an apparent unconcern for the authenticity of what will then be presented to the youthful audience. The biographies perform other tasks beyond attracting the interest of the reader. It is also clear that the ‘‘impressions of personality and character’’ are offered as models for children. When Haweis turns to introducing the tales, for example, she tells her audience that ‘‘The beauty of Chaucer’s character, and his deep piety, come out very clearly in these tales, as I think you will see.’’81 Chaucer is a good man, and he was a good child too: ‘‘there is no doubt that his education was a good one, and that he worked very hard at his books and tasks, otherwise he could not have grown to be the learned and cultivated man he was.’’82 He is not oppressively good, however; Darton’s first edition includes this description of the poet’s boyhood: He was a little elvish-looking fellow—as he says in his ‘‘Canterbury Tales’’—as bright and quick as a boy could be, plucky and slippy at football, hockey, and other games. Cricket was not then known. It is clear, from his poems, that Chaucer loved flowers and the country, caught birds, watched cats and dogs, and could ride well; and if any orchard-robbing or other mischief went on among his school-fellows, I doubt not that Chaucer, like Lydgate, did his share of it. But we may be sure that his brains kept him at the top of his class.83

This piece of imagination is Frederick Furnivall’s, and offers a typical example of the irrepressible breeziness for which he was famous (or infamous). Among Haweis’s papers is the text of a series of lectures called ‘‘Old Boys,’’ about the lives of children in the medieval and early modern periods. Like Furnivall, she draws on Lydgate’s account of his own boyhood, and like Furnivall, she emphasizes sport: ‘‘The young pickle of 500 years ago had niether [sic] cricket nor football as we understand those scientific games. But games of ball were common enough, under different names, and scientific enough to attract enthusiastic spectators in the show-days.’’84 Commenting on Furnivall’s fanciful account, Ellis writes that here we find ‘‘a role model for lusty English boyhood.’’85 The terms applied to Chaucer are particularly reminiscent of those used for the adult Froissart, a figure who was not English but was most definitely ‘‘English’d’’ in his postmedieval life, as Chapter 5 will discuss, in part with reference to juvenile adaptations.

Bedtime Chaucer


The biographies all go to some lengths to ‘‘place’’ Chaucer with respect to class. Clarke declares, ‘‘He was a gentleman—, for he was the universal theme of admiration in a refined court—particularly by the women, and they rarely err in making a correct estimate of a man’s temper and habits.’’86 Haweis argues he could not have been a page had he not been a ‘‘well-born, or at least well-educated, person.’’87 As with all of her remarks, however, this one needs to be further contextualized, in this case by her view of Chaucer as a champion of liberty: ‘‘He laboured to bring in fresh air to the oppressed & stifling in whatever class, not only for his own time but for all time. . . . He suggested, even while he seemed to deprecate, reform & equality.’’88 Nevertheless, there is no doubt that her attitude is marked by her own class affiliations, and she is hardly alone in concerning herself with Chaucer’s class. The A. L. Bright reader series Stories from Chaucer, a school text of about 1900 published in Britain and Canada, spends time on Chaucer’s court life: ‘‘Here the young man learnt all those good manners and accomplishments which were the distinguishing marks of better-class people in those days, and his early connection with the Court kept him in touch with the royal family during the whole of his life.’’89 Haweis devotes a good deal of time to Chaucer’s aristocratic connections, with a long section about his wife’s family, while making it clear that he was no snob: ‘‘There was a largeheartedness and liberality about Chaucer’s mind, as of one who had mixed cheerfully with all classes, and saw good in all. His tastes were with the noble ranks among whom he had lived; but he had deep sympathy with the poor and oppressed.’’90 Chaucer practices a kind of noblesse oblige and is in this, as in all respects, the perfect English gentleman. Figures such as Guy of Warwick, or Froissart’s version of the Black Prince, or Sir Galahad, could be and were similarly held up to young audiences for emulation, but the deployment of Chaucer in this regard seems particularly powerful, perhaps because he can be so clearly authenticated as ‘‘real’’—even though much of this authentication then simply becomes the springboard for fiction. Some of the other authenticating markers that have been discussed throughout this study also appear in the adaptations of Chaucer: portraits, Gothic type, drawings of archaeological and architectural objects, maps, even scholarly apparatus are all deployed as part of the truth-claims of these works. What the content of the biographies shows, is what is at stake, why it is so important that the audience, in this case English-speaking children, be exposed to medieval texts and accept the authority of the books that convey these texts. The 1914 edition of Storr and Turner explicitly attributes the phenomenon of children’s adaptations to the growth of English studies: ‘‘ ‘English’ now figures in the curriculum of every school in the kingdom, and English Literature is gradually vindicating its claim to rank as


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a serious study to be pursued by all, whatever else they may learn.’’91 A review of Haweis’s book from the Academy, for example, notes that Chaucer’s ‘‘works, in selections of some kind or other, are now text-books in every school that aspires to give sound instruction in English.’’92 Many of my own copies of the books described in this chapter bear bookplates indicating they were given as school prizes, emphasizing the importance of the school system in the creation of the children’s canon. Terry Eagleton has written trenchantly about the rise of English in Victorian Britain, a rise he attributes to an ideological enterprise which sought to replace failing religious control of the masses with another form of control: ‘‘It would give them a pride in their national language and literature: if scanty education and extensive hours of labour prevented them personally from producing a literary masterpiece, they could take pleasure in the thought that others of their own kind—English people—had done so.’’93 Eagleton’s remarks link English studies with a nationalist indoctrination whose class and racial overtones are sounded, to a greater or lesser degree, in many of the works I have been describing. Ellis argues that overt nationalism is surprisingly rare in these editions,94 and it is true that there is less obvious indoctrination than in, for example, editions of Froissart’s Chroniques aimed at an English-speaking audience. But Chaucer’s position at the head of the English poetic canon inevitably leads into nationalism, sometimes explicitly racial. What is more interesting than the simple presence of nationalism, however, are the varying ways in which it is deployed, particularly in the treatment of Chaucer’s language and his transnational appeal. Certainly it makes sense for Chaucer adaptations to discuss Chaucer’s language. In Chaucer for Schools, Haweis advances a slightly different explanation for the affinity she argues children have for Chaucer than the usual ‘‘Chaucer as child’’ motif discussed above. She points out that children have less difficulty with the final -e of Middle English than do adults; they ‘‘are used to say ‘doggie’ . . . long before dog . . . ; a peculiarity which may actually be a relic of the old Saxon pronunciation.’’95 Perhaps it is this conviction which gives her the confidence to use a great deal of Chaucer’s language in Chaucer for Children, an unusual decision. In her unpublished notes, she muses that if contemporary audiences were to encounter Shakespeare in original spelling, they would find him equally impenetrable; like Thomas Jefferson on Old English in Chapter 1, she carries on to suggest that all that is needed is modern spelling which would otherwise leave the text ‘‘untouched.’’96 More typically, Chaucer’s language is seen as a bar: Margaret Macaulay’s Stories from Chaucer, for example, are offered in the hope that the book ‘‘may prove not a substitute for Chaucer but a help and encouragement to some young people who might otherwise be deterred from reading him by the

Bedtime Chaucer


slight preliminary difficulties of his language.’’97 Haweis, on the other hand, intends to pass along the language as well as the sense of Chaucer’s work. She opens her address ‘‘To the Mother’’ by remarking ‘‘It seems but natural that every English child should know something of one who left so deep an impression on his age, and on the English tongue, that he has been called by Occleve ‘the finder of our fair language’,’’98 and goes on to offer instruction as to how that language should be made accessible. Her appreciation of that language is clear, as she mounts a spirited defense of Middle English: ‘‘For instance, how much nicer ‘flittermouse’ is than ‘bat.’ That is an old North-country word, and very German (Fledermaus). When you see a little bat flying about, you know it is a bat because you have been told: but ‘flittermouse’ is better than bat, because it means ‘floating mouse.’ Now a bat is like a mouse floating in the air. The word expresses the movement and the form of the creature.’’99 Haweis also makes a point of expressing her views about rhythm and meter to the childish audience: ‘‘You will find that when Chaucer’s words are rightly pronounced, all his lines are of an even length and sound pretty. I don’t think he ever fails in this. This is called having a musical ear. Chaucer had a musical ear. Some people who write poetry have not, and their poetry is good for nothing.’’100 There are philosophical ideas about language, and aesthetic judgments about poetry, in all this, as well as a reproval, sometimes implied and sometimes expressed, for modern language. This last attitude clearly echoes such things as Berthelette’s praise of Gower’s simple English many centuries previously. Berthelette, it will be remembered, praised Gower as a user of pure, old English, in contrast to the foreign coinings that had become fashionable in the sixteenth century. In the case of Chaucer, too, Englishness is at the heart of later attitudes, part of what both adults and children are to learn about their first poet. Haweis calls Chaucer ‘‘the English Homer’’ (a common claim, from the early modern period onward) and introduces her audience right away to the importance of national canons: in order that you really may understand the stories, I must first tell you something about the man who made them; and also why his language was not the same as yours, although it was English. His name was Chaucer—Geoffrey Chaucer. You must remember his name, for he was so great a man that he has been called the ‘‘Father of English Poetry’’—that is, the beginner or inventor of all the poetry that belongs to our England; and when you are grown up, you will often hear of Chaucer and his works.101

Chaucer’s role as founder of English poetry and the English language is repeated everywhere in these adaptations (and in editions of Chaucer


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more generally, of course). J. Walker McSpadden’s 1907 Stories from Chaucer is both imperialist and lyrical in its assessment of Chaucer’s role as ‘‘a poet and a creator of the English tongue. He found the language a thicket of conflicting dialects. He left it firmly rooted in one strong graceful tree which has grown into our modern speech—a sturdy oak whose branches extend toward every point of the compass and bid fair to shelter almost every nation of the earth.’’102 Katharine Lee Bates, writing from one of those many nations, calls herself one of ‘‘the children of this new demesne/ Over the western wave.’’103 This emphasis on a global English frequently manifests itself in the sense that all Englishspeaking children are sharers of the poetic heritage Chaucer is seen to have founded.104 Dorothy Martin’s First Book About Chaucer, first published in London in 1929, was reprinted in New York in 1930 with, as was standard practice at the time, no adaptation to the American context: the assertion that Chaucer is ‘‘our first great English poet’’ would have been completely unremarkable.105 Chaucer belongs to all English speakers, and children in both Great Britain and the United States could be taught about the founder of their common language. The Canadian poet Charles Sangster (1822–1893) invoked the bond of language, with specific reference to the literary past, in his poem ‘‘England and America,’’ first published in 1856: What! allied to Merrie England, Have ye not a noble birth? Yours, America, her honors, Yours her every deed of worth. Have ye not her Norman courage? Wear ye not her Saxon cast? Boast ye not her love Freedom? Do ye not revere the Past? When her mighty Men of Genius– Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Glorified that selfsame language, Since become your pride and hope?106

The poem goes on to praise England’s Protestant past, and concludes by reminding the English-speaking nations that they might well one day have to take up arms together in defense of their faith (a prediction which seems prescient of such things as Henry Newbolt’s deployment of Froissart, discussed in Chapter 5). This is not, of course, a phenomenon which is confined to children’s literature, but the ideological assumptions at play are particularly visible in works aimed at educating the young. The school texts and the series marketed as gift books allow us to see what happens when nationalism meets the marketplace, and intersects with the phenomenon of classics for children.

Bedtime Chaucer


I have already referred briefly to the Bright series of school readers (a British series, reprinted in Canadian covers). The Chaucer selection is in the series for nine- to eleven-year-olds; the other readers in that series were Stories from the Life of King Alfred; The Christmas Stocking; Swiss Family Robinson; The Seven Champions of Christendom; Gulliver’s Travels; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Rab and His Friends, and Our Dogs; The Story of Hiawatha; The Story of William Tell; The Talisman; Ivanhoe; Quentin Durward; Some Celtic Folk Stories; and Little Women. The list represents a kind of general cultural literacy: these are good stories, taken from a range of sources, both historical and contemporary. They follow in the tradition of the Home Treasury and Gammer Gurton series discussed in Chapter 2. But there are other ways to read what seems a perceptible tilt in this list toward medieval and medievalizing works. The first series of Bright’s readers, aimed at five- to seven-year-olds, lays out quite clearly the cultural terrain to which English-speaking children are gradually to be introduced: Tales of Old, Long-Ago Stories, Old-World Stories, Tales of the Northmen, The Knights of the Round Table, Old English Tales, Tales from the Odyssey, Old Greek Stories, Wonder Tales, and The Story of the Golden Fleece. Some of these are classical tales, and Francis Storr also translated Sophocles and edited the collection Fifty-two Stories of Classical Heroes. But this classical education is blended with—and perhaps understood as the foundation for—a good sense of British history and story. This emphasis is ubiquitous in the books I have been discussing. Kelman’s version is part of the ‘‘Told to the Children’’ series, which also included stories of Beowulf, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Guy of Warwick, Roland, Celtic myth, Dante, and Spenser; the ‘‘King’s Treasury’’ series included Arthur, Robin Hood, tales from the Mabinogion, and Beowulf; and McSpadden’s version is part of the ‘‘Told Through the Ages’’ series, which included Greek and Roman legends and myths, Robin Hood, King Arthur, stories from Dante, a version of Guy of Warwick, the story of CuChulain, stories from the Faerie Queene, and the story of Roland. Richmond notes that one advertisement for the Told Through the Ages series makes clear that by reading these books, ‘‘children were to gain detailed knowledge of national/ racial identity through literature.’’107 And these useful stories were packaged in ways to make them physically attractive. The series described above, apart from the Bright school readers, all bear the markers of books intended for mass collectibility, as gift books. All take pains to advertise the other items ‘‘uniform with this series,’’ and all make efforts, through illustration, decoration, and binding, to appear visually pleasing as well as uniform. The ‘‘Told to the Children’’ series, for example, was advertised in this way: ‘‘In dainty Volumes, bound in cloth gilt, with picture designs and silk marker, at Is. 6d.


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each net. Also in Ornamental Boards, Price Is. each net. Printed on pure rag paper, in beautiful antique type. Each volume is illustrated with at least Eight Pictures in Colour by well-known artists.’’108 The reference to ‘‘antique’’ type is particularly interesting, given the typographic histories I have traced through these pages. Part of the appeal of these stories, then, is a visual link to ‘‘long ago’’; however much they adapt their sources, they retain the mark of the medieval. There is an interesting exception to this kind of packaging. Chaucer is one of many writers who appears in the ‘‘Books for the Bairns’’ series, the initiative of the philanthropist, spiritualist, and journalist W. T. (William Thomas) Stead (1849–1912). Stead was another of Haweis’s correspondents. So far as I have been able to determine, the main subject was spiritualism and not Chaucer, though Bea Howe records that Haweis worried, during her last illness, about a Chaucer lecture she had promised Stead she would deliver at the Browning Hall, Walworth.109 Stead was a radical social reformer, who somehow found the time, in between editing his Review of Reviews (which he began after leaving the editorship of the Pall Mall Gazette), to start, in 1896, this series of extremely inexpensive, pamphlet versions of classic literature, aimed at the children of the poor.110 The first volume printed was Aesop’s Fables, and within a year, sales had risen to 150,000 a month.111 The series was continued by his daughter, finally ceasing in 1920. The Chaucer, number 83, cost one penny (compared to the shilling for the cheaper form of the ‘‘Told to the Children’’ books); the bright pink soft paper covers are printed with advertisements for cocoa, baby foods, and patent medicines. Stead’s social ideas are suggested by the introduction: Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet who lived in the fourteenth century. For nearly five hundred years he has ministered to the mirth and gladness of the English-speaking world. In the Canterbury Tales the fourteenth century rises from the grave, so to speak; and Chaucer’s pilgrims—a motley band—are almost the only men of his time who live and breathe immortalized by the genius of the poet. Never again, I fear, will Merrie England see the friendly social gathering of knight and squire, of stately dame and low-born cook, of merchant, miller, and friar, spending the evening together listening to such tales as these.112

Stead’s Merrie England may have a somewhat different social cast than that of some other adapters, but like them, he uses Chaucer to link language, history, and Britain’s current position in the world: Chaucer’s Tales may be regarded as the first and most popular of the short stories that have won for themselves so prominent a place in literature. His Canterbury Tales is the first miscellany of poetry and fiction in our tongue that has achieved world-wide popularity. Their age in itself is no small addition to their charm. These stories, which are now being scattered broadcast over the English-

Bedtime Chaucer


speaking world, were familiar to the men who fought in the Wars of the Roses. They cheered the youth of the Reformers, they were the favourite reading of the heroes of the Elizabethan age; and down to our own time these short stories in verse have been the solace and amusement of successive generations of our race.113

Stead, too, offers Chaucer to the children of the English race, and imagines their spread, here tellingly linked to ‘‘the Reformers,’’ across the world. His appeal to the ‘‘age’’ of the stories in the context of reform is reminiscent, for example, of the recourse of Matthew Parker or of Thomas Jefferson to the Saxon past to bolster contemporary religious or political positions. I have already quoted from F. J. Furnivall’s introduction to Darton’s 1904 adaptation, in discussing the biographies of Chaucer. The rest of this introduction links language and nation in the framework of the Teutonism which was a common reflex in nineteenth-century Britain and America alike. For Furnivall, Chaucer’s contribution to the great Teutonic-Brythonic family is his language, by which, he says, we see ‘‘the sun of his genius over the land we love, and the folk, our forefathers and mothers, who handed us down the England and the language which we possess, and which we have to put and keep in the forefront of the world.’’114 Such sentiments underpin the eager reception of Chaucer in North America. As Clare Simmons has pointed out, ‘‘the affinity between languages was taken as an affinity between races,’’115 a phenomenon we have already seen above in the poems by Bates and Sangster. Reginald Horsman has argued that the racial theories common in Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century in fact had particular resonance for Americans, whose unique history made them particularly prone to accept arguments about racial destiny.116 I return once more to Bates, who explains, in her introduction to the Canterbury Classics, the importance of stories: That childhood is poor which has not for friends many of the goodly company represented by Hector, Achilles, Roland, Sigurd, My Cid, Don Quixote, Lancelot, Robin Hood, Percy, the Douglas, Gulliver, Puck, Rip Van Winkle, and Alice in Wonderland. College class-rooms, where Dante and Spenser, Goethe and Coleridge are taught, speedily feel the difference between minds nourished, from babyhood up, on myths of Olympus and myths of Asgard, Hans Christian Andersen, old ballads, the ‘‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’’ the ‘‘Arabian Nights,’’ the ‘‘Alhambra,’’ and minds which are still strangers to fairyland and hero-land and all the dreamlands of the world’s inheritance.117

The project of the Canterbury Classics is tied closely to education, and not merely in the nursery, as Bates makes clear. The university teacher speaks here, urging the necessity of a common cultural inheritance as


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the basis for the work of the college classroom. Bates’s necessary ‘‘dreamlands’’ are international, but she closes by stressing the particular aim of her series, which is ‘‘to help in arousing a desire for the more imaginative and inspiring legends of the Aryan race.’’118 It seems likely, given the list of essential reading quoted above, that Bates meant Aryan in the broadest sense (to apply to the family of languages that included Sanskrit, Zend, Persian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic), though she surely would have been aware of de Gobineau’s racial ideas.119 But the stories of Chaucer often appeared, as I have outlined above, in series whose volumes included stories of the Saxon Kings, the Norsemen, King Arthur, Robin Hood and stories from Froissart (who had been, as Chapter 5 will show, made over into an Englishman). There is a parallel list of ‘‘exotica’’—tales of Sinbad, or tales from the Arabian Nights, for example—but the series published for children from the 1880s to the 1920s draw heavily on a common store of British and northern European myth and legend. That is, in these series the Middle Ages and Englishness are closely linked, and Englishness is also understood to be Northern, Teutonic, Germanic. This link, happily exploited in many of the works which delivered the medieval past to modern English speakers, might perhaps have become an uncomfortable one as time went by. There could be many factors that led to the decline of interest in adaptations of Chaucer for children after the 1930s. The sentimental tales preferred by most of the adapters might no longer have suited contemporary tastes. Certainly modern readers are unlikely to react well to saccharine effusions about Chaucer and daisies. We no longer think, with Katharine Bates, of Chaucer as ‘‘the sweetest and most childlike spirit in English song.’’ Janet Kelman called Chaucer’s age a time ‘‘when the world was young’’;120 the nostalgia for the past which is a common current in nineteenth-century adaptations may not have fitted the brave new world of technological progress, and is perhaps another reason for the disappearance of the adaptations after about 1930.121 Haweis contrasts Chaucer’s London with the modern city, to the latter’s detriment: ‘‘I dare say, when Chaucer walked in the streets, the birds sang over his head, and the hawthorn and primrose bloomed where now the black smoke and dust would soon kill most green things. . . . I am afraid Geoffrey Chaucer would not recognize that ‘dere and swete citye of London’ in the great, smoky, noisy, bustling metropolis we are accustomed to.’’122 Haweis aligns herself here with the likes of William Morris, whose Earthly Paradise enjoins the reader to Forget Six counties overhung with smoke, Forget the snorting steam and piston stroke, Forget the spreading of the hideous town;

Bedtime Chaucer


Think rather of the pack-horse on the down, And dream of London, small white and clean, The clear Thames bordered by its gardens green.123

But despite Haweis’s and Morris’s qualms, perhaps great, smoky, bustling cities had more positive overtones as the twentieth century progressed. And it may be that the favored stories of the earlier adapters—the tales of suffering women in particular—had lost their appeal as women advanced socially and culturally, although Haweis’s own advanced ideas did not prevent her from adapting Chaucer in the first place. But the racial nationalism which had at least something to do with the idea of a children’s canon and with Chaucer’s place in it, might have become a particular embarrassment in the age of the world wars, and there are two pieces of evidence which may support this suspicion. The first comes from the time of World War I. In 1914, F. J. Harvey Darton made two changes to his retelling of the Canterbury Tales. He commissioned a new illustrator, and he removed Furnivall’s introduction. It may be that the introduction was felt to be old-fashioned; or it may be that Chaucer-as-Teuton was not as popular an idea in 1914 as it had been before (although it was not until 1917 that the royal family became the House of Windsor). A second suggestive case comes from the aftermath of World War II. In 1947, Clarke’s early nineteenth-century retelling was published yet again.124 New illustrations were commissioned from Arthur Szyk (1894–1951), a well-known American book illustrator of Polish-Jewish extraction and a leading anti-Axis cartoonist during World War II. Szyk’s work included calligraphic documents which quote medieval practice (such as a 1928 version of the medieval Polish Statute de Kalisz; a 1949 copy of the American Bill of Rights; the Four Freedoms Prayer, also of 1949; and an illuminated Haggadah).125 His illustrations for this printing of Clarke’s Chaucer are described as ‘‘miniatures’’ on the title page. This term, the fanciful display type intended to suggest the Gothic, and the brightly patterned cover all hang the marketing of the book in part on its visual medievalism. Chaucer himself recedes somewhat, as parts of Clarke’s introduction have been pared away, and there is no portrait quoting either the Hoccleve or the Ellesmere image. But the most significant change is the removal of the Prioress’s Tale. This tale, while not as popular as some others, did appear in seven of the adaptations discussed in this chapter, from Clarke in the 1830s to Farjeon in 1930, but in this post-World War II printing it disappears. Richmond reads the excision of this tale as a direct response to the Holocaust;126 I would add that the shift may suggest an awakening recognition of some of the implications I have tried to tease out in this chapter. We cannot be sure what Katharine Lee Bates meant by ‘‘Aryan’’ in 1909, but perhaps by 1947 there was no doubt.

Chapter Five

Froissart’s not French (or Flemish) The Travels of a Medieval History

It is characteristic of Lord Hunsdon to have entered these family notes, which are usually made in a Bible, in such a book as Froissart, a work that, doubtless, he had read through a hundred times. Sir Robert Naunton says that Lord Hunsdon was one who ‘‘lived in a ruffling time, and loved sword and buckler men—but whose custom of swearing and obscenity in speaking made him seem a worse Christian than he really was.’’ Possibly Froissart was his text book.

A letter dated October 14, 1845, is affixed to a copy in the British Library of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques. The copy is a French one, printed in 1513,1 and the letter, by Markham John Thorpe, notes that this particular copy once belonged to Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon (1526–1596), Lord Chamberlain to Elizabeth I. The four parts of the Chroniques often appeared in two volumes. In Carey’s copy, the blank leaf between the two parts has been used to register the birth of his children, and it is this feature that was of the most interest to Thorpe. The book bears other markers of its passage through the hands of readers: throughout the first volume, dates are added at chapter headings and in the margins, passages are underlined, and the French text is marginally annotated in English, perhaps to allow one to find an important moment easily. These moments include treaties: ‘‘A composicion betwene the cuntres of flanders, brabante and haynnalte too take parte togithar yn all thyngs’’ (40v); battles: ‘‘Wylllyam montagen and xl wythe hym ouerthreu ii c skots and tooke vixx horsys laden with ioiels and uthar stufe’’ (53r); and even the occasional romantic vignette: ‘‘The kyng fell in loue wythe the countes of Salsb[ery]’’ (55r).2 There are several hands at work, some early modern, and a few much later: these later hands tend to correct readings in the 1513 printing. For all of these readers, Froissart’s Chroniques is a ‘‘text book’’ in the sense of a standard work—the standard work on medieval British history.

Froissart’s not French (or Flemish)


But while Carey and the others through whose hands this particular copy passed read Froissart’s history in French, for many English-speaking readers, the first encounter with this work was mediated through translation. Jean Froissart (1337?–c. 1404) was born at Valenciennes in the province of Hainault in Flanders. He spent the years from 1361 to 1368 in England, at the time when Edward III was king and Philippa of Hainault his queen. Thanks to Philippa’s patronage, Froissart traveled widely in England and on diplomatic trips in Europe and met many of the most powerful people of the day. After Philippa died in 1369, he did not return to England again until 1395, a bittersweet visit when he found much had changed. Nevertheless, the years in England, his contact with so many powerful men and women, and his accounts of the Hundred Years’ War, meant that his Chroniques always held special appeal for English readers. The early sixteenth century saw the first English translation of the Chroniques by John Bourchier, Lord Berners (c. 1467–1533). Furthermore, for French and English readers alike, abridgment of Froissart’s lengthy history rapidly became the norm. The early sixteenth-century printings of the Chroniques, whether in French or in Berners’s translation, were joined, from 1537 on, by many copies of the Latin epitome by Johannes Philippson Sleidan (Johannes Sleidanus) (1506– 1556), the German historian and diplomat.3 This work was printed in France, Germany, and the Netherlands well into the seventeenth century, and was translated into English by 1608.4 By the next century, there was an epitome with a specifically English context in the Paralel of Times and Events (1747), a work which paired Froissart’s account of the Scottish incursions into England and the attempted French invasions in the time of Richard II with Richard Grafton’s (c. 1511–1573) account of the same events from his 1544 edition and continuation of John Hardyng’s Chronicle.5 This chapter will consider how Froissart was ‘‘claimed,’’ in these and other contexts, as he moved out of the Middle Ages. Carey’s notes are part of that claiming; a small window into a broader Englishing which eventually went so far as to culminate in the sense, expressed by William Paton Ker in his 1901 edition of Lord Berners’s translation, that Froissart really should have written in English: It was by an injustice of fortune that England had been refused in the Middle Ages an historian writing English. . . . What could be done to redress this grievance was done by Lord Berners for history, as by Malory for romance; and the Fourteenth Century, illustrious in the English language by so many things of a different kind . . . was now presented with a new author, who belonged even more closely and intimately to the reign of Edward III. than Chaucer himself: an author whose whole business, it might be said, was to live in the Fourteenth Century and tell what he saw there.6


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Froissart, the Flemish-born, French-speaking chronicler, has, thanks to Berners, taken on the form he should by rights always have had. What Ker is also reflecting is the sense, from the late nineteenth century onward, that Froissart’s work should be read in a particular kind of English, a translation which itself carries the mark of the medieval. Such was not always the case: the return to Berners came after a period of ‘‘modern’’ English translations, and it accompanied, as I will discuss below, design elements which went along with the now archaic Berners translation to supply Froissart’s text with a firmly medieval (or medievalized) aura. The move combined nostalgia with nationalism in a way that is characteristic of the later treatment of many medieval texts. What makes the treatment of Froissart unique is the thoroughness with which he was claimed by a nation to which he did not belong, and in whose language he did not write. Most of this chapter will concern itself with the English Froissart, but he naturally had a French afterlife as well. The first thorough scholarly editions were the work of the Belgian scholar the Baron Joseph-MarieBruno-Constantin Kervyn de Lettenhove (1817–1891) and were published in both France and Belgium.7 The first modern French abridgment and translation was that of Madame de Witt-Guizot (1829–1908) (Henriette Guizot, Madame Conrad de Witt), and this book illustrates many of the design elements that are typical of later English printings of Froissart as well.8 The first page of each book of Froissart’s text is decorated with a partial foliate bar border, and the first letter of text is a display capital on a gold ground. The modern French text, however, is printed in a handsome modern Roman font; that is, there is none of the thorough-going black letter habit such as was displayed in, for example, some of the Roxburghe Club printings discussed in Chapter 3. The eleven full-page chromolithographs that accompany the text speak even more closely to the facsimile impulse than do the incidental decorative elements, as these latter plates are careful copies from photographs of medieval manuscripts of Froissart. Figure 61 shows an illustration taken from Paris, Bibliothe`que nationale de France, MS franc¸ais 2643, the first of a four-volume set commissioned by Louis of Gruuthuse of Bruges, chamberlain to Philip the Good, in 1470–1480. The miniatures of the first two volumes include the work of the famed miniaturist Loiset Lye´det. The chromolithographs in the Hachette edition are the work of a variety of artists: the plate pictured in figure 61 was the work of E. Ronjat, probably Etienne-Antoine-Euge`ne Ronjat (1822–1912), an artist with a considerable reputation for exact copying. He was, for example, one of the two painters to produce the 1859–1860 reproduction of Ge´ricault’s 1819 Raft of the Medusa. Ge´ricault’s ground-breaking painting was copied often in the artist’s lifetime by his own students, and after his

Figure 61. Coronation of Charles V: facsimile plate in Les Chroniques de J. Froissart, Paris, 1881.


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death as well, though there were only two copies of the same monumental size, and Ronjat’s was one of them.9 The plates in the Hachette translation are sufficiently carefully done that one can see how, as discussed in the Introduction, editions such as these came to furnish the materials for casual calligraphers, slightly suspect professional copyists, and outright deceivers like the Spanish Forger. However, the copy is faithful in only some respects. In the manuscript from which the illustration is taken, the miniature, which is found on folio 284v (figure 62), occupies the bottom two-thirds of the page, under two columns of text. There is no caption as in the Hachette copy; the shield-bearing figure in the border is seated in an enclosed garden; and the borders themselves are rendered in a denser style, with marginal figures appearing amidst the foliage. Still, the impression offered to a casual observer is certainly that of facsimile, and the book is an example of a typical nineteenth-century presentation of Froissart’s text in the degree to which it mimics the medieval, and sells itself through this mimicry. The Avertissement, the only introduction the book contains, is given over largely to truth-claims of precisely this sort. It notes, ‘‘The publication of a selection from the Chronicles of Froissart calls for a special kind of illustration, having an almost entirely retrospective character—that is to say, presenting to us the people and the things of its period according to the monuments which that period has left behind.’’10 The care with which these monuments have been reproduced in the book is a recurrent motif. Twice references are made to the use of photography to provide the basis for the chromolithographs and the engravings, and much emphasis is given to the fact that the color decoration is based on manuscript copies of the Chroniques.11 The engravings of seals, weapons, and objects are said to be carefully drawn from museum collections, and a long list of the museums that contributed is included. The seals, coins, and architectural objects scattered throughout the text remind one of the similar practices in the histories by Camden and Speed, discussed in Chapter 1. The use of photography means that this habit of illustration can indeed become more precise than it was in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: figure 63, for example, shows a facsimile of a letter by Etienne Marcel.12 The transcription below the facsimile silently expands abbreviations and adds some punctuation, an entirely common and acceptable editorial practice at the time, but an example nevertheless of adaptation to new circumstances; in this case, to readers who both desire representations of medieval documents and are unlikely to be able to read them without help. The transcription above accommodates the expected limitations of a popular audience, but the volume makes other kinds of accommoda-

Figure 62. Coronation of Charles V from a late fifteenth-century copy of Froissart’s Chroniques, Paris, Bibliothe`que nationale de France, MS franc¸ais 2643, fol. 284v. By permission of the Bibliothe`que nationale de France.


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Figure 63. Facsimile of a letter of Etienne Marcel, from Les Chroniques de J. Froissart, 1881.

tions which sit a little more oddly with the repeated truth-claims of the preface. For example, the preface remarks on the ‘‘archaisme’’ of the woodblock capitals used throughout and acknowledges that it is an archaism different from that of the decoration of the pages that introduce each book of the translation. The decoration of those pages is based on fourteenth-century manuscript style, while the woodblock capitals are drawn from the decorative vocabulary of sixteenth-century print. The preface defends the choice by arguing that the capitals in question are taken from a 1518 printing—one of the earliest black letter printings—and are therefore an appropriate choice.13 The defense is remarkable: it is quite routine by this period to mix fonts, display capitals, and decorative bars and borders from various periods, with little interest in overall historical accuracy, something we have seen in several chapters thus far. The amount of time spent on relatively fine distinctions in the preface to the Hachette printing, then, suggests a very deliberate attempt to sell the book through its claims to particularly authentic design elements. In fact, however, aesthetic considerations are also clearly at play in this case. Antoine Ve´rard’s first printing of Froissart’s Chroniques, dating to around 1495–1497, has extremely plain capitals, and while the capitals in the French printing of 1513 owned by Carey

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are attractive, they are not as detailed and varied as those that appear in the Hachette printing. The 1518 printing referred to is probably that which appeared under Ve´rard’s name after his death.14 Presumably these capitals are thought to be better suited to creating the impression of luxury which this handsome volume sought to evoke—a nice connection if so, since, as Mary Beth Winn has pointed out, Ve´rard himself favored formats and materials which mimicked manuscripts produced for the aristocracy.15 The elaborate binding of the Hachette printing seems clearly intended to suggest the past, though as with the capitals, the copy is rather less precise than might at first be supposed. Philippa Marks notes that a general ‘‘fashion for ‘historical’ styles’’ is characteristic of nineteenth-century bindings, with sixteenth-century French bindings a favorite for imitation.16 This publisher’s binding (figure 64), signed A. Souze and Engel, featuring gold embossing on red and black, combines medieval motifs such as the shields of France and Edward III and the initial L, with other details belonging squarely to the nineteenth century; the endpapers, in particular, suggest influences of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Avertissement follows its comments about drawings based on manuscripts and objects by remarking, ‘‘As for scenes which no artifact can adequately represent, we have had recourse to the crayon of artists who marry talent to a respect for historical tradition.’’17 The interpretations of famous scenes by such artists as Charles Edouard Delort (1841– 1895) and Ivan Pranishnikoff (1841–1909?), however, while showing careful attention to details of costume and architecture, are firmly in the academic tradition, making no attempt at facsimile to match the careful copying of the manuscript miniatures on both the color pages and in the black-and-white engravings. Furthermore, the maps which are included—a ubiquitous feature of nineteenth- and twentieth-century printings of Froissart, reminding one of the cartographic emphasis in the works of the first antiquarians, treated in Chapter 1—are resolutely modern in design and type. In design terms, then, this printing is a hybrid, and it is a hybrid at the level of text as well. It is both a translation and an abridgment, created precisely to suit audience taste and expectation: ‘‘We have sought, as a public benefit, to make intelligible the language of Froissart without denuding it of its charm, and we have tried to maintain the shape of the narrative while suppressing its tedious elements.’’18 All of these elements—the claim to authenticity of design even in the presence of change; the claim to be preserving Froissart’s language even as the text is gently, or not so gently, tweaked and reworked—are common as well in the English printings of Froissart which are the main subject of this chapter. That is, some of the phenomena to be traced here

Figure 64. Binding of Les Chroniques de J. Froissart, 1881. This version is red; there is also a black version of the binding.

Froissart’s not French (or Flemish)


are not purely the result of the nationalism found in the English reaction to Froissart’s work, from the sixteenth century onward. But it is true that (unlike the Chanson de Roland, a famous obsession of French scholars in this period),19 Froissart’s Chroniques offers rather less to the French than to the English audience. De Witt concludes that ‘‘It is good and useful to be able to put this book into every hand, and to recall to every person the memory of the extreme suffering which our country was formerly able to endure, and that without succumbing in battle and without ever losing its strength and the hope of relief.’’20 In 1881, the scars of the anne´e terrible of 1871—which saw the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the start of the Paris Commune—are still clearly fresh, and Froissart’s account of French misfortunes during the Hundred Years’ War is offered as evidence that France has survived bad times in the past, and can do so again. In Consuming the Past, Elizabeth Emery and Laura Morowitz suggest that the trauma of this period of French history has a great deal to do with renewed interest in France’s medieval past: ‘‘the medievalism of the fin de sie`cle is part of a much broader phenomenon of revivalism; it is one manifestation of a desire to escape the present by studying the past (and especially the French past).’’21 Most of this chapter, however, will concern itself with how English readers and producers made Froissart’s work over into a monument of their own, English past. The Englishing of Froissart may be said to begin with the translation by John Bourchier, Lord Berners, first printed in London by Richard Pynson, from 1523 to 1525. Pynson’s title page uses part of Berners’s preface to highlight the translation, ‘‘out of frenche into our maternall englysshe tonge.’’ In the preface itself, Berners explains why he has chosen to translate Froissart: ‘‘I redde dilygently the four volumes or bokes of sir Johan Froyssart of the countrey of Heynaulte written in the Frenche tonge: whiche I iudged comodyous necessarie and profytable to be hadde in Englysshe sithe they treat of the famous actes done in our parties. . . . and specially they redounde to the honoure of Englysshe men. What pleasure shall it be to the noble genutylmen of Englande to se beholde & rede: the highe enterprises famous actes and glorious dedes done and atchyued by their valyant aunceytours.’’22 William Middleton reprinted Pynson’s edition of Berners’s translation some time between 1542 and 1545, and one of the two copies in the British Library of this printing underscores Berners’s remarks about ancestors—quite literally, in fact, as whenever there is a reference to a member of the Spenser family, it is underlined, and occasional marginal notes remark ‘‘the deth of Spensar,’’ ‘‘Spenser mached with the blod Riall,’’ and so on.23 Clearly one early owner read it with a keen eye to its representation of a particular family. In later centuries, the Chroniques is an important resource for heralds and heraldry, and decorations in the text, from


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Figure 65. Marginal notation in a copy of William Middleton’s printing of Froissart’s Chronicles, c. 1542. BL C.114.i.7, fol. cclvii. By permission of the British Library.

medieval manuscripts to the fine press books of the early twentieth century, often feature heraldic designs, as in the Shakespeare Head Froissart, discussed later in this chapter. In this particular case, there is one intriguing extra bit of annotation in this copy: next to a remark by Froissart about the tendency of heralds to lie, the occasional annotator has written ‘‘proued by experience.’’24 There is a second, annotated copy of Middleton’s printing in the British Library, and it evinces a range of interests on the part of its readers.25 A number of different hands, varying in date, have annotated this copy. The oldest hand tends to write numbers and dates in the margins, sometimes actually adding up the numbers of soldiers, or the amounts of money referred to. For example, chapter 205, the account of the forces awaiting the English king at Calais, is marked with a series of numbers in the margins of folios 99r–100r, and the final note ends ‘‘totho 28400.’’ This annotator’s interest, then, seems to be in the details of the history: how many troops were there? When exactly did a particular event happen? This same hand at one point draws and annotates the shield of ‘‘Henry Christell’’ (Henry Castide) in the margin the account of King Richard’s invasion of Ireland (figure 65). This annotation might indi-

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cate an interest in a particular family, as in the case of the Spenser annotations, or it may suggest a technical interest in unusual arms, as this particular person seems to be unknown except in this chapter in the Chroniques (a particular family knowledge seems less likely in this case, as a crucial phrase in the French, indicating that one of the three besans should appear below the chevron and not above it, has disappeared in Berners and is not corrected in the sketch).26 In either case, this annotation foreshadows the decorative practices of later deluxe editions of Froissart’s text, as we will see below. This annotator’s habit of providing running dates in the margin is a common practice. Among the British Library copies, for example, marginal dates, provided by hands ranging across several centuries, can be found in a 1505 French copy, and Lord Carey’s 1513 copy makes frequent use of marginal dates, starting in the table of contents and reappearing sporadically throughout the early books, either as simple years or occasionally in fuller notation: the annotation ‘‘1357 Sep 22,’’ for example, is written on folio 115v, next to the Battle of Poitiers. It is worth noting that this hand has simply copied the date as given by Froissart: the reader is evidently unaware that the battle took place in 1356, a fact that had been known since the publication of Jean Bouchet’s (1476– 1557) Annales d’Aquitaine.27 In other words, this is not a correction of an error of Froissart’s—something which prompts some later marginalia— but rather a memorial of a crucial event. Both of these readerly habits are regularized early in print: the 1608 English version of Sleidanus’s epitome, for example, prints years in the margins, and includes short marginal notes to key events like battles. By the late nineteenth century, dates often appear in the margins or in running heads. Thus the habits of early modern readers who might, like Carey, have thought of Froissart’s history as a ‘‘text book’’ come to be picked up and reified by printers, further influencing how later generations of readers would, and could, approach Froissart. Another set of annotations in this Middleton printing in the British Library in a later hand shows a more particular treatment of the Chroniques, in this case as a book to appeal particularly to Englishmen. This hand annotates throughout with particular reference to the behavior of the English and of other nations. On folio 209v of the first part (Froissart’s books I and II), for example, the account of how the Lords de Coucy and de la Riviere recaptured the town of Carentan from the King of Navarre—an account in which Froissart makes the duplicity of the French lords plain—is annotated in this way: ‘‘marke this for hereby yt well appereth the french care little what promys they make or how little they performe ther purpose ones attayned.’’ A note on the drought which greets the united Portuguese and English forces during the expe-


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dition to Galicia manages to suggest the flaws of both the countryside and its people: ‘‘note the intemperantenes of Spayne and how contra[ry] to the nature of the Engly[ish] nation’’ (II, fol. 115r). The flaws of the Scots are noted on folio 251r, next to the account of how many lords remained behind in England, in order to prevent treachery, when Richard II went to Wales for solace after the death of Queen Anne: ‘‘The scottes never kepe truce nor promys as Froisard here noteth.’’ Finally, next to Froissart’s account of his return to England after many years away, the annotator glosses Froissart’s comments on the amiability of the English: ‘‘The nature of the englysh gentylmen.’’ (II, fol. 252r). The English gentlemen have other qualities, too, for this reader: a few further English annotations comment disapprovingly on the behavior of various church officials, while the same hand writes, in Latin, ‘‘vnus deus in celis et in ter ra Jesus Christus’’ (II, fol. 185v) next to the account of the death of Urban VI, the antipope. Froissart is writing at this point about the representations made to the king of France, asking him to write in favor of Pope Clement, the argument being, in Berners’s translation, ‘‘as there is but one god in heuyn so ther ought to be but one god in erthe.’’ It is this passage which has been underlined and keyed to the annotation. It does not seem excessive to detect a certain post-Reformation truculence in the annotation’s assertion that the only king in heaven and in earth should be Jesus Christ—not exactly the point that was being made in the arguments reported by Froissart. And once more, the habits of one early reader have surprising echoes in the later history of the transmission of Froissart’s text: many English versions work hard to distance the writer from any taint of monkishness, in a fashion similar to the desire to represent Chaucer as a proto-Protestant, discussed in Chapter 4. The annotations in the early printed copies that have been discussed thus far show various readers responding to Froissart’s history, entering into different kinds of dialogue with his account of what they understand to be their own past. In some cases that means providing the kinds of apparatus—dates, notes to historical personages, shields—which will become common in later, more elaborate printings of the Chroniques, whether the French or English versions. In other cases, this means claiming Froissart, both by means of the English translation and by means of the annotations that align Froissart and his history firmly with the English. In the next few centuries, English-language printings of Froissart’s Chroniques carry on with all of these impulses, formalizing and normalizing them to the extent that, by the end of this chapter, we will see the merging of popular and more scholarly representations in a common, paradoxical tendency to assert authenticity while refashioning Froissart to English tastes.

Froissart’s not French (or Flemish)


This refashioning comes, by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to require Berners’s late medieval translation, but there is an intermediate step, represented by the epitomes and parallels of the eighteenth century, and by the demand in that period for a modern translation. This demand was fulfilled by Thomas Johnes (1748–1816), a Welsh landowner, MP, and lord lieutenant of Cardiganshire, with keen interests in farming,28 the picturesque, and the medieval world. Johnes settled in 1783 at Hafod Uchtryd in Cardiganshire, where the house he had built sat in grounds carefully laid out according to picturesque principles. The house included an octagonal library designed by John Nash (1752–1835), whose later work would include the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Johnes owned some of the manuscripts which had belonged to the great Welsh botanist, antiquary, and philologist Edward Lhuyd (1660–1709), and he added to these in amassing an impressive collection of manuscripts and early printed books (most were lost in the fire that gutted the house in 1807).29 Elisabeth Inglis-Jones writes that it was the purchase of a fine copy of the Chroniques, printed on vellum, that first gave Johnes the idea of translating Froissart’s history.30 He used his own collection in his work, often correcting others on its basis. In his translation of Jean-Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye’s Memoirs of the Life of Froissart, for example, he adds such notes as these: ‘‘M. de St. Palaye does not seem to have known all the editions of Froissart. I have three of different dates to those he mentions’’; and ‘‘M. de St. Palaye is ignorant how rich this country is in MSS. of Froissart. There are many magnificent ones in the British Museum, at Oxford, Cambridge, and in other public and private libraries. I have in my library not less than six; but not one is a complete History.’’31 Johnes’s translations were published by the Hafod Press, the private press he established on his estate, between 1803 and 1805.32 Some aspects of the printings look ahead to practices in editions like the Hachette Chroniques—there are engravings based on medieval manuscripts, for example—but the creation of a modern, English text for Froissart seems clearly to have accounted for the volume’s immediate appeal. Walter Scott’s article on the edition in the Edinburgh Review commented specifically on the liberation in the translation of Froissart from the old manuscripts and books in which he was to be found, and while there is some tone of regret for the loss of what Berners represents, it is balanced by the praise of the accessibility of Johnes’s version: Since . . . it is the fate of so many of our historians to slumber in manuscript and black letter, we ought to view, with indulgent gratitude, the exertions of an individual who has drawn from obscurity the most fascinating, of this venerable band. . . . Till now, his chronicles have only existed in three black letter editions printed at Paris, all we believe very rare; in that which was published by Denys


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Sauvage about 1560, and reprinted in 1574; and finally, in an English translation by Bourchier Lord Berners, which we believe sells for about twenty guineas, and is hardly ever to be met with. Under these circumstances, we are bound to receive with gratitude every attempt to give more general access to the treasures of Froissart.33

Yet despite the reference to the liberation of texts that slumber in black letter, Scott seems elsewhere to betray a longing for a more thoroughly medievalizing version of the Chroniques. Scott’s assessment of Johnes’s style not only contrasts the modern with the antique; it even uses a bookbased metaphor to do so: ‘‘Upon the whole, there is a sort of amplification, perhaps unavoidable in modern language, which sounds tamer and less like the tone of chivalry than that employed by Lord Berners. In short, the Chronicle is as it were neatly bound in calf extra; nay the leaves, back and edges are gilt; but it wants the massy garniture of antique clasps, gilt knosps, and silver roses, which add to the dignity of Lord Berners’s version.’’34 Those clasps and knosps and roses would come soon enough, both literally in the increasingly medievalizing printings of the Chroniques, and, in Scott’s more poetic sense, in the eventual return to Berners’s translation.35 Johnes ended his life in considerable financial difficulties, but his translation was an instant commercial success, frequently reprinted from the moment it appeared. Like the Chroniques, the translation was epitomized, and in various forms printed over and over again.36 A particularly significant printing was the two-volume William Smith edition of 1839.37 This edition is of central importance to my discussion because of the way that it links Johnes’s English translation to a process of design and illustration which was to domesticate Froissart manuscript images as surely as the English translations overwrote the French text. The general taste for medieval and medievalizing books in the nineteenth century—a taste by no means confined to England, of course, as the Hachette edition discussed in the opening of this chapter demonstrates—finds in Froissart’s Chroniques a particularly satisfying object. The Johnes edition published by Smith was lavishly illustrated in black and white, and (as would also be the case in the 1881 Hachette edition) the Advertisement makes much of the authenticity of the illustrations: The Chronicles of Sir John Froissart have, ever since their first publication, when they were circulated only through the medium of manuscripts, . . . been so highly prized, as to make any apology for their reproduction in a novel, and, it is hoped, an improved form, unnecessary. England is particularly rich in MS. Froissarts, and from these stores most of the illustrations have been drawn. The reader should, however, be made aware that there scarcely exists one single MS. contemporary with the time of the author containing illustrations, and that the dresses, &c. displayed in the wood-cuts interspersed in these volumes, are almost

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Figure 66. Capital ‘‘T’’ from Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, the William Smith edition, 1839.

all to be referred to a later date. The manners of the times had not undergone much alteration, nor was the costume materially different, and they at least approach very nearly to an exact representation of the scenes described in the history they illustrate. It is difficult to represent the exquisite finish of ancient illuminations, through the medium of a copy composed of black lines and contrasted lights; but the fidelity of the outlines, and the spirit of the execution, have been scrupulously observed, and it is hoped that the general effect does not discredit the originals.38

There are 116 illustrations in the two volumes. Some are like the initial T in figure 66, typical contemporary imaginings of the trappings of the medieval world: the letter is decorated with miscellaneous pieces of armor. Some are illustrations of objects such as tombs and statues. Some offer original views of landscapes mentioned in the Chronicles. And all of these kinds of representations play a part in the claim to authenticity. The initial letters fulfill a design expectation despite their anachronistic details. The drawings based on objects have a history that, as we have seen, goes back to the antiquarian preoccupations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. And even the scenic views are made to work in


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Figure 67. Coronation of Charles V, from Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and The Adjoining Countries, 1839. Based on BNF franc¸ais 2643, fol. 224v.

the context of the truth claim (while also, of course, feeding the popular appetite for travelogue): the Advertisement to the Smith companion set of de Monstrelet’s Chronicles notes of its own illustrations that ‘‘many of the landscapes and views of places having been made expressly for this work, are invested with an additional interest, as possessing a guarantee of fidelity, in which mere copies of the works of others are necessarily deficient.’’39 But the main claim to fidelity, in the printings of Froissart’s text produced by the Hafod Press, by Smith, and later by Hachette, lies in the reproduction of manuscript illustrations, and the majority of the illustrations in the Smith edition are based on manuscript originals. The Advertisement’s apologies for the difficulties involved in presenting illumination through the medium of black-and-white engraving, as well as the scrupulous acknowledgment that the manuscript sources are not contemporary with Froissart’s work, in fact combine to give considerable authority to the illustrations. Figure 67 shows again the coronation of

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Charles V: like the illustration in the Hachette edition of de Witt’s translation, it is based on Bibliothe`que nationale de France 2643 (compare figure 62). It has, however, been abstracted from its frame. The copy in figure 67 is a careful one, though necessarily somewhat simplified; in other instances, the artists reduce detail even further in order to produce a cleaner image and to accommodate a more restricted space. The miniatures in manuscript copies of the Chroniques of course vary in size, but the elaborate manuscripts favored as source material are normally very large, and the illustrations are often as much as 20 cm in width, even without their decorative frames.40 The Smith printing, on the other hand, is 24 ⳯ 16 cm, and the illustrations typically occupy a space of about 10 ⳯ 12.4 cm, including white space and caption. The technical limitations of the Smith printing, then, have already begun to impose changes on the originals. Decisions about what should be illustrated also play a role: where a source image is lacking, it may be created, as is the case in figure 68, an illustration of the entertainments held by the Count of Foix at Christmas. The manuscripts most commonly used as source material for this printing do not have an illustration of this moment, so one is fabricated from various elements. As a source for the costume, the caption cites ‘‘a MS. Froissart of Fifteenth Century.’’ The caption also identifies the source of the organ illustration as British Library MS Harley 3469. A reader would naturally assume, then, that the organ is from a manuscript like the one that provided the costumes—but Harley 3469 is a late sixteenth-century (1582) German manuscript of the Splendor Solis, an alchemical text illustrated with twenty-two elaborate allegorical paintings. The treatise is attributed to the legendary alchemical teacher Salomon Trismosin. The organ comes from one of a series of seven paintings featuring the alchemist’s flask; figure 69 shows that the flask with the White Queen is central to the illustration, while the organ is a small feature in the lower corner of the painting. The practice in this case suggests an understanding of the medieval (and early modern) manuscript as a resource to be tapped in order to flesh out a preexisting understanding of the medieval world, and of the medieval object. Sometimes this understanding can even overwrite the medieval source, as the next example illustrations. Figure 70 shows the illustration which accompanies the Battle of Montiel. Like the image used to illustrate the Count de Foix’s festivities, this picture is synthesized from various manuscript sources. But in this case, the battle is in fact illustrated in Bibliothe`que nationale de France franc¸ais 2643 (fol. 328v), the manuscript used to provide many of the images in the Smith Froissart (figure 71). It is possible that a tracing of the image was simply


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Figure 68. Illustration for the entertainments held by Gaston, Count of Foix, in Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, 1839. Composite based on various manuscript sources.

not to hand at the appropriate moment. Thomas Johnes, for example, complained in his letters about the delays to his own printings caused by the Napoleonic wars: ‘‘These confounded blockadings deprive me of the drawings I want from Paris to print Monstrelet or rather to publish it, for two volumes are already printed. But there they must I suppose remain.’’41 The Smith artists did not have to worry about blockades, of course, but there might have been other circumstances to prevent the use of the French image. There is another tempting possibility, however. Just as the artists manufacture what is imagined as an appropriate image for the Count of Foix’s entertainments—what should have been in the manuscripts, they might think—here they manufacture a visual realization of the Battle of Montiel as, according to the caption, ‘‘A mixed and irregular combat of French, Spaniards, Moors and Jews.’’ That is, the Bibiliothe`que nationale de France franc¸ais 2643 image for Montiel may simply have been insufficiently exotic. As figure 71 shows, apart from the

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Figure 69. London, British Library MS Harley 3469, the Splendor Solis, fol. 27r. The organ in the bottom right corner is the source for the instrument in figure 68. By permission of the British Library.


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Figure 70. The Battle of Montiel in Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, 1839. The source is BNF franc¸ais 2643, fol. 328v.

turban on the central figure, there are few obvious markers to suggest differences between the combatants—nothing like the darker skin, prominent turbans, eastern costumes and curved weapons featured in the Smith illustration. The Smith edition creates an illustrative program that shows readers

Figure 71. The Battle of Montiel in BNF franc¸ais 2643, fol. 328v. By permission of the Bibliothe`que nationale de France.


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what they expect to see, while also assuring them that the pictures are authoritative. The pictures, constrained as we have seen by the boundaries of both technology and imagination, are then set into pages of modern translation in modern face type, and so are wrapped in an ‘‘Englished’’ and contemporary material object. Even a later movement toward more accurate facsimile than was possible in the 1839 edition participates in this reimagining of Froissart’s work. The Illuminated Illustrations of Froissart, printed in 1844–1845, were seventy-two color plates offered to readers to be bound into the Smith edition. They were selected and presented by Henry Noel Humphreys (1807–1879), another artist, like Henry Shaw, who produced full-color facsimile reproductions of medieval manuscripts and of early printed books.42 The Advertisement for the Illuminated Illustrations suggests an attempt to recreate, through these images, the experience of reading a medieval manuscript, an experience which is described in language that suggests the sensual, the private, and even the religious: We are no longer content to read our early history through the filtered medium of a compilation, but seek it in the vivid pages of the chroniclers, who drew from life, and sketched off in simple and quaint, but earnest language, the stirring panorama of their times. But the pleasure of reading such an historian as Froissart, in an ordinary printed book, is small when compared with that of reading him in one of the curious manuscripts of his own time. To unclose the gilded clasps of one of those ponderous velvet-bound volumes, to turn over the crisp vellum, and read the story of those exciting times, traced in quaint Gothic characters by careful clerks; but above all to admire the curious and elaborate borderings of the illuminated pages, and dwell on the miniature pictures wrought with the greatest care and beauty by the most skilful contemporary limners, to embody more tangibly the narration of the author, is indeed a pleasure;—yet one which but few can enjoy. To afford that enjoyment to many, and place before them some of the most interesting of these rare illuminations, is the object of the present publication.43

A whole understanding of the medieval world and its texts is encapsulated in the contrast offered here between the printed book and the painted original; an understanding similar to that expressed by Scott’s bookish metaphor in his review of Johnes’s translation. What is lost, in the printed copy, is the host of physical sensations and pleasures evoked by the medieval codex; but a modern print can, through facsimile, hope to approximate some of that original experience. The Advertisement goes on to explain that the illustrations have been drawn from a manuscript in the British Library, and that they will ‘‘be made as near facsimiles as possible, without any attempt at correction, or alteration in the drawing, so as to show the true spirit of the Gothic artist, and exhibit the state of art at the period. They are also the same size as the originals; yet so arranged, by occasionally sacrificing a little margin, that our sub-

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scribers may bind them up with the recent edition of Froissart (now the only one in print,) and so possess a book nearly as interesting as the original MS. itself.’’44 An ‘‘interesting’’ book to be sure—but an English book, one with a very nearly contemporary text, and certainly with a contemporary English sensibility, both in the 1839 printing and in the 1844 supplement. Humphrey’s notes on the plates, for example, include this assessment of the plate representing the liberation of the Lord de la Riviere: ‘‘Among the figures in this illumination, that of the jailor is extremely characteristic; it is a happy impersonation of the jailor of all times, and might serve nearly as well for the representative of Dickens’s well-known Dennis, the hangman, with his knotted stick, as for the jailor of the Lord de la Riviere, near five centuries ago.’’45 The ‘‘jailor of all times’’ is, of course, English and Victorian, and as we will see below, Froissart himself is similarly (re)imagined. Writing of the Victorian passion for the ‘‘restoration’’ of medieval buildings, Charles Dellheim has said that ‘‘What passed for, and was passed off as, restoration was in fact a species of visual transformation, a strange compound of archeological erudition with a cavalier attitude toward the past. It is ironic that the visual remains that shaped the sense of the past had often been restored so extensively that they were in some respects no less Victorian than medieval.’’46 The same may be said of many of the books explored in this chapter. The Smith edition of Johnes’s translation is in every sense a synthetic creation, one which curiously effaces its originals, visual and linguistic, even as it sells itself through repeated claims to authenticity in language (through careful translation) and appearance (through recourse to medieval manuscript models). The edition also translates Froissart in class terms. In discussing the early printed copies, I remarked on the association between Froissart and the trappings of the English upper classes—heraldry, family history, and so on. The publishers of the Smith edition imply a widening of audience when they talk about making the manuscript experience available to the many. The emphasis on possession in the Advertisement to the plates suggests that by acquiring these volumes, the purchaser of Smith can in some sense become like Johnes the collector, owning at least a simulacrum of the Chroniques. But this is a different kind of ownership, as the editors recognize in their articulation of the reasons for choosing Johnes over Berners: ‘‘the more modern diction is better adapted for the extended circulation among all classes of readers, which it is the ambition of the proprietor of the Imperial Classics to achieve; the style and language of Lord Berners would probably be preferred by those who are familiar with our earlier writers, but notes and glossaries would be required to make clear to others many words and expressions which to them appear in no degree obscure.’’47 Berners’s translation has


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become, by 1839, an elite text, while the Smith Froissart aims to bring some of the markers of elite culture to the middle class. The last printings of the Chroniques with which this chapter is concerned return to Berners; but while one group reinscribes the elite appeal of Berners (this time through the world of the fine press), the other translates Berners himself, in order to convey Froissart’s text to a juvenile audience. Even as the Johnes edition was taking center stage, Berners’s translation was reprinted, in an 1812 quarto edition published in London by Rivington. Like the Smith edition of Johnes’s translation, this edition makes claims to authenticity, in this case through the facsimile of the Pynson title pages, and through the use of Berners’s translation. E. V. Utterson’s explanation of his choice of translation makes it clear that Berners’s text has become the authentic object in and of itself: The elegant modern translation by Mr. Johnes of these Chronicles has made their contents generally familiar; but if the antiquary wishes to see the simple but energetic manners and the customs of our ancestors pourtrayed in appropriate colours, he must have recourse to the venerable production of Lord Berners’ pen. The interesting narrative of Froissart, who was witness to a considerable portion of what he relates, and derived his knowledge of the residue of his history from the information of contemporaries, or of the actors themselves, has always been considered as a legitimate authority for a great part of the incidents of the gallant age in which he wrote; but his Chronicle is not less valuable to the historian from the authentic facts which it brings before us, than it is interesting to the general reader from its naivete´ and simplicity of style. In imitating this style, Lord Berners’ translation becomes peculiarly valuable to an English reader. His version is faithful, but not servile; and he imitates the spirit and simplicity of the original, without allowing us to discover from any deficiency in either of these particulars, that his own work is a translation.48

Just as the publishers of the Smith edition insisted on the physical appearance of the book in re-creating the manuscript reading experience, so here Utterson insists on the recourse to Berners’s text for those true antiquaries who wish to grasp the spirit of Froissart’s work. It is worth noting that Utterson (1777–1856) was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, as well as one of the founding members of the Roxburghe Club. The alignment of the Berners translation with the antiquarian spirit, then, addresses a different anticipated audience than will the Smith edition (though Johnes must have imagined that his own first audience would consist rather of the Uttersons of the world, people who could afford the original, lavishly illustrated quarto edition of his translation). The Rivington edition is not itself a thorough-going facsimile, but given its combination of appeal to both visual and textual authenticity, and its self-conscious antiquarianism (as defined against the popular

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Figure 72. Trial sheet for a proposed edition by the Kelmscott Press of Froissart’s Chroniques. BL C.43.h.21. By permission of the British Library.

and the modern), it is not surprising to find its direct descendants in the fine press movement’s encounters with Froissart. William Morris considered printing Froissart’s Chroniques, and the trial pages that survive suggest it would have been a splendid object. The text chosen was Berners rather than Johnes; by 1896, Berners’s late Middle English text is an important part of making Froissart appear not just English, but appropriately medieval. Medieval design and decoration now meet medieval text, to achieve the full illusion of the past made manifest. The border design shown in figure 72 suggests the heraldic decoration so characteristic of both medieval manuscripts and later printings of the Chroniques; the Chaucer type and double-column format suggest works such as the Kelmscott Chaucer. This would, in other words, have been a large-scale book, a deluxe printing.49 Some of these features persist in a fine press printing of Froissart’s


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Chroniques that was completed, the 1927 Shakespeare Head Froissart. The Shakespeare Head Press was founded by the literary editor Arthur Henry Bullen (1857–1920) and publisher-poet Frank Sidgwick (1879– 1939) in 1904 at Stratford-upon-Avon with the intention to produce a complete edition of Shakespeare’s works. By 1927 the press had been taken over by the publisher Basil Blackwell (1889–1984) and was run by the typographer Bernard Newdigate (1869–1944). The Shakespeare Head prospectus for its planned edition of Froissart, like the advertisements I have explored thus far in this chapter, combined various kinds of truth-claims as part of its sales pitch: We are printing this edition of Froissart from the first edition of Lord Berner’s translation printed by Richard Pynson in 2 volumes quarto, 1523–1525, and are setting the type from photographs from the Grenville Library at the British Museum. There will also be an Index of Arms Blazoned which will state the authorities, mostly ancient and sometimes contemporary with the events chronicled, for the charges and tinctures. The arms are handpainted throughout. A series of maps appended to the last volume will illustrate the principal campaigns. Approximate dates have been printed in the margins of the Table. These are based on the chronology added by Kervyn de Lettenhove to the 23rd volume of his edition of Froissart, published at Brussels 1870–1877.50

The reference to maps and dates suggest the practices of the modernizing nineteenth-century editions discussed above, but these are set against the appeal to authenticity, here in part again through the facsimile impulse expressed in the reference to photography, and in part through the appeal to heraldry. The emphasis on the hand-painting of the shield adds another layer, as in the age of mass production, the fine press book harks back to the age of hand production: one is reminded of the remarks in the Smith/ Johnes edition about the careful work of medieval limners. That is, by 1927 the Froissart ‘‘package’’ comes with a range of ingredients: an obviously medieval (now appearing as archaic) text; a deliberate rejection of modern design and technology in the production of the book; and an appeal to origins, here in the assertion of the antiquity of the arms. However, as figure 73 shows, these elements are present in a book which is nevertheless not as crammed with visual medievalizing reference as Morris’s would have been. The Caslon Old Style face carries suggestions of age, although it is an eighteenth-century face and not black letter; and the shields which proliferate on the Shakespeare Head pages clearly act to situate Froissart in the chivalric past (as they would have done for Morris as well), but as was the case with the Smith edition, these archaizing features are set in an overall design which is more modern than medieval. Figure 73 also displays another way in which Froissart is brought into the world of the anticipated audience, and that is, through the foregrounding of Berners. Of the eight

Figure 73. Berners’s Preface in the Shakespeare Head printing of Froissart’s Chronicles, 1927. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.


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title pages in this printing, four give the form of the title as Froissart’s Cronycles Translated out of the French by Sir John Bourchier Lord Berners, and four leave out the phrase ‘‘the French’’ altogether.51 Thus Froissart and Berners get equal billing, and the original language of the text begins to disappear. In fact, Berners provides the epigraph for the work as a whole: the opening of his preface, with its reference to the ‘‘noble gentylmen of Englande,’’ introduces the first of the eight volumes. The selection of this particular bit of Berners’s preface is hardly accidental. The prospectus promised heraldic decoration in part, as we have seen, in order to appeal to the desire to own beautiful, hand-decorated books, but the expansion of the prospectus’s promises in the notes to the finished volume suggests as well the nationalist appeal of those coats of arms. The ‘‘Note on the Indexes, Armorial, and Maps in the Present Edition’’ is devoted largely to describing the Indices: The Indexes of Persons and Places . . . have been compiled at great pains by Christine Blackwell chiefly from the information contained in Baron Kervyn de Lettenhove’s edition of Froissart, published at Brussels in twenty-five volumes 1870–1877, from the two editions by Buchon published at Paris in 1824–1826 and in 1835, and from the edition, as yet unfinished, published for the Socie´te´ de l’Histoire de France by Sime´on Luce 1869–97. Acknowledgement is due also to the glosses in the late W. P. Ker’s edition of Berners’s translation published by David Nutt in 1901–1903, and especially to the index made for that edition by Mr. W. R. Chambers. Mr. G. C. Macaulay, whose excellent abridgement was first published by Messrs Macmillan in 1895, interpreted for the first time the names of many of the English and Scottish knights which had been grossly misspelt in the manuscripts or printed texts. The Calendars of the Close and Patent Rolls for the reigns of Edward III and Richard III have been consulted, as well as Barnes’s History of that most illustrious Monarch Edward III, published at Cambridge in 1688.

The appeal here is partly academic, in the (familiar) claim to be printing from the best authorities. The English and Scottish knights need particular attention because Froissart, as a French speaker, often mangled the names so that they were almost unrecognizable. The further remarks about the heraldic researches and details may also suggest, however, a particular appeal to the genealogical interests of (British) readers: ‘‘With information drawn from these & other sources it has been possible to establish or suggest the owners of some of those names which hitherto had not been ascertained; but there remain many which invite further research on the part of genealogists and other students of history. The Armorial is chiefly the work of Major Shepard, V.D., F.S.A., formerly of the Ulster King of Arms office, who also gave the blazons for the coats of arms drawn by Mr Paul Woodroffe for this edition. The sketch-maps have been drawn by Mr W.F. Colley, the heraldic decorations being added by Mr Woodroffe.’’52 This chapter opened with exam-

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ples of how some early modern English readers annotated their Froissarts with an eye to (their own?) national and family histories: by the time of the Shakespeare Head Froissart, this practice and the Englishing it implies have become routine. A final touch in this regard may be seen in figure 74. This is the edition’s colophon, repeating Pynson’s own references to Henry VIII, at whose command Berners made his translation. The decoration links Pynson with Bernard Newdigate, implying a continuity of effort between these two English printers across the span of four hundred years; the move is the same as in the Ashendene colophon (compare figure 1), discussed in the Preface as an attempt to link C. H. St. John Hornby with his early modern Venetian predecessors. A final gesture of connection can be found on the Shakespeare Head Froissart title page. Just as Berners attributed his translation to Henry VIII, the Shakespeare Head printing of Berners is dedicated to George V, for whom a special copy was made, printed on vellum, hand-illuminated using metal (rather than colored ink) for the gold and silver, and bound ‘‘in English calf ’’ by Douglas Cockerell.53 The King’s string of titles on the opening page reminds ‘‘the noble gentylmen of Englande’’ of the conquests achieved by all their ancestors, medieval and more recent. The many versions of Froissart’s Chroniques aimed at youth also participate in the creation of an English Froissart. Like the deluxe nineteenthcentury printings, these are not a purely British phenomenon. Froissart’s work had been understood as instructive reading for young people for a long time, and those young people could be French. For example, 1572 saw the publication in Paris of Franc¸ois de Belleforest’s Recueil, an epitome based on the Latin of Sleidanus and containing ‘‘the most remarkable and worthy things’’ for a young man to read from Froissart’s chronicles.54 But the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century proliferation of children’s adaptations of the classics, discussed in Chapter 4 with respect to Chaucer, did produce a juvenile Froissart of a particularly English coloring, whether by that we mean language, nation, or both. The American poet Sidney Lanier (1842–1881) created several adaptations of medieval texts—The Boy’s Froissart (1879), The Boy’s King Arthur (1880), The Boy’s Mabinogion (1881), and The Boy’s Percy (1882)—all of them popular books on both sides of the Atlantic.55 Unlike some of the other juvenile adaptations of the Chroniques produced around the turn of the century, Lanier’s Froissart does not use Berners’s translation. Instead, Lanier provides his own translation, paradoxically in the context of an insistence on complete faithfulness to his original: ‘‘I have not altered his language at all. Every word in this book is Froissart’s; except of course that he wrote in French, and his words are here translated into English.’’56 Lanier’s version reduces the text to about one-ninth its origi-

Figure 74. Colophon to the Shakespeare Head Froissart, 1927. By permission of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library.

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nal length, by means of cutting out the ‘‘dull parts,’’ in order to concentrate on those stories which illustrate the qualities that make ‘‘a manful fighter.’’57 Like another American adapter of medieval stories, Howard Pyle (1853–1911), Lanier’s presentation of the significance of Froissart has a contemporary and even American hue, as he remarks that combat today can mean the struggle for ‘‘the purity of the ballot-box; the sacred and liberal guaranty of all rights to all citizens; the holiness of marriage.’’58 His youthful audience is, in other words, encouraged to translate the chivalry they will learn through reading Froissart to their contemporary lives. This modern coloring does not preclude the nostalgia for a simpler past characteristic of so many nineteenth-century revisiting of medieval texts, however. In Lanier’s case, the characterization of Froissart himself is part of this nostalgic backward look: ‘‘Froissart sets the boy’s mind upon manhood and the man’s mind upon boyhood. In reading him the young soul sifts out for itself the splendour, the hardihood, the daring, the valour, the generosity, the boundless conflict and unhindered action, which make up the boy’s early ideal of the man; while a more mature reader goes at once to his simplicity, his gayety, his passion for deeds of arms, his freedom from consciousness and from all internal debate—in short, his boyishness.’’59 The insistence on the directness and simplicity of Froissart is reminiscent of the descriptions of Chaucer in the adaptations for children discussed in Chapter 4. Lanier goes on to present Froissart as a man of action: ‘‘Instead of painfully burrowing among dusty books, he saddled his horse, strapped on his portmanteau behind, and cantered off along the road through the bright French air, with his faithful greyhound following. Presently he was pretty sure to overtake or be overtaken by some knight or esquire. . . . When the inn or friendly castle would be reached where lodgment was to be had in the evening, Froissart would jot down notes of all that he had learned from fellow-travellers during the day.’’60 A visual realization of this imagination can be found in another Boys’ Froissart, this one by Madalen Edgar and dating to 1912.61 The picture of Froissart on the road (figure 75) makes manifest the understanding of Froissart’s history as a kind of reportage. And this version of Froissart’s practice is not merely offered to juveniles. G. C. Macaulay, for example, introduces his Globe edition of Berners (1895) in this way: the real value of the work is as a picture of manners, a drama in which the personages are living characters and not mere historical names, and the chronicler himself moves among them, not the least real and living. Let it be admitted that the narrative of events is full of inaccuracies in detail. Yet how characteristic it is of the times. . . . [it is] a truer picture of the period than any modern historian

Figure 75. Frontispiece to The Boys’ Froissart, 1912. Illustration by Meredith Williams.

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with all his researches, or any modern historical novelist with all his genius and imagination could present to us. In reading Froissart we are reading the true history of the fourteenth century and breathing the very air of that age of infinite variety.62

Roughly contemporary with Macaulay’s assessment is the opinion of the anonymous reviewer of Mary Darmesteter’s Froissart, who writes approvingly: ‘‘Froissart was not a historian; he was only a chronicler; and in the long list of chroniclers whereof France is justly vain it may seem modest to classify him particularly as the first reporter that the modern world has known, but the modesty is only relative. There is really nothing more elevated than to be sincerely a reporter.’’63 This particular view is very persistent: Geoffrey Brereton remarks, in the introduction to his Penguin edition of the Chronicles, ‘‘If one described Froissart as the earliest great journalist, this would be no disparagement of his literary merits,’’64 and even Peter Ainsworth’s ‘‘Sexcentenary Reappraisal’’ of Froissart’s editorial history in French Studies in 2005 nods at the characterization by opening with a reference to the Guardian’s 2004 description of Froissart as ‘‘the first great war reporter.’’65 Thus the picture of the direct, knightly Froissart is shared by audiences both young and adult, popular and scholarly. And while this characterization of the writer from Hainault does not explicitly participate in the process of translating Froissart into an English context, it does dovetail with the more explicitly nationalist readings offered by other adaptations aimed at popular and/ or youthful audiences, as the last adaptation to be dealt with in this chapter will show. The poet and writer Henry Newbolt (1862–1938) produced a version of the Chroniques for juvenile readers, Stories from Froissart (1899),66 and followed it in 1900 with Froissart in Britain, less obviously aimed at the young, but even more clearly framing Froissart for an English audience. Froissart in Britain is based on Berners’s translation, and like the Shakespeare Head printing foregrounds the English translator. In this case, Berners’s translation of Froissart’s prologue is presented as the epigraph to the book. The twenty-four black-and-white plates are based on manuscripts found in the British Museum, and have been chosen, as have the stories, to highlight only those parts of Froissart’s text which concentrate on events in Britain itself. Newbolt presents this framing as a reflection of both youthful and adult British tastes: I remember vividly that when as a boy I first found myself free to wander up and down these glorious and bewildering Chronicles, I turned more hastily those pages where the names had a foreign look, and stayed longer where I came upon England and the Englishmen. That curiosity and that pride, to see our own likeness in the mirror of the past, and to know the greatness of the race from which we come, are not, and I think will never be, the curiosity and the


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pride of boys alone. The present volume has been written for English-speaking people of every age and all the world over: in it they may, if they will, see the daily life and habit of their forefathers of five hundred years ago, in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland.67

While thus openly acknowledging the chauvinistic impulses behind this particular collection (and elsewhere praising Froissart for his neutrality), Newbolt nevertheless manages to suggest that Froissart somehow possessed an innate understanding of his British subjects. In Thomas of Gloucester’s speech we all but hear, Newbolt says, ‘‘the deep roll of the Shakesperian thunder half a century before its time.’’68 The invocation of Shakespeare effectively inserts Froissart into English literary history. Just as Archbishop Parker sought to use Anglo-Saxon writing to establish an indigenous tradition for the English Church (Chapter 1), so Newbolt turns to Froissart for an authentic portrait of what the annotator of the British Library copy of Middleton’s Froissart called ‘‘The nature of the englysh gentylmen.’’ It is also important that the imagined ‘‘half century’’ that is to pass before Shakespeare’s time makes it clear that Berners is here standing in for Froissart. The preference for Berners is entirely logical when one remembers how Berners himself characterized his task as permitting English gentlemen to read of the noble deeds of their ancestors. For Newbolt, these deeds are both political and martial: ‘‘there are here some canvases larger yet, crowded with groups and figures, and instinct with national life: in one ‘‘the Commons of England’’ make their first great claim for their birthright of freedom and equality before the law; in another we see ‘‘the manner of the Scots and how they can war,’’ and are instantly reminded of the difficulties of campaigning in South Africa; a third exemplifies or foreshadows the whole character and history of the Irish people.’’69 Newbolt’s Froissart, like Lanier’s, is an active figure on this bustling stage, and in fact is imagined as though in conversation with the audience (hence the importance, I would argue, of the least monkish Froissart possible). Newbolt closes his introduction by addressing Froissart directly: Would that, as we see in imagination the genial, wise old man spending his last quiet days in his ingle nook at Chimay, we could send back to him a word of the sympathy we feel: ‘‘Courage, Sir John! you had the right of it: from ‘this uncertain world’ all must pass, kings, lords, prelates, knights, and squires; but their descendants, and the descendants, too, of those poor ‘commons’ whose rights and worth your heroes so little understood, shall bear witness on a hundred fields that the inborn, inbred faith of a great race does not perish in the natural changes of their destiny.’’70

Newbolt’s ‘‘hundred fields’’ are prophetic: in both the first and second World Wars, Froissart is pressed into service. A 1917 article in The

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Times recounts Froissart’s story of the rescue of the town of Auberoche in 1345 by a valiant, outnumbered English force: ‘‘It would appear that the soldiers of George V. do not differ greatly from those of Edward III.’’71 The correspondent remarks on Froissart’s topicality and wonders whether some future ‘‘war-weary Briton’’ will similarly turn to the story of the Great War. In fact, the next cataclysm saw Britain turning once again to its more distant past for encouragement and enlightenment. Several entries from the Chroniques appear in the short ‘‘Old and True’’ columns that ran in The Times.72 In 1942, no. 948 was drawn from Froissart on the Germans (in Berners’s translation): ‘‘They are a covetous people above all other. And they have no pity if they have the upper hand, and are hard and evil handlers of their prisoners. . . . They are people worse than Saracens or Paynims, for their excessive covetousness quencheth the knowledge of honour.’’73 Again we can recall the Middleton annotator’s tendency to remark on Froissart’s comments on the English and on others, usually to the latter’s detriment. By the twentieth century, the desires explored in this chapter—for an apparently medieval Froissart, for a properly English Froissart, or, in the case of the Newbolt and Shakespeare Head versions, for both—combine so that Berners overwrites and thus finally completes the process of making Froissart an English writer. But Berners’s own preface, as well as the early modern annotations discussed at the outset of this chapter, make it clear that Froissart has been read as being particularly relevant to Englishmen from the very beginning. To paraphrase The Times slightly, he seems always to have been claimed as ‘‘Old and True—and English.’’74


The Ghost in the Machine Digital Avatars of Medieval Manuscripts

On June 26, 2001, the British Library threw a party. Among the attendees were Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport in the UK, and the pop group Mediaeval Baebes, at the time famous for bringing medieval music to the masses. But the real celebrity at the gathering was a book—London, British Library Additional MS 74236, the Sherborne Missal, a fifteenth-century manuscript described as ‘‘the largest, most lavishly decorated medieval service-book to have survived the Reformation intact.’’ Size, it turns out, does matter: the introductory material to the disc version of the library’s digital facsimile of the manuscript remarks that ‘‘If size were a criterion of value the Sherborne Missal would automatically qualify. It weighs over 3 stone [42 pounds], measures around 536 ⳯ 380 mm and contains 694 parchment pages.’’1 Newspapers such as the Guardian, reporting on the opening and the acquisition of the manuscript, echoed these remarks, and reported as well on another extraordinary measurement associated with the manuscript—the cost. The Sherborne Missal had been on loan to the British Library since 1983, but in 1998 the twelfth Duke of Northumberland, after assessing the costs of inheriting his ancient title and keeping up his ancestral home of Alnwick Castle, home of the Percys since 1309, moved to recoup the manuscript’s assessed value of £15 million. He proposed to sell it at auction; the library responded by hammering out an offer that combined tax concessions, lottery money, and donated funds in order to buy the manuscript for the nation. John Ezard’s column in the Guardian on the British Library’s celebration detailed the costs of the agreement: ‘‘The chart-topping group Mediaeval Baebes yesterday helped the British Library to take formal possession of a manuscript whose importance as a medieval treasure is rivalled only by its place in the modern annals of tax minimisation. . . . Three years ago its owner, the Duke of Northumberland, threatened to sell it abroad to pay his inheritance tax. The government waived his debt of £9.4m, leaving him due to be paid a

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further £5.6m for the value of the missal. Of this, the heritage lottery fund gave a £4.2m grant and the library raised £1.4m.’’2 The British people, in other words, had signed a check whose size had to be balanced by something equally significant, and the library offered several counterweights. These included the publicity campaign that emphasized the manuscript’s physical heft as well as its cultural significance. Of particular importance to the final pages of this study, however, is another piece of weighty advertising, for in the photographs published of the celebratory party, the Mediaeval Baebes are clustered, not around the Missal, but around the thirty-seven-inch computer screen which is as much part of the library’s display of the missal as is the manuscript itself. The display allows visitors access to the library’s ‘‘Turning the Pages’’ version of the manuscript. Touching the screen allows one to page through a digital facsimile of the book, zooming in on areas of interest. The result is, according to every account I have read, whether in the library’s publicity, in its annual reports, or in the media, unprecedented access.3 Frequently reproduced are the remarks of the Baebes at the opening party: ‘‘By digitising this beautiful manuscript the British Library is doing something very close to our own aims, bringing wonderful medieval art to life for a modern audience, and making it accessible to as many people as possible.’’4 The British Library’s Turning the Pages project has been all about access: about broadening access to rare materials, giving more ordinary people (the people who in a real way underwrote the acquisition of the Sherborne Missal) the kind of access to medieval manuscripts that was once reserved for academics and aristocratic owners like the Gowers or the Percys. This laudable project offers a fitting end to Printing the Middle Ages because in many ways it takes us back to where we began. I have called this final section a coda rather than a conclusion because it traces a reprise, a return to the impulse to facsimile. The new technology allows reproduction beyond the wildest dreams of the black letter antiquarians and chromolithographers we have met in these pages, but the story of the Sherborne Missal and other projects like it illustrates the extent to which the world of print, and ideas about the representation of the medieval in that world, continue to govern our imagining of, and hence our access to, medieval text-objects.5 We may find ourselves in a new era (though poised, I would argue, like McLuhan’s Elizabethans, precariously and merely at its start),6 but the past remains very much with us.

Prologue: Counterfeiting Antiquity In January 1565 or 1566, Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote to William Cecil, later to be first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598):



I retorne to youe your boke agayn. . . . I had thought to have made up the want of the begynnyng of the psalter. for yt wanteth the first psalme and III verses in the second psalme: and me thought the leaf goyng before the XXVI psalme wold have ben a mete begynnyng before the holl psalter. having david sitting with his harpe or psaltery. . . . etc and then the first psalme wryten on the backe side; which I was in mynd to have caused Lylye to have counterfeted in antiquitie.7

The book Parker was returning to Cecil was London, British Library MS Cotton Vespasian A.i, the Vespasian Psalter, an eighth-century manuscript of interest to Parker and his circle because of its interlinear Old English translations. Parker was proposing to move the image of David with his harp from folio 30v to the beginning of the whole psalter, as well as to supply the missing first psalm and opening lines of the second, offering the services of his artificer, a man named Lyly (perhaps Peter Lily),8 who, like others in Parker’s circle (and Parker himself ), was skilled in ‘‘counterfeiting antiquity.’’ While Parker returned the Vespasian Psalter unmodified (remembering that Cecil, a famous collector of books, had an artificer of his own), many of the manuscripts in his own collection show signs of similar interventions. Where missing texts could not be provided, Parker might wash out incomplete leaves, and where composite manuscripts had irregular edges, he would cut them to uniform size. In a real sense, then, the archbishop was making manuscripts: filling in or covering up textual lacunae; taking care to ‘‘counterfeit antiquity’’; making the books that passed through his hands look the way he thought a medieval manuscript should. But this counterfeiting involved effacing traces of real antiquity: as R. I. Page noted in his lectures on the Parker Library, ‘‘The manuscripts—whatever their origin— are in a sense sixteenth-century ones.’’9 The habit of repairing manuscripts and early printed books continued throughout the period covered by this study. While our current notions of restoration would regard many formerly common practices as something closely akin to counterfeiting in the pejorative, even criminal sense, earlier bibliophiles such as Parker or Cecil clearly had no such concerns, and collectors of all manner of antiquities routinely ‘‘restored’’ their possessions to their own understanding of original states. In his Bibliographic Decameron of 1817, an eclectic and lavishly illustrated set of bibliophilic musings on medieval and early modern books, Thomas Frognall Dibdin writes of John Whittaker the bookbinder, ‘‘Give him your imperfect Caxton, and, within a few days thereof, you shall receive it so perfected, that the deficiencies cannot be discovered. There is a sort of witchery in his process; in consequence, I presume, of some nocturnal communication with the ghost of our first printer.’’10 Whittaker employed the facsimilist John Harris, whose specialized in

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copies of early printed pages and woodcut illustrations and later went to work providing missing pages for early prints in the British Museum.11 It is often said that a turning point with respect to practices of restoration in Britain was reached after the decision in 1816 not to restore the Elgin Marbles,12 but medieval manuscripts and early modern books continued to be repaired beyond what we would now accept as normal, both by collectors and by institutions, throughout the nineteenth century.13 It would seem that as in Parker’s day, authority and value both were aligned with completeness, but Dibdin’s metaphor suggests that there is more going on. The facsimile as he understands it offers a direct line, however ghostly, to the past: the re-creation of medieval books is understood as a way to communicate with a world long gone. I hope to have shown in these pages the degree to which this need to touch the past, either through its objects or through their stand-ins, has been part of the transmission of the Middle Ages for centuries of readers.

Digital Avatars and Medieval Books Today, digital technologies continue to re-create medieval books for a variety of audiences, and the digital facsimiles, like the hand- and machine-produced examples that have been discussed in these pages, both reproduce and relocate their medieval objects. But our current attitudes toward facsimile differ from Parker’s and Dibdin’s, and may in fact inhibit our ability to see the extent to which we too are re-creating medieval text-objects according to our own tastes. As technology has enabled ever more exact reproduction, the cheerful refashioning proposed by Parker has been replaced by an emphasis on the photographic, on the exact, with at times an accompanying confidence that perfect reproduction can approach the revelation of an object’s truth. David Lowenthal argues that our current obsession with preservation is simply a new kind of delusion: ‘‘In practice, material authenticity honours surviving originals, however fragmented. But the authentic worth of unrestored objects divested of recognisable form is solely academic. Aesthetic defence of history’s erosions is simply quixotic passion for pentimenti and limbless torsos. Our culture is addicted to preserving substance, but erosion, accretion, and chemical change incessantly alter every material object; no work of art ever remains as it was created.’’14 When the possibilities of the new media are added to this addiction to preservation, the result is often a hybrid, facsimile-like object that exhibits a range of category confusions. Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin have described new media ‘‘remediation’’—‘‘the representation of one medium in another’’—as operating according to categories of immediacy and hypermediacy, the former characterized by an emphasis on



transparency and immersion, and the latter by a self-consciousness which calls attention to its own strategies.15 Many public digitization projects are openly fascinated by the technology they deploy, and indeed the marketing of the new is often part of drawing users to these facsimiles. At the same time, the language of unmediated authenticity often pervades the digital delivery of medieval textual artifacts, claiming to offer a transparent experience of the medieval original.16 That this offer occurs at precisely the moment when preservation demands the originals be locked away in glass cases, points to a kind of technological bait-and-switch which is becoming increasingly common, at least in the managing of relations between ‘‘the public’’ and the artifacts of the past.17 It is here that I would combine Dibdin’s fanciful reflection on the connection between the facsimilist and the ghost of Caxton, with the rather more ominous implications of the phrase ‘‘the ghost in the machine.’’18 The persistent desire to make connection with the medieval past as, simultaneously, foreign territory and familiar ancestor, framed as it has been in a need both to touch and to refashion the materiality of that past, is the ghost that continues to direct our contemporary encounters with medieval books. The ease with which that attraction to the material slides into bibliophilia and even the fetishization of the manuscript object poses a particular challenge for our encounters with the texts so materialized. The dispersal of that attraction into a non- (or differently) tactile, digital format, shifts the grounds upon which the facsimile stands. In his enormously influential Eloge de la Variante (1989), Bernard Cerquiglini muses about the ways in which computers might facilitate a new form of editing, one which could simultaneously show what is in medieval artifacts, while also making what is there, understood. He suggests that ‘‘the [computer] screen is simultaneously dialogic (it offers a constant interaction between the user and the screen) and multidimensional (through the use of ‘‘windows,’’ it allows one to bring together and consult information belonging to separate entities).’’19 This ‘‘screenic’’ presentation frees medieval works from ‘‘the two-dimensional and closed structure of the printed page. . . . [it] thus allows the reader to see and consult not only the totality of the manuscripts . . . but also the editions . . . which took these manuscripts as their objects.’’20 In a sense, Cerquiglini imagines the computer as a means by which to pry medieval texts from the object-contexts in which they are trapped; screenic presence is a kind of liberation from materiality.21 It is also, oddly, a different kind of authentic representation: because it allows a reader to ‘‘grasp [the] interaction of redundancy and recurrence, repetition and change, which medieval writing consists of,’’22 its processes actually mimic the processes of variance and mouvance said to characterize medieval manu-

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script culture.23 For Cerquiglini, ‘‘computer inscription is variance.’’24 Thus the early theorizing of the place of medieval texts in a digital age seemed to point away from the physical object and away from the potential dangers of an excessive focus on the object at the expense of the text which it delivered. There are, however, two problems with this attempt at reimagining our relationships with medieval texts. The first is that it underestimates the powerful need to forge a tangible link with the past, even with all the dangers of fetishization such object-links entail; the second is that it fails in the end to imagine the degree to which the impulse to facsimile would come to govern even this new technology. The digital world has in fact multiplied the number of facsimile representations of medieval texts, and yet in the absence of the affective power of the material book, these facsimiles are often as alienating as they are, apparently, exact. The image was not, in fact, central to some of the earliest encounters between medieval texts and computer technologies. Among the early efforts to move from the theoretical imagining of digital editing to a real editorial project was Peter Robinson’s Canterbury Tales project, whose first disc, the Wife of Bath’s Prologue, was released by Cambridge University Press in 1996.25 The goal of the project was, and is, ‘‘to determine as thoroughly as possible the textual history of the Canterbury Tales.’’ That is, the project began and continues in the textual context, and while its discs provide unprecedented access to some aspects of the manuscripts of the Tales, one senses in reading the description of the project that this access is almost by-product of the main emphasis on solving textual questions; most particularly, the vexed question of which one of the two major manuscript witnesses to the Tales, the Ellesmere or Hengwrt manuscripts, should be taken as the main source for Chaucer’s text and for the order of the Canterbury Tales.26 Recounting the long history of debate about the status of these and other Canterbury Tales manuscripts, Robinson remarks: Some 600 years of scholarly effort have failed to reach a consensus about these [textual] questions, or even to indicate whether they can be answered. We now have new and powerful tools . . . with these, there is at last a chance of getting some answer to these questions; and this is the task of The Canterbury Tales Project. The work of the Project proceeds through four stages. Firstly, there is transcription of each manuscript into computer-readable form. . . . Secondly, there is a computer collation of the transcripts against each other. . . . Thirdly, there is analysis of the body of variation, using cladistic methods borrowed from evolutionary biology . . . these computer-assisted methods of analysis, in themselves, are revolutionary. The fourth stage is to present all this in an attractive and usable form.27



Robinson’s remarks make clear that the Canterbury Tales Project’s focus was initially problem- rather than access-driven, and its emphasis was on transcription and textual analysis rather than on facsimile. Nevertheless, the project’s first digital publication also included images—in 1996, black-and-white scans from microfilm. Time and technology have moved on, and so has the Canterbury Tales Project. A key shift was articulated in the project’s second publication, the General Prologue on CDROM, which appeared in 2000. Norman Blake and Peter Robinson noted that the response to the first disc had indicated a broader, less advanced scholarly audience than they had imagined, and in response, they had shifted their own sense of their purpose: ‘‘One might summarize the shift in our thinking in the last two years, underlying the differences between the two CD-ROMs, as follows: the aim of The Wife of Bath’s Prologue CD-ROM was to help editors edit; our aim now is also to help readers read.’’28 Readers were still, at this point, being offered the materials to perform the act of recognition Cerquiglini imagined: this disc, like its predecessor, provided full transcriptions of all witnesses, scholarly editing tools, and images of the originals. It is in the project’s next publication that we begin to see a more emphatic shift toward facsimile. Again in 2000, under its new Scholarly Digital Editions imprint, the Canterbury Tales Project produced a full-color digital facsimile of the Hengwrt manuscript.29 This was still very much a scholarly research tool, and the way Robinson describes his aims suggests that there was a conscious eschewing of what was, by that time, a growing tendency to mount digital versions of beautiful manuscripts. He writes, ‘‘we hoped to go some way towards giving an impression of Hengwrt as a physical object, stains, rat chewings, and all.’’30 I will have more to say below about the impact of the digital form on the affect of the facsimile; here I would note simply that the Hengwrt facsimile’s subsequent trifurcation into ‘‘Research,’’ ‘‘Standard,’’ and online forms31 further underlines the pull of facsimile, through the production of ever-cheaper digital editions that gradually strip away the editorial apparatus, leaving finally the digital facsimile alone. Describing the impact of new editorial theory on the work of the project, Robinson remarks, ‘‘The danger of editions that seek to join many different texts with images, commentaries, and background materials is that they may become accumulations rather than editions: arrays of information, presented in the mass. Faced with such overwhelming quantities of data, where is a reader to start?’’32 Robinson and the Canterbury Tales Project group have attempted to serve several masters, offering to less expert readers the possibility of approaching something like a critical, informed editorial response to the materials of the Chaucerian textual tradition, while also preserving their original address to a scholarly audience.

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It often seemed in the early days of digital imaging that there was a sense that a digital version of a manuscript could somehow be more transparent than a traditional edition. That belief in part expresses a tension between edition and facsimile. The digital revolution allows, as the Hengwrt CD shows, unprecedented access to high-quality color images of manuscripts; this is the transparent, accessible facsimile. But the disc is, like a printed book, a product, one which arises from the complex interactions between many creators and users. The history of the Canterbury Tales Project shows how the digital revolution has been embraced by academics who want to use the inherent ability of the computer to display and manipulate data to address editorial questions, sometimes with ideas about the answers to those questions. And the marketing of the Sherborne Missal implies other interactions, revealing the relationships between academic culture and desire, the custodians of the manuscript objects, and the (perceived) demands of the marketplace. I return then to the British Library, but not, quite yet, to the Sherborne Missal. One of the earliest digital manuscript projects was the Electronic Beowulf. It began in 1993, and some of its test images were, as the British Library site still notes, ‘‘among the first images of medieval manuscripts to be mounted on the internet.’’33 In my files, I have copies of some of those early images, but the British Library now displays only one image on its webpage devoted to the manuscript, and offers that image and another for sale through its Images Online service. There are other samples available through the quite detailed Guide to Electronic Beowulf mounted on editor Kevin Kiernan’s site at the University of Kentucky.34 In this case access to the digital facsimile—or rather, free access—has diminished rather than increased since the project first began. Access of another kind is also and increasingly a problem for early experiments in digitizing. Like scholarly books, scholarly digital publications have a tendency to go out of print. And unlike scholarly books, those copies of scholarly digital publications which are sold, can become obsolete as changes in hardware and software render the discs increasingly incompatible with current computers. In the case of the Electronic Beowulf, the British Library has made efforts to keep up with technological change by releasing a new edition for more recent browsers.35 The problem is of course larger in any case than the long-term viability of digital facsimiles: as all manner of public, private, and governmental bodies store more and more records in digital form, the future accessibility of these records has become a focus for the international library community.36 The Electronic Beowulf offers users digital versions of the original manuscript (London, British Library Cotton Vitellius MS A.xv); the two



eighteenth-century transcriptions done by and for Grimu´r Jonsso´n Thorkelı´n; the early nineteenth-century collations of Thorkelı´n’s edition of 1815 by John Conybeare (1817) and Sir Frederic Madden (1824); and a transcription and edition of the poem. This project appears to be the product of the computer used as Cerquiglini imagined, making visible to a user many of the materials that constitute the history of the transmission of this text, its movement from manuscript to edition. In this realization, the Beowulf manuscript object becomes the centre of a nexus of transmissive processes made visible and accessible. And yet the same concerns raised by the Canterbury Tales group about how, exactly, one would use these materials, are issues here as well. A review by William Kilbride in the Internet Archaeology Review pointed out that there are in effect six Beowulfs here: ‘‘These various texts are from many different locations. Thorkelin’s transcriptions are now in the Royal Library of Denmark, while the Madden version is in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Only the Cotton Vitellius A xv manuscript and now the Conybeare transcriptions are located in the British Library, the latter only being acquired in 1994. Never before have all these texts been available in one country, let alone in one place.’’ But he goes on to remark that the absence of a translation makes it unlikely that anyone other than the scholarly audience—as also first imagined by the Canterbury Tales Project—will be able to make much use of the riches in the product. In the context of considerable public discussion about the ability of digital technologies to broaden access to rare materials, he finds this omission ‘‘truly remarkable,’’ concluding that ‘‘it is arguable that Electronic Beowulf doesn’t do much to empower the public or enhance our access to these highly prized assets: it simply disenfranchises us in a new way.’’37 It will become clear below that I share similar concerns about many current deployments of digital technology with respect to the materials of the medieval world. It is important to end this section by noting, however, that the Beowulf manuscript itself is, in some ways, more present through this digital realization than it will ever be to most people, even to those with considerable scholarly credentials. The British Library is extremely cooperative in granting access to even the rarest of materials, provided an adequate case is made, but it is nevertheless the case that ‘‘Z’’ category manuscripts such as Cotton Vitellius A.xv are consulted only rarely.38 Having been in the reading room myself when the Beowulf manuscript was out in the open, I have seen other users of the room behave, upon noticing the manuscript, rather as they do when they spot a celebrity in public. And so we return to the Sherborne Missal and the computer screen. The Sherborne Missal is displayed through various digital avatars in the British Library and around the world. There are the thirty-seven-

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inch screen installations in the exhibition galleries in the library’s St. Pancras home, a CD-ROM which one can buy for £12.95 at the library shop,39 and an online version which one can access for free from anywhere in the world. All of these use the library’s ‘‘Turning the Pages’’ software, and the realism of the interface is part of the advertising of this project: ‘‘Visitors are able to virtually ‘turn’ the pages of manuscripts in an incredibly realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation.’’40 The project’s concern with realism (of a certain kind) is demonstrated as well by the opening movie which plays when one first inserts the CD-ROM version of the Missal. This is a three-dimensional animation sequence which seems to be intended to create the impression of a private session with the manuscript, as the user is granted a privileged, bird’s-eye view of a reading stand isolated in a stone hall. The user, through the camera’s point of view, swoops in, slowly climbs the stone stairs of the chamber, and at last witnesses the drama of the volume being turned to her viewpoint, revealed in full, and then closed. Yet this is of course an experience that one does not control: the animation is as constructed as is the case in which the real manuscript sits. It is also noteworthy that the animation presents a conventionalized ‘‘medieval’’ scene that culminates in a conventionalized approach to the book, so that digital technology is used to fulfill traditional expectations. James O’Donnell suggests that ‘‘The vital difference between present and future practices [in the dream of the virtual library] will be that the forms of organization of knowledge in electronic media do not resemble those of the traditional codex or book. The methods of production and distribution will diverge from those of the print media even more.’’41 In this realization of the Sherborne Missal, I would on the contrary suggest that we are still very much functioning within the traditional world of the book, even as the manuscript goes digital. ‘‘Turning the Pages’’ as a software product also has a commercial aspect (another traditional aspect of the world of print as well, of course). The developer notes, for example, ‘‘Turning the Pages is now available as a service to institutions and private collectors around the world. You can attract visitors, increase website traffic and add a revenue stream—at the same time as broadening access to your collection and informing and entertaining your audience.’’42 The British Library’s realization of the missal is about marketing, and about entertainment, and not about paradigm shifts: this approach means marrying traditional ‘‘bookish’’ assumptions with a particular take on audience expectations of the medieval world, books, and computer technology. But as I have suggested throughout this study, the currents between the popular and the scholarly are not unidirectional. Even as the Canterbury Tales Project produces more strippeddown versions of its products for ordinary users, the developers of Turn-



ing the Pages are working on a new version of their product, one that would include the underlying database technology which has been characteristic of the scholarly Tales discs.43 The first thing a user of any of the digital versions of the Sherborne Missal will see is the cover of the closed book. The manuscript binding is an eighteenth-century French one, a reminder of the manuscript’s presence on the continent from at least 1703 to 1797, when it was purchased by George Galwey Mills, from the sale of whose books the second Duke of Northumberland purchased it in 1800.44 There is no immediate indication on the first screen that this is an eighteenth-century binding, though the excellent introductory essay on the disc version does discuss the manuscript’s movements and also remarks on the unusual fact that the related Sherborne Cartulary retains its original binding. What seems to be important is simply that the book should begin in closed form, as part of the illusion of turning the pages. To open and flip through the book, online and CD users drag the mouse across the screen, while users at the British Library’s display terminals perform the same movement by dragging a finger across the screen. The movement calls up an animated turn. This turn is a major marketing point for the software designers, who compare their product to similar packages on precisely these grounds: ‘‘A number of low-end applications have been released that allow you to convert flat pages to a turning book. Most of these were designed to allow brochures to be put on the web. In every instance the page-turning illusion is inferior to Turning the Pages, and in most the user has no control over the turn.’’45 Nevertheless, despite the suggestions—even the reality—of tactile access, this remains a structured simulacrum. Market forces continue to be a factor in the digital age, just as they were for the first printers. The British Library is straightforward about the economic possibilities of digitization. Its goals for digitization include ‘‘[generating] income from those products with market appeal that can be exploited commercially by a partner, or the British Library itself, consistent with the aim of maximising accessibility to the collection.’’46 The appeal of some artifacts, such as the Sherborne Missal, is thus pragmatically turned toward the ultimate goal of maximizing accessibility, clearly a worthy ambition. The emphasis on marketing and on public-private partnerships will nevertheless inevitably condition how the exploitable resources are exploited. The opening fly-by of the missal on the disc version is part of the grammar of the digital age, familiar to any user of computer games: it is a translation of the physical object from the past into a format more familiar to the present. In that respect it is no different than the editions that preceded it, and it is no more transparent than they were. It too has its underlying assumptions, but

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these are neither Lachmannian nor new philological; they have to do instead with what ‘‘the public’’ wants, or is understood to want. Libraries have no option but to protect the rare objects in their collections, and their efforts to display these objects through the new technology are admirable and exciting. What I am interested in here, however, is the degree to which the form and content of these new, digital facsimiles are governed by long-standing assumptions about the desires of users/ readers. The assumptions are those I have been tracing throughout these pages: to borrow from the advertisement to the Smith Froissart discussed in Chapter 5, readers are thought to want—do want—to unclose the gilded clasps and admire the illuminations. They often do not seem to be expected to read, and that has been a problem for medieval texts for many centuries. An example from another project is helpful here. The National Library of the Netherlands is another major national institution that has made digital access to its medieval collections a focus. The library’s site records the thinking that went into the digitization of the illuminated manuscripts in its collection: ‘‘In agreement with the ambitions of a national library, publishing sources on the internet must aim at a professional as well as a lay audience. The project, therefore, had to find a balance between its origin as a scholarly catalogue and its additional purpose as a permanent exhibition of one of the nation’s most important treasures of medieval art. The original iconographical emphasis of the cataloguing . . . fitted this secondary purpose very well. Research shows that a general audience is first of all interested in the subject matter of images.’’47 There is an attempt here to address a professional as well as a popular audience, and the chosen vehicle is the manuscript image. This emphasis on the image was married to the interests of art historians, in the creation of a computer version of the Iconclass system, a descriptive tool for image cataloguing in use in the Netherlands since the 1950s and now realized as a computer-based search tool. Thus the interests of the picture-loving public and of art historians coincide. Textual scholars, however, are less likely to find access to the materials they would need for study.48 The digital Sherborne Missal, too, emphasizes the image: the software presents sixteen openings, a total of thirty-two of the 694 pages, and each is lavishly decorated. In fact, the British Library’s whole Treasures project emphasizes ornate books. There are at the time of this writing eighteen books available online through the Turning the Pages software, and most are elaborately decorated.49 The language on sites that use the software underlines this visual appeal, frequently referring to the artifacts and their decoration using terms such as lavish, sumptuous, magnificent, and superb.50 Oddly, however, the full scope of these



objects is obscured by the process of selection. Most of the Turning the Pages objects are samples rather than complete facsimiles (I will discuss the ‘‘Treasures in Full’’ project further below). A user is informed that she is viewing, for example, ‘‘pages 7 and 8,’’ but these numbers refer to the selected images and not to the folio or page numbers of the original. A user who did not read the accompanying text would have no sense, in fact, of the size of the Sherborne Missal, despite the library’s description of it as ‘‘wonderful and weighty.’’ A problem long identified in the world of digital information has been that of user disorientation, what E. Jeffery Conklin famously called being ‘‘lost in hyperspace.’’51 Early theorists of the Internet were concerned with the labyrinth of links, a maze in which, thanks to the absence of road maps, one could quickly become lost. A closed system like the electronic facsimile of the Sherborne Missal is clearly a different kind of digital world, and one that on the surface, through the control imposed, is designed to prevent user disorientation. At the same time, the absence of visual cues as to the size of the book in question creates, I would argue, a kind of disorientation which is, like the hyperlinked documents that first raised concerns, specific to the new technology.52 Ongoing developments of the Turning the Pages technology suggest refinement beyond the initial visual appeal; the National Library of Medicine, for example, has developed what it calls a ‘‘Discovery’’ approach, to take a user beyond the digital facsimile and into related resources on the World Wide Web. The ‘‘wow’’ factor of the digital facsimiles is seen as merely a first step: ‘‘The virtual books, whether in kiosks or online, are eye catching. However, we took the opportunity to extend these remarkable electronic objects to information systems.’’53 The route into these information systems continues to be the visual, however, and the selection continues to emphasize the most striking pictures. In the case of the Sherborne Missal, designers seem also to have decided that these should be British pictures. In her essay ‘‘The Making of a National Treasure’’ on the CD version of the missal, Michelle Brown asks, ‘‘What is so special about this particular survivor of the Middle Ages?’’ What follows details the artistic richness of the Missal, as well as the unusual amount of information it contains about its own conditions of production—the artists and commissioners, its place in Sherborne Abbey’s history. There is a particular emphasis on the local flavor of the missal, provided by such things as the detailed drawings of birds that adorn some of the pages. It is clear that Sherborne’s specialness, and even more, its Britishness, mattered a great deal when it came to raising the money to buy it. These concerns may well have played into the choices made in the digital presentation of the missal. One of the ‘‘themes’’ offered to the user is the bird theme, presented on the CD

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version through the Bird Choir page. Each bird can be chosen and viewed in more detail, either from this section or from the featured pages, and a sound file of the birdcall can be played. The enhancements offered by the digital world might mean computer collation to the Canterbury Tales Project, or access to nineteenth-century editions or eighteenth-century transcriptions to the Electronic Beowulf project, but they also mean the ability to hear clips of sixteen different birds. I have made reference throughout these pages to a repeated desire to claim some kind of genealogical link to the past as a powerful motivator in the constant recreations of that past; the Sherborne facsimile’s birds are another attempt to link contemporary British passions (for ornithology, for the countryside) to an artifact that is understood to embody an ancestral past. An artifact’s link to an imagined past can have political and ideological ramifications. Debate in the House of Lords over government funding of campaigns to stave off the sale of masterpieces to foreign collectors has used the indigeneity argument, with specific reference to the Sherborne Missal. In May 2000, Lord Strabolgi (David Montague de Burgh Kenworthy, eleventh Baron Strabolgi, a Labour member of the House of Lords) offered these remarks as to when it might, and might not, be appropriate to make efforts to save art treasures for the nation: Is it better that we should concentrate on saving important works that are an integral part of our national heritage, such as the Sherborne Missal, which was accepted by the Government in part satisfaction of inheritance tax from the Northumberland estate and is now permanently in the British Library? . . . Can we— indeed, should we—always try to retain every work of art of foreign origin . . . ? While we must all be sad at the loss of the Rembrandt, it has gone back to the Netherlands; and the Poussin painting of the ‘‘Destruction of the Temple’’ has been exported to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where of course it has great significance. Great masterpieces belong to the world.54

The Englishness of the Sherborne Missal here is part of what makes it worth saving, worth spending so much public money on. David Lowenthal has described the heritage movement as ‘‘not a testable or even a reasonably plausible account of some past, but a declaration of faith in that past.’’55 Objects like the Sherborne Missal can be seen as focus points for such a faith, for the belief that we can make the direct connection so apparently longed for by the producers of the book-objects analyzed in these pages. This is not to say that the missal is not in fact an important historical artifact, nor that the library has not made an effort to outline its historical significance to audiences; it is simply to observe that the current digital and public-relations delivery to the British public is embedded in a complex story to which history, heritage, bibliophilia, and technophilia all make significant contributions.



There are digitization projects whose objects are not as visually spectacular in the way that the Sherborne Missal is. While the Iconclass system and the resultant emphasis on selections from illuminated manuscripts dominates in many European digitization projects, there are also ventures such as the Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis and the Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG), two programs which aim to mount online complete versions of hundreds of medieval manuscripts belonging to the Cathedral Library of Cologne and the Abbey Library of St. Gallen.56 These digital facsimiles make no attempt to mimic a lifelike page turn; indeed, the bindings appear via separate links from the ‘‘facsimile,’’ here taken to refer to the manuscript pages themselves. They do, however, offer extremely high-quality, enlargeable images. Here authenticity is understood to reside, not so much in the technological wizardry of the facsimile, as in the embeddedness of each facsimile in the context of a whole monastic library. But in this project, too, initial selection has been made on aesthetic criteria: the two-year pilot proposes to digitize ‘‘a selection of the finest illuminated codices.’’57 In this case, the needs of researchers appear first in the project description, but the preference for the more attractive manuscripts speaks as well to the public context acknowledged at the end of the description: ‘‘At the same time, an intuitive, appealing internet presentation will communicate the medieval codex culture to a wider audience.’’58 Most of the books in the original Turning the Pages project were not what we would think of as literary texts, and I have noted above how the technology has continued to be applied to visually monumental books. The CESG’s decision to begin with the more attractive books follows a similar path, despite its broader strokes. Printing the Middle Ages has been concerned largely with the fate of medieval literary texts; it would be reasonable to suggest, then, that the Canterbury Tales Project and the Electronic Beowulf are the most relevant of the digitization programs discussed thus far. But I hope I have suggested throughout these pages the persistent tendency for the characteristic materiality of medieval texts—that is, a materiality embodied in rare manuscripts and in rare early prints—to dominate our relationship to them. It is the persistence of a similar tendency in the digital era that makes Turning the Pages of particular interest, because the digital is, of course, not material; or rather, it must be materialized through the new media of the screen and the keyboard. It is worth noting that the British Library’s online Treasures in Full project, which does mount digital facsimiles of complete works, includes Caxton’s editions of the Canterbury Tales and the Winchester manuscript of Malory’s Morte Darthur.59 Here a reader can access complete objects, without the animated page turns and audio commentaries characteristic of the Turning the Pages objects. The scholarly audi-

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ences anticipated for the Canterbury Tales Project or the Electronic Beowulf would find more useful material here than in most of the Turning the Pages sites, but a public audience is imagined as well, and is wellsupported by notes, commentary, transcriptions, and supplemental links. Turning the Pages tries to make old books accessible through a kind of virtual-reality interface, one that fights the elusiveness of bytes with an emphasis on sight and touch. Treasures in Full, on the other hand, accepts the disembodiment characteristic of the digital with, apparently, little concern—perhaps precisely because the artifacts are the familiar canonical objects of English literature and history (others include the Magna Carta and Shakespeare in Quarto). Much of the publicity and journalism associated with the deployment of digital technologies in the realm of book display is, as I have said, glowing in its assessment of the appeal of the digital. The Smithsonian Institution takes a rather unusual line in describing its own online digital editions, in that it makes no claims to realism: ‘‘We recognize that looking at a book online is not the same as turning the pages of a book you pulled from the stacks yourself. However, viewing our collections online can afford you many more riches and rarely will you find yourself with a paper-cut! You are limited only by your own imagination.’’60 The Smithsonian’s light-hearted take on touching—or not touching—a rare book has its serious side. Projects like the CEEC and CESG are explicit in their hope that high-quality digital facsimiles will protect fragile originals. The Irish Script On Screen project (ISOS) has as its goals to ‘‘provide exposure on the internet for a vital part of Ireland’s cultural heritage’’; to ‘‘place these primary materials at the disposal of scholars and students’’; and to ‘‘contribute to the conservation of these valuable books and documents by creating images of high-resolution detail which, generally speaking, will reduce the need to handle the artefacts themselves.’’61 That is, the digital substitutes are offered up to nationalist, scholarly, and popular consumption. The originals, meanwhile, become ever less accessible to any of those purposes. This study has examined how authenticity has been at once a persistent claim in the postmedieval production of medieval texts, and a fluid reality dependent on the limits of various historical imaginations. To authenticity the digital age has added accessibility, yet this concept is equally plastic. The care lavished on the virtual turn in the British Library’s digital facsimiles suggests that access, despite the Smithsonian’s gentle attempts to urge otherwise, is still understood ideally to involve some kind of physical connection. The role of the tactile in our experience of books of all kinds is well known. The novelist and essayist Alberto Manguel reflects on this experience: ‘‘one doesn’t simply read Crime and Punishment or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. One reads a certain



edition, a specific copy, recognizable by the roughness or smoothness of its paper, by its scent, by a slight tear on page 72 and a coffee ring on the right-hand corner of the back cover.’’62 The particular problem attached to medieval texts is that the objects to which we are increasingly offered digital access are themselves all but untouchable; indeed, a desire to define access through the digital is, as noted above, often specifically aligned to a protective desire to remove the artifact from even the limited exposure it may now have.63 The avatars for these rare objects have, in the history traced in these pages, been books themselves—manipulable, tangible, physical. In an early entry into the discussion of the future of books in the digital world, Geoffrey Nunberg suggested that ‘‘it is precisely because these technologies transcend the material limitations of the book that they will have trouble assuming its role.’’64 That is, the physicality of the book is part of its cultural role, whether as public object or private delight. The digital facsimiles I have discussed here all attempt in one way or another to offer these medieval and early modern books to the fulfilling of both roles, and yet I would argue that they are ultimately stymied by the requirement to disembody the objects they display. The resulting tension, between access and absence, creates the ghosts that haunt the digital realm. Two Turning the Pages terminals are found in the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre on the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne. They are placed, along with the photographic facsimile of the manuscript, in their own specially crafted room: ‘‘Entry to this highly atmospheric inner-sanctum is via a medieval characterised lobby containing other interactive displays and further educational resource media. Dark high ceilings and spotlit images create a sense of intimacy and reverence, very appropriate for the subject of the high tech computers which host two copies of the ‘Turning the Page’ electronic Lindisfarne Gospels.’’65 As with the animated opening to the Sherborne Missal on CD, the desire seems to be to immerse the viewer/ user in a virtual reality. If it seems odd to offer a visitor to the British Library’s St. Pancras exhibition galleries a choice between the glass-enclosed physical Sherborne manuscript and the somewhat more manipulable electronic one right next to it, the virtual presence of the Lindisfarne Gospels on the isle is even more odd—is, indeed, ghostly—because the Gospels are, of course, not there. A related gospel book, now held as Lichfield Cathedral MS 1, has similarly been digitally repatriated to what some argue is its original home, the parish church of Llandeilo Fawr in Wales, where it is known as the St. Teilo Gospels or the Llandeilo Gospels. The origins of this eighthcentury gospel book remain in some dispute: it contains the earliest example of written Welsh, in marginal notes, though whether the book was produced in Wales is less certain. The parish of Llandeilo Fawr, from

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which the manuscript was mysteriously removed in the eleventh century, links the page announcing the digitization project to an article by Gareth Morgan in the Western Mail which calls the Gospels ‘‘Wales’ Elgin Marbles,’’ noting that the book now resides ‘‘in an English cathedral,’’66 and most Welsh publicity organs remark on the bilingual (English/ Welsh) audio commentary provided in the Turning the Pages version. For the Welsh, in other words, the St. Teilo Gospels are a crucial part of a cultural patrimony. Lichfield Cathedral, where the manuscript is known as the St. Chad Gospels, has its own publicity announcements. One of these is headlined ‘‘Spreading the Gospel: Digital Technology Turns the St. Chad Gospels.’’67 The language of access is here punningly married to the language of mission. Another release, announcing the archaeological unearthing of the original shrine to St. Chad under the cathedral, has as its subtitle ‘‘Shrine to be re-united with illuminated Gospels after 1000 years.’’68 The release goes on to note that the manuscript was commissioned specifically to adorn the shrine. The emphasis on the physical reuniting of the pieces of the Saxon version of Lichfield’s history makes the significance of the material object once again plain, yet even in Lichfield, the Gospels’ presence is oddly ghostly, as the book itself is not on continual display. In both Lichfield and Llandeilo Fawr, the computer terminals have a part to play in an ongoing drama of claim-staking, but the simple fact that neither location wishes to give up the ownership of the object itself, indicates the degree to which the material still matters. Donald A. Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, remarked at the dedication ceremony for his institution’s Turning the Pages terminal, ‘‘The sensation is uncannily real.’’69 Those two words, sensation and uncanny, are where this study ends. The Turning the Pages project attempts to make medieval books ‘‘real’’ to people who are not allowed to touch them, even if they are standing right over them. Visitors to the British Library are permitted to touch a physical body (the screen), and to manipulate a virtual body (the digital facsimile), but the effect is sometimes strangely like a photograph of the dear departed, a reminder of what is lost as much as a comfort of some kind of continuing presence. The screenic presentation seen by Cerquiglini as liberating also haunts us with the substitution of one body for another—a substitution that happened in the world of the printed edition, too, but which we have there at least learned to recognize. The trick with the digital facsimile is that the language of reality and presence, allied with the public mantra of accessibility, implies a kind of transparency, when what is offered is in fact an opaque simulacrum, one that is ‘‘uncannily’’ familiar. The uncanny, Freud tells us, is the return of the repressed, a reminder of our psychic past. The medieval books



are present to us in digital form, yet their absence haunts these recreations. In popular parlance, one could well describe the experience of leafing through the Sherborne Missal online as surreal, but this is also, I think, quite a precise naming of the experience afforded by certain kinds of digital facsimiles. The British Library knows that there is a difference between the real thing and the virtual presence—surely otherwise, the missal could have been sold abroad, so long as the rights to reproduce it digitally had been secured. Great efforts were made to hold onto this ‘‘weighty’’ object. And yet paradoxically, the securing of that physical body has been succeeded by a kind of disappearance, a remaking into the absent presence lurking in its digital avatars.


The following abbreviations appear in the notes. BL BNF EETS ESTC IMEV ODNB OED PMLA

British Library Bibliothe`que nationale de France Early English Text Society English Short Title Catalogue Index of Middle English Verse Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford English Dictionary Publications of the Modern Language Association of America

Preface 1. The other two parts of the triple crown are William Morris’s Kelmscott Chaucer and the Doves Press Bible. The first Ashendene edition is Dante Alighieri, Lo inferno, Lo purgatorio, Lo paradiso, 3 vols. (London: Nella stamperia de Ashendene, 1902, 1904, 1905); the complete works is Tutte le opere di Dante Alighieri fiorentino (Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1909). 2. D. F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (London: British Library, 1986), 16. McKenzie’s description of bibliography as ‘‘the sociology of texts’’ has become central to what we might think of as new book history. 3. The phrase appears, for example, in a British Quarterly Review article on John Gower, warning that ‘‘Gower’s simple and undramatic way of telling his stories, his lengthened moralizations,’’ are features of medieval verse ‘‘which in these days of railroad speed we can willingly spare’’; ‘‘John Gower and His Works,’’ British Quarterly Review 53 (Jan. 1, 1858): 27. 4. Le prime quattro edizioni della Divina Commedia letteralmente ristampate per cura di G. G. Warren, Lord Vernon (Londra: Presso Tommaso e Guglielmo Boone, MDCCCLVIII); I reproduce the publishing details as they appeared order to underline the deliberately Italianate form of this London-published book. This linguistic practice does not generalize to the later printing of all medieval works. As Chapter 5 will show, for example, translation into English is the norm for British printings of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques. 5. Dante Alighieri, La Commedia (Venice: Pietro di Piasi Cremonese, 1491). 6. Leah Price, ‘‘Introduction: Reading Matter,’’ PMLA 121, no. 1 (2006): 12. 7. Roger Chartier, ‘‘Texts, Printing, Reading,’’ in The New Cultural History, ed. Lynn Hunt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 161.


Notes to pages vii–3

8. Jerome McGann, The Textual Condition (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991), 5. 9. Many of these studies are mentioned in the pages to follow. Two collections of essays which cover some of the conceptual territory dealt with in this book appeared too late to be considered here: David Matthews and Gordon McMullan, eds., Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); and Marios Costambeys, ed., The Making of the Middle Ages (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007). 10. Such studies are too numerous to list comprehensively, but those with a particular interest in visual and/ or cultural aspects of the revival include Mark Girouard, The Return to Camelot: Chivalry and the English Gentleman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981); Debra N. Mancoff, The Return of King Arthur: The Legend Through Victorian Eyes (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995); Christine Poulson, The Quest for the Grail: Arthurian Legend in British Art, 1840–1920 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999); Alan Lupack and Barbara Tepa Lupack, King Arthur in America (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1999); Stephanie L. Barczewski, Myth and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); and Barbara Tepa Lupack, ed., Adapting the Arthurian Legends for Children: Essays on Arthurian Juvenilia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). Introduction 1. See George Kane, Piers Plowman: The A Version . . . (London: Athlone, 1960), 15. 2. Margery Corbett and Ronald Lightbown cite a reference from a book published at Bruges in 1561 that uses the term to refer to a title page; The Comely Frontispiece: The Emblematic Title-Page in England 1550–1660 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), 47. Margaret M. Smith notes that ‘‘Historically, frontispiece may once have been the umbrella term in English for anything decorative that occurred at the beginning of a book’’; The Title-Page: Its Early Development 1460–1510 (London: British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2000), 13. 3. See G. H. Russell and George Kane, eds., Will’s visions of Piers Plowman, dowell, do-better and do-best (London: Athlone, 1997), III:13. 4. That is, in terms of their specific attachment to manuscripts of Piers. The phrase ‘‘God speed the plough’’ is common enough in folk tradition; see Andrew McRae, God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). There are medieval plowing poems which use the phrase: for example, ‘‘God spede the plough,’’ found in London, British Library MS Lansdowne 762; and God Speed the Plough in Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Arch. Selden B. 26. The former is edited in Walter Skeat’s Pierce the Ploughmans Crede . . . (EETS o.s. 30, 1867). For a useful overview of plowman literature, see James M. Dean, ed., Medieval English Political Writings (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute, 1996). 5. It is not uncommon to link Walter Benjamin’s notion of aura with printed books: see, for example, George Bornstein, ‘‘How to Read a Page: Modernism and Material Textuality,’’ Studies in the Literary Imagination 32, no. 1 (1999), especially 30–31. Bornstein suggests linking Benjamin’s notion of aura with the ideas of McGann and McKenzie on bibliographic codes. 6. The Vision and the Creed of Piers Ploughman, ed. Thomas Wright, 2 vols. (London: William Pickering, 1842).

Notes to pages 3–7


7. Henry Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages from the Seventh to the Seventeenth Centuries, 2 vols. (London: William Pickering, 1843). 8. For a description of the techniques of facsimile in this period, see Robin Myers, ‘‘George Isaac Frederick Tupper, Facsimilist, ‘Whose ability in this description of work is beyond praise’,’’ Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 7, no. 2 (1978): 113–34; Myers draws on the notes of the facsimilist who produced the facsimiles for William Blades’s Life and Typography of William Caxton (1861–63). 9. David McKitterick, ‘‘Old Faces and New Acquaintances: Typography and the Association of Ideas,’’ Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 87, no. 2 (1993): 167. 10. Daniel Woolf, The Social Circulation of the Past: English Historical Culture 1500–1730 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 183. 11. McKitterick, ‘‘Old Faces,’’ 164. 12. I borrow ‘‘emulation’’ from David Lowenthal, who makes distinctions among facsimiles, copies, and emulations, the latter being understood as ‘‘respectful yet creative reworkings of earlier forms or styles’’; The Past Is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 309. 13. Janet Ing, ‘‘A London Shop of the 1850s: The Chiswick Press,’’ Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 80, no. 2 (1986): 157–58. 14. I would like to thank Helen Cooper for pointing this pun out to me. 15. The move is a crucial part of the kind of ‘‘domestication’’ David Lowenthal describes in his trenchant distinction between history and heritage: ‘‘In domesticating the past we enlist it for present causes. . . . History explores and explains pasts grown ever more opaque over time; heritage clarifies pasts so as to infuse them with present purposes’’; Possessed by the Past: The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History (New York: Free Press, 1996), xi. 16. Wright, Piers Ploughman, xlviii. 17. Charlotte Brewer, Editing Piers Plowman: The Evolution of the Text (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 55. 18. Shaw, Dresses and Decorations, n.p. The book to which Shaw refers is probably Joseph Strutt, Glig-Gamena Angel-6eod. Or, The sports and pastimes of the people of England . . . illustrated by engravings selected from ancient paintings; in which are represented most of the popular diversions (London: T. Bensley for J. White, 1801). 19. Joseph Strutt, The Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of England . . . containing . . . the representations of all the English monarchs, from Edward the Confessor to Henry the Eighth (London: J. Thane, 1773), title page. 20. Paul Lacroix, Moeurs, usages et costumes au moyen aˆge et a` l’e´poque de la renaissance (Paris: Firmin Didot Fre`res, 1871). Lacroix (1806–1884) often published under the pseudonym Bibliophile Jacob, an epithet which reflects his passion for books. The other volumes in the series were Les arts au moyen aˆge et a` l’e´poque de la renaissance (1869); Vie militaire et religieuse au moyen aˆge et a` l’e´poque de la renaissance (1873); Sciences et lettres au moyen aˆge et a` l’e´poque de la renaissance (1877); and Louis XII et Anne de Bretagne (1882). 21. Lacroix, Moeurs, usages et costumes au moyen aˆge, 19. The caption goes on to acknowledge Shaw as the source. 22. Michael Camille, ‘‘Labouring for the Lord: The Ploughman and the Social Order in the Luttrell Psalter,’’ Art History 10, no. 4 (1987): 424. It is worth noting that when Camille sets out to determine what we can learn about real medieval plowing, his textual sources include both Piers and Pierce the Ploughman’s Creed.


Notes to Pages 7–10

23. In fact he does use the image later, though in a section on the symbolic uses of the plowman, 431. 24.; date visited, 6 September 2006. It is in the nature of Wikipedia to change: at the moment, the anonymous contributor has also provided a caption of his or her own, identifying the manuscript original, not as Trinity R.3.14 or even as a Piers manuscript, but rather as ‘‘an early-sixteenth-century manuscript of the Middle English poem God Spede ye Plough, held at the British Museum.’’ 25. Lowenthal, The Past Is a Foreign Country, 268. 26. Lacroix, Moeurs, usages et costumes au moyen aˆge, iv: ‘‘la gravure et la chromolithographie viendront a` notre aide, en reproduisant au moyen de scrupuleux fac-simile les estampes les plus rares des quinzie`me et seizie`me sie`cles, les miniatures les plus pre´cieuses des manuscrits conserve´s dans les principales bibliothe`ques de la France et de l’Europe.’’ 27. He is called the Spanish Forger because one of his works was attributed to the fifteenth-century Spanish artist, Maestro Jorge Ingle`s. It was the first director of the Henry Pierpont Morgan Library, Belle da Costa Greene, who exposed the forgery and gave the forger his name. William Voelkle notes that ‘‘nineteenth-century illustrated Parisian publications were unquestionably his chief compositional, thematic, and to some extent, stylistic, sources,’’ and names Lacroix’s works in particular; The Spanish Forger, Master of Deception (Milwaukee: Marquette University, 1987), 14. 28. Elizabeth Emery and Laura Morowitz, Consuming the Past: The Medieval Revival in fin-de-sie`cle France (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2003), 77. 29. And for similar works, such as the modern French translation of Froissart’s Chroniques to be discussed in Chapter Five. Emery and Morowitz remark on contemporary complaints that Euge`ne Viollet-le-Duc’s Dictionnaire raisonne´ du mobilier franc¸ais de l’e´poque carolingienne a` la Renaissance made it too easy for forgers to produce fake medieval furniture, Consuming the Past, 77. 30. Voelkle, The Spanish Forger, 14. Voelkle goes on to speculate that the Forger might in fact have been a chromolithographer who had to find new work when photography replaced chromolithography. The practices of copying and restoration which were routine well into the nineteenth century also naturally led to the development of copyists whose work might slip beyond the bounds of the acceptable: see, for example, Janet Backhouse on Caleb Wing: ‘‘A Victorian Connoisseur and His Manuscripts: The Tale of Mr. Jarman and Mr. Wing,’’ British Museum Quarterly 32 (1967–68): 76–92. 31. Joseph A. Dane suggests that facsimiles ‘‘are finally not reproductions at all; they are rather visual descriptions,’’ conforming to a pre-existing set of demands: The Myth of Print Culture: Essays on Evidence, Textuality and Bibliographical Method (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003), 81. 32. Sandra Hindman, Michael Camille, Nina Rowe, and Rowan Watson, Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age: Recovery and Reconstruction (Evanston, Ill.: Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 2001), 21. 33. Shaw, Dresses and Decorations, n.p. 34. See ‘‘Errata: Mistakes and Masters in the Early Modern Book,’’ Chapter 1 in Error and the Academic Self: The Scholarly Imagination, Medieval to Modern (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 15–54. Lerer points out that the humanist rhetoric of error historicizes the book because ‘‘it situates the production of the book in a specific historical moment, charts its progress across time, and then invites the reader to locate it (and the reader’s own act of reading) on a

Notes to Pages 10–12


temporally defined continuum,’’ 17. In a parallel vein, the quest for authenticity traced in these pages points to the genealogical urge for connection which, I argue, drives so many later prints of medieval works. 35. William Caxton, Canterbury Tales (Westminster: W. Caxton, 1483), ESTC 5083; a.ii v. 36. Jo. Gower de confessione Amantis (London: Thomas Berthelette, 1532), ESTC 12143; aa.iii v. 37. Ralph Hanna, Pursuing History: Middle English Manuscripts and Their Texts (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1996), 176. 38. The Vision of Pierce Plowman, now fyrste imprynted by Roberte Crowley (London: Richard Grafton, 1550) ESTC 19906; *.ii. The other two Crowley editions are The Vision of Pierce Plowman, nowe the seconde time imprinted by Roberte Crowley (London: Richard Grafton, 1550); ESTC 19907a; and a variation of the latter, The Vision of Pierce Plowman, nowe the seconde tyme imprinted by Roberte Crowlye (London: Richard Grafton, 1550), ESTC 19907. 39. The Vision of Pierce Plowman, *.ii v. The description of the language as ‘‘dark’’ is common in early modern printings of medieval texts: Alexandra Gillespie discusses the humanist deployment of metaphors of light and darkness in Print Culture and the Medieval Author: Chaucer, Lydgate, and Their Books, 1473–1557 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), especially chapter 3, ‘‘Assembling Chaucer’s Texts in Print, 1517–1539.’’ 40. Brewer, Editing Piers Plowman, 15–16. Crowley’s emendations are common practice in the editing of medieval texts, continuing to this day (though somewhat less silently) in both classroom and library editions. J. R. Thorne and Marie-Claire Uhart argue that in fact Crowley preserved a notable amount of difficult Middle English vocabulary, though they concede his changes to spelling and grammar: ‘‘Robert Crowley’s Piers Plowman,’’ Medium Aevum 55, no. 2 (1986): 251. 41. There are some differences in the paratextual material among the three Crowley editions, and the basis for his printings seems to have shifted from one edition to the next: Brewer notes that the first edition was based on a B-text and the second on a different B-text, while the third seems to have incorporated further manuscript readings. She writes that Crowley seems also to have known both the A and C traditions; Editing Piers Plowman, 13–15. 42. The Vision of Pierce Plowman, newlye imprynted after the authours olde copy. . . . Wherevnto is also annexed the Crede of Pierce Plowman, neuer imprinted with the booke before (London: Owen Rogers, 1561), ESTC 19908. 43. Pierce the Ploughmans Crede (London: Reynold Wolfe, 1553), ESTC 19904. 44. These include such texts as The Prayer and Complaynt of the Ploweman vnto Christ, a prose version of Piers printed in Antwerp in 1531 and in London by Thomas Godfray in 1532 (ESTC 20036 and 20036.5); and The Ploughman’s Tale, printed in London by Thomas Godfray in 1535 and (attributed to Chaucer) in 1548 by William Hill (ESTC 5099.5, 5100). This piece was printed once again in 1606. There are many other texts that appropriate the name and/or the reference to a plowman, but are not so squarely in the Piers tradition. 45. London, British Library, Royal MS 18.B.xvii and Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.15. These are manuscripts of the sixteenth century, but there is a fragment of the poem in London, British Library, MS Harley 78, a collection made by John Stow; for a description of this manuscript and its significance for the dating of Pierce, see A. I. Doyle, ‘‘An Unrecognized Piece of Piers the Ploughman’s Creed and Other Work by Its Scribe,’’ Speculum 34, no. 3 (1959): 428–36.


Notes to Pages 12–17

46. Thomas Dunham Whitaker, ed., Visio Willı¯ de Petro Plouhman, item visiones ejusdem de Dowel, Dobet, et Dobest (London: J. Murray, 1813). 47. Isaac D’Israeli, Amenities of Literature: Consisting of Sketches and Characters of English Literature, 3 vols. (London: Edward Moxon, 1841), I: 303–4. 48. Sarah A. Kelen, ‘‘Peirs Plouhman and the ‘Formidable Arrange of Blackletter’ in the Early Nineteenth Century,’’ in Paul C. Gutjahr and Megan Benton, eds., Illuminating Letters: Typography and Literary Interpretation (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001), 48. Kelen’s Langland’s Early Modern Identities (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) has not yet been published at this writing. 49. Chapter 1 of this study will discuss the link between black letter and a sense of the barbarity of the past in the work of sixteenth-century antiquarians, while later chapters will show how black letter could be deployed in the battle over the appropriate representation of the texts of the medieval past. 50. In Richard J. Moore-Colyer, ed., A Land of Pure Delight: Selections from the Letters of Thomas Johnes of Hafod, Cardiganshire (1748–1816) (Llandysul, Dyfed: Gomer Press, 1992), 193. The ‘‘young man who has not read much’’ was in fact Sir Walter Scott: I discuss Johnes’s edition and the reaction to it in Chapter 5. 51. Thomas Wright, ‘‘The Visions of Piers Plowman,’’ Gentleman’s Magazine (April 1834): 386. 52. Chapter 3 of this study, for example, discusses the 1818 Roxburghe Club printing of Gower’s Balades, which uses black letter as part of an attempt to mimic the conditions of the source manuscript. 53. D’Israeli, Amenities of Literature, I: 294. 54. D’Israeli, Amenities of Literature, I: 294. 55. D’Israeli, Amenities of Literature, I: 304. 56. David McKitterick, Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450–1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 7. The world around the printing house is messy, too: Peter D. McDonald, for example, stresses the often bewildering complexity of the motives and pressures at work in the production of books, when ‘‘the agents see themselves neither as artists nor as moneymakers, but as educators, prophets, political agitators or entertainers; in various ways they target more specific readerships and markets; and they value less fungible, but still extra-literary, rewards like public honours, or political and social influence’’; ‘‘Implicit Structures and Explicit Interactions: Pierre Bourdieu and the History of the Book,’’ The Library, sixth series, 19, no. 2 (1997): 114. 57. Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 3. Johns’s introductory observation that ‘‘Any printed book is . . . both the product of one complex set of social and technological processes and also the starting point for another,’’ is clearly a foundation for a study such as mine. 58. The reuse of woodcuts by the early printers of Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton, discussed in Chapter 2, is an example of a simple economy which nevertheless plays an important role in solidifying certain readings of these medieval texts. 59. Camille, ‘‘Labouring for the Lord,’’ 424. Camille is referring to J. F. Goodridge’s translation, originally published by Penguin in 1959 but still available. Camille objects mildly in passing to the gap in dating between the Luttrell image and the poem: other publishers use images from Piers manuscripts for their editions or translations. The Everyman original-language text features the pilgrim image from Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 104 on its cover, and the Oxford World’s Classics translation of the B-text uses the initial with the

Notes to Pages 17–21


sleeper from Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201. In a similar vein, Stephanie Trigg opens her study of the reception of Chaucer with an unpacking of the image from a manuscript of Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes which appears on the cover of the paperback edition of the Riverside Chaucer: see Congenial Souls: Reading Chaucer from Medieval to Postmodern (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), xiii–xvii. 60. Shaw, Dresses and Decorations, n.p. The comments occur on the recto of the opening which features the facsimile on the verso. 61. Shaw, Dresses and Decorations, n.p. 62. See Martha Driver, ‘‘Mapping Chaucer: John Speed and the Later Portraits,’’ Chaucer Review 36, no. 3 (2002): 228–49, and Derek Pearsall, The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), appendix I: The Chaucer portraits. 63. Walter Benjamin, ‘‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’’ in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken, 1968), 223. 64. This understanding of the medieval book as object can further be embedded in a tendency to see the past more generally in terms of collectible objects or picturable things: in his study of early modern coin collecting, for example, John Cunnally suggests that ‘‘Coin collections satisfied the Renaissance humanists in the same way that the new science of photography fulfilled the acquisitive impulse of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie—‘to collect photographs is to collect the world,’ Susan Sontag reminds us. Sontag’s argument that photographs ‘are a grammar, and even more importantly, an ethics of seeing’ seems wonderfully transferable to the coin-collecting activity of the Renaissance antiquarians’’; Images of the Illustrious: The Numismatic Presence in the Renaissance (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 14. Many of Cunnally’s remarks about the circulation of coins, their role as talismans and objects of recognition between antiquarians, and their reproduction in print, form interesting parallels to the discussion of books to follow in these pages. For an assessment of the relationships between material and textual culture in this context, see Marjorie Swann, Curiosities and Texts: The Culture of Collecting in Early Modern England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001). Chapter 1. Form and Rude Letters Note to epigraphs: William Camden, Britain, or, A Chorographicall Description of the Most Flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the ilands adioyning . . . translated newly into English by Phile´mon Holland (London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610), ESTC 4509; 228. The Latin original refers to ‘‘literarum antiquitatem . . . , barbarum quiddam, & quasi Gothicum’’; see William Camden, Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio (London: Ralph Newbery, 1586), ESTC 4503; 103. John Speed, The History of Great Britaine Under the Conquests of ye Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans (London, 1611), ESTC 23045; 318. The illustration also appears when Speed’s history is attached to his chorographical work, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (London: William Hall, 1611 [1612]), ESTC 23041. In the first part of this latter text, the cross is mentioned in the description of Glastonbury, but without reference to character of the inscription: ‘‘The Church-yard of Aualonia or Glassenbury, where King Arthurs Sepulcher was


Notes to Pages 21–25

searcht for, by the command of King Henry 2. which was found vnder a stone, with an Inscription vpon it fastned, almost nine foote in the ground,’’ 23. 1. Gerald of Wales twice describes the exhumation, in the De instructione principum and in the Speculum ecclesiae II.9. It is also reported by Ralph of Coggeshall in his Chronicon anglicanum (1187–1224) and by Adam of Damerham in his Historia de rebus gestis glastoniensibus (c. 1247 for the first section). For a discussion of the exhumation and the possible motives of the monks and of Henry II, whose dream was said to have led the monks to the burial spot, see my Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 70–74. 2. The inscription as pictured in figure 2 is found in the first, 1586 printing of Camden’s Britannia, 104. It is first replaced by the representation of the cross on page 166 of the 1607 printing of the Latin text (Britannia, siue Florentissimorum regnorum Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio: nunc postremo` recognita, plurimis locis magna accessione adaucta, & chartis chorographicis illustrata [London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1607]), ESTC 4508. Leslie Alcock suggests that the shift to a representation of the cross itself, rather than simply its inscription, might have been prompted by the increasing page size of editions of Britannia, so that the cross in the 1607 edition, at almost seven inches in height, might in fact be intended as ‘‘a full-scale facsimile’’; Arthur’s Britain: History and Archaeology AD 367–634 (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1971), 77. 3. Peter Burke points out that because antiquarian scholars were ‘‘trained in the humanist tradition of philology,’’ they approached objects with an eye to inscriptions; ‘‘Images as Evidence in Seventeenth-Century Europe,’’ Journal of the History of Ideas 64, no. 2 (2003): 279. In the case of the reproductions of the Glastonbury Cross, Alcock compares the carefully rendered letterforms to inscriptions on late Saxon coins in order to arrive at a date of the tenth or eleventh centuries; such a dating would conform to his view that the burial, far from being a fake, was genuine, with the cross being added in the tenth century when St. Dunstan, abbot of Glastonbury, enclosed the original cemetery and raised its level, some time after 945; Arthur’s Britain 79–80. 4. Reperta est etiam crux plumbea non superiori, sed potius inferiori parti lapidis inserta literas has inscriptas habens; Assertio inclytissimi Arturij regis Britanniae. Ioanne Lelando antiquario autore (London, 1544), ESTC 15440. This edition uses printed folio numbering rather than page numbering: the reference as quoted above is on fol. 27r. 5. in quibus literae exaratae erant, sed ob nimiam barbariem, & deformitate, legi non potuerunt; Leland, Assertio, fol. 30r. 6. The English translation of Leland, A Learned and True Assertion of the original, life, actes, and death of the most noble, valiant, and renoumed Prince Arthure, King of great Brittaine . . . Newly translated into English by Richard Robinson citizen of London (London: John Wolfe, 1582), ESTC 15441, has quite a different appearance: the text is printed in black letter, with Roman and Roman italic for headings and commentary. The Glastonbury inscription continues to appear set in uppercase Roman. 7. The OED’s first recorded instance of the pejorative usage is attributed to Dryden in 1695, but there is an instance for ‘‘Gothish’’ in this sense dated to 1602. It is clear that by the end of the century, ‘‘Gothic’’ was in general use to describe things of the Middle Ages, and generally to attach an air of opprobrium to that description. See Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, online. In a study of medievalism that appeared too recently to receive full treatment here,

Notes to Pages 25–27


Michael Alexander argues that the medieval revival required that ‘‘strong prejudices against things Gothic’’ be overcome; only when attitudes towards correctness had begun to relax in the latter part of the eighteenth century would it be possible for readers to encounter what Camden might have designated ‘‘Gothish’’ without prejudice; see Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 10. 8. William Camden, Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio (London: George Bishop, 1594), ESTC 4506. 9. A Testimonie of Antiqvitie shewing the auncient fayth in the Church of England touching the sacrament of the body and bloude of the Lord here publikely preached, and also receaued in the Saxons tyme, aboue 600. yeares agoe (London: John Day, 1566), ESTC 159.5. 10. Richard W. Clement, ‘‘The Beginnings of Printing in Anglo-Saxon, 1565– 1630,’’ Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 91, no. 2 (1997): 205. For a list of printed works containing Old English characters, see his ‘‘Short-Title Catalogue of the Clubb Anglo-Saxon Collection,’’ Old English Newsletter 21, no. 2 (1988): B1–25; this is at present the most complete list of works printed in Anglo-Saxon type, extending into the nineteenth century. 11. Clement sees three phases in the early printing of Old English. The first, under Parker, ends with his death in 1575; the second runs to 1610 and represents a relatively small number of printings, and the third, which he dates from 1610 to 1630, sees an increase in the number of works printed; ‘‘Beginnings,’’ 193. 12. For example, C. E. Wright, in ‘‘The Dispersal of the Monastic Libraries and the Beginnings of Anglo-Saxon Studies: Matthew Parker and his Circle– a Preliminary Study,’’ Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 1 (1949– 50): 208–37. 13. Testimonie, 5v–6r. The Preface was probably the work of Parker’s Latin secretary John Joscelyn (1529–1603). For a discussion of Joscelyn’s contributions to the early recovery of Old English, see Timothy Graham, ‘‘John Joscelyn, Pioneer of Old English Lexicography,’’ in The Recovery of Old English: Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. Timothy Graham (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute, 2000), 83–140. 14. Peter J. Lucas, ‘‘A Testimonye of Verye Ancient Tyme? Some Manuscript Models for the Parkerian Anglo-Saxon Type-Designs,’’ in Of the Making of Books: Medieval Manuscripts, Their Scribes and Readers: Essays Presented to M. B. Parkes, ed. P. R. Robinson and Rivkah Zim (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1997), 149. John Feather notes that ‘‘the Englishness of English publishing is one of its abiding characteristics. From the beginning, it was predominantly in the English language, and predominantly literary, legal and popular. Scholarly publishing in England was a much later development since imports could provide all that was needed’’; A History of British Publishing, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 2006), 17. Feather is describing the situation in the first years of print, but the origins of English printing, and its early domination by tradesmen from abroad, have longlasting effects. 15. Hebrew printing probably began in northern Italy before 1475, and Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin appeared together in the Complutensian Polyglot Bible of 1514–17, produced in Spain under the auspices of Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros. For the early history of biblical printing, see Basil Hall, ‘‘Biblical Scholarship: Editions and Commentaries,’’ in The Cambridge History of


Notes to Pages 27–29

the Bible: The West from the Reformation to the Present Day, ed. S. L. Greenslade (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), 38–93. Types, or the tools for making them (punches and strikes), could also enter the country indirectly, in the possession of the continental artisans who moved to England to practice their trade. For an overview of printing types in England up to 1557, see Lotte Hellinga, ‘‘Printing,’’ in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, ed. Lotte Hellinga and J. B. Trapp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), especially 72–79; she stresses that ‘‘English printing [in this period] can be understood only in the context of trade with the Continent,’’ 79. 16. Yny lhyvyr hwnn y traethir (London: Edward Whitchurch, 1546), ESTC 20310. R. Geraint Gruffydd argues that the sources for much of the contents were medieval Welsh manuscripts; see ‘‘Yny Lhyvyr Hwnn (1546): The Earliest Welsh Printed Book,’’ Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 22, no. 2 (1969): 105– 16. See also his ‘‘Y print yn dwyn ffrwyth i’r Cymro: Yny lhyvyr hwnn, 1546,’’ Y Llyfr yng Nghymru 1 (1998): 1–20. 17. Gruffydd notes that Prys/ Prise was an important collector of manuscripts in both Latin and Welsh, and that he had clear opinions about Welsh orthography. The font used by Whitchurch, however, is a standard one. 18. Alistair Crawford, ‘‘Bilingual Typography,’’ Visible Language 21, no. 1 (1987): 53, 58–59. 19. Peter J. Lucas, ‘‘Parker, Lambarde and the Provision of Special Sorts for Printing Anglo-Saxon in the Sixteenth Century,’’ Journal of the Printing Historical Society 28 (1999): 62. Comparing Parker’s efforts to attempts to accommodate such languages as Welsh, Irish, Gascon, and Basque by means of a few sorts inserted into existing fonts, Lucas remarks that ‘‘This economy of investment to provide the maximum benefit puts Parker’s provisions for Anglo-Saxon in perspective. The number of special sorts he had made for Anglo-Saxon is larger than the number made for any of the other languages for which special sorts were provided’’; 44. 20. Lucas, ‘‘Parker,’’ 57. In ‘‘Some Manuscript Models,’’ Lucas points out that men such as Joscelyn were accustomed to making their own transcriptions of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and argues it is reasonable to suppose these provided the models for Parker’s types; see especially 149–58. Timothy Graham’s essay on Joscelyn’s work toward a dictionary of Old English comments on his practice of imitating Old English script: ‘‘John Joscelyn, Pioneer of Old English Lexicography,’’ 90–91. And Clement notes that Parker also maintained an ‘‘artificer,’’ whose job was to complete defective manuscripts (‘‘Beginnings,’’ 204); in other words, there was considerable expertise in Anglo-Saxon letterforms in the archbishop’s household. 21. Clement, ‘‘Beginnings,’’ 206. 22. The Lord’s Prayer is a favorite in texts which include the teaching of Old English as one of their goals; there is an interlinear version in William Camden’s Remaines of a Greater Worke, concerning Britaine (London: G. E. for Simon Waterson, 1605), ESTC 4521. Thomas Jefferson offers his own regularized spelling of the Old English in a letter of November 9, 1825, to J. Evelyn Denison; Jefferson’s views about appropriate typefaces are also contained in this letter and are discussed further below. 23. Testimonie, 73. 24. Testimonie; K.iiii. The list of bishops begins with Matthew archbishop of Canterbury (that is, Matthew Parker). There is a remarkable return to this marriage of type and a document of historical and ideological import. In 1783, a

Notes to Pages 29–31


facsimile copy of Domesday Book was produced, using a specially commissioned font; see Rosemary Sweet, Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London: Hambledon and London, 2004), 235–36, 282. 25. Edward Christie, ‘‘The Image of the Letter: From the Anglo-Saxons to the Electronic Beowulf,’’ Culture, Theory & Critique 44, no. 2 (2003): 138. 26. Modern English was itself, of course, something of a project for Britain’s first humanists: as Cathy Shrank has pointed out, while men like Leland ‘‘asserted the worth of the vernacular, and invested and published in it. . . . Latin continued to dominate their mindset, both as a model and a medium’’; Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530–1580 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 13. 27. It is particularly important to stress the foreignness of Old English fonts because the centuries that intervene between the first Anglo-Saxonists and ourselves tend to obscure that strangeness; modern readers are apt to find many early printed books ‘‘antique’’ in a general sense. David McKitterick points out that for early printers, both scribal and print practice ‘‘were, simply, ways of making books’’ (Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 36). That is, not every appearance of similarity between manuscript and print practice constitutes selfconscious archaism—Parker’s is a particular, not a general, practice. 28. William Lisle, A Saxon Treatise concerning the Old and New Testament. Written about the time of King Edgar (700 yeares agoe) by AElfricus Abbas . . . And hereunto is added out of the homilies and epistles of the fore-said AElfricus, a second edition of A testimonie of antiquitie, &c (London: John Haviland for Henry Saile, 1623), ESTC 160; n.p. The work (with table) appears again in 1638 under the title Divers Ancient Monuments in the Saxon Tongue written seven hundred yeares agoe. Shewing that both in the Old and New Testament, the Lords prayer, and the Creede, were then used in the mother tongue (London: Edward Griffin and John Haviland), ESTC 160.5. 29. See the tables in William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent conteining the description, hystorie, and customes of that shyre (London: Henry Middleton for Ralph Newberry, 1576), ESTC 15175; John Foxe, The Gospels of the fower Euangelistes (London: John Day, 1571), ESTC 2961; Matthew Parker, AElfredi Regis res gestae (London: John Day, 1574), ESTC 863; Edmund Gibson Chronicon Saxonicum (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1692), Wing A3185; Abraham Wheelocke, Historiae ecclesiasticae gentis Anglorum libri V a Venerabili Beda presbytero scripti (Cambridge: Roger Daniel, 1643), Wing B1661; John Spelman, Ælfredi Magni Anglorum regis (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1678), Wing S4934. 30. William Lambarde, Archaionomia, siue de priscis anglorum legibus libri sermone Anglico, vetustate antiquissimo, aliquot abhinc seculis conscripti, atq[ue] nunc demum, magno iurisperitorum, & amantium antiquitatis omnium commodo, e` tenebris in lucem vocati (London: John Day, 1568), ESTC 15142. 31. In the Preface, Lambarde credits the antiquary Laurence Nowell (1530–c. 1570) for providing the impetus for the work; Nowell had left his papers, including his many manuscript transcriptions, in Lambarde’s care before he left for a trip to the continent in 1567—a trip from which he never returned. The roles and achievements of Lambarde and Nowell in bringing to light the Saxon laws are outlined in Raymond J. S. Grant, Laurence Nowell, William Lambarde, and the Laws of the Anglo-Saxons (Amsterdam: Costerus New Series 108, 1996). 32. Lambarde, Archaionomia, Aii v–Aiii r: the Latin reads ‘‘a` situ, squalore, & tenebris liberata . . . ad vtilitatem faciant omnia, in lucem proferrem, detergerem, palamque omnibus visenda collocarem’’; the laws are compared to ‘‘moeniorum robur.’’


Notes to Pages 31–36

33. Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent, 1576. 34. William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent conteining the description, hystorie, and customes of that shyre . . . and now increased and altered after the authors owne last copie. (London: Edm. Bollifant, 1596), ESTC 15176. There is also a 1656 printing, but this last does not have the map, or any other illustrations, an apparently quite deliberate alteration. While the 1596 printing reads ‘‘I haue thought good to prefixe a Chard of the seauen sundry kingdoms’’ (1), the later printing shifts to ‘‘I have thought good to set down the limits of the seven sundry Kingdomes’’ (n.p.); The Perambulation of Kent containing the description, history and customs of that county written by William Lambard (London: Printed for Matthew Walbancke, and Dan. Pakeman, 1656); Wing L216. 35. The map is an engraving based on the woodcut version done for the Archaionomia, a map which Rodney W. Shirley suggests was based on a manuscript map prepared by Laurence Nowell for William Cecil, Lord Burghley; see Rodney W. Shirley, Early Printed Maps of the British Isles 1477–1650 (East Grinstead, West Sussex, England: Antique Atlas Publications, 1991), 83b and 106. The engraved version was by Richard Lyne, an engraver who worked for Matthew Parker. 36. For a discussion of this and other early maps, see Shirley. Marjorie Swann discusses the link between chorography and the representation of history in ‘‘The Countryside as Collection: Chorography, Antiquarianism, and the Politics of Landscape,’’ a chapter of Curiosities and Text. 37. McKitterick, ‘‘Old Faces,’’ 167. 38. The most complete survey of the early antiquarians, from the period between the first edition of Camden’s Britannia and Edmund Gibson’s 1695 edition, is Graham Parry, The Trophies of Time: English Antiquarians of the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). See also Stanley G. Mendyk, ‘Speculum Britanniae’: Regional Study, Antiquarianism, and Science in Britain to 1700 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989). For Camden in particular, see Stuart Piggott, ‘‘William Camden and the Britannia,’’ Proceedings of the British Academy 37 (1951): 199–217; his Antiquity Depicted: Aspects of Archaeological Illustration (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978) offers useful context for understanding the role of maps, epitaphs, and drawings of objects in antiquarian works. For a recent assessment of the place of antiquarianism in English historical culture, see Woolf, Social Circulation. 39. See Hellinga, ‘‘Printing,’’ 76: ‘‘The countries with roots in the Germanic languages adopted either variations on the black-letter for their vernacular printing, or went down the route of the ‘schwabacher’ styles.’’ Later, as I will discuss in subsequent chapters, black letter comes to be read as antique, sometimes pejoratively so. 40. See Speed, The History of Great Britaine, 159. The History also appears as part of The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, 1612. Both works were frequently reprinted and epitomized, and Philemon Holland even translated the Theatre into Latin: Theatrum imperii Magnae Britanniae exactam regnorum Angliae Scotiae Hiberniae et insularum adiacentium geographia[m] ob oculos ponens (London: T. Snodham for John Sudbury and George Humble, 1616), ESTC 23044. 41. For William Lisle’s contributions to Anglo-Saxon scholarship, see Phillip Pulsiano, ‘‘William L’Isle and the Editing of Old English,’’ in Graham, The Recovery of Old English, 173–206. 42. Lisle, Saxon Treatise, n.p. Lisle is working with the German meaning of ‘‘Ich dien’’—I serve. He relates somewhat later that there is some controversy over the meaning of the motto. The three feather emblem dates to the time of

Notes to Pages 36–38


Edward the Black Prince; the website of the current Prince of Wales records the opinion that the motto originated with the King of Bohemia: http://www princeofwalessfeathers/ 43. Lisle, Saxon Treatise, e.4 v–f r. 44. Lisle, Saxon Treatise, b r. 45. See Camden, Remaines of a Greater Worke. 46. Elsewhere in the text, however, the reproduction of the Glastonbury epitaph, while rendered in Roman capitals, does remark on its original appearance ‘‘in rude Characters, which the Italians now call Gotish letters’’; d.4, 31. 47. Foxe, The Gospels of the fower Euangelistes, B.i v–B.ii r. 48. For a survey of the political uses of medieval, and particularly Saxon, history in Britain, see R. J. Smith, The Gothic Bequest: Medieval Institutions in British Thought, 1688–1863 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). It is worth noting, given the emphasis in this study on the importance of reproduction, that the first (1873–1878) series of facsimiles produced by the Department of Manuscripts of the British Museum was a series of charters written in England before the Norman Conquest; see P. R. Harris, A History of the British Museum Library, 1753–1973 (London: British Library, 1998), 329. 49. Historical studies include DeWitt T. Starnes, Renaissance Dictionaries: English-Latin and Latin-English (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1954); James A. Riddell, ‘‘The Beginning: English Dictionaries of the First Half of the Seventeenth Century,’’ Leeds Studies in English 7 (1973–74): 117–53; Johan Kerling, Chaucer in Early English Dictionaries: The Old-World Tradition in English Lexicography down to 1721 and Speght’s Chaucer Glossaries (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 1979); Gabriele Stein, The English Dictionary Before Cawdrey (Tu¨bingen: Max Niemeyer, 1985); Ju¨rgen Scha¨fer, Early Modern English Lexicography, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989); DeWitt T. Starnes and Gertrude E. Noyes, The English Dictionary from Cawdrey to Johnson, 1604–1755, new edition (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1991); Allen Reddick, The Making of Johnson’s Dictionary, 1746–1773, revised edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Werner Hu¨llen, English Dictionaries, 800–1700: The Topical Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999). Much of my own work in this area has been supported by the H. Rocke Robertson collection in the University of British Columbia, of which there is a useful catalogue: H. Rocke Robertson and J. Wesley Robertson, A Collection of Dictionaries and Related Works Illustrating the Development of the English Dictionary (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1989); another useful catalogue is David E. Vancil, Catalog of Dictionaries, Word Books, and Philological Texts, 1440–1900: Inventory of the Cordell Collection, Indiana State University (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993). Studies of the Oxford English Dictionary often include discussion of the development of historical lexicography; of particular interest for this chapter is Eric Stanley, ‘‘OED and the Earlier History of English,’’ in Lexicography and the OED: Pioneers in the Untrodden Forest, ed. Lynda Mugglestone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 126–55. 50. John Minsheu, Hegemon eis tas glossas. id est Ductor in linguas, The guide into Tongues (London: For John Browne, 1617), ESTC 17944; title page. There was an expanded edition in 1625, which was reprinted in 1626 and 1627. There is a facsimile edition, Ductor in Linguas (Guide into the Tongues) and Vocabularium Hispanicolatinum (a Most Copious Spanish Dictionary) (1617), ed. Ju¨rgen Scha¨fer (Delmar, N.Y.: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1978). 51. Minsheu’s methods are discussed (positively) in James L. Rosier, ‘‘The


Notes to Pages 38–42

Sources and Methods of Minsheu’s Guide into the Tongues,’’ Philological Quarterly 40, no. 1 (1961): 68–76 and (negatively) in Ju¨rgen Scha¨fer, ‘‘John Minsheu: Scholar or Charlatan?’’ Renaissance Quarterly 26, no. 1 (1973): 23–35; Rosier praises Minsheu’s learning, while Scha¨fer argues that Minsheu plagiarized most of the material upon which his reputation for learning generally rests. Jonathan Warren’s, ‘‘Reflections of an Electronic Scribe: Two Renaissance Dictionaries and Their Implicit Philosophies of Language,’’ EMLS Special Issue Series 1, 1997 ( discusses Minsheu’s Spanish-English dictionary, and that dictionary is also searchable through the Lexicons of Early Modern English at the University of Toronto (; the issue of EMLS in which Warren’s essay appears is a special issue, ‘‘New Scholarship from Old Renaissance Dictionaries: Applications of the Early Modern English Dictionaries Database,’’ edited by Ian Lancashire, the editor of the Early Modern English Dictionaries Database, now replaced by LEME. 52. In ‘‘John Minsheu: Scholar or Charlatan?’’ especially 31–35. 53. For the general popularity of Chaucer in early dictionaries, see Johan Kerling, Chaucer in Early English Dictionaries. Kerling makes the point that to many lexicographers, Chaucer was largely synonymous with ‘‘old’’; my comments about the deployment of type faces suggest some ways in which that observation might need to be qualified slightly, but it is of course important to remember that Chaucer does seem antique in the general historical structure of a typical dictionary entry; he is simply not always quite as antique as Old English can appear to be. 54. Scha¨fer, ‘‘John Minsheu,’’ 28. 55. Minsheu, A.4 r. 56. Minsheu, 230, no. 5720–2. 57. Cowell’s position actually favored James, in that he argued a king had absolute power above the law, but it was not politic for James at the time to allow the controversy to continue. 58. John Cowell, The Interpreter: or Booke containing the signification of vvords wherein is set foorth the true meaning of all, or the most part of such words and termes, as are mentioned in the lawe vvriters, or statutes of this victorious and renowned kingdome, requiring any exposition or interpretation. . . . Collected by Iohn Cowell (Cambridge: John Legate, 1607), ESTC 5900; LL.2 r. 59. Scha¨fer, ‘‘John Minsheu,’’ 34. 60. Cowell, S.1 r; Minsheu, 92. 61. Franciscus Junius, Francisci Junii Francisci filii Etymologicum anglicanum (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1743). 62. On Junius’s linguistic scholarship, see the passing references in M. Sue Hetherington, The Beginnings of Old English Lexicography (Spicewood, Tex., 1981; privately published) and ‘‘The Recovery of the Anglo-Saxon Lexicon,’’ in AngloSaxon Scholarship: The First Three Centuries, ed. Carl T. Berkhout and Milton McC. Gatch (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982), 79–89; Ph. H. Breuker, ‘‘On the Course of Franciscus Junius’s Germanic Studies, with Special Reference to Frisian,’’ and E. G. Stanley, ‘‘The Sources of Junius’s Learning as Revealed in the Junius Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library,’’ both in Franciscus Junius F. F. and His Circle, ed. Rolf H. Bremmer (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998), 129–58 and 159–76; and Johan Kerling, ‘‘Franciscus Junius, 17th-Century Lexicography and Middle English,’’ LEXeter ’83 Proceedings: Papers from the International Conference on Lexicography at Exeter, 9–12 September 1983, ed. R. R. K. Hartmann (Tu¨bingen: Niemeyer, 1984), 92–100.

Notes to Pages 42–46


63. They also of course copied in their own hands: the transcription of materials was an essential part of early Anglo-Saxon scholarship (and of historical scholarship more generally). See Harold Love, Scribal Publication in SeventeenthCentury England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), and Julia Crick, ‘‘The Art of the Unprinted: Transcription and English Antiquity in the Age of Print,’’ in The Uses of Script and Print, 1300–1700, ed. Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 116–34. For a survey of the scribal practice of copying earlier hands, with examples from the eighth to the sixteenth centuries, see M.B. Parkes, ‘‘Archaizing Hands in English Manuscripts,’’ in Books and Collectors 1200–1700: Essays Presented to Andrew Watson, ed. James P. Carley and Colin G. C. Tite (London: British Library, 1997), 101–41. Parkes discusses modifications made in Parker’s manuscripts on 123–27. Wanley in particular planned to copy the hands of all ancient manuscripts in British libraries: for a discussion of his work in the Cotton library, see Eileen Joy, ‘‘Thomas Smith, Humfrey Wanley, and the ‘Little Known Country’ of the Cotton Library,’’ British Library Journal/ eBLJ (2005): 1–34. Wanley’s letters contain many references to his project, including his efforts to reproduce medieval hands; see P. I. Heyworth, ed., The Letters of Humfrey Wanley: Palaeographer, Anglo-Saxonist, Librarian, 1672–1726 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989). 64. See Peter J. Lucas, ‘‘Junius, His Printers and His Types: An Interim Report,’’ in Franciscus Junius F. F. and His Circle, 177–98. 65. The alphabets are presented in John Fell’s A Specimen of the several sorts of letter given to the university by Dr. John Fell sometime Lord Bishop of Oxford To which is added the letter given by Mr. F. Junius (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1695), Wing F623. There were also, of course, Roman and italic types, and Greek types. Harry Carter notes that by the time of Fell’s death in 1686, ‘‘Only the printing-office at Rome of the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide outdid Oxford for the number of languages it could print’’; A History of the Oxford University Press, vol. I: To the year 1780 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 127. 66. The ballad ‘‘In the season of Feuerere’’ (In February, IMEV 1562) is now counted among the Chaucerian apocrypha, but because it appeared in John Stow’s 1561 Workes of Geffrey Chaucer, it was frequently reprinted as the work of Chaucer. 67. Among the earliest additions to the illustrative program were coins. Parry (75) notes that the illustrations of coins in the 1600 edition were based on items in Sir Robert Cotton’s collection, and that Cotton loaned these same coins to Speed for his History of Great Britaine. For a discussion of Cotton’s collections, see Sir Robert Cotton as Collector: Essays on an Early Stuart Courtier and His Legacy, ed. C. J. Wright (London: British Library, 1997). 68. Robert Mayhew argues that the two editions display the shifting loyalties of the tumultuous period in which they were produced, with the later edition more clearly Hanoverian in its sympathies; see ‘‘Edmund Gibson’s Editions of Britannia: Dynastic Chorography and the Particularist Politics of Precedent, 1695–1722,’’ Historical Research 73, issue 182 (2000): 239–61. The two Gibson editions are Camden’s Britannia, newly translated into English . . . Publish’d by Edmund Gibson (London: F. Collins for A. Swalle, 1695), Wing C359; and Britannia: or a Chorographical description of Great Britain and Ireland . . . translated into English, with additions and improvements. The second edition. Revised, digested, and published, with large additions, by Edmund Gibson (London: Mary Matthews for Awnsham Churchill, 1722), Goldsmiths’ 6088. 69. For a general discussion of engraving in this period, see Arthur Mayger


Notes to Pages 46–53

Hind, Margery Corbett, and Michael Charles Norton, Engraving in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: A Descriptive Catalogue with Introductions, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952–64). 70. Henry Spelman, Concilia, decreta, leges, constitutiones, in re ecclesiarum orbis Britannici . . . Tribus distincta tomis: quorum, primus hic tomus ea continet, quae a` primis Christi seculis, usque ad introitum Normannorum (London: Richard Badger, 1639), ESTC 23066; John Selden, Eadmeri monachi Cantuariensis Historiae nouorum siue sui saeculi libri VI res gestas (London: William Stansby, 1623), ESTC 7438. 71. Camden, Britannia (1722), I, cols. 75–76. 72. Franciscus Junius, Francisci Junii F. f. De pictura veterum libri tres (Rotterdam: R. Leers, 1694). 73. Boethius, An. Manl. Sever. Boethi Consolationis philosophiae libri V AngloSaxonice redditi ab Alfredo (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1698), Wing B3429. Christopher Rawlinson (1677–1733) edited the text from Junius’s transcription, and the Old English text was printed with Junius’s types—hence the frontispiece tribute to Junius. Like the portraits discussed above, the engraving of Junius here is based on the Van Dyck portrait. 74. For a comprehensive discussion of the impact of this figure, see Simon Keynes, ‘‘The Cult of King Alfred the Great,’’ Anglo-Saxon England 28 (1999): 225–356. 75. Spelman, AElfredi Magni Anglorum regis. Keynes assigns the bust to the seventeenth century, 266. 76. See Keynes, 260–69. The better-known portrait was commissioned by Thomas Walker, Master of University College, in 1661–62, but Keynes writes that there is also a smaller portrait painted on oak, and that this is the portrait behind the engravings, 261–62. 77. The Epistle of Gildas, the most ancient British author: Who flourished in the yeere of our Lord, 546 (London: T. Cotes for William Cooke, 1638), ESTC 11895; A Description of the State of Great Brittain, written eleven hundred yeares since. By that ancient and famous author Gildas (London: John Hancock, 1652), Wing G727. 78. Asser, AElfredi Regis res gestae, title page. 79. An example roughly contemporary with the Asser is Joscelyn’s edition of the De excidio: Gildae, cui cognomentum est sapientis, de excidio & conquestu Britanniae (London: John Day, 1567), ESTC 11893; appearing a year later than the Testimonie, and also printed by Day and part of Parker’s program, it clearly could have been presented in Saxon type. 80. Clement, ‘‘The Beginnings of Printing in Anglo-Saxon,’’ 218. 81. Latina autem cum sint, Saxonicis literis excudi curauimus, maxime` ob venerandam ipsius archetypi antiquitatem, ipso adhuc (vt opinio fert mea) Ælfredo superstite, ijsdem literarum formulis descriptam; Aelfredi Regis res gestae, A.ii rv. 82. Heptateuchus, liber Job, et Evangelium Nicodemi; Anglo-Saxonice. Historiae Judith fragmentum; Dano-Saxonice. Edidit nunc primum ex MSS. codicibus Edwardus Thwaites (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1698), Wing B2198. 83. Richard C. Payne, ‘‘The Rediscovery of Old English Poetry in the English Literary Tradition,’’ in Berkhout and Gatch, eds., Anglo-Saxon Scholarship, 154. Elsewhere in this essay, Payne argues that it was in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that, for the first time, ‘‘a distinctly literary interest became the driving force behind Anglo-Saxon scholarship in England’’; and that the period between 1750 and 1830 was thus the period of the rediscovery of Old English poetry, 149. Seth Lerer writes of the history of Anglo-Saxon studies as

Notes to Pages 53–56


one of ‘‘emotion and desire’’; Error and the Academic Self: The Scholarly Imagination, Medieval to Modern (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 56. He begins with George Hickes and the early eighteenth century. 84. Grimu´r Jonsso´n Thorkelı´n, De Danorum rebus gestis secul. III & IV. Poema danicum dialecto anglosaxonica (Copenhagen, 1815). Andrew Wawn describes the cultural significance of the series published ‘‘under the aegis of the Arnamagnæan Commission. . . . this set of handsomely produced volumes won for Old Icelandic literature, much of it previously unknown, a European-wide readership and respect’’; The Vikings and the Victorians: Inventing the Old North in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2000), 44. Many of the essays in Anglo-Saxonism and the Construction of Social Identity, ed. Allen J. Frantzen and John D. Niles (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997) deal with the cultural-nationalist deployments of Anglo-Saxon studies. On the Scandinavian contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies in particular, see Robert E. Bjork, ‘‘NineteenthCentury Scandinavia and the Birth of Anglo-Saxon Studies,’’ 111–32. 85. Another chapter could be written about the assumptions revealed in the famous Thorkelı´n transcripts: the scribal transcription carefully copies letterforms but ignores page layout, while Thorkelı´n’s own transcript reproduces features of layout but also uses some modern letterforms, capitalization, and expansions; I touch briefly on these points in Chapter 3. 86. See Payne, 155–59, for an analysis of the contributions of Conybeare and of Sharon Turner. Kemble produced an edition and translation of Beowulf for William Pickering: The Anglo-Saxon Poems of Beowulf, the Travellers Song and the Battle of Finnes-Burh. Edited together with a glossary and an historical preface by John M. Kemble, 2 vols. (London: William Pickering, 1833, 1837). On Kemble’s contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies, see Bruce Dickins, ‘‘John Mitchell Kemble and Old English Scholarship,’’ Proceedings of the British Academy 25 (1939): 51–84; Raymond A. Wiley, ‘‘Anglo-Saxon Kemble: The Life and Works of John Mitchell Kemble, 1807–1857,’’ in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1979), I: 165–73; and Gretchen P. Ackerman, ‘‘J. M. Kemble and Sir Frederic Madden: ‘Conceit and Too Much Germanism’?’’ in Berkhout and Gatch, 167–81. 87. Thomas Jefferson to Evelyn P. Denison, in Writings, ed. Merrill D. Peterson (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 1984), 1503. For Jefferson and Anglo-Saxon, see Stanley R. Hauer, ‘‘Thomas Jefferson and the Anglo-Saxon Language,’’ PMLA 98, no. 5 (1983): 879–98; and Laura Kendrick, ‘‘The American Middle Ages: Eighteenth-Century Saxon Myth-Making,’’ in The Middle Ages After the Middle Ages in the English-Speaking World, ed. Marie-Franc¸oise Alamichel and Derek Brewer (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1997), 121–36. Reginald Horsman sees Jefferson as the precursor to persistent Anglo-Saxonism in the American notion of manifest destiny: see Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1981), 15–23. J. R. Hall discusses Jefferson, and the role of Anglo-Saxon studies in America, in ‘‘Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Anglo-Saxonism: The Question of Language,’’ in Frantzen and Niles, 133–56 (see also ‘‘Nineteenth-Century America and the Study of the Anglo-Saxon Language: An Introduction,’’ in The Preservation and Transmission of Anglo-Saxon Culture, ed. Paul E. Szarmach and Joel T. Rosenthal [Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute, 1997], 37–71). In Frantzen and Niles, see also Gregory A. VanHoosier-Carey, ‘‘Byrhtnoth in Dixie: The Emergence of Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Postbellum South,’’ 157–72.


Notes to Pages 56–60

88. ‘‘Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,’’ Proceedings of the British Academy 22 (1936): 245–95. 89. Pickering used other historic types. His famous collaboration with the printer Charles Whittingham, of the Chiswick Press, included the revival of Caslon roman types, and the commissioning of woodcut initials and decorative motifs based on Renaissance book design. See Ing, 153–78. The Pickering/ Chiswick style has already been discussed in the Introduction to this study, and will appear in passing in later chapters. 90. J. S. Cardale, ed., King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon Version of Boethius De consolatione philosophiae: With an English translation, and notes by J. S. Cardale (London: Pickering, 1829). 91. Samuel Fox, ed., Menologium seu Calendarium poeticum ex hickesiano thesauro: or, The poetical calendar of the Anglo-Saxons. With an English translation and notes by Samuel Fox (London: Pickering, 1830). Hickes printed the text from British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius B.i, an eleventh-century manuscript which included a copy of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle; see Linguarum vett. septentrionalium thesaurus grammatico-criticus et archæologicus. Auctore Georgio Hickesio, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1705), Alston III.10; 203–8, with notes following. The text in the Thesaurus is printed in Saxon font. 92. Samuel Fox, ed., King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon Version of the Metres of Boethius, with an English translation, and notes; by the Rev. Samuel Fox (London: Pickering, 1835). Fox later combined his work and Cardale’s, along with the translations of the verse portions by Martin Tupper, into a complete edition, King Alfred’s AngloSaxon Version of Boethius De consolatione philosophiae: with a literal English translation, notes, and glossary, for Henry G. Bohn’s Antiquarian Library, in 1864. It appeared again in that series, under the imprint of George Bell and Sons, in 1895. The Old English text continues to be printed in Saxon font. 93. Fox, Menologium, 63. 94. Fr. Klaeber, ed., Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburg, 3rd edition with first and second supplements (Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1922; 1950). 95. That is, silent on the text pages; the prefatory note does refer to the ‘‘expansion of the usual scribal contractions.’’ 96. Originally published in three installments, the work is now available as The Collected Beowulf, through 97. E-mail communication.

Chapter 2. The True History of Sir Guy (and What Happened to Sir Bevis?) Note to epigraph: ‘‘Legendary Tale of Guy Earl of Warwick Killing a Dragon,’’ by ‘‘Eugenio,’’ in Gentleman’s Magazine 54, no. 1 (1784), 257. A plate illustrating the bowl is found on 256. 1. See James M. Kuist, The Nichols File of The Gentleman’s Magazine: Attributions of Authorship and Other Documentation in Editorial Papers at the Folger Library (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), 117; and Emily Lorraine de Montluzin, ‘‘Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman’s Magazine,’’ Studies in Bibliography 44 (1991): 271–302, 45 (1992): 158–87, 46 (1993): 320–49, 47 (1994): 164–95, 49 (1996): 176–207, and 50 (1997): 322–58; most recently, see her online database, Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman’s Magazine; available at The letter is addressed to ‘‘Mr Urban’’; the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban was established by the magazine’s

Notes to Pages 60–63


founding editor, Edward Cave (1691–1754). Nichols owned a share of the magazine and by 1780 was its sole printer. 2. See Albert H. Smith, ‘‘John Nichols, Printer and Publisher,’’ The Library, 5th ser., 18, no. 3 (1963): 169–90; James M. Kuist, The Works of John Nichols: An Introduction (New York: AMS Press, 1968); Albert H. Smith, ‘‘John Nichols and Hutchins’s History and Antiquities of Dorset,’’ The Library, 5th ser. 15, no. 2 (1960): 81–95; Julian Pooley and Robin Myers, ‘‘Nichols family (per. c. 1760–1939),’’ ODNB. 3. Velma Bourgeois Richmond describes the mazer in The Legend of Guy of Warwick (New York: Garland, 1996), 105. David Griffith notes that Guy is identified with the Beauchamp arms, and is dressed in mid-fourteenth-century fashion; ‘‘The Visual History of Guy of Warwick,’’ in Guy of Warwick: Icon and Ancestor, ed. Alison Wiggins and Rosalind Field (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2007), 122; plate 2 shows the bowl. 4. M. [Frederic Madden], ‘‘Inscriptions at Dearham, Cumberland, & Harbledown, Kent,’’ Gentleman’s Magazine 103, no. 1 (1833): 408. 5. Nichols, ‘‘Legendary Tale,’’ 257. 6. The first edition of John Shurley’s adaptation is The Renowned History, or the Life and Death of Guy Earl of Warwick, Containing his Noble Exploits and Victories (London: Printed by H. Brugis for P. Brooksby, 1681) Wing S3515; but Nichols’s reference appears to be to a later printing of an abridged version, which first appeared as The History of the Famous Exploits of Guy Earl of Warwick His encountring and overcoming of monstrous gyants and champions, and his killing the dun cow of Dunsmore-heath (London?: Printed for Charles Bates, 1680), Wing H2160B. While the ESTC accepts the common identification of ‘‘John Shurley’’ with John Shirley the playwright, Richmond finds ‘‘no evidence’’ for this attribution: Legend of Guy of Warwick, 266. Richmond discusses Shurley’s adaptation and its print history at some length: see 265–76. 7. J. S., The Renowned History (or the life and death) of Guy Earl of Warwick, containing his noble exploits and victories (London: Printed by A.M. for C. Bates, 1710?). 8. Arthur Johnston, Enchanted Ground: The Study of Medieval Romance in the Eighteenth Century (London: Athlone Press, 1964), 1. For a recent discussion of the literary manifestations of the return to romance in the eighteenth century, see Alexander, Medievalism, especially ‘‘Chivalry, Romances and Revival,’’ 22–49. 9. Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry: consisting of old heroic ballads, songs, and other pieces of our earlier poets, . . . together with some few of a later date, 3 vols. (London: J. Dodsley, 1765), III:104. Percy is referring to the ‘‘ancient romance’’ from which the ballad derives; he cites a copy of William Copland’s printing, an edition that will be discussed further below. ‘‘Guy and Amarant’’ follows immediately after ‘‘The Legend of Sir Guy.’’ 10. Richard Lloyd, A Brief Discourse of the most renowned actes and right valiant conquests of those puisant princes, called the nine worthies. . . . Compiled by Richard Lloyd gentleman (London: R. Warde, 1584), ESTC 16634. Richmond also notes that the second piece dealing with Guy in the Reliques, ‘‘Guy and Amarant,’’ is taken from Samuel Rowlands’s verse adaptation; Legend of Guy of Warwick, 195. Cooper discusses the ballad, ‘‘Guy as Early Modern English Hero,’’ in Icon and Ancestor, ed. Wiggins and Field, 194, 186–87. 11. I am reminded of Paul Lacroix’s designation of Trinity R.3.14 as an ‘‘ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript,’’ as discussed in the Introduction to this study. 12. Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Thopas, in The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd edition, ed. Larry D. Benson (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987), lines 897–99.


Notes to Pages 63–64

13. Here Endeth the Booke of the moste victoryous prynce, Guy of Warwick (Lothbury: William Copland, c. 1565), ESTC 12542. While ESTC conjectures 1565, Richmond suggests a range between 1562 and 1569; Legend, 171. The lines quoted are found on page 210 of the Harvard Library copy. 14. Guy survives in several medieval forms. There are three complete manuscript copies: National Library of Scotland, Advocates Library MS 19.2.1 (the Auchinleck MS), c. 1330–40; Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, Caius MS 107, c. 1470; and Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, MS Ff.ii.38, late fifteenth century. For the most current discussion of the dating and relationships of the manuscripts, see Alison Wiggins, ‘‘The Manuscripts and Texts of the Middle English Guy of Warwick,’’ in Icon and Ancestor, ed. Wiggins and Field, 61–80. The Auchinleck copy contains two different verse forms, and it extracts much of the story of the kidnapping of Guy’s son, presenting instead, after Guy, the romance of Reinbrun. Richmond observes that ‘‘A direct relation between printed editions and a Middle English manuscript does not exist,’’ Legend, 171. 15. The Romance of Guy of Warwick, ed. Julius Zupitza, EETS, extra series, vols. 42, 49, 59 (1883, 1887, 1891). Zupitza prints the Auchinleck and Caius versions in facing-page format; the lines quoted above are Auchinleck 7153 and 7166. The Caius version tells us that the dragon ‘‘eteth the beestes and men also’’ (line 7151), and also withholds the identification of the beast until later. The version found in CUL FF.ii.38 was edited by Zupitza as The Romance of Guy of Warwick: The second or 15th-century Version, EETS, extra series, vols. 25 and 26 (1885–1886). In this version, the dragon ‘‘sleyth bothe beste and man’’ (6821). 16. Oxford, Bodley Douce Fragment e.14. 17. Richmond, Legend, 170–71. The Pynson fragment is now London, British Library I.A.55533. It consists of signature 11, plus the sixth and seventh following leaves. 18. Madden, ‘‘Inscriptions at Dearham, Cumberland, & Harbledown, Kent,’’ 409. It is worth noting that Madden is not working from manuscript copies either, but like Nichols is relying on the early modern printing—he simply seems to have read it more carefully. 19. Copland’s printing of the medieval romance itself (a version of it) is an exception: as will be discussed further below, it has only seven woodcuts, most of them generic, and none representing any of the animal fights. For a more complete discussion of the early print illustrations of Guy and Bevis, see my ‘‘Of Dragons and Saracens: Guy and Bevis in Early Print Illustration,’’ in Icon and Ancestor, ed. Wiggins and Field, 154–68. 20. The Famous History of Guy Earl of Warwick. Written by Samuel Rowland (London: Printed for G. Conyers, 1680), Wing R2086. This in fact is one of the many abridgments of Rowlands’s version. The full version of Rowlands’s text was first printed in 1609. Richmond writes that the earliest known edition of this printing is The Famous History of Guy Earle of Warwicke. By Samuel Rowlands (London: Elizabeth All-de, 1632), ESTC 21379. She does note the entry in the Stationer’s Register for 1608 (Legend, 220), but appears unaware of the existence of copies before 1632. ESTC records copies in 1609 (21378), 1620 (21378.3), and 1625 (21378.7). The 1609 printing survives in a copy in the Folger Shakespeare Library. 21. The History of the Famous Exploits of Guy Earl of Warwick. His encountering and overcoming monstrous gyants, . . . and the manner of his death (London: Printed for Sarah Bates, 1720), 16. Another 1720 printing, The Noble and Renowned History [sic] of Guy Earl of Warwick: containing a full and true account of his many famous and

Notes to Pages 64–67


valiant actions, . . . Extracted from authentick records; and the whole illustrated with cuts suitable to the history (London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, 1720), illustrates only the fight with the dragon of Northumberland (95), and this image is also an unusual one. 22. And the brief lines in Sir Thopas are readily joined by many longer medieval catalogues of romance heroes and subjects. In the introduction to his edition of Bevis, for example, Eugen Ko¨lbing lists several other cases of medieval references to Bevis and Guy together (The Romance of Sir Beues of Hamtoun, ed. Eugen Ko¨lbing, EETS, extra series, 46, 48, and 65 [1885, 1886, 1894], xxxvii). 23. Thomas Warton, The History of English Poetry, From the Close of the Eleventh to the Commencement of the Eighteenth Century, 3 vols. (London: J. Dodsley, 1774– 1781): I.87. Warton argued that before the Crusades, romancers concentrated on the doings of Arthur and Charlemagne, but that afterward, both new heroes such as Guy and Bevis, and a new style, characterized by ‘‘a taste for hyperbolical description’’ and ‘‘an infinity of marvellous tales’’ became the new fashion; I.110. 24. Warton, History of English Poetry, I, section 3. 25. Warton, History of English Poetry I.211–12. Richmond discusses this tapestry, which belonged to Thomas de Beauchamp and is found in a list made in 1397 of his goods after his banishment by Richard II; Legend, 91–92. 26. Warton, The History of English Poetry, gives Ca I for the location; the Harvard copy reads ‘‘In Warwick the truth there ye shall see/ In arras wrought full craftily’’; at Cc ii v, or 212. 27. Joseph Ritson, Observations on the Three First Volumes of the History of English Poetry. In a familiar letter to the author (London: Printed for J. Stockdale and R. Faulder, 1782), 35. Richmond touches on Ritson’s attack here and in his Ancient Engleish Metrical Romancee¨s, selected and publish’d by Joseph Ritson, 3 vols. (London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Company for G. and W. Nicol, 1802), Legend, 309–10. 28. Ritson, Ancient Engleish Metrical Romancee¨s, I:xciv. 29. George Ellis, Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances, chiefly written during the early part of the fourteenth century (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1805). 30. For examples of current interest in the role of the other in Guy and Bevis, see, for Guy, Rebecca Wilcox, ‘‘Romancing the East: Greeks and Saracens in Guy of Warwick,’’ in Pulp Fictions of Medieval England: Essays in Popular Romance, ed. Nicola McDonald (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 217–40; for Bevis, Kofi Campbell, ‘‘Nation-Building Colonialist-Style in Bevis of Hampton,’’ Exemplaria 18, no. 1 (2006): 205–32; and for Middle English romance more generally, the collection Cultural Encounters in the Romance of Medieval England, ed. Corinne Saunders (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2005). 31. Laura A. Hibbard, Mediaeval Romance in England: A Study of the Sources and Analogues of the Non-Cyclic Metrical Romances, new edition (New York: B. Franklin, 1960). The original date of publication is 1924. 32. Dieter Mehl, The Middle English Romances of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968), 207–51. 33. Mehl, Middle English Romances, 220. Mehl finds Guy somewhat less interesting because the English versions do not, he says, change the character of the Anglo-Norman originals significantly. 34. W. R. J. Barron, English Medieval Romance (London: Longman, 1987), 75. 35. Bevis of Hampton (London: Richard Pynson, 1503), ESTC 1988. 36. Jennifer Fellows, ‘‘Bevis Redivivus: The Printed Editions of Sir Bevis of


Notes to Pages 68–71

Hampton,’’ in Romance Reading on the Book: Essays on Medieval Narrative Presented to Maldwyn Mills, ed. Jennifer Fellows (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996), 254; Maldwyn Mills, ‘‘Structure and Meaning in Guy of Warwick,’’ in From Medieval to Medievalism, ed. John Simons (New York: St. Martin’s, 1992), 67 n. 10. Fellows notes textual similarities between William Copland’s 1560 and 1565 editions of Bevis and the surviving fragments of the de Worde printing (the Pynson is, she argues, somewhat anomalous), and concludes that there was probably a common original, set for de Worde, 252–54. 37. John Simons, ed., Guy of Warwick and Other Chapbook Romances: Six Tales from the Popular Literature of Pre-industrial England (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998), notes that chapbooks were not particularly cheap, and were, at least to start with, also read by the gentry; 4–9. Work on early modern literacy often underlines the degree to which various kinds of popular print crossed boundaries: see, for example, Tessa Watt, Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550– 1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), and Nigel Wheale, Writing and Society: Literacy, Print and Politics in Britain, 1590–1660 (London: Routledge, 1999). 38. Richmond, Legend, 98. Richmond discusses the Smithfield Decretals (London, British Library Royal MS 10.E.iv), 95–103. Richmond argues for the identification despite the absence of captions and sees the image as ‘‘early evidence for an oral tradition that was incorporated into written versions somewhat after the Anglo-Norman romance was composed but much earlier in the development of the legend than has been recorded,’’ 98. Griffith, ‘‘The Visual History of Guy of Warwick,’’ 115–16, argues that the episodes relating to Guy are largely identifiable. Bevis also appears in the Smithfield Decretals, and he and Guy are both also to be found in the Taymouth Hours of c. 1330 (London, British Library Yates Thompson MS 13). Richmond discusses the Taymouth Hours, Legend, 93–96, and Griffith deals with them as well, 112–14. See also Jessica Brantley, ‘‘Images of the Vernacular in the Taymouth Hours,’’ English Manuscript Studies 1100–1700, 10 (2002): 83–113; and Linda Brownrigg, ‘‘The Taymouth Hours and the Romance of Beves of Hampton,’’ English Manuscript Studies 1100– 1700, 1 (1989): 222–41. 39. The Middle English Rous Roll (London, British Library Additional MS 48976), is an illustrated armorial chronicle by John Rous (c. 1420–1492); it records the benefactors of the town of Warwick and commemorates the earls of Warwick. There is also a Latin version. Guy, Felice, and their son Reinbrun appear in the Rolls. Griffith discusses both rolls and the related Beauchamp Pageant, 124–27. 40. Richmond makes the identification in Legend, 133. 41. The History of the Famous exploits of Guy (1680; Wing H2160B). 42. Fellows (‘‘Bevis Redivivus,’’ 252) conjectures that this woodcut, along with perhaps two others (the boar hunt, and another image of Ascopart), were all made to order. 43. Sir Bevis of Hampton: Newly corrected and amended (London: Richard Bishop, 1639), ESTC 1996. Many of the fifteen illustrations in this printing can be traced back to the 1503 edition. 44. Wynkyn de Worde’s The Noble and Amerous Auncyent Hystory of Troylus and Cresyde (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1517), ESTC 5095 prints the image twice, on both the titlepage and at the end of the work. In Here Begynneth Vndo Your Dore (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1520), ESTC 23111.5 there is one other illustration, another rendering of lovers in a garden. The iiii. Leues of the Trueloue

Notes to Pages 71–74


(London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1510), ESTC 15345 has no other illustrations. Copland also uses the woodcut in his 1555 printing of Stephen Hawes’s The History of Graund Amoure [The Pastime of Pleasure] (London: William Copland, 1555), ESTC 12952, and in Arthur of Brytayn (London: William Copland, 1560), ESTC 807. Richmond reproduces the similar woodcut used by Francoys Regnault on the title page for Guy de Warwich (1525), Legend, 177. For a discussion of the degree to which English printers were indebted to French models for much of their illustration, see Martha W. Driver, The Image in Print: Book Illustration in Late Medieval England and Its Sources (London: British Library, 2004). 45. The Heroick History of Guy Earl of Warwick written by Hvmphrey Crovch (London: Printed for Edward Brewster, 1673), Wing C7282. Richmond discusses this version, which she dates to 1655, in Legend, 241–48. 46. The Romance of Guy of Warwick, lines 10655–68. 47. The History of the Famous Exploits of Guy (1680), Wing H2160B; 22. This version is an abridgement of John Shurley’s Renowned History; see Richmond, Legend, 275–76. 48. The Renowned History, or the Life and Death of Guy Earl of Warwick (1681), Wing S3515; n.p. 49. Lloyd, A Briefe Discourse, n.p. Cooper discusses this passage in ‘‘Guy as Early Modern English Hero,’’ 187. This extremely useful essay appeared after I had finished my work on this chapter. 50. John Simons, ‘‘Romance in the Eighteenth-Century Chapbook,’’ in From Medieval to Medievalism, ed. John Simons (New York: St. Martin’s, 1992), 132. 51. As Cooper notes as well, ‘‘Guy as Early Modern English Hero,’’ 194. 52. Guy of Warwick. (Lothbury: William Copland, 1565); ESTC 12542 (copy survives in Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Library), C.iii r. Richmond states that there are only four woodcuts (Legend, 174), but this must simply be an error: even when one allows for the doubling of one woodcut, there are six unique figures and seven images in all: these show Phelys asleep before her dream (C.iiir), Guy and his knights at tournament (D.iiiiv), a couple in a garden, appearing when the Guy reports his first successes (E.iiiiv) and then again when Phelys is finally won (Cc.iiiv), a ship ( for Guy’s triumphant return to England, a couple kneeling to a crowned figure (Cc.iiiiv) at the point where the Earl grants Guy Phelys’s hand, and the fight with Colbrond (Ii.iv). 53. Ranulf Higden, Here Endeth this Presente Cronycle of Englonde (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1515), ESTC 10000.5; lii v. It also appears in the later printing of the same text (The Cronycles of Englonde [London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1528]; ESTC 10002; 1528 according to ESTC, but 1520 according to Edward Hodnett, English Woodcuts, 1480–1535 [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973]); and in de Worde’s 1518 printing of Oliver of Castile (Here Endeth ye hystorye of Olyuer of Castylle [London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1518], ESTC 18808). The image is no. 901 in Hodnett’s catalogue. 54. In the case of Guy we do not have an early print to match the Pynson print of Bevis, but it is notable that the images from the Copland print—roughly contemporary with the East print of Bevis—are largely visual dead ends, unlike their counterparts in Bevis. As noted above, there are only seven woodcuts in this printing. The more generic images—a sea voyage, knights fighting, and lovers kneeling for a blessing (this last roughly analogous to the wedding illustrations in prints of Bevis)—do not have the same purchase on the subsequent history as do similar generic moments in Bevis; that is, later prints of Guy do not have illustrations of any kind at these points in the text.


Notes to Pages 75–78

55. Samuel Rowlands, The Famous Historie of Guy, Earle of Warwick (London: [printed by E. A[llde]. for W. Ferbrand, 1609], ESTC 21378); C2 r. 56. Syr Bevis of Hampton (London: Printed by Thomas East, 1585, ESTC 1990). 57. For other instances, see The Historie of Beuis of Hampton (London: T. Snodham?, 1610), ESTC 1992; Syr Beuis of Hampton (London: G. Wood for W. Lee, 1626), ESTC 1993; Syr Beuis of Hampton (London: William Stansby, 1630), ESTC 1994; Sir Beuis of Hampton (London: Richard Bishop, 1639), ESTC 1996; The Gallant History of the life and death of that most noble knight, Sir Bevis of Southampton (London: Printed by A.M. for J. Deacon, 1691), Wing G170; and The Gallant History of the life and death of that most noble knight Sir Bevis of Southampton (Printed by A.M. for B. Deacon, 1700), Wing G171. 58. The Romance of Sir Beues of Hamtoun, ed. Eugen Ko¨lbing, EETS, extra series, 46, 48, and 65 (1885, 1886, 1894), lines 2661–78. 59. Fellows points out that Pynson’s text is somewhat anomalous, but in the case of the dragon, there are few differences, and no substantial ones, between Pynson and the 1585 East printing in which the cut of the dragon first appears, ‘‘Bevis Redivivus,’’ 252. 60. Bevis (1503), n.p. 61. Hodnett suggests that the de Worde image of Graunde Amoure fighting the seven-metaled dragon is ‘‘conceivably . . . a synthetic design with adaptations of detail to fit the dragon’s unusual anatomy’’; 24. He is describing the 1517 series of illustrations: Stephen Hawes, Here Begynneth the Passe Tyme of Pleasure (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1517), ESTC 12949. A. S. G. Edwards remarks on de Worde’s unusually close relationship to Hawes, noting that ‘‘He seems to have executed woodcuts specifically for his editions of The Example of Virtue and The Pastime of Pleasure’’; ‘‘Hawes, Stephen (b. c. 1474, d. before 1529),’’ ODNB. 62. East’s printing of Bevis has sixteen illustrations in addition to its title page, nine of which are identical to those in Pynson’s edition. Some of East’s other images come from different prints by Pynson: for example, he takes an illustration to Pynson’s 1513 printing of Lydgate’s The Hystorye, sege and dystrruccyon of Troye (London: Richard Pynson, 1513), ESTC 5579 to introduce the section headed ‘‘How Beauis was soulde vnto the Paynims and caryed ouer the Sea into Armeny,’’ B.i v–B.ii r. 63. Arthur of Little Britaine (London: Thomas East, 1582), ESTC 808, 86 v; the woodcut was also part of Copland’s repertoire, appearing in his printing of Hawes’s History of Graund Amoure (1555, ESTC 12952)—and he did not use the image in either of his two printings of Bevis. 64. The picture appears in Copland’s 1565 printing of Guy, and in various printings of Bevis, including Thomas East’s of 1585 and C.W.’s printings of 1610 and 1626. Copland did not use the picture in his printings of Bevis in 1560 and 1565. The illustration occurs as early as Wynkyn de Worde’s 1503 printing of Raoul Lefvre’s The Recuyles . . . of the Hystoryes of Troy (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1503), ESTC 15377, where it twice illustrates the exploits of Hercules: first in battling the centaurs, and then in fighting the giants of Cremona. The woodcut forms part of what Hodnett calls the Hystoryes of Troye series, the illustrations done for Wynkyn de Worde’s 1502/ 1503 printings (English Woodcuts, 1480– 1535; it is no. 1234 in his catalogue, and appears in reproduction in the supplemental illustrations as figure 9, an illustration to a 1510? de Worde print of Melusyne. 65. The first appears twice in Pynson’s Bevis, as well on the title page of his

Notes to Pages 78–83


The Traduction and Mariage of the princesse (London: Richard Pynson, 1500), ESTC 4814; Lydgate’s The Hystorye, sege and dystrruccyon of Troye (1513, ESTC 5579); and it appears twice Thomas East’s Bevis, as well as in his Arthur of Little Britaine. William Copland’s 1560 and 1565 printings of Bevis use yet another marriage illustration (not pictured above), one which can again be found in many other prints. For a thorough discussion of generic marriage woodcuts in early English printing, see Driver, Image, 89–91. Driver discusses the appearance of the second image in figure 36 on Wynkyn de Worde’s title page for his 1509 printing of The Fyftene Joyes of Maryage; Driver records the appearance of this woodcut in printings of Lydgate’s translation of De coniuge non ducenda (c. 1509); the Gesta Romanorum (c. 1510); the Knyght of the Swanne (1512); and Olyuer of Castylle, and notes that it derives ultimately from French models. I have found it as well in de Worde’s printing of Hawes’s The Example of Vertu, Here Begynneth the Boke called the Example of Vertu (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1504), ESTC 12945, gg.ii v. 66. See Syr Degore (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1513), ESTC 6470, B.r; and Henry Watson’s Noble History of King Ponthus (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1511), ESTC 20108, several times. 67. Sir Bevis of Hampton (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1533), ESTC 1988.6. 68. See Wynkyn de Worde’s printings of Kynge Rycharde Cuer du Lyon (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1509), ESTC 21007; Here begynneth the Iustes of the moneth of Maye (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1507), ESTC 3543; and Watson’s Noble History of King Ponthus. Copland uses the first version of the woodcut in several other texts, and the redrawn version once in his Guy of Warwick, and three times in his second edition of Arthur of Little Britaine. 69. A Pleasant Song of the Valiant Deeds of Chivalry, atchieved by that noble knight, Sir Guy of Warwick (London: Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson, 1658–1664), Wing P2560C. There are many versions of this ballad. 70. Richmond, Legend, 95. 71. Andrew Lang, ed., The Red Romance Book (New York: Longmans, Green, 1905), 309. 72. Guy of Warwick (stanzas), lines 8236–37; text and lineation according to transcription on The Auchinleck Manuscript ( mss/guy_st.html). 73. Guy of Warwick (stanzas), lines 9739, 9900, and 9899. 74. William Dugdale, The Antiquities of Warwickshire illustrated from records, leiger-books, manuscripts, charters, evidences, tombes, and armes (London: Thomas Warren, 1656), Wing D2479; 299. Dugdale goes on to argue that the monkish hyperboles common to early history should not lead us to dismiss this story as fictitious; I am reminded of similar attempts to sort out King Arthur’s real exploits from the stories that had gathered around him. 75. Guy of Warwick (stanzas), lines 9936–47. 76. Lloyd, A Briefe Discourse, opening lines. 77. Rowlands, The Famous History (1609, ESTC 21378), P.2 r. 78. Samuel Smithson, The Famous History of Guy Earl of Warwick (London: Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright and J. Clarke, 1674–79?), Wing F375. ESTC notes that the text is not in fact by Smithson; Richmond offers no comment on authorship, and gives the date as c. 1680 (Legend, 249). 79. Shurley, Renowned History (1681, Wing S3515). 80. The Romance of Guy of Warwick, line 10321; Guy of Warwick (stanzas), line 9983. 81. Driver notes that ‘‘very little attention has been paid to images of black


Notes to Pages 83–91

people in prints,’’ but goes on to show that these images certainly existed; she traces the appearance and significance of a black figure called the Horner in French and English prints: Image, 168–82. 82. Samuel Rowlands, The Famous History, of Guy Earle of Warwicke (London?: E. Allde, c. 1620), ESTC 21378.3. 83. This feature is something Helen Cooper comments upon: ‘‘Guy as Early Modern English Hero,’’ 194. 84. The 1654 version is The Famous History of Guy Earle of Warwicke (London: J. Bell, 1654), Wing R2084A. I wonder if the figure with the club might be traced ultimately back to an illustration (no. 18 in Hodnett) by Ve´rard to Josephe de la Guerre Judaique (1492). For the roots of many English woodcuts in the work of French printers, see Driver, Image, especially the chapter ‘‘Woodcuts in Early English Books: Sources and Circulation.’’ 85. Rebecca Wilcox argues that the eastern episodes in the Middle English version of Guy’s story are in fact crucial to the narrative structure, and that the romance as a whole is crafted in response to an English audience’s anxieties about the East, stemming from the experience of the crusades; she is of course dealing with the text of the Middle English poem, and not with the later illustrated adaptations that have formed my sense of the relative roles of eastern exoticism in the transmission of Guy and of Bevis; ‘‘Romancing the East.’’ 86. Lydgate, The Hystorye, sege and dystrruccyon of Troye (1513, ESTC 5579), B.ii r (see note 62). The image on C.iiii r introduces the section headed ‘‘How Beuis . . . fought in the Cittie of Damas against the Sarasines that made sacrifice to Idols, and how he tore them downe’’; it is a common representation of messengers greeting nobles. The Bishop versions are found on B.1 v and C.3 r. 87. Michael Drayton, Poly-Olbion (London: Printed by Humphrey Lownes for M. Lownes, 1612), ESTC 7226; the second song, 30. 88. Drayton, Poly-Olbion, the thirteenth song, 221. 89. The Famous and Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Southampton (London: Printed for W. Thackeray . . . , and J. Deacon, 1689), Wing F359; A.2 v. Fellows notes that this adaptation has been ascribed to John Shurley, ‘‘Bevis Redivivus,’’ 262. 90. John M. Ganim, Medievalism and Orientalism: Three Essays on Literature, Architecture and Cultural Identity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 6. Writing about romance scholarship, Ganim notes, ‘‘Medieval literature, or at least medieval romance, was also regarded, even by its earliest defenders, as a record of a national past, but also as foreign, and particularly Eastern, in conception. The eighteenth century, which defends and even invents medieval romance, is obsessed with its non-Western origins,’’ 5. 91. Richmond discusses the chapbook version, by ‘‘G.L.,’’ Legend, 286–95, and the Merridew printing and its successors, 295–98. 92. The Noble and Renowned History of Guy Earl of Warwick (Chiswick: Printed for John Merridew, Warwick, 1821), 147–48. As Richmond points out, G.L.’s authorship of the text is not explicitly acknowledged (Legend, 295–96), though the Advertisement makes clear that an older work is being reprinted: ‘‘That the relation of this memorable champion’s feats has been read with interest is evinced by the almost innumerable editions which have been given to the public; but all, those of later years at least, have been published in a manner so little inviting to a reader, and so incorrectly, that it is presumed the present edition will not be generally unacceptable’’; Noble and Renowned History, n.p. 93. The Southampton Guide (Southampton: T. Baker, and London: J. Beecroft, 1774), 40–41.

Notes to Pages 91–93


94. Britannica Curiosa: or, a description of the most remarkable curiosities, natural and artificial, of the island of Great Britain (London: R. Snagg, 1776), III.34. There are many editions under this title. This printing may have been preceded by The Curiosities, natural and artificial, of the island of Great Britain, also printed for R. Snagg, perhaps in 1775. 93. The History of the Life and Death of that most noble knight Sir Bevis, of Southampton (London: 1750?). The horse appears on 15, but the accounts of the race and of Arondel’s death, on the very same day as those of Bevis and Josian, are omitted. 96. Also missing from this eighteenth-century adaptation is the charming request at the end of the manuscript version of the poem that readers pray for Bevis, Josian, ‘‘& also for Arondel,/ 3if men for eni hors bidde schel’’; lines 4617–18, but this request had already disappeared from Pynson’s 1503 printing. 97. Ellis describes the race at II:152. 98. David Matthews, The Making of Middle English, 1765–1910 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 73. 99. Mark Antony Lower, ‘‘Sir Bevis of Hampton and His Horse ‘Arundel’,’’ Sussex Archaeological Collections 4 (1851): 35. David Matthews documents a similar demolition of Guy’s story about a century earlier, by the antiquarian Samuel Pegge. Matthews suggests that it is precisely the local associations which undermine both Guy and Bevis, making them insufficiently exotic for eighteenthcentury tastes; see ‘‘Whatever Happened to Your Heroes? Guy and Bevis After the Middle Ages,’’ in The Making of the Middle Ages, 54–70. 100. Johnston, Enchanted Ground, 30. 101. An Excellent Ballad of St. George for England and the King of Egypt’s daughter (London: Printed by and for Alex. Milbourn, 1693), Wing E3793. The printer is the same ‘‘A.M.’’ responsible for the 1691 and 1700 versions of Bevis, so it is little surprise that the dragon plate is the same as was used in those copies; indeed, printers’ convenience, as well as similarity in story, may also have something to do with the later tendency of Bevis to merge with St. George. George does have his own images, however; other versions of his story, both in ballad form and in later printings of The Seven Champions of Christendom, often show a mounted St. George killing a dragon. 102. Ambrose Merton (pseud. for William John Thoms), Gammer Gurton’s Famous Histories (London: Joseph Cundall, c. 1845). 103. See OED for the origin and development of the term; for Thoms’s life, see Arthur Sherbo, ‘‘Thoms, William John (1803–1885),’’ ODNB. 104. ‘‘Felix Summerly’’ was the pseudonym of the civil servant Henry Cole (1808–1882), an active promoter of the arts and education. 105. Johnston, Enchanted Ground, 32–33. 106. Ruari McLean notes that the colored versions are ‘‘nearly the earliest children’s books to contain printed colour’’; while the earliest coloring was done by hand at first, when the colored elements were printed, it was from wood. The printing was not done by the Chiswick Press, but rather by Gregory, Collins & Reynolds, a firm that also produced color work for some of the books produced by the Darton firm; Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (London: Faber and Faber, 1963), 40. 107. For a discussion of the various formats, see Ruari McLean, Joseph Cundall, a Victorian Publisher: Notes on His Life and a Check-list of His Books (Pinner, England: Private Libraries Association, 1976). He remarks, ‘‘There are various discrepancies between the descriptions of books in advertisements and copies seen. More


Notes to Pages 93–97

titles seem to have been published than were announced; and many titles appeared in different editions, e.g. first with illustrations hand-coloured, and then colour-printed, or by a different artist,’’ 48. My own copy is one of the combined versions of six tales called ‘‘Gammer Gurton’s Famous Histories,’’ but it does not match exactly any of the items in McLean’s list, lacking the hand-colored illustrations he mentions having seen in the combined version, 52. It also has the Holbein-based binding. The discrepancies make clear, as McLean does himself, how difficult it can be to track the multiple versions of children’s books. Margaret M. Smith mentions Cundall’s praise of the binding of Guy in ‘‘Joseph Cundall and the Binding Design for the Illustrated Biographies of the Great Artists,’’ The Library 5, no. 1 (2004): 48, 51. 108. See Simon Fenwick, ‘‘Tayler, (John) Frederick (1806–1889),’’ ODNB. 109. The Gallant History of the life and death of that most noble knight, Sir Bevis of Southampton (1691?; Wing G170), 23. Chapter 3. Aristocratic Antiquaries 1. He had probably been a clerk in the war office prior to this appointment: hence his suitability as a copyist. He went on to a political career. In 1801, he was created first Baronet Strachey. He died in 1810. See E. I. Carlyle, ‘‘Strachey, Sir Henry, first baronet (1736–1810),’’ rev. S. J. Skedd, ODNB. 2. When the manuscript and its transcription were offered for sale by Christie’s in 1975, the catalogue attributed the transcription to Rooke: Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd., Important Printed Books, Mediaeval Manuscripts and Music . . . which will be sold at Auction . . . July 2, 1975; item 242. The British Library catalogue, however, attributes the transcription to Strachey. Rooke’s note reads, ‘‘This is a true copy of the original and is examined by me,’’ standard phrasing as often found on legal documents. This note may imply that Rooke was simply checking on the accuracy of the transcription, although there are extant copies of other documents by him, as for example London, British Library Additional MS 30222, records of the Court of Admiralty. Clerks could be paid to do research in the archives and would often make copies of relevant documents. In addition, a report on the condition of the Public Records in 1771 remarked upon the unsatisfactory conditions in the Rolls Chapel, citing Henry Rooke; there is a passing reference to what seems to have been a common practice of transcription for preservation; see House of Commons. Committee Who Were Appointed to Examine the Present Condition of the Records of this Kingdom, ‘‘Public records. To examine the present condition of the records of this Kingdom, the repositories wherein and the manner in which they are kept’’; May 26, 1771; accessed online at Transcription for preservation was a fact of library and museum practice in the nineteenth century as well; for example, discussions at the British Museum in the 1830s over the preservation of the damaged Cotton manuscripts included plans to transcribe them before rebinding; P. R. Harris, A History of the British Museum Library, 1753–1973, 151. Two eighteenth-century transcriptions of Middle English metrical romances are discussed by Simon Meecham-Jones in ‘‘ ‘For Mr. Ritson’s Collection’—George Ellis, Joseph Ritson and National Library of Wales MSS 5599, 5600 C,’’ English Studies 82, no. 2 (2001): 127–45; MeechamJones traces the relationship of these transcriptions to the working practices of Joseph Ritson and George Ellis, reminding us again of the degree to which transcription was a fact of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editorial practice.

Notes to Pages 97–99


3. Harold Love has written extensively of the literary ‘‘scribal publication’’ in England in the seventeenth century, and he remarks on the role of legal copying and clerks in the persistence of this culture, a point worth noting in relation to the participation of Strachey and/or Rooke in the Trentham copy; Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England, 17–18. Much of what Love has to say about the conditions underpinning the scribal publication of poetic manuscripts in the seventeenth century is also very helpful in understanding the scribal situations described in this and earlier chapters; for example, he points out that the antiquarian copying which occurred in the Cotton Library was often the basis for early historical scholarship, 84–86. 4. Balades and Other Poems by John Gower, ed. George Granville Leveson-Gower (London: Printed for the Roxburghe Club, 1818). The edition was printed by William Bulmer at the Shakespeare Press, and presented by Earl Gower to the members of the club. 5. Earlier printings of some of Gower’s French may be found in Warton’s History, which contains four of the Balades in the ‘‘Emendations and Additions’’ to volume 2, and in the single poem included in George Ellis’s expanded Specimens of the Early English Poets, 3 vols. (London: Printed by W. Bulmer for G. and W. Nicol and J. Wright, 1801): ‘‘Pour comparer le joli mois de mai,’’ I:170–71. As will be discussed below, the Roxburghe edition did not include one of the poems in the Trentham manuscript, the English poem ‘‘In Praise of Peace.’’ Lord Gower explained the omission by noting that this poem had already been printing in Urry’s edition of Chaucer’s works. 6. There was an ‘‘edition’’ before Macaulay’s, Edmund Stengel’s John Gowers Minnesang und Ehezuchtbu¨chlein: LXXII anglonormannische Balladen, aus Anlass der Verma¨hlung seines Lieben Freundes und Collegen Wilhelm Victor neu hrsg. von Edmund Stengel (Marburg, 1886), but Stengel had no access to the Trentham manuscript, and thus relied on the Roxburghe printing. His text also included the Traitie´ pour ensampler les amantz marietz. 7. Russell Peck has just completed a new version of his student edition of the Confessio Amantis, an edition which now includes all of the poem’s Latin framing. This is an enormous step forward for teachers of the poem, and the appearance of other pieces by Gower in the TEAMS series—most recently, R. F. Yeager’s edition of The Minor Latin Works—is also heartening. See Russell A. Peck, ed., and Andrew Galloway, trans., John Gower: Confessio Amantis, 3 vols. (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications/ TEAMS, 2000, 2003, and 2004); and R. F. Yeager, ed. and trans., and Michael Livingston, ed., John Gower: The Minor Latin Works with In Praise of Peace (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications/ TEAMS, 2005). Further TEAMS editions of more of Gower’s works are planned. There is, however, no contemporary scholarly edition to compete with Macaulay’s presentation and assessment of Gower’s oeuvre, and these are now themselves partly artifacts of the past. 8. For example, George Ashby’s Active Policy of a Prince (1475) calls the three the ‘‘Primier poetes of this nacion’’ (George Ashby, Active Policy of a Prince, in George Ashby’s Poems, ed. Mary Bateson, EETS no. 76, 1899, Prol., line 2), and William Dunbar writes in The Goldyn Targe that without the three, ‘‘This Ile before was bare, and desolate/ Off rethorike, or lusty fresch endyte’’; William Dunbar, The Goldyn Targe, in The Poems of William Dunbar, ed. John Small, Scottish Text Society, 1893, lines 269–70. The linking of the three poets, along with routine praise of their laureate status, continues into the seventeenth century. 9. There was some awareness of these other works, however: as noted above, Warton printed a few samples of the French in his History.


Notes to Pages 99–101

10. This is the conventional number, but it should be noted that it includes one manuscript which disappeared from public view after 1983 (Rothesay, Marquess of Bute, MS I.17), and one manuscript which, because it breaks off after I.1701, is perhaps better considered as a substantial fragment (London, British Library MS Egerton 913). For a complete account of these and the manuscripts of Gower’s other works, see Derek Pearsall, ‘‘The Manuscripts and Illustrations of Gower’s Works,’’ in A Companion to Gower, ed. Siaˆn Echard (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004), 73–98. 11. For a complete discussion of the various forms this account can take, see my ‘‘Last Words: Latin at the End of the Confessio Amantis,’’ in Interstices: Studies in Late Middle English and Anglo-Latin in Honour of A. G. Rigg, ed. Richard Firth Green and Linne Mooney (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 99–121. For an acute reading of the ‘‘strategic values’’ of Gower’s multilingualism, see Tim William Machan, ‘‘Medieval Multilingualism and Gower’s Literary Practice,’’ Studies in Philology 103, no. 1 (2006): 1–25. I consider Gower’s Latin in particular in my ‘‘Gower’s ‘Bokes of Latin’: Language, Politics, and Poetry,’’ Studies in the Age of Chaucer 25 (2003): 123–56. 12. G. C. Macaulay, ed., The Complete Works of John Gower (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899–1902), IV:361. The translation is mine, from ‘‘Last Words,’’ 108. 13. Something R. F. Yeager has wondered recently, too: see ‘‘John Gower’s Audience: The Ballades,’’ Chaucer Review 40, no. 1 (2005): 93–94. 14. Glasgow, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 59. The manuscript contains the Vox Clamantis, the Cronica Tripertita, and some other Latin and French pieces by the poet. The epitaph appears on folio 129r. I discuss the epitaph and an indulgence which also appears both in manuscripts and on the tomb in ‘‘Last Words,’’ 99–100. 15. Gower’s late nineteenth-century editor, G. C. Macaulay, wrote of the indulgence that appears in Hunter 59 and on the tomb, ‘‘I have no doubt that this exhortation was set down by Gower himself, who had probably arranged before his death for the promised indulgence’’; IV: 420. For a recent discussion of Gower’s tomb, see John Hines, Nathalie Cohen, and Simon Roffey, ‘‘Iohannes Gower, Armiger, Poeta: Records and Memorials of his Life and Death,’’ in A Companion to Gower, 23–42. 16. I discuss the tables of contents in both manuscript and early print versions of the Confessio in ‘‘Pre-Texts: Tables of Contents and the Reading of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis,’’ Medium Aevum 66, no. 2 (1997): 270–87. 17. The end matter includes the Quia vnusquisque, the Eneidos Bucolis, and the indulgence found next to the tomb. 18. These features are discussed in Tim William Machan, ‘‘Thomas Berthelette and Gower’s Confessio,’’ Studies in the Age of Chaucer 18 (1996): 143–66. 19. Io. Gower de confessione Amantis (London: Thomas Berthelette, 1532), ESTC 12143; aa.iiii v. 20. Io. Gower, aa.ii v; that is, in the middle of the table of contents. In the 1554 printing, the pages are reset. The address to Henry precedes the address to the reader, which begins on the same leaf, immediately afterward. 21. The Confessio Amantis appeared as volume two of Alexander Chalmers, Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper (London: J. Johnson, 1810). Chalmers based his edition on Berthelette. 22. Gillespie considers Chaucer and Lydgate together, in terms of their transition from manuscript to print; Print Culture and the Medieval Author. Tombs figure here too: she points out that Chaucer’s tomb went up in Westminster Abbey in 1550, but there is no memorial for Lydgate, 229.

Notes to Pages 101–103


23. For a complete account of Gower’s print history, see my ‘‘Gower in Print,’’ in A Companion to Gower, 115–36. There are several accounts of Gower’s critical reception. The first is John H. Fisher’s, in his John Gower: Moral Philosopher and Friend of Chaucer (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 1–36. It was expanded in Derek Pearsall’s ‘‘The Gower Tradition,’’ in Gower’s Confessio Amantis: Responses and Reassessments, ed. Alastair J. Minnis (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1983), 179–97. See also my ‘‘Introduction: Gower’s Reputation,’’ in A Companion to Gower, 1–22. 24. Joseph Towers, British Biography; or, an accurate and impartial account of the lives and writings of eminent persons, in Great Britain and Ireland, 10 vols. (Sherborne: Printed for R. Goadby, 1773–1780), I:103. Towers drew on the Biographia Britannica for the British Biography, but this appears to be one of the places where he expanded upon his source. It should be noted, however, that Towers was not necessarily well acquainted with the non-English works; for example, he reproduces an error found in several accounts of the period when he notes that there are two manuscripts of the Speculum Meditantis in the Bodleian (I:104). The Speculum survives in only one manuscript: it is clear from Towers’s description of the work that he is in fact referring to the Traitie´, of which there are indeed two manuscripts in the Bodleian. 25. This was the compiler of The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, to the time of Dean Swift (London: Printed for R. Griffiths, 1753); that is, either Robert Shiels (d. 1753) or Theophilus Cibber (1703–1758), each of whom claimed credit for the work. The life of Gower is a pastiche from sources which include Stow, Thomas Fuller’s History of the Worthies of England (London: T.G.W.L. and W.G. for Thomas Williams, 1662), Wing F2441; William Winstanley’s Lives of the Most Famous English Poets (London: H. Clark for Samuel Manship, 1687), Wing W3065; and Elizabeth Cooper’s The Muses’ Library (London: J. Wilcox, T. Green, J. Brindley, and T. Osborn, 1737), though the casual copying and repetition characteristic of the histories and anthologies of the period make exact sources difficult to determine. Anthony Esposito suggests Winstanley as a major source: Anthony Esposito, ‘‘Shiels, Robert (d. 1753),’’ ODNB. The reference to the books under Gower’s feet is at I.21. 26. John Stow, A Suruay of London Contayning the originall, antiquity, increase, moderne estate, and description of that citie, written in the yeare 1598 (London: John Windet for John Wolfe, 1598), ESTC 23341; 334. 27. Leland did not publish his antiquarian notes in his lifetime, but they were familiar to later generations, and widely influential, because his papers were circulated after his death; see James P. Carley, ‘‘The Manuscript Remains of John Leland, ‘The King’s Antiquary’,’’ TEXT 2 (1985): 111–20. The papers went to the Bodleian in the seventeenth century, and Leland’s work finally saw print in the early eighteenth century. In the edition of Leland’s Collectanea published by Thomas Hearne in 1715, we read of the effigy that ‘‘capite corona est ex hedera rosis distincta, in collo catena, equestris ordinis inditium’’; John Leland, Joannis Lelandi antiquarii de rebus Britannicis collectanea, ed. Thomas Hearne, 6 vols. (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1715), 4:49. 28. John Leland, The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary, 9 vols. (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1710–1712), 6:9. A later editorial note, 46, remarks that Gower the judge cannot be the Gower who wrote the books in English. 29. ‘‘uir equestris ordinis . . . ab illustri stemmate originem’’; ‘‘duplici nota insignem, nempe aurea torque, & hederacea corona rosis interserta: illud militis, hoc poetae ornamentum’’; John Bale, Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytannie


Notes to Pages 103–108

quam nunc Angliam & Scotiam uocant catalogus (Basel: Ioannes Oporinus, 1557– 1559), 524–25. Bale refers to Leland at the opening of the biography. 30. Fuller, History of the Worthies of England, York-shire 207. 31. Cooper, Muses’ Library, 1. Elizabeth Eger discusses Cooper in ‘‘Fashioning a Female Canon, Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and the Politics of the Anthology,’’ in Women’s Poetry in the Enlightenment: The Making of a Canon, 1730– 1820, ed. Isobel Armstrong and Virginia Blain (New York: Macmillan, 1999), 201–15. See also Women, Writing and the Public Sphere, 1700–1830, ed. Elizabeth Eger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 32. Cooper, Muses’ Library, 19. 33. Cooper, Muses’ Library, 6. 34. Cooper, Muses’ Library, 30. It was more common to praise Lydgate in this period (though this praise did not, as noted above, lead to renewed full printings of the author’s works). Shiels, who drew extensively on Cooper for The Lives of the Poets, did not follow her on this head, writing instead that Lydgate ‘‘far excelled his master, in the art of versification,’’ I:23. Warton’s influential History praised Lydgate’s lively genius, accomplishments, and versatility, II:52–53; John Berkenhout called the poet ‘‘a man of some genius’’; Biographia literaria; or a biographical history of literature: containing the lives of English, Scotish, and Irish authors (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1777), xxvii. 35. For a discussion of the role of the literary miscellany and anthology from the early modern period through the eighteenth centuries, see Barbara M. Benedict, Making the Modern Reader: Cultural Mediation in Early Modern Literary Anthologies (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996). Benedict notes in passing that Cooper’s was ‘‘Perhaps the first thorough historical anthology,’’ 167. 36. Cooper, Muses’ Library, A.2 rv. 37. Henry J. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer collected from authentick documents (London: Rivington, 1810), dedication. 38. The connection between the Egertons and the Leveson-Gowers had been formed in the time of the first Marquess of Stafford, Granville Leveson-Gower (1721–1803), the commissioner of the Trentham transcription (Trentham was one of the family estates in Staffordshire). Granville was Earl Gower when he commissioned the copy; he was created Marquess in 1786. Granville’s second wife was Louisa Egerton, daughter to Scroop Egerton, first Duke of Bridgewater. George Granville Leveson-Gower (1758–1833) was their son and the first Duke of Sutherland as a result of his father-in-law’s death in 1803; he also became Marquess of Stafford in that year. His second son Francis Leveson-Gower changed his name to Egerton in 1833, the year of his father’s death. He inherited considerable property from Francis Egerton, third Duke of Bridgewater. 39. Todd’s selections from Gower’s work are the Tale of the Caskets from Book V of the Confessio Amantis and a few lines on the role of the eye in the lover’s plight from Book VI. These two extracts total some 180 lines of the Confessio. Some of the Balades are reproduced in the manuscript descriptions. 40. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, xiii-xiv; the italics are his here and in all other instances. 41. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, xvii–xviii. 42. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, xxi. 43. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, 23. 44. John Weever, Ancient Funerall Monuments within the Vnited Monarchie of Great Britaine, Ireland, and the Islands adiacent (London: Thomas Harper, 1631),

Notes to Pages 108–110


ESTC 25223; 270. The identification is presumably based on the arms, but Graham Parry notes that Weever was actually rather less interested in heraldry than many other antiquarians of his time, producing instead in his Funerall Monuments ‘‘a book of worthies rather than a work of genealogy’’; The Trophies of Time, 193. 45. Weever, Ancient Funerall Monvments, 627. 46. Sir Harris Nicolas, ‘‘John Gower the Poet,’’ Retrospective Review, 2nd series 2 (1828): 103–17. 47. Nicolas, ‘‘John Gower the Poet,’’ 103. Among Nicolas’s own works was the Life of William Davison, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth (1823): Nicolas’s wife claimed descent from Davison; see Colin Lee, ‘‘Nicolas, Sir Nicholas Harris (1799–1848),’’ ODNB. 48. Nicolas, ‘‘John Gower the Poet,’’ 117. Current opinion tends toward the Kentish identification, particularly thanks to M. L. Samuels and Jeremy J. Smith, whose work on the language of the earliest Gower MSS has shown a clear Kentish element in the English. The Trentham MS is one of their three main sources of evidence: the other two are the Stafford MS of the Confessio, San Marino, California, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.A.17; and the Fairfax MS of the Confessio, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Fairfax 3. See M. L. Samuels and J. J. Smith, ‘‘The Language of Gower,’’ Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 82, no. 3 (1981): 295–304. Jeremy Smith returns to Gower’s usage in ‘‘John Gower and London English,’’ in A Companion to Gower, 61–72. 49. But Reinhold Pauli, who would edit Gower (very idiosyncratically) later in the century, argued that Todd in fact paid little attention to the manuscripts he described; Reinhold Pauli, ed., Confessio Amantis of John Gower edited and collated with the best manuscripts by Dr. Reinhold Pauli, 3 vols. (London: Bell and Daldy, 1857), I:vii. 50. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, 128, his italics. The Ellesmere-Stafford manuscript has one miniature, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar; painted borders marking the opening of books; and illuminated capitals. There is significant use of gold in the decoration. 51. It reads: ‘‘For my honorable frend and kinsman/ Sir Thomas Gower knight and Baronett from/ Fairfax 1656.’’ 52. For an account of his life, see John Wilson, Fairfax: A Life of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Captain-General of all the Parliament’s forces in the English Civil War, creator and commander of the New Model Army (London: J. Murray, 1985). His letters are edited as The Fairfax Correspondence: Memoirs of the Reign of Charles the First, ed. George W. Johnson (London: R. Bentley, 1848). 53. The inscriptions, now partially trimmed, read Fairfax Anno 165 by the gift of the/ learned Gentlema/ Charles Geddes Elg/ Livinge [ins. sup] the Citty of St. Andrew/ Libenter tunc daban/ Ad testor Carolus Gedd/ Ipsis bis septenis Kalend/ mensis Octobri/ 1656. 54. Thomas had fought on the royalist side, but after his surrender at Oxford in 1646, he was, with Fairfax’s help, reconciled to Parliament. His second wife connected him to the Leveson family, and it was his younger son William who hyphenated the names, creating the Leveson-Gowers of Stittenham. See Richard Wisker, ‘‘Gower, Sir Thomas, second baronet (1604/5–1672),’’ ODNB. 55. Macaulay, Works, I.lxxxi; Yeager, ‘‘John Gower’s Audience,’’ 88. 56. Fisher, John Gower, 72. Yeager points to the number of poems in the manuscript related to the King—‘‘To King Henry IV, In Praise of Peace,’’ ‘‘Rex celi deus,’’ two balades addressing the King—and concludes that ‘‘its contents were clearly chosen with the king in mind’’; ‘‘John Gower’s French,’’ 145.


Notes to Pages 110–120

57. Macaulay, Works, I.lxxxii. 58. In fact, the Trentham manuscript is not the only manuscript now thought to have royal associations. Macaulay argues that the shields in the EllesmereStafford Confessio suggest it was prepared for presentation to a member of the house of Lancaster (II.clii), and it would thus, like the Trentham manuscript, have provided the Leveson-Gowers with an artifact that witnessed simultaneously to their poetic family history and to a royal connection. However, it seems that this association was not clear in the period under discussion. While Todd describes, and praises, the manuscript in his Illustrations, he writes that the copy ‘‘was probably a present from the author to one of the Gower family,’’ 109. The attribution seems to come from Todd’s reading the lion device on what seems to have been meant as John of Gaunt’s crest, as a talbot (a kind of dog), Gower’s own device. For a recent discussion of the group of Gower manuscripts with Lancastrian associations, see Pearsall, ‘‘Manuscripts,’’ 95. 59. There are several Confessio manuscripts which are over 430 mm tall, and the majority of the rest are substantial, handsome parchment manuscripts, with only a handful of smaller, paper productions among the forty-nine surviving copies. 60. Harold Love points out that the appearance of a scribed manuscript can also suggest something about its imagined audience: ‘‘A finely written manuscript in a large format using good paper invites and may be said to expect readers just as the semi-legible private scrawl (writing in dishabille) indicates an indifference to them,’’ Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England, 42. Love is of course speaking of literary manuscripts, but the sense of anticipated display seems to suit the Trentham transcription as well. 61. As translated in Robert E. Bjork and Taylor Corse, ‘‘Grimur Jonsson Thorkelin’s Preface to the First Edition of Beowulf, 1815,’’ Scandinavian Studies 68, no. 3 (1996): accessed in unpaginated html via EBSCO. For descriptions of the transcripts, see Johan Gerritsen, ‘‘The Thorkelin Transcripts of Beowulf: A Codicological Description, with Notes on Their Genesis and History,’’ The Library 13, no. 1 (1991): 1–22, and Kevin S. Kiernan, The Thorkelin Transcripts of Beowulf (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1986). 62. For discussions of medieval scribes’ responses to the Latin marginalia in the Confessio, see my ‘‘ ‘With Carmen’s Help’: Latin Authorities in the Confessio Amantis,’’ Studies in Philology 95, no. 1 (1998): 1–40, and Derek Pearsall, ‘‘The Organisation of the Latin Apparatus in Gower’s Confessio Amantis: The Scribes and Their Problems,’’ in The Medieval Book and a Modern Collector: Essays in Honour of Toshiyuki Takamiya, ed. Takami Matsuda, Richard A. Linenthal, and John Scahill (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004), 99–112. 63. David Matthews discusses the forming of the club in Making of Middle English, 85–86: eighteen of the avid collectors who had been present at the sale met for dinner afterward at a tavern, and became the founding members of the Club. 64. Matthews, Making of Middle English, 87. 65. After the 1820s, it became clear that some members never were going to come through with their editions, and the club introduced an amendment which allowed outsiders—and this usually meant ‘‘real’’ editors—to do the work on behalf of the club members. 66. See F. M. O’Donoghue, ‘‘Swaine, John (1775–1860),’’ rev. Joanna Selborne, ODNB. My thanks to John Falconer, the Jerwood Curator of Photography at the British Library, for confirming that the facsimile is most certainly not collotype, and for noting the inscription ‘‘Swaine scrips.’’ at the bottom of the page.

Notes to Pages 122–127


67. Warton, History, II.n.p (found in the ‘‘Emendations and Additions’’). 68. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer, xxvi–xxvii. 69. Gower, Balades, n.p. 70. I discuss Pauli’s printing in ‘‘Gower in Print,’’ 121–27. 71. ‘‘John Gower and His Works,’’ British Quarterly Review 27 (1858): 5. 72. Macaulay, Works, I.v–vi. 73. Macaulay, Works, IV.lxxii. Coxe’s edition was printed in ordinary type and favored classical spellings of the medieval Latin. It was full of errors. 74. Macaulay, Works, IV.xxxiii. Macaulay takes Gower’s Ovidianisms as ‘‘schoolboy plagiarism,’’ I.xxxii. 75. The eight Confessio manuscripts which include the Carmen and the Traitie´ are Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.2; Nottingham, University Library, MS Mi LM 8; Oxford, Bodleian Library MSS Bodley 294 and Fairfax 3; Princeton, Princeton University, Firestone Library, Robert H. Taylor Collection, Medieval MS 5; Geneva, Fondation Bodmer, MS 178; London, British Library, MS Harley 3869; and New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Osborn Collection, MS fa.1. The Hunter MS referred to is Hunter 59, discussed above; the All Souls MS is Oxford, All Souls College, MS 98. 76. Macaulay, Works I:337. 77. Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd., Important Printed Books, Mediaeval Manuscripts and Music . . . which will be sold at Auction . . . July 2, 1975; item 242. Chapter 4. Bedtime Chaucer Note to epigraph: Francis Storr and Hawes Turner, Canterbury Chimes or Chaucer Tales Retold for Children, enlarged and revised edition (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tru¨bner, 1914), ix. This preface to the second edition (the first appeared in 1878) was written by Storr alone. 1. A product of Harrow and Cambridge, he was first a master at Marlborough, and then master of the modern side of the Merchant Taylors’ School in London. 2. Storr and Turner, Canterbury Chimes, preface to the 1878 edition (London: C. Kegan Paul, 1878); v. 3. Velma Bourgeois Richmond, Chaucer as Children’s Literature (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2004), 12. I should note here that the work of Richmond, along with that of Steve Ellis and David Matthews cited below, touches on many of the texts I explore in this chapter. I came to them after I had completed the research for this chapter, and I hope the reader will understand that I have pursued a parallel rather than a derivative course. 4. For example, while Sidney Lanier’s The Boy’s King Arthur; Being Sir Thomas Malory’s History of King Arthur and his knights of the Round table (New York: Scribner’s, 1880) was a fairly straightforward version of Malory’s Morte, a collection like Frances Nimmo Greene’s Legends of King Arthur and His Court (Boston: Ginn, 1901), happily adapts Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, rather than any medieval originals, finding that Tennyson’s poems ‘‘[strip] the stories of the barbarities found in the earlier writings on the subject,’’ vii; Mary Macgregor’s Stories of King Arthur’s Knights in the Told to the Children series (London: T. C. and E. C. Jack, n.d.), designates Malory’s sources as ‘‘Welsh’’ and adds the story of Geraint and Enid, again under the influence of Tennyson. As a model for free adaptation, Tennyson might also have influenced the practice of such adaptations as Howard Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (New York: Charles


Notes to Pages 127–130

Scribner’s Sons, 1903). For a recent collection of essays on Arthurian juvenilia, see Barbara Tepa Lupack, ed., Adapting the Arthurian Legends for Children. 5. Frank Ernest Hill, The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue and Four Tales with The Book of the Duchess and Six Lyrics (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1930), ix, xvii. 6. As quoted in the web exhibition The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations, Special Collections, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; see http:// 7. Storr and Turner, Canterbury Chimes, ix. 8. Chaucer for Children was reissued in 1882, 1895, 1900, and 1907. See also Chaucer’s Beads; A Birthday Book, diary & concordance of Chaucer’s proverbs or soothsaws, by Mrs. Haweis (London: W. H. Allen, 1884); Chaucer for Schools (London: Chatto and Windus, 1881), with a second edition in 1899; and Tales from Chaucer (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1887). 9. Mary Flowers Braswell, ‘‘The Chaucer Scholarship of Mary Eliza Haweis (1852–1898),’’ Chaucer Review 39, no. 4 (2005): 405. 10. Haweis family fonds, Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia; 4:5; the letter is dated January 19, 1882. Another piece of correspondence, from Emily Leath, asks Haweis if she will allow her children to take part ‘‘in a procession of Canterbury pilgrims which is to be formed of children. They are to go round the Building on ponies, & in costume. I hope you will kindly consent for I know you will set them up perfectly. It will be the thing of this season I expect, this Bazaar. The Princess Louise is to open it, & she will be preceded by 12 little heralds in costume as she enters’’; 24:5, undated. 11. Mary Eliza Joy Haweis, Chaucer for Children. A Golden Key. By Mrs. H. R. Haweis, Illustrated with Eight Coloured Pictures and Numerous Woodcuts by the Author (London: Chatto and Windus, 1877), ix. When he grew up, Lionel Haweis (1870–1942) moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he had a photography studio; he joined the staff of the University of British Columbia Library in 1918. 12. Katharine Lee Bates, The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold for Children (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1909), 10. 13. Janet Harvey Kelman, Stories from Chaucer Told to the Children by Janet Harvey Kelman. With Pictures by W. Heath Robinson (London: T. C. and E. C. Jack, 1906), vii. 14. Steve Ellis, Chaucer at Large: The Poet in the Modern Imagination (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 57. Ellis’s chapter on ‘‘Children’s Chaucer’’ touches on many of the texts discussed below, with particular reference to the trope of Chaucer as child, and hence to the connected issue of which tales should—or should not—be retold. 15. The Haweis family fonds also include a manuscript version of an adaptation of the Miller’s Tale, presented in a similar manner to the stories in Chaucer for Children, with side-by-side translation and prose segments (23:5–5); Tales from Chaucer did eventually include this tale. 16. Barbara Cooney, Chanticleer and the Fox: By Geoffrey Chaucer (New York: Thomas W. Crowell, 1958). The title page attributes the adaptation to Cooney (1917–2000), but the adaptation is itself based on R. M. Lumiansky’s 1948 translation. 17. Regina Z. Kelly, Young Geoffrey Chaucer: His Boyhood Adventures, his student days at Oxford, his romantic training as a page at court as told by Regina Z. Kelly, with illustrations by Warren Chappell & published by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company,

Notes to Pages 130–134


Inc. (New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1952), 78–80. I have reproduced the cumbersome title in full because it is clearly intended to quote older printing practices—an authenticating gesture preceding a full-on fictionalization. The late twentieth-century illustrated selections I refer to above are Geraldine McCaughrean, The Canterbury Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984); Selina Hastings, A Selection from The Canterbury Tales (London: Walker Books, 1988); and Barbara Cohen, Canterbury Tales: Selected, Translated, and Adapted by Barbara Cohen (New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1988). 18. Richmond writes that the Clerk’s Tale is in ‘‘every collection for children,’’ (39), but it does not (as the table at the end of her study confirms) appear in the 1878 edition of Storr, nor in some other reprintings of popular children’s versions into the 1930s, and it is not in Hill’s edition. As will be discussed further below, adaptations of Chaucer for children become less common after the 1930s. A mild recent resurgence—there have been at least five new versions since 1979—shows a curious mixture of some texts which are every bit as prudish as the earlier adaptations, with others that include such rarely mentioned details as the rape which begins the Wife of Bath’s Tale. 19. Excerpts from these reviews can be found among the front matter in the 1882 edition of Chaucer for Children; the Guardian imagines that Chaucer for Schools will be welcome to ‘‘grown people, who like their reading made easy for them,’’ and the School Guardian writes that the book ‘‘will be of great service to many adult readers.’’ 20. Among the items in the Haweis family fonds that speak to her feminist interests are materials relating to women running in local vestry elections; an unfinished draft of The History of Women (22:4–8); and a collection of miscellaneous writings on women (22:4–9) which includes praise of Thomas Hardy, ‘‘this good man,’’ for his portrayal of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, a portrayal that she sees as furthering the feminist cause. There is also an amusing exchange (3:B21–22) with the Dean of Westminster, whom Haweis tries to persuade to erect a memorial to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 21. Richmond, Chaucer, 42. 22. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, inside front cover. 23. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, note to 82. Judith L. Fisher and Mark Allen compare this illustration to Charles West Cope’s fresco ‘‘Griselda’s first trial’’ in ‘‘Victorian Illustrations to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales,’’ in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of the Canterbury Tales in Pictures, ed. William K. Finley and Joseph Rosenblum (New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 2003), 254. This essay includes a very useful list of both free-standing and book illustrations from the period in question. 24. Richmond, Chaucer, 41. 25. M. E. Haweis, ‘‘Woman Suffrage,’’ in the Letters to the Editor, The Times, March 6, 1897. 26. Haweis family fonds, 3:3, B-20. Booth had written to Haweis once before, in response to Haweis’s expression of interest in the Army’s work for ‘‘friendless women,’’ B-19. 27. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 91. 28. David Matthews notes that Edwardian and Victorian adaptations had a tendency to subtitle the tales, a tendency that ‘‘heightened the focus on character that made The Canterbury Tales so appealing’’; ‘‘Infantilizing the Father: Chaucer Translations and Moral Regulation,’’ Studies in the Age of Chaucer 22 (2000): 105.


Notes to Pages 134–141

29. Richmond, Chaucer, 83. 30. Richmond, Chaucer, 88. 31. The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer: Illustrated after Drawings by W. Russell Flint, 3 vols. (London: Medici Society, 1913). The one-volume edition of 1928 had twenty-four plates, twenty-one of them concentrating on female subjects. Flint’s illustrations also appear, as discussed below, in Eleanor Farjeon’s translation/adaptation of the Tales for the Medici Society in 1930. Flint also illustrated a Medici edition of Malory’s Morte Darthur (1911), and while there are some strikingly erotic images—the semi-clothed figure of Perceval’s sister cutting off her hair is one instance—the overall emphasis is less markedly on the female figure. 32. Miriam Youngerman Miller suggests that Haweis’s own style in her illustrations echoes Walter Crane’s blend of ‘‘historicism and art nouveau aestheticism’’; she describes Crane’s style as an ‘‘uneasy amalgamation of Burne-Jones and Japonisme’’; ‘‘Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales for Children: A Mirror of Chaucer’s World?’’ Chaucer Review 27, no. 3 (1993): 295, 296. Miller later describes Flint’s illustrations under the general heading of ‘‘relatively decorous, didactic, and static’’ (301); it will be clear from what I have said above that Flint does not in my view fit this characterization. 33. For a general discussion of the moralizing tendencies of the juvenile adaptations and their tendency to belittle both Chaucer and his audience, see Matthews, ‘‘Infantilizing the Father,’’ 93–114. 34. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, x. 35. Storr and Turner, Canterbury Chimes, 80 and 123. 36. Haweis family fonds 23–4, 1. 37. F. J. Harvey Darton, Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958), 34. One of Darton’s illustrations is the woodcut of Bevis fighting Ascopart discussed in Chapter 2. In keeping with the tendency to group Bevis and Guy together, Darton uses Bevis to stand in for romance in his study, while in his Wonder Book of Old Romance (London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1907), Guy stands in Bevis’s place: ‘‘Considerations of space prevented the inclusion of the very similar romance of ‘Sir Bevis’,’’ ix. 38. F. J. Harvey Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold from Chaucer and Others by F. J. Harvey Darton, with Introduction by F. J. Furnivall and Illustrations by Hugh Thomson (London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1904). There is an abbreviated version: Pilgrims’ Tales from ‘‘Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims.’’ By F. J. Harvey Darton, etc. (London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1908). Richmond notes that Darton’s tales recur in other contexts, including the American Junior Classics encyclopedia, issued by Collier in 1912; Chaucer as Children’s Literature, 110. 39. F. J. Harvey Darton, The Story of the Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold from Chaucer and Others by F. J. Harvey Darton. Illustrated by M. L. Kirk (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1914). This edition omits Furnivall’s introduction, a fact that will be discussed further below. 40. Darton, Story of the Canterbury Pilgrims (1914), 179. For Sterling, see David Hill Radcliffe, ‘‘Sterling, Joseph (fl. 1765–1794),’’ ODNB. 41. Richmond also points out that Frederick Furnivall, whose contribution to Darton’s first edition will be discussed further below, had edited Beryn in 1887; Chaucer, 101. 42. Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims, 55–56. 43. Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims, 173.

Notes to Pages 141–145


44. Mary Sturt and Ellen Catherine Oakden, The Canterbury Pilgrims: Being Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Retold for Children by M. Sturt. And E. C. Oakden (London: J. M. Dent, 1923). 45. Sturt and Oakden, The Canterbury Pilgrims, 37. Richmond finds the change ‘‘ingenious, an affront to a Chaucer purist but yet worthwhile and fine comedy. Child readers get a bit of literary history of the drama and a fast-paced tale of fairly innocuous deception and no disturbing sexuality’’; Chaucer, 184. 46. John Bell, ‘‘Farjeon, Eleanor (1881–1965),’’ rev. Victoria Millar, ODNB. 47. Eleanor Farjeon, Tales from Chaucer; the Canterbury tales done into prose, by Eleanor Farjeon; illustrated by W. Russell Flint, A.R.A (London: Medici Society, 1930). 48. Eleanor Farjeon, Tales from Chaucer: Re-told by Eleanor Farjeon. Illustrated by Marjorie Walters (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), v. 49. Farjeon, Tales (1959), v. 50. Elizabeth Harrison, The Vision of Dante, a Story for Little Children and a Talk to their Mothers (Chicago: Chicago Kindergarten College, 1892). Similar adaptations are Rose E. Selfe, How Dante Climbed the Mountain: Sunday Readings with the Children from Purgatorio (London: Cassell, 1887); Susan Cunnington, Stories from Dante by Susan Cunnington (London: Harrap, 1918); and Mary Macgregor, Stories from Dante Told to the Children (London: T. C. and E. C. Jack, 1909). This last version is part of the same series as the Kelman Chaucer discussed above; its author, Mary Macgregor, also produced Stories of King Arthur’s Knights for that series. There is a modern version aimed at a juvenile audience as well: Joseph Tusiani, Dante’s Inferno as Told for Young People by Joseph Tusiani (New York: Ivan Obolensky, 1965). 51. Charles Cowden Clarke, Tales from Chaucer, in prose. Designed chiefly for the use of young persons. By Charles Cowden Clarke. Illustrated, etc. (London: Effingham Wilson, 1833). The second edition did not appear for almost forty more years: Tales from Chaucer, in prose. Designed chiefly for the use of young persons. By Charles Cowden Clarke . . . Second edition, carefully revised . . . Illustrated, etc. (London: C. Lockwood, 1870), but after that the work appears in various forms from 1900– 1910?, 1911, 1916, 1927, and 1947. Richmond notes that schoolbooks and volumes of selections included some of Clarke’s tales up to 1950; Chaucer, 28. 52. The Riches of Chaucer: In which his impurities have been expunged; his spelling modernised; his rhythm accentuated; and his obsolete terms explained, 2 vols. (London: Effingham Wilson, 1835). The book went through at least four editions. 53. The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer: To which are added an essay on his language and versification, 3 vols. (London: Cassell Peter and Galpin, n.d.); there is another printing in 1860 (Edinburgh: James Nichol) and several others thereafter. This edition was originally part of the Library Edition of British Poets (1853– 1860); Clarke contributed several other volumes as well. It will be seen from this list that Clarke’s activities as a popularizer of Chaucer were not limited to his adaptations for children. For a discussion which places him among three key ‘‘bourgeois’’ popularizers of the period, see Charlotte C. Morse, ‘‘Popularizing Chaucer in the Nineteenth Century,’’ Chaucer Review 38, no. 2 (2003): 99–125. 54. Clarke, Riches, I.v. 55. Clarke, Riches, I.x. 56. Charles Cowden Clarke, Tales, iii–iv. 57. Clarke, Tales, ix-x. 58. Ellis, ‘‘Popular Chaucer,’’ 17–31. Ellis points out a common tendency to see Chaucer as manly, uncomplicated, convivial. This characterization is also, as


Notes to Pages 145–151

Chapter 5 will show, applied to Froissart, perhaps specifically in the service of ‘‘Englishing’’ him. 59. Matthews, ‘‘Infantilizing the Father,’’ 106. 60. Clarke, Tales, 51. 61. Storr and Turner, Canterbury Chimes (1878), 2. 62. Ellis, ‘‘Popular Chaucer,’’ 29. 63. Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims, 5–6. 64. David Matthews discusses the role of the Chaucer portrait in nineteenthcentury editions (not limited, that is, to those aimed at children) in ‘‘Speaking to Chaucer: The Poet and the Nineteenth-Century Academy,’’ in one of two special issues of Studies in Medievalism entitled Medievalism in the Academy, 9 (1997): 5–25. He argues that the preference in these editions for the Hoccleve portrait is related to a desire to portray a serious Chaucer. 65. Louise M. Bishop, ‘‘Father Chaucer and the Vivification of Print,’’ Journal of English and Germanic Philology 106, no. 3 (2007): 357. Bishop also argues that the portraits are an attempt to return ‘‘aura’’ to lifeless print, 338. 66. These and other manuscript images of Chaucer are surveyed in Derek Pearsall, The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), in an appendix, ‘‘The Chaucer Portraits.’’ The habit of including a portrait is not of course limited to editions aimed at children: see, for example, the discussion in Chapter 3 of the appearance of the Ellesmere portrait in Henry P. Todd’s Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer. 67. Richmond notes that Thomson was ‘‘the most popular illustrator of the period in black-and-white,’’ Chaucer, 95. Stephanie Trigg describes a copy of the 1904 edition of Darton’s Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale which has a sketch on the flyleaf by Thomson, showing Darton and Furnivall flanking Chaucer; Darton, Thomson, and Furnivall all sign the drawing; Congenial Souls, 168. 68. Selina Hastings, A Selection from The Canterbury Tales (London: Walker Books, 1988). 69. Trigg introduces her study by arguing that ‘‘This uninhibited desire to hear Chaucer directly, while repressed from modern scholarly decorum, still resonates through much of our work, despite our best professional intentions’’; Congenial Souls, xxi–xxii. 70. Fisher and Allen discuss this frontispiece briefly in ‘‘Victorian Illustrations to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales,’’ 241–43. Richmond cites Thomas Stothard’s The Pilgrimage to Canterbury (1806–1807) as Haweis’s source (Chaucer, 43), and it may be the influence for the overall composition, though the details are not particularly close. The Chaucer-pilgrim, however, clearly draws on Harley 4866. 71. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 2. 72. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 3. 73. Clarke, Riches, I:41. Much of the biographical essay in The Riches of Chaucer can also be found in Tales from Chaucer. 74. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 4. Many adapters offered asides about the corruption of the Church in the notes that accompanied the descriptions of the various ecclesiastical characters. Haweis writes that ‘‘Chaucer’s personal distrust of and contempt for the contemporary Church and its creatures was the natural and healthy aversion of a pure mind and a sincerely religious heart to a form of godliness denying the power thereof—a Church which had become really corrupt,’’ 33. 75. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 23.

Notes to Pages 151–155


76. Haweis family fonds, F-20 and G-21. Braswell traces Haweis’s scholarly methods in ‘‘The Chaucer Scholarship of Mary Eliza Haweis,’’ 402–19; she mentions the Furnivall correspondence, but not the letters from Gollancz. I understand from Professor Braswell that her research on Haweis continues. 77. Clarke, Riches, 5. This description also appears in Tales from Chaucer. 78. Richmond, Chaucer, 26. The painting is discussed in Alexander, Medievalism, 156. 79. Bates, The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 10. The illustrations include a portrait based on the Hoccleve portrait, drawings based on photographs of locations around Canterbury, pilgrim portraits based on the Ellesmere manuscript, a drawing of the Tabard, and a foldout plate of Blake’s fresco of the pilgrims. 80. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, xii. 81. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 11–12. 82. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 3. 83. Frederick Furnivall, in Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims (1904), vi. 84. Haweis family fonds, 4:7. The quotation is from the first paper, ‘‘London in the Middle Ages,’’ and is dated 1883. The second paper, ‘‘The Country in the Middle Ages,’’ includes the story of Gamelyn, and the third and final part of the series, ‘‘Tudor Time,’’ closes with the story of Lydgate’s youth. 85. Ellis, ‘‘Popular Chaucer,’’ 50. 86. Clarke, Riches, 43. 87. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 3. 88. Haweis, second draft of lecture on Chaucer. 89. The ‘‘A. L.’’ Bright Story Readers. No. 43. Grade IV. Stories from the ‘‘Canterbury Tales.’’ Prepared by the Editor, ed. Alfonzo Gardiner (Toronto: Macmillan, n.d.), 5. The ‘‘grade IV’’ books in this series are intended for children aged nine to ten. The Ellesmere portrait appears in the front matter. Richmond touches on many school texts and series, both British and American, in Chaucer as Children’s Literature, 186–96. 90. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 12. 91. Storr and Turner, Canterbury Chimes, 2nd edition, x. 92. Quoted on the flyleaf of Chaucer for Schools. 93. Terry Eagleton, ‘‘The Rise of English,’’ in Literary Theory: An Introduction, 2nd edition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 22. 94. Ellis, ‘‘Popular Chaucer,’’ 50. An exception noted by Ellis is the introduction by Furnivall discussed in this chapter. 95. Haweis, Chaucer for Schools, ix. Braswell (‘‘The Chaucer Scholarship of Mary Eliza Haweis,’’ 413) suggests that Haweis’s outline of how to pronounce Middle English owes much to the work of another medievalist of her acquaintance, Alexander J. Ellis. 96. Second draft of lecture on Chaucer. Haweis then offers a modern-spelling version of some lines from the Prioress’s Tale, and concludes, ‘‘Surely this is as modern English as any spoken today, when spelt as now. It might be Wordsworth or Keats.’’ 97. Margaret C. Macaulay, Stories from Chaucer Re-told from The Canterbury Tales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1911), v. 98. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, xi. 99. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 15. 100. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 14. 101. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 1.


Notes to Pages 156–159

102. J. Walker McSpadden, Stories from Chaucer, retold from the Canterbury Tales (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1907), xi. 103. Bates, The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 15. 104. In his study of the role of the book in the American west, Richard W. Clement draws a distinction between British and American national selfdefinition: ‘‘By the eighteenth century the average Englishman was fully conscious of the Anglo-Saxon heritage that distinguished him from all other peoples and endowed him with an innate strength of character and democratic spirit. These modern Anglo-Saxons looked to the past with pride and to the future with a certainty in their own moral superiority and thus the righteousness of British imperial dominion. In America, it was the frontier experience that defined the nation’s identity, and there was no need for scholarly mediation or a hearkening to the distant past. The general reader could read about the frontier even as he or she experienced it firsthand’’; Books on the Frontier: Print Culture in the American West, 1763–1875 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2003), 105. The books for children coming out of such centers as New York in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and beyond, however, are often British books in American covers, and offer quite a different vision to their juvenile readers— though to be sure, they mingled with myths of American origin. 105. Dorothy Martin, A First Book About Chaucer (London: Routledge, 1929); the quotation is cited from the American edition (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1930), 23. Martin also wrote A First Book About Shakespeare. 106. Charles Sangster, ‘‘England and America,’’ in The St. Lawrence and the Saguenay, and other poems (New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1856). 107. Richmond, Chaucer as Children’s Literature, 111. 108. From the advertisement bound in the back of a copy of H. E. Marshall’s Stories of William Tell and His Friends (London: T. C. and E. Jack, n.d.). 109. Bea Howe, Arbiter of Elegance (London: Harvill Press, 1967), 277. This occasionally fictionalized biography of Haweis was prepared with the cooperation of her son Stephen Haweis (1910–1963). Haweis family fonds, 24:5, includes a series of letters from Stead, starting August 16, 1893, which suggest that he was helping Haweis to inquire into the possibility that she might possess psychic gifts. Stead also wrote to Hugh Haweis on the subject of the spiritual world. 110. For an account of the series, see Sally Wood, W. T. Stead and His ‘‘Books for the Bairns’’ (Edinburgh: Salvia Books, 1987). The entry in the ODNB, written by Joseph O. Baylen, a prolific commentator on Stead’s life and contributions, does not mention the series. 111. Wood, W. T. Stead and His ‘‘Books for the Bairns,’’ 13. 112. W. T. Stead, Stories from Chaucer; being the Canterbury Tales in Simple Language for Children, Books for the Bairns no. 83, illustrated by Edith Ewen (London: Henderson and Spalding, n.d.), 2. 113. Stead, Stories from Chaucer, 2. 114. Furnivall in Darton, Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims, xviii. Trigg reads Furnivall’s assertion that ‘‘ ‘It’s the nation that prints its MSS that can fight’ ’’ as drawing attention to the significance of print: ‘‘England’s historical cultural capital can be converted into symbolic capital, in a way that becomes indicative of greater military force, through the work of medieval scholars in editing and publishing manuscripts. Furnivall’s nationalism is expressed through the instrumental deployment of print in the Victorian public sphere,’’ Congenial Souls, 176. 115. Clare A. Simmons, ‘‘’Iron-worded Proof ’: Victorian Identity and the Old English Language,’’ Studies in Medievalism 4 (1992): 210.

Notes to Pages 159–162


116. Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny, 2–3. Horsman ties the notion of manifest destiny to American acceptance of racial theories: Americans, he writes, ‘‘could and did conceive of themselves as the most vital and energetic of those Aryan people who had spilled westward,’’ 5. Clare A. Simmons uses the linguistic deployment of the same theories in Britain to argue that not all Victorian medievalizing was nostalgic: ‘‘Both philology and natural science were used to suggest that the American historical concept of ‘Manifest Destiny’ was applicable to the European situation [after the Franco-Prussian War], and that the Germanic-speaking races, and notably the English speakers, were destined to rule the world’’; ‘‘Anglo-Saxonism, the Future, and the Franco-Prussian War,’’ Studies in Medievalism 7 (1995): 133. 117. Bates, The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 9. 118. Bates, The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 9–10. 119. See ‘‘Aryan’’ in the OED for the development of the term, and its further restricted use by the Nazis. 120. Kelman, Stories from Chaucer, vii. 121. Perhaps not coincidentally, 1930 was also the year that saw the appearance of a translation of the Tales aimed at adults, with illustrations by Rockwell Kent. Kent’s pictures are resolutely strong, blocky, modern—not at all like the sentimental style prevalent in many of the children’s adaptations that have been discussed here. See Jake Milgram Wien, ‘‘Rockwell Kent’s Canterbury Pilgrims,’’ in Chaucer Illustrated, 311–25. Wien remarks that the color wash added to Kent’s cuts ‘‘strongly suggested a link to the age of Chaucer (or shortly thereafter) through the evocation of the chiaroscuro woodcut’’ (315); that is, Kent’s modern illustrations appeal at least in part because they also meet the vague expectations for the ‘‘antique’’ I have been discussing throughout these pages. Kent’s illustrations appeared first in The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer. Together with a version in modern English verse by William van Wyck; illustrated by Rockwell Kent (New York, Covici-Friede, 1930), a deluxe edition, and then were used again, from 1934 on, in frequently reprinted trade editions. 122. Haweis, Chaucer for Children, 4. 123. William Morris, The Earthly Paradise, 4 vols. (London: F. S. Ellis, 1868– 1870). 124. Charles Cowden Clarke, Tales from Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: selected tales told for young people by Charles Cowden Clarke and illustrated with miniatures by Arthur Szyk (New York: Heritage Press, 1947). The series is the Heritage Illustrated Bookshelf. 125. It is not quite fair to say, as Miller does, that ‘‘Szyk’s idiosyncratic personal style . . . never differs—whether the tales are by Geoffrey Chaucer or by Hans Christian Andersen,’’ ‘‘Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales for Children,’’ 300. The war cartoons naturally have more variety. But Szyk certainly uses his taste for things medieval widely, though I would argue, mindfully—a clear case being his famous war poster for Polish war relief, Poland Fights Nazi Dragon (1943). 126. Richmond, Chaucer, 30. Chapter 5. Froissart’s not French (or Flemish) 1. Le premier (-quart) volume de Froissart Des croniques de France, dangleterre, descoce. Despaigne, de bretaigne, de gascongne, de flandres (Paris: Guillaume Eustache, 1513). The first French printing was that of Antoine Ve´rard, who printed four


Notes to Pages 162–166

volumes some time around 1495, and printed the fourth volume on its own c. 1497; see John Macfarlane, Antoine Ve´rard (London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the Chiswick Press, 1900), 57–58. The letter indicates that Thorpe had sent this particular book to the State Paper Office for purchase; evidently the offer was declined, and Thorpe then approached the British Library, which acquired the book some time in 1847. I am grateful to Des McTern, curator of early printed books in French, for helping me to trace the volume’s travels. 2. A significant amount of Carey’s time was spent in service to Elizabeth I with respect to Scotland, first as governor of Berwick from 1568, during a time of particular unrest, and later as a member of the Privy Council, where his expertise in Scottish matters led to his being sent north several times. The hand which makes these notes does not appear to match the hand in the birth list, however, though it is also an early hand. 3. Johannes Sleidanus, Frossardi . . . historiarum opus omne, jam primum et breviter collectum, et Latino sermone redditum (Paris, 1537). Franc¸ois de Belleforest’s selections, Recueil diligent et profitable avqvel sont contenuz les choses plus notables a` remarquer de toute l’Histoire de Iean Froissart (Paris: Guillaume de la Noue¨, 1572), owed much to Sleidanus’s epitome. 4. An Epitome of Frossard: Or, a summarie Collection of the most memorable histories contained in his Chronicle (London: T. Purfoot for P. Golding, 1608), ESTC 11399. 5. A Paralel of Times and Events: being, a narrative account of an introde [sic] made by the Scots into England, in the reign of King Richard the second (London: Printed for C. Corbett, 1746). 6. William Paton Ker, ed., The Chronicle of Froissart: Translated out of French by Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners annis 1523–25 (London: David Nutt, 1901), I:xii. 7. His work culminated in Oeuvres de Froissart. Chroniques, ed. baron Kervyn de Lettenhove, 26 vols. (Brussels: Acade´mie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, 1867–1877). For a recent assessment of the editorial tradition, see Peter Ainsworth, ‘‘E´tat pre´sent: Jean Froissart, a Sexcentenary Reappraisal,’’ French Studies 59, no. 3 (2005): 364–72. 8. Mme de Witt, ne´e Guizot, trans., Les Chroniques de J. Froissart. E´dition abre´ge´e avec texte rapproche´ du franc¸ais moderne (Paris: Hachette, 1881). The Avertissement implies that this is the first modern French translation, but it should be noted that the editions of J. A. C. Buchon, Les Chroniques de sire Jean Froissart qui traitent des merveilleuses emprises, nobles aventures et faits d’armes . . . nouvellement revues et augmente´es d’apre`s les manuscrits (Paris, 1824–1826) and later printings; Les Chroniques de sire Jean Froissart: Nouvellement revues et augmente´es d’apre`s les manuscrits, e´d. J. A. C. Buchon (Paris: Socie´te´ du Panthe´on litte´raire, 1842) modernized spelling and occasionally phrasing; I am grateful to Dr. Godfried Croenen for pointing this out to me. 9. For a discussion of the practice of copying this painting, see Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, ‘‘An American Copy of Ge´ricault’s Raft of the Medusa?’’ Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 6, no. 1 (2007), spring_07/articles/newd_atha.shtml. 10. ‘‘La publication du choix des Chroniques de Froissart re´claimait un genre d’illustration spe´cial, ayant un caracte`re presque entie`rement re´trospectif, c’esta`-dire nous rendant les hommes et les choses de son e´poque d’apre`s les monuments que cette e´poque meˆme a laisse´s’’; Chroniques de J. Froissart, vi. 11. The chromolithographs are based on the fifteenth-century Bruges manuscripts now known as Paris, Bibliothe`que nationale de France, Richelieu MSS franc¸ais 2643, 2644, and 2646; and Paris, Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal, MS 5190.

Notes to Pages 166–171


Other manuscripts provided the basis for the many engravings throughout the book. 12. Maps, drawings of archaeological objects, and the like are a staple of all manner of nineteenth-century books with historical subject matter, of course. For a recent discussion of the phenomenon in relation to English books of the period, see Rosemary Mitchell, Picturing the Past: English History in Text and Image, 1830–1870 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). The influence of the habit persists; for example, my student version of Klaeber’s Beowulf to which I referred in Chapter 1 is well supplied with drawings of Saxon objects. 13. Chroniques de J. Froissart, vi. 14. See no. 282 in Macfarlane, Antoine Ve´rard. 15. Winn writes of Ve´rard’s romances and chronicles, ‘‘Imitating in format, layout, and type-face the literary manuscripts popular in aristocratic circles, these books could be mistaken for their models, particularly when printed on vellum and hand-illuminated’’; she adds that Ve´rard frequently used vellum, and would create personalized, hand-painted volumes for his most exalted patrons; Mary Beth Winn, Anthoine Ve´rard: Parisian Publisher, 1485–1512: Prologues, Poems and Presentations (Geneva: Droz, 1997), 31. 16. P. J. M. Marks, The British Library Guide to Bookbinding: History and Techniques (London: British Library, 1998), 80. 17. ‘‘Quant aux sce`nes dont aucun monument ne pouvait donner une ide´e, nous avons eu recours au crayon d’artistes alliant le talent de la composition au respect de la tradition historique,’’ Chroniques de J. Froissart, vii. 18. ‘‘Nous avons donc cherche´ a` en faire profiter le public, a` rendre intelligible la langue de Froissart sans la de´pouiller de son charme, et a` conserver l’ensemble de ses re´cits en supprimant les longueurs’’; Chroniques de J. Froissart, v-vi. 19. For a discussion of the desire of French scholars to find Taillefer’s song, and some provocative conclusions about how that desire directed the reading of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Digby 23, see Andrew Taylor, ‘‘Was There a Song of Roland?’’ Speculum 76, no. 1 (2001): 28–65, and the relevant chapter of his Textual Situations: Three Medieval Manuscripts and Their Readers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002). The Song of Roland could also speak to English audiences as Froissart did; the 1919 translation by Charles Scott Moncrieff (1889–1930) is dedicated to his friends Philip Bainbrigge, Wilfred Owen, and Ian Mackenzie, ‘‘who came to their Rencesvals in September, October, and November nineteen hundred and eighteen’’; the translation was reprinted with this dedication by the Limited Editions Club in 1938. This chapter will discuss the invocation of Froissart in times of British warfare below. 20. ‘‘Il est bon et utile de pouvoir mettre dans toutes les mains et de rappeler a` tous les esprits le souvenir des maux extreˆmes que notre pays a pu endurer nague`re, sans succomber dans la lutte et sans jamais perdre la force et l’espoir du rele`vement’’; Chroniques de J. Froissart, vi. 21. Emery and Morowitz, Consuming the Past, 8. 22. John Bourchier, trans., Here begynneth the first volum of sir Iohan Froyssart of the cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlande, Bretayne, Flau[n]ders (London: Richard Pynson, 1523–1525), ESTC 11396; A.ii v. 23. John Bourchier, trans., Here begynneth the fyrst volum of Syr Iohan Froyssart of the cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlaude [sic], Bretayne, Flaunders (London: William Middleton, 1542), ESTC 11396.5. The copy in question is currently shelved at 184.b.1. References to Spensers are marked in volume


Notes to Pages 172–176

one on folios 7r, 46v, 47v, 78v, 101v, 107r, 174r, 190r, 191v, 193r, 194r, 195r, 197r, 237v, 304v, 305r, 307r; and volume two 10r [misfoliated], 60v; 260r; 312v; the two notations quoted above are found at I.197r and II.312v. 24. Bourchier, trans., BL 184.b.1, Fyrst volum of Syr Iohan Froyssart, II.41v. 25. This copy is currently shelved at C.114.i.7. 26. The description in the passage above suggests that Castide’s arms consist of a red (gules) chevron and three red roundels on a silver or white ground– but the placement of the bezants is not specified. Kervyn de Lettenhove renders the French thus: ‘‘Il s’arme d’argent a` ung kieviron de gheules a` trois besans de gheules, deux dessoubs le kieviron et ung dessus’’; Oeuvres de Froissart. Chroniques, 15:181. Accessed electronically via Gallica. 27. Thomas Johnes remarks on the error, and adds that he owns two manuscripts with the date 1356; from the 1839 Smith edition (see note 37), I:225. 28. He planted an enormous number of trees (for instance, Elisabeth InglisJones records that between October 1795 and April 1801, he planted 2,065,000 trees; Peacocks in Paradise: The Story of a House, its Owners and the Elysium they established there, in the mountains of Wales, in the Eighteenth Century [London: Faber and Faber, 1950], 169); rebuilt farm buildings; encouraged experimentation in crops and livestock. He was the author of A Cardiganshire Landlord’s Advice to His Tenants (1800): the work was translated into Welsh by William Owen Pughe: Dafydd Jenkins, ‘‘Johnes, Thomas (1748–1816),’’ Welsh Biography Online. 29. Lhuyd’s Welsh manuscripts came to Johnes through a cousin, Sir Thomas Sebright, who had been one of the purchasers of Lhuyd’s collection after the latter’s death. Edward Lhuyd may be said to have a connection to Chapter 1 of this study as well; he contributed information on the Welsh counties to his friend Edmund Gibson’s 1695 revision of Camden’s Britannia; Thomas Jones, ‘‘Lhuyd, Edward (1660–1709), Welsh Biography Online, 566. 30. Inglis-Jones, Peacocks in Paradise, 173. She gives the date of the purchase as 1794, but the sale was advertised in the Times in 1791; see the advertisement in The Times, March 23, 1791; 3, issue 1959, col. D. 31. First published as M. de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Memoirs of the Life of Froissart: with an essay on his works; and a criticism on his history (London: Nichols and Son, 1801); it appeared again from the Hafod Press in 1810, and became a fifth volume in the translation of the Chroniques. The comments are found on 172 and 206 of the 1801 edition. The three additional printed editions Johnes refers to are Guillaume Eustache, 1514 (the vellum copy mentioned above); Denys Sauvage’s edition in the printing by Michael Sonnius, Paris, 1574; and a second in the printing for Michael de Roigny, Paris, 1574. 32. Jean Froissart, Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France and the adjoining countries . . . Newly translated from the best French editions, with variations and additions from many celebrated manuscripts, trans. Thomas Johnes, 4 vols. (Hafod: Hafod Press, 1803–1805). 33. Sir Walter Scott, ‘‘Johnes’s Translation of Froissart,’’ Edinburgh Review 10, no. 5 ( January 1805): 347–48. 34. Scott, ‘‘Johnes’s Translation,’’ 361. 35. Scott called for the return to Berners’s translation in his review of Johnes: ‘‘After all, it may occur to our readers, that an edition of Lord Berners’s translation, reduced to a systematic orthography, and corrected and enlarged where correlation and enlargement was necessary, might have superseded the labours of Mr Johnes, and, at the same time, have preserved an ancient English classic,’’ 361.

Notes to Pages 176–191


36. The condensed version of Johnes was the work of Henry Peter Dunster. It first appeared as The Chronicles of England, France, Spain, etc. . . . A new edition, condensed, with notes and illustrations, 2 vols. (London: James Burns, 1847?), and until recently was still in print as part of the Everyman’s Library. The 1908 juvenile edition illustrated by Herbert Cole made use of the H. P. Dunster epitome; The Chronicles of England, France, Spain etc by Sir John Froissart, illustrated by Herbert Cole (London: J. M. Dent, 1908?). 37. Sir John Froissart, Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, trans. Thomas Johnes, 2 vols. (London: William Smith, 1839). Smith brought out a matching set of Johnes’s translation of Monstrelet the next year: Enguerrand de Monstrelet, The Chronicles of Enguerrand de Monstrelet, trans. Thomas Johnes, 2 vols. (London: William Smith, 1840). 38. Froissart, Chronicles I:v. 39. Enguerrand de Monstrelet, Chronicles I:v. 40. London, British Library MS Royal 18.E.i is 19 in. x 13 3/4 in in size; London, British Library MS Harley 4379 is 420 x 320 mm; BNF 2643 etc is about 440 mm high. 41. Thomas Johnes to George Cumberland in Bristol, February 28, 1808; in Moore-Colyer, ed., A Land of Pure Delight, 232. Johnes is concerned here about his Monstrelet, but he experienced similar woes back in 1803 with his Froissart. 42. See in particular Henry Noel Humphreys, The Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages: An account of the development and progress of the art of illumination . . . Illustrated by a series of examples, of the size of the originals, selected from the most beautiful mss. of the various periods, executed on stone and printed in colours by Owen Jones (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1849). 43. Henry Noel Humphreys, Illuminated Illustrations of Froissart, Selected from the MS. in the British Museum . . . Selected from the MS. in the Bibliothe`que royale, Paris, and from other sources, 2 vols. (London: William Smith, 1844–1845), I.iii. 44. Humphreys, Illuminated Illustrations, II.iv. 45. Humphreys, Illuminated Illustrations, I.46. 46. Charles Dellheim, The Face of the Past: The Preservation of the Medieval Inheritance in Victorian England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 84. The practice Dellheim describes so enraged William Morris that he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877. 47. Froissart, Chronicles, I:v. 48. Jean Froissart, Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders and the adjoining countries, ed. E. V. Utterson, 2 vols. (London: Rivington, 1812), I:22. 49. For a description of the Froissart (and of course of the Kelmscott Chaucer), see William S. Peterson, A Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984). 50. Prospectus for Jean Froissart, Cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlande, Bretayne, Flaunders and other places, trans. John Bourchier, Lord Berners, 8 vols. (Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare Head Press, 1927–1928). 51. One of these four instances omits ‘‘the.’’ 52. Froissart, Cronycles of Englande, front matter. 53. The king’s copy is described in ‘‘The Shakespeare Head Press: From Avon to Isis,’’ The Times March 17, 1930, 15, col. E. 54. Belleforest assures his young reader, ‘‘Ie vous l’ay abrege´ y faisant choir de ce qui est le plus remarquable & digne d’y estre note´’’; Recueil a.iiii r. 55. The Boy’s Froissart; Being Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of adventure, battle, and


Notes to Pages 191–197

custom in England, France, Spain, etc., ed. Sidney Lanier (New York: Scribner’s, 1879); The Boy’s King Arthur; Being Sir Thomas Malory’s history of King Arthur and his knights of the Round table, ed. Sidney Lanier (New York: Scribner’s, 1880); The Boy’s Mabinogion: Being the Earliest Welsh Tales of King Arthur in the famous Red Book of Hergest, ed. Sidney Lanier (New York: Scribner’s, 1881); The Boy’s Percy: Being Old Ballads of War, Adventure and Love from Bishop Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (New York: Scribner’s, 1882). These were all reprinted several times, and all have both American and British first editions (the latter by Sampson and Low). A particularly famous new printing was the 1917 Scribner’s edition of The Boy’s King Arthur, with color plates by the American illustrator N. C. Wyeth. 56. Lanier, Boy’s Froissart, xiv. Lanier includes a sample of both Froissart and Berners. A review in the New York Times praises Lanier’s adaptation over Berners: ‘‘His adaptation is easier to follow than the pure translation, for, if the truth must be told, it is not easy to follow Froissart among names and places, many of which have disappeared from the mouths and maps of the world for centuries’’; ‘‘Froissart for Boys,’’ New York Times, December 18, 1879, 3. 57. Lanier, Boy’s Froissart, xiii, ix. 58. Lanier, Boy’s Froissart, ix. Compare, for example, Howard Pyle on Arthur’s success in drawing the sword from the stone: ‘‘For any man may be a king in that life in which he is placed if so be he may draw forth the sword of success from out of the iron of circumstance.’’ Pyle, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, 35. 59. Lanier, Boy’s Froissart, v. 60. Lanier, Boy’s Froissart, vi–vii. 61. The Boys’ Froissart: Selected from Lord Berners’ Translation of the ‘‘Chronicles’’ by Madalen Edgar, M.A. (London: George G. Harrap, 1912). Edgar produced two anthologies of poetry aimed at young people (A Treasury of Ballads, A Treasury of Verse), as well as Stories from Scottish History, Stories from The Earthly Paradise, and Tales of Wallace and Bruce. 62. G. C. Macaulay, The Chronicles of Froissart Translated by John Bourchier, Lord Berners, edited and reduced into one volume by G. C. Macaulay (London: Macmillan, 1895), v–vi. 63. ‘‘The First Modern Reporter,’’ New York Times, September 2, 1894, 23. 64. Jean Froissart, Froissart: Chronicles, ed. and trans. Geoffrey Brereton (London: Penguin, 1968, 1978), 9. 65. Ainsworth, ‘‘E´tat pre´sent,’’ 364. 66. Henry Newbolt, Stories from Froissart (London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1899). 67. Henry Newbolt, Froissart in Britain (London: James Nisbet, 1900), xviii. 68. Newbolt, Stories, xix–xx. 69. Newbolt, Stories, xxii. 70. Newbolt, Stories, xxv–xxvi. 71. ‘‘A Reading of Froissart. New Battles in Old Guise,’’ The Times, November 14, 1917, 9, col. E. The Times also produced, in 1915, broadsheets aimed at the men on the front lines, offered as a kind of anthology of great literature. The selections were not simply from English writers, but the project was, John Simons argues, intended to project a sense of Englishness, though without jingoistic or propagandistic elements; see ‘‘The Times Broadsheets: A Canon for the Front,’’ Literature and History 11, no. 2 (2002): 39–51. 72. This was a series of ‘‘a selection of passages from great literature apposite

Notes to Pages 197–199


to the War’’; the first selection was no. 21 of Wordsworth’s ‘‘Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty,’’ which ran on September 11, 1939 (11, col. D); the last, a quotation from Samuel Johnson, appeared on May 15, 1945 (6, col. G). In December 1945, a volume of all the quotations was published and quickly sold out. Froissart was not the only medieval writer used in the column: Chaucer appeared on May 29, 1940, when page 9, col. E featured a stanza from his Truth/ Balade de Bon Conseyl; and Gower appeared through a couplet from the Confessio Amantis on February 17, 1945; 6, col. E. Simons notes that the Times also returned to the broadsheet format in World War II, publishing this new series between November 1943 and August 1946; ‘‘The Times Broadsheets,’’ 46. 73. ‘‘Old and True’’–948, The Times, October 14, 1942, 7, col. C. See also ‘‘Old and True’’–1,471 (June 22, 1944, 7, col. B), quoting Froissart on Cherbourg; and ‘‘Old and True’’–1,468 (June 19, 1944, 6, col. B), which departs from the chauvinism of other English annotations and adaptations discussed above to praise, of all people, the French: ‘‘In France also was found good chivalry, strong of limb and stout of heart, and in great abundance; for the kingdom of France was never brought so low as to want men ever ready for combat.’’ 74. Peter Ainsworth concludes his study of Froissart’s methods by remarking, ‘‘His historical approach comes close, at times, to ‘fabrication,’ yet it is still of great interest even to a modern readership, precisely because it has so much to teach us about the dangers involved in our own ideologies and written codes’’; Jean Froissart and the Fabric of History: Truth, Myth, and Fiction in the Chroniques (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), 307–8. I have been arguing in this chapter that the transmission of Froissart speaks to us about very similar things. Coda 1. Michelle P. Brown, ‘‘Creating a National Treasure,’’ on The British Library, The Sherborne Missal. CD-ROM, 2002. Created by Armadillo Systems, London. 2. John Ezard, ‘‘Baebes Celebrate Medieval Treasure: Sherborne Missal Saved by Chart-toppers,’’ Guardian, June 27, 2001; accessed online at http://www,3604,513169,00.html. 3. Typical are the remarks in the British Library Review: Prior Options Report, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in March 2000: ‘‘The Library has demonstrated many examples of good practice in delivering its services. Its use of new technologies to increase access to its collections and enhance their educational potential has been particularly striking. . . . The Library is continuing to add items to the [Turning the Pages] system to provide access to even more of its treasures. . . . and CD-ROM versions of the Treasures are currently being developed for sale,’’ 28, secs. 9.1, 9.4. 4. Quoted, for example, in ‘‘British Library Unveils Hi-Tech Medieval Manuscript,’’ Guardian, June 26, 2001; accessed online http://education,,512988,00.html. 5. Summarizing the reaction to what had been received orthodoxy about the impact of the advent of the printing press, Roger Chartier points out that ‘‘It is now clear that Gutenberg’s invention did not alter the essential structures of the book. . . . The Western book achieved the form it would retain in print culture twelve or thirteen centuries before the introduction of the new technology,’’ Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 14. David McKitterick reiter-


Notes to Pages 199–202

ates the point that ‘‘It is misleading to speak of any transition from manuscript to print as if it were a finite process, let alone an orderly one’’; Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 47. I am arguing that these observations extend as well into the digital era. 6. Marshall McLuhan’s remarks about the relative positions of the Elizabethans in the print world, and the reader of 1962 in the electronic age, could as well have been written about the place of the early twenty-first century in the digital age: ‘‘We are today as far into the electronic age as the Elizabethans had advanced into the typographical and mechanical age. And we are experiencing the same confusions and indecisions which they had felt when living simultaneously in two contrasted forms of society and experience. Whereas the Elizabethans were poised between medieval corporate experience and modern individualism, we reverse their pattern by confronting an electric technology which would seem to render individualism obsolete and the corporate interdependence mandatory’’; The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962), 1. 7. Cited in R. I. Page, Matthew Parker and His Books (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications, 1993), 51–52. 8. See David J. Crankshaw and Alexandra Gillespie, ‘‘Parker, Matthew (1504– 1575),’’ ODNB. They suggest that ‘‘Lyly’’ is probably Peter Lily, the registrar of Matthew Parker’s consistory court. 9. Page, Matthew Parker and His Books, 16. 10. Thomas Frognall Dibdin, The Bibliographical Decameron; or, Ten Days Pleasant Discourse upon Illuminated Manuscripts, and subjects connected with early engraving, typography, and bibliography, 3 vols. (London: W. Bulmer and Co., Shakespeare Press, 1817), II: 415–16. 11. Toshiyuki Takamiya discusses the British Museum’s routine employment of Harris’s services in ‘‘John Harris the Pen-and-Ink Facsimilist,’’ an online article presented as part of the British Library’s web pages in support of their online digital facsimiles of Caxton’s Chaucers; see ton/johnharris.html. 12. See several of the essays in Why Fakes Matter: Essays on Problems of Authenticity, ed. Mark Jones (London: British Museum, 1992); in ‘‘Fakes, Intention, Proofs and Impulsion to Know: The Case for Cavaceppi and Clones,’’ for example, Seymour Howard remarks, ‘‘For collectors and scholars, restoration was initially significant as a factor in the cost of antiquities, necessary to give them appropriate finish and subject matter. With the rise of Romantic concerns about originality and historic authenticity, to which the Elgin Marble controversy contributed both as example and symptom, restorations became a source of embarrassment and the practice was denigrated for almost two centuries,’’ 52. 13. Anthony Panizzi convinced the trustees of the British Museum to make use of Harris’s services to provide missing leaves in early books, for example; see Harris, History of the British Museum Library, 151. John Harris’s leaves were to be clearly signed. McKitterick mentions John Harris and notes that anxieties about completeness in books predates his efforts by some considerable time (Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 145). 14. David Lowenthal, ‘‘Authenticity? The Dogma of Self-delusion,’’ in Why Fakes Matter, 186. 15. Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), 45. 16. McKitterick remarks on a persistent tendency to misunderstand ‘‘the

Notes to Pages 202–203


nature of surrogates, that they are not equals, but substitutions,’’ in much current library practice; Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 18. He suggests that the implications of surrogacy ‘‘should be at the centre of training for all who have to deal with books,’’ 19. 17. I discuss the fetishization of medieval manuscripts in modern archives in my ‘‘House Arrest: Modern Archives, Medieval Manuscripts,’’ Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 30, no. 2 (2000): 185–210. 18. First used by Gilbert Ryle in Concept of Mind (1949), and famously by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost in the Machine (1967), but the phrase has become a commonplace of digital popular culture and reflection on it, and I use it in that spirit here. It will become clear, however, that the phrase’s origins in discussions of Cartesian dualism are oddly relevant to a consideration of the dis- and reembodiment of medieval text-objects in digital avatars. 19. Bernard Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant: A Critical History of Philology, trans. Betsy Wing (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 79. Originally published as E´loge de la variante: histoire critique de la philologie (Paris: E´ditions du Seuil, 1989). 20. Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant, 79–80. 21. In a somewhat parallel vein, much more recently N. Katherine Hayles suggests that an examination of the assumptions about reading and writing underlying discussions about the translation of print documents to Web formats reveals how ‘‘our notions of textuality are shot through with assumptions specific to print,’’ ‘‘Translating Media: Why We Should Rethink Textuality,’’ Yale Journal of Criticism 16, no. 2 (2003): 263. She later remarks on the degree to which the assumptions generated by print technology have become ‘‘transparent’’ (280), a crucial point for my argument in these final pages, as I trace the persistence of those assumptions in projects aimed at transmitting medieval books digitally. 22. Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant, 80. 23. The latter term, of course, was advanced in Paul Zumthor’s Essai de poe´tique me´die´vale (Paris: E´ditions du Seuil, 1972) to describe the process by which some medieval vernacular works were reworked in transmission, both through minor textual variation and more major intervention. 24. Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant, 81. 25. Peter Robinson, ed., Chaucer: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue on CD-ROM (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 26. Robinson points out that he and his team have sometimes, because of Norman Blake’s known preference for the Hengwrt MS, been seen as deploying new technology in the service of a pre-judged conclusion, an impression he rejects by demonstrating the degree to which their work has complicated the understanding of Hengwrt as well; see Peter Robinson, ‘‘The Histories, Discoveries, and Aims of the Canterbury Tales Project,’’ Chaucer Review 38, no. 2 (2003): 132–34. My comments on the project here are not in intended to be critical of its methods and aims, which are, as I hope I have indicated, carefully and critically considered (and I am as ever grateful to Peter Robinson for answering my many questions about it over the years). I am instead interested in the extent to which even this new technology, despite all our best efforts, can be pulled relentlessly toward less sophisticated—by which I mean less self-conscious—uses. 27. This link is no longer active. The project has now moved to Birmingham and to a new website——but these remarks no longer occur on the new project website.


Notes to Pages 204–208

28. Norman Blake and Peter Robinson, ‘‘General Editors’ Preface,’’ Chaucer: The General Prologue on CD-ROM (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); extract available online at GPGenEdintro.html. Robinson further discusses the team’s growing awareness of the need to help readers make use of the vast amount of information on the discs in ‘‘Histories, Discoveries, and Aims,’’ 126–39. 29. The Hengwrt Chaucer Digital Facsimile, ed. Estelle Stubbs (Scholarly Digital Editions, 2000). The ‘‘standard’’ version was edited by Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan and published by Scholarly Digital Editions in 2003. 30. Robinson, ‘‘Histories, Discoveries, and Aims,’’ 136. 31. It was initially expected that the National Library of Wales would make the Hengwrt facsimile available in a free online edition as early as late 2003; the library has been a pioneer in the digitization of medieval manuscripts, and through its Digital Mirror site (⳱122) makes full facsimiles of several important manuscripts in its collection available online. As of December 2007, the Hengwrt facsimile is not among these, though negotiations are apparently ongoing. 32. Robinson, ‘‘Histories, Discoveries, and Aims,’’ 135. 33. The remarks are part of the online ‘‘Showcase’’ devoted to English literature; the Beowulf section is beowulf.html. 34.⬃kiernan/eBeowulf/main.htm. 35. Kevin Kiernan, ed., Electronic Beowulf 2.0 (London: British Library, 2004). 36. Groups working on the problem include InterPARES (www.interpares .org); DELOS (; and ERPANET (http: // 37. William Kilbride, ‘‘Whose Beowulf Is It Anyway? A Review of Electronic Beowulf,’’ Internet Archaeology 9 (2000); reviews/beowulf.html.The review is of the 2000 release by the British Library; the discs were first published in 1997. 38. I discuss library policies and their effects in ‘‘House Arrest.’’ 39. The Beowulf CDs are of course far richer in content, and consequently have a far richer price tag: as of the time of this writing, they retailed through the library for £111.63. 40. Turning the Pages: backgrounder by the library and developer, accessed at The release of Turning the Pages 2 has led to a site redesign; the new home page for the product is 41. James J. O’Donnell, Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 43. 42. Page no longer accessible. 43. From the ‘‘Products’’ section of the old Turning the Pages site: http:// Page no longer accessible. 44. The second Duke paid £215 for the missal in 1800. Details from the online version of the BL Manuscript catalogue. 45. Page no longer accessible. 46. See .html. I should note that the library has been most helpful to me in my research,

Notes to Pages 209–214


supplying me with information and even video concerning the Turning the Pages project. I do not mean in this section of this study to disparage the work of the library; my intention is simply to show, through a prominent example of manuscript digitization, the multiple forces which continue to condition how medieval artifacts and the texts they contain are preserved and disseminated. 47. 48. McKitterick notes a similar difficulty with what he calls ‘‘the ordering of the arts’’ when he laments the fact that a 1994–95 exhibition on the art of devotion at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, failed to provide ‘‘a proper bibliographical context’’ for the early printed images it displayed; Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 56. 49. These are the Sforza Hours, the Sherborne Missal, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the ‘‘Golf Book,’’ Jane Austen’s autograph manuscript of her History of England, Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook, Blackwell’s Herbal, the Diamond Sutra, the Golden Haggadah, Mercator’s Atlas, Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an, the Luttrell Psalter, Mozart’s diary, Alice’s Adventures Underground, Vesalius’s Anatomy, the Lisbon Bible, the Ethiopic Bible, and Blake’s notebook. 50. Other sites using the software include the Wellcome Library (http://, the Royal Society ( .uk/library/HookeTTP/hooke_broadband.htm) and the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland ( .htm). Terminals are also to be found at several historical sites, discussed further below. 51. E. Jeffrey Conklin, ‘‘Hypertext: An Introduction and Survey,’’ IEEE Computer 20, no. 9 (1987): 17–41. 52. This particular problem has been partially dealt with in other Turning the Pages facsimiles through an attempt to place the openings on a visible stack of pages, but a user still has little sense of what fraction of the original book is being made available. 53. 54. Lord’s Hansard text for May 18, 2000, col. 452, accessed electronically at 55. Lowenthal, Possessed by the Past, 121. Lowenthal has much to say about the barefaced manipulations and half-truths that constitute the heritage movement as he describes it; I should stress that the materials which accompany the British Library’s digitization projects pay very careful attention to history. 56. See and 57. and http://www.cesg.uni 58. 59. At the time of this writing, the Winchester digitization is still in process. The other ‘‘Treasures in Full’’ are, at present, Shakespeare in quarto, two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, Magna Carta, and 253 early modern festival books. 60. 61. 62. Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading (Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), 15. Manguel’s comments, in stressing the personal attachment to a mutable (stainable) object, underline McKitterick’s reminder that ‘‘books, and therefore the texts they hold, may be changed physically and contextually over time, thus lending themselves to different priorities in their identification, description, values and use,’’ Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 224.


Notes to Pages 214–215

63. Digitization projects may also have broader pragmatic goals, beyond the protection of rare materials. Seth Lerer has pointed out that ‘‘The physical, artifactual nature of the book has made the canonizing of the literary work into an act of space management’’ (‘‘Epilogue: Falling Asleep over the History of the Book,’’ PMLA 121, no. 1 [2006]: 232); for many libraries the promise of all manner of digital facsimile must surely lie in part in the possibility that electronic versions of books will allow those shelves and shelves of objects to be moved to more compact, less accessible quarters. 215. Geoffrey Nunberg, ‘‘The Places of Books in the Age of Electronic Reproduction,’’ Representations 42 (Spring 1993): 15. This was a special issue of Representations devoted to ‘‘Future Libraries.’’ In a contribution to a collection edited by Nunberg, Paul Duguid argues that two ‘‘futurological tropes’’—the ideas of supersession and liberation—get in the way of our ability to see connections between old and new technologies; his observation that supersession (the idea of a new technology vanquishing an older one) is above all ‘‘a significant marketing ploy,’’ is clearly relevant for my discussion of the commercial aspects of many digitization projects; ‘‘Material Matters: The Past and Futurology of the Book,’’ in The Future of the Book, ed. Geoffrey Nunberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 66, 68. 65. 66. Gareth Morgan, ‘‘Lure of Wales’ ‘Elgin Marbles’,’’ Western Mail, January 16, 2004; accessed via content_objectid⳱13822503 emethod⳱full_siteid⳱50082_headline⳱-Lure-of -Wales—-Elgin-Marbles—name_page.html. 67. Diocese of Lichfield, ‘‘Spreading the Gospel: Digital Technology Turns the St. Chad Gospels,’’ 060224c.htm. 68. Diocese of Lichfield, ‘‘Archaeologists Discover St. Chad’s Burial Place and Shrine,’’ a.htm. 69. ‘‘NLM Lets Readers Explore Rare Volumes, Virtually,’’ http://www.nih .gov/news/NIH-Record/04_03_2001/story04.htm.


Manuscripts Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MSS 5599, 5600C Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 392D (the Hengwrt Chaucer) Alnwick Castle, Duke of Northumberland, MS 455 Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 293 Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, Caius MS 107 Cambridge, University Library Ff.ii.38 Cambridge, Trinity College MS B.15.17 Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.2 Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.14 Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.15 Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates Library MS 19.2.1 (the Auchinleck manuscript) Geneva, Fondation Bodmer, MS 178 Glasgow, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 59 Lichfield, Lichfield Cathedral Library, MS 1 (the St. Chad Gospels) London, British Library, Additional MS 5141 London, British Library, Additional MS 30222 London, British Library, Additional MS 42130 (the Luttrell Psalter) London, British Library, Additional MS 48976 (the Rous Roll) London, British Library, Additional MSS 59495 (the Trentham manuscript) and 59496 London, British Library, Additional MS 59678 (the Winchester Manuscript) London, British Library, Additional MS 74236 (the Sherborne Missal) London, British Library, MS Arundel 38 London, British Library, MS Cotton Claudius D.ii London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero D. iv (the Lindisfarne Gospels) London, British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius B.i London, British Library, MS Cotton Vespasian A.i (the Vespasian Psalter) London, British Library, MS Cotton Vitellius A.xv (the Beowulf manuscript) London, British Library, MS Egerton 913 London, British Library, MS Harley 78 London, British Library, MS Harley 3469 London, British Library, MS Harley 3869 London, British Library, MSS Harley 4379–80 London, British Library, MS Harley 4866 London, British Library I.A.55533 (print fragment of Guy) London, British Library, MS Lansdowne 762



London, British Library, Royal MS 10.E.iv (the Smithfield Decretals) London, British Library, Royal MS 18.B.xvii London, British Library, Royal MS 18.E.i London, British Library, Yates Thompson MS 13 (the Taymouth Hours) New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Osborn Collection, MS fa.1 Nottingham, University Library, MS Mi LM 8 Oxford, All Souls College, MS 98 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden B.26 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley Douce Fragment e.14 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 294 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Digby 23 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 104 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Fairfax 3 Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201 Paris, Bibliothe`que nationale de France, MSS franc¸ais 2643, 2644, 2646 Paris, Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal, MS 5073 Paris, Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal, MS 5190 Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University, Firestone Library, Robert H. Taylor Collection, Medieval MS 5 Rothesay, Marquess of Bute, MS I.17 San Marino, California, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.A.17 (the Stafford manuscript) San Marino, California, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.C.9 (the Ellesmere Chaucer) Primary Texts The ‘‘A.L.’’ Bright Story Readers. No. 43. Grade IV. Stories from the ‘‘Canterbury Tales.’’ Prepared by the Editor. Edited by Alfonzo Gardiner. Toronto: Macmillan, n.d. Armadillo Systems and the British Library. Turning the Pages backgrounder. No longer accessible. Arthur of Brytayn. London: William Copland, 1560; ESTC 807. Arthur of Little Britaine. London: Thomas East, 1582; ESTC 808. Ashby, George. Active Policy of a Prince, in George Ashby’s Poems. Ed. Mary Bateson, EETS no. 76, 1899. Bale, John. Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytannie quam nunc Angliam & Scotiam uocant catalogus. Basel: Ioannes Oporinus, 1557–59; ESTC 1296 Variant. Bates, Katharine Lee. The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold for Children. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1909. [Beowulf] De Danorum rebus gestis secul. III & IV. Poema danicum dialecto anglosaxonica. Ed. Grimu´r Jonsso´n Thorkelı´n. Copenhagen, 1815. ———. The Anglo-Saxon Poems of Beowulf, the Travellers Song and the Battle of FinnesBurh. Edited together with a glossary and an historical preface by John M. Kemble. Ed. John Mitchell Kemble. 2 vols. London: William Pickering, 1833, 1837. ———. Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburg. Ed. Fr. Klaeber. 3rd edition with first and second supplements. Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1922; 1950. ———. Electronic Beowulf 2.0. Ed. Kevin Kiernan. CD-ROM. London: British Library, 2004.



Berkenhout, John. Biographia literaria; or a biographical history of literature: containing the lives of English, Scotish, and Irish authors. London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1777. Bevis of Hampton. London: Richard Pynson, 1503; ESTC 1988. Boethius. An. Manl. Sever. Boethi Consolationis philosophiae libri V Anglo-Saxonice redditi ab Alfredo. Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1698; Wing B3429. Britannica Curiosa: or, a description of the most remarkable curiosities, natural and artificial, of the island of Great Britain. 3 vols. London: R. Snagg, 1776. British Library. Online Gallery: English Literature: Showcases: Beowulf. Accessed online at ‘‘British Library Unveils Hi-Tech Medieval Manuscript.’’ Guardian, June 26, 2001. Accessed online at story/0,,512988,00.html. Camden, William. Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. London: Ralph Newbery, 1586; ESTC 4503. ———. Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. London: George Bishop, 1594; ESTC 4506. ———. Britannia, siue Florentissimorum regnorum Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio: nunc postremo` recognita, plurimis locis magna accessione adaucta, & chartis chorographicis illustrata. London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1607; ESTC 4508. ———. Britain, or, A Chorographicall description of the most flourishing kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the ilands adioyning . . . translated newly into English by Phile´mon Holland. London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610; ESTC 4509. ———. Camden’s Britannia, newly translated into English. . . . Publish’d by Edmund Gibson. London: F. Collins for A. Swalle, 1695; Wing C359. ———. Britannia: or a Chorographical description of Great Britain and Ireland, together with the adjacent islands / Written in Latin by William Camden, . . . and translated into English, with additions and improvements. The second edition. Revised, digested, and published, with large additions, by Edmund Gibson. London: Printed by Mary Matthews, for Awnsham Churchill, 1722; Goldsmith’s 6088. ———. Remaines of a Greater Worke, concerning Britaine. London: G.E. for Simon Waterson, 1605; ESTC 4521. Cardale, J. S., ed. King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon Version of Boethius De consolatione philosophiae: with an English translation, and notes by J. S. Cardale. London: Pickering, 1829. Chalmers, Alexander. The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper; including the Series Edited with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, by Dr. Samuel Johnson: and The Most Approved Translations. 21 vols. London: J. Johnson, 1810. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tales. Westminster: William Caxton, 1483. ESTC 5083. ———. The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer: Illustrated after Drawings by W. Russell Flint. 3 vols. London: Medici Society, 1913. ———. The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer. Together with a version in modern English verse by William van Wyck; illustrated by Rockwell Kent. New York: CoviciFriede, 1930. ———. Chaucer: The General Prologue on CD-ROM. Ed. Peter Robinson and Norman Blake. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.



———. Chaucer: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue on CD-ROM. Ed. Peter Robinson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ———. The Hengwrt Chaucer Digital Facsimile. Ed. Estelle Stubbs. Scholarly Digital Editions, 2000. ‘‘Standard’’ edition edited by Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan. Scholarly Digital Editions, 2003. ———. The Noble and Amerous Auncyent Hystory of Troylus and Cresyde. London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1517; ESTC 5095. ———. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd edition. Ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987. Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd. Important Printed Books, Mediaeval Manuscripts and Music . . . which will be sold at Auction . . . July 2, 1975. The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Special Collections. clspg083.htm. Cohen, Barbara. Canterbury Tales: Selected, Translated, and Adapted by Barbara Cohen. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988. Cooney, Barbara. Chanticleer and the Fox: By Geoffrey Chaucer. New York: Thomas W. Crowell, 1958. Cooper, Elizabeth. The Muses Library; or a series of English poetry, from the Saxons, to the reign of King Charles II. London: Printed for J. Wilcox, T. Green, J. Brindley, and T. Osborn, 1737. Cowden Clarke, Charles, ed. The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer: To which are added an essay on his language and versification. 3 vols. London: Cassell Peter & Galpin, n.d. ———. The Riches of Chaucer: In which his impurities have been expunged; his spelling modernised; his rhythm accentuated; and his obsolete terms explained. 2 vols. London: Effingham Wilson, 1835. ———. Tales from Chaucer, in prose. Designed chiefly for the use of young persons. By Charles Cowden Clarke. Illustrated, etc. London: Effingham Wilson, 1833. ———. Tales from Chaucer, in prose. Designed chiefly for the use of young persons. By Charles Cowden Clarke . . . Second edition, carefully revised . . . Illustrated, etc. London: C. Lockwood, 1870. ———. Tales from Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: selected tales told for young people by Charles Cowden Clarke and illustrated with miniatures by Arthur Szyk. New York: Heritage Press, 1947. Cowell, John. The Interpreter: or Booke containing the signification of vvords wherein is set foorth the true meaning of all, or the most part of such words and termes, as are mentioned in the lawe vvriters, or statutes of this victorious and renowned kingdome, requiring any exposition or interpretation . . . Collected by Iohn Cowell. Cambridge: John Legate, 1607; ESTC 5900. Crouch, Humphrey. The Heroick History of Guy Earl of Warwick written by Hvmphrey Crovch. London: Printed for Edward Brewster. 1673; Wing C7282. Cunnington, Susan. Stories from Dante by Susan Cunnington. London: Harrap, 1918. The Curiosities, natural and artificial, of the island of Great Britain. London: R. Snagg, 1775?. Dante Alighieri. La Commedia. Venice: Pietro di Piasi Cremonese, 1491. ———. Le prime quattro edizioni della Divina Commedia letteralmente ristampate per cura di G. G. Warren, Lord Vernon. London: Thomas and William Boone, 1858. ———. Lo inferno, Lo purgatorio, Lo paradiso. 3 vols. London: Nella stamperia de Ashendene, 1902, 1904, 1905.



———. Tutte le opere di Dante Alighieri fiorentino. Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1909. Darton, F. J. Harvey. Pilgrims’ Tales from ‘‘Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims.’’ By F. J. Harvey Darton, etc. London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1908. ———. The Story of the Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold from Chaucer and Others by F. J. Harvey Darton. Illustrated by M. L. Kirk. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1914. ———. Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims: Retold from Chaucer and Others by F. J. Harvey Darton, with Introduction by F. J. Furnivall and Illustrations by Hugh Thomson. London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1904. ———. Wonder Book of Old Romance. London: Wells Gardner, Darton, 1907. de Belleforest, Franc¸ois. Recueil diligent et profitable avqvel sont contenuz les choses plus notables a` remarquer de toute l’Histoire de Iean Froissart. Paris: Guillaume de la Noue¨, 1572. de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Jean-Baptiste. Memoirs of the Life of Froissart: with an essay on his works; and a criticism on his history. Trans. Thomas Johnes. London: Nichols and Son, 1801. de Monstrelet, Enguerrand. The Chronicles of Enguerrand de Monstrelet. Trans. Thomas Johnes. 2 vols. London: William Smith, 1840. Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK. British Library Review: Prior Options Report. March 2000. Accessed online: priorop.pdf. Dibdin, Thomas Frognall. The Bibliographical Decameron; or, Ten Days Pleasant Discourse upon Illuminated Manuscripts, and subjects connected with early engraving, typography, and bibliography. 3 vols. London: W. Bulmer and Co, Shakespeare Press, 1817. Diocese of Lichfield. ‘‘Spreading the Gospel: Digital Technology Turns the St. Chad Gospels.’’ February 24, 2006. articles/2006/060224c.htm. ———. ‘‘Archaeologists Discover St. Chad’s Burial-Place and Shrine.’’ February 24, 2006. D’Israeli, Isaac. Amenities of Literature: Consisting of Sketches and Characters of English Literature. 3 vols. London: Edward Moxon, 1841. Drayton, Michael. Poly-Olbion. London: Printed by Humphrey Lownes for M. Lownes, 1612; ESTC 7226. Dugdale, William. The Antiquities of Warwickshire illustrated from records, leiger-books, manuscripts, charters, evidences, tombes, and armes. London: Thomas Warren, 1656; Wing D2479. Dunbar, William. The Goldyn Targe. In The Poems of William Dunbar. Ed. John Small. Scottish Text Society, 1893. Ellis, George. Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances, chiefly written during the early part of the fourteenth century. 3 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1805. ———. Specimens of the Early English Poets. 3 vols. London: Printed by W. Bulmer for G. and W. Nicol and J. Wright, 1801. An Excellent Ballad of St. George for England and the King of Egypt’s daughter, whom he delivered from death, and how he slew a monstrous dragon. London: Printed by and for Alex. Milbourn, 1693; Wing E3793. Ezard, John. ‘‘Baebes Celebrate Medieval Treasure: Sherborne Missal saved by Chart-toppers.’’ The Guardian, June 27, 2001. Accessed online at http://www,3604,513169,00.html. Fairfax, Thomas. The Fairfax Correspondence: Memoirs of the Reign of Charles the First. Ed. George W. Johnson. London: R. Bentley, 1848.



The Famous and Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Southampton giving an account of his birth, education, heroick exploits, and enterprises. London: Printed for W. Thackeray . . ., and J. Deacon, 1689; Wing F359. Farjeon, Eleanor. Tales from Chaucer; the Canterbury tales done into prose, by Eleanor Farjeon; illustrated by W. Russell Flint, A.R.A. London: Medici Society, 1930. ———. Tales from Chaucer: Re-told by Eleanor Farjeon. Illustrated by Marjorie Walters. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Fell, John. A Specimen of the several sorts of letter given to the university by Dr. John Fell sometime Lord Bishop of Oxford To which is added the letter given by Mr. F. Junius. Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1695; Wing F623. ‘‘The First Modern Reporter.’’ New York Times, September 2, 1894, 23. The iiii. Leues of the Trueloue. London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1510; ESTC 15345. Fox, Samuel, ed. King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon Version of the Metres of Boethius, with an English translation, and notes; by the Rev. Samuel Fox. London: Pickering, 1835. ———. King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon Version of Boethius De consolatione philosophiae: with a literal English translation, notes, and glossary. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1864. ———. Menologium seu Calendarium poeticum ex hickesiano thesauro: or, The Poetical Calendar of the Anglo-Saxons. With an English translation and notes by Samuel Fox. London: Pickering, 1830. Foxe, John. The Gospels of the fower Euangelistes translated in the olde Saxons tyme out of Latin into the vulgare toung of the Saxons, newly collected out of auncient monumentes of the sayd Saxons, and now published for testimonie of the same. London: John Day, 1571; ESTC 2961. ‘‘Froissart for Boys.’’ New York Times, December 18, 1879, 3. Froissart, Jean. Le premier (-quart) volume de Froissart Des croniques de France, dangleterre, descoce. Despaigne, de bretaigne, de gascongne, de flandres. Paris: Guillaume Eustache, 1513. ———. Here begynneth the first volum of sir Iohan Froyssart of the cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlande, Bretayne, Flau[n]ders. London: Richard Pynson, 1523–25; ESTC 11396. ———. Here begynneth the thirde and fourthe boke of sir Iohn Froissart of the cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlande, Bretayne, Flaunders. London: Richard Pynson, 1525; ESTC 11397. ———. Here begynneth the fyrst volum of Syr Iohan Froyssart of the cronycles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne, Portyngale, Scotlaude [sic], Bretayne, Flaunders. London: William Middleton, 1542; ESTC 11396.5. ———. A Paralel of Times and Events: being, a narrative account of an introde [sic] made by the Scots into England, in the reign of King Richard the second. London: Printed for C. Corbett, 1746. ———. Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France and the adjoining countries . . . Newly translated from the best French editions, with variations and additions from many celebrated manuscripts. Trans. Thomas Johnes. 4 vols. Hafod: Hafod Press, 1803–1805. ———. Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders and the adjoining countries. Ed. E. V. Utterson. 2 vols. London: Rivington, 1812. ———. Les Chroniques de sire Jean Froissart qui traitent des merveilleuses emprises, nobles aventures et faits d’armes . . . nouvellement revues et augmente´es d’apre`s les manuscripts. Ed. J. A. C. Buchon. Paris, 1824–1826. ———. Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries. Trans. Thomas Johnes. 2 vols. London: William Smith, 1839.



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Access, xiv, 199, 206, 208, 213–15. See also Digitization Ackerman, Gretchen P., 233 n.86 Adam of Damerham, 224 n.1 Ælfric, 25, 28, 53, 55 Æsop, 140, 158 Aestheticism, 139, 254 n.32 Ainsworth, Peter, 195, 260 n.7, 265 n.74 A. L. Bright Story Readers, 153, 157, 257 n.89 Alcock, Leslie, 224 nn.2–3 Alexander, Michael, 225 n.7, 235 n.8, 257 n.78 Alfred, king, 30, 46, 48, 50, 51, 57 Alfred Jewel, 46 Allen, Mark, 253 n.23 Alnwick Castle, 198 American Junior Classics, 254 n.38 Anglo-Saxon heptarchy, representation of, 31, 32, 44, 45, 57 Anglo-Saxon laws, early scholarship on, 31, 37, 41, 59, 227 n.31. See also Lambarde, William; Nowell, Laurence Anglo-Saxon past, attitudes toward, 25, 30, 31, 36, 37, 42, 44, 46, 48, 53, 159, 160, 229 n.48, 258 n. 104 Anne of Bohemia, 174 Anne´e Terrible, 171 Annotation (by readers), 162, 163, 172, 173, 191, 196, 197 Antiquarians and antiquarianism, xii, 4, 12, 13, 21, 30, 37, 44, 46, 62–65, 68, 92, 102, 103, 108, 109, 117, 118, 140, 143, 169, 175, 177, 186, 199, 222 n.49, 223 n.64, 224 n. 3, 227 n. 31, 228 n.38, 243 n.99, 245 n.3, 249 n.44. See also Bale, John; Barnes, Joshua; Camden, William; Dugdale, William; Gibson, Edmund; Haslewood, Joseph; Hearne, Thomas; Hickes, George; Holland, Philemon; Lambarde, William; Lhuyd, Edward; Lily, Peter;

Lisle, William; Lower, Mark Antony; Nicolas, Sir Harris; Nowell, Laurence; Pegge, Samuel; Prise, Sioˆn; Rawlinson, Christopher; Ritson, Joseph; Selden, John; Shaw, Henry; Speed, John; Spelman, Henry; Spelman, John; Sterling, Joseph; Stow, John; Thwaites, Edward; Thynne, Francis; Wanley, Humfrey; Weever, John; Wheelocke, Abraham Antwerp, 221 n.44 Archaeological objects, representations of, 166, 223 n.64, 224 n.3, 228 n.38, 231 n. 67, 261 n.12. See also Alfred Jewel; Glastonbury Cross; Maps Armes parlantes, 4–5 Arms, heraldic, representation and discussion of, xiv, 69, 102–3, 108–9, 169, 171– 74, 185, 187–88, 190, 235 n.3, 238 n.39, 249 n.44, 250 n.58, 262 n.26. See also Armes parlantes; Rous Roll; Shephard, Thomas; Thynne, Francis Arnamagnæan Commission, 233 n.84 Art Nouveau, 139, 254 n.32 Arthur, king, 21, 24, 25, 127, 157, 160, 241 n.74, 264 n.58. See also Arthurian literature; Malory, Thomas Arthurian literature, xv, 127, 153, 157, 218 n.10, 237 n.23, 251 n.4, 255 n.50, 264 n.55 Arthur of Brytayn, 239 n.44 Arthur of Little Britaine, 77, 240 n.63, 241 n.68 Arts and Crafts movement, 139, 169. See also Morris, William Arundel, 88, 91, 92. See also Bevis of Hampton: and Arondel (horse) Aryan, 159–61, 259 nn. 116, 119 Ashby, George, 245 n.8 Ashendene Press, vii–xi, 191, 217 n.1 Asser, 30, 51–52, 232 n.79 Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Nina, 260 n.9



Athenaeum, The, 93 Auberoche, 197 Aura, xv, 2, 20, 164, 218 n.5, 256 n.65. See also Benjamin, Walter Authenticity, claims of, vii, xiii, xiv, xvi, 4, 6–7, 10, 13, 17, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 41, 48, 51, 91, 153, 168, 169, 174, 177, 185–88, 196, 201–2, 212–13, 221 n.34, 253 n.17. See also Authority, claims of Author portraits, xiv, 17, 19, 48, 53, 57, 153. See also Chaucer: and portraits; Portraits Authority, claims of, vii, 6, 11, 25, 28, 29, 41, 48, 57, 122, 178, 184, 190, 201. See also Authenticity, claims of Backhouse, Janet, 220 n.30 Bainbrigge, Philip, 261 n.19 Bale, John, 103, 108, 247 n.29 Barczewski, Stephanie L., 218 n.10 Barker, Christopher, 28 Barnes, Joshua, 190 Barrett Browning, Elizabeth, 253 n.20 Barron, W. R. J., 67 Bates, Katharine Lee, 129, 151–52, 156, 159–61, 257 n.79 Battle of Montiel, 179–80, 182–83 Battle of Poitiers, 173 Baylen, Joseph O., 258 n.110 Bede, 30, 51 Bell, John, 142 Bell, Robert, 151 Benedict, Barbara M., 248 n.35 Benjamin, Walter, 20, 218 n.5. See also Aura Beowulf, xii, 53, 56–59, 113–14, 117, 157, 206, 233 n.86, 261 n.12, 268 n.33. See also Electronic Beowulf; Hinds, Gareth Berkenhout, John, 248 n.34 Berthelette, Thomas, 10, 11, 17, 99–102, 155, 246 n.20 Bevis of Hampton, xii, xiii, 61, 63, 65–68, 75–80, 83–89, 91–96, 126, 140, 222 n.58, 242 n.85, 243 nn. 99, 101, 254 n.37; and Arondel (horse), 68, 70, 88, 91, 243 nn.95–96; and Ascopart (giant), 68, 70, 78, 83–84, 91, 94, 238 n.42, 254 n.37; and dragon, 75–77, 92, 240 nn. 59, 61, 243 n.101. See also East, representation of; Excellent Ballad of St. George for England; George, St. —printings and versions: Bevis of Hampton (Pynson, 1503), 67, 70–71, 75, 77–79,

85–88, 93–94, 238 n.36, 239 n.54, 240 n.65; Famous and Renowned History of Sir Bevis of Southampton (1689), 87, 89, 242 n.89; The Gallant History of the life and death of that most noble knight, Sir Bevis of Southampton (1691), 75, 95–96, 240 n.57; Historie of Beuis of Hampton (1610), 78; History of the Life and Death of that Most Noble Knight Sir Bevis, of Southampton (1750), 91, 243 nn.95–96; Sir Bevis of Hampton (1533), 78, 238 n.36; Sir Bevis of Hampton (1639), 70, 86, 87, 238 n.43, 240 n.57; Syr Beuis of Hampton (1636), 240 n.27; Syr Beuis of Hampton (1630), 75, 240 n.57; Syr Bevis of Hampton (1585), 75–79, 86–87, 240 nn. 59, 62, 64, 241 n.65 Bible, 28, 162, 225 n.15. See also Complutensian Polyglot Bible; Doves Press Bible; Foxe, John; Gutenberg Bible; Thwaites, Edward Bibliophiles, 4, 12, 97, 117–18, 200. See also Collectors and collecting; Dibdin, Thomas Frognall; Roxburghe Club Bibliophilia, x, 202, 211 Binding, ix, xii, 93, 137, 157, 158, 169, 170, 176, 184, 191, 208, 212, 244 n.107 Biographia Britannica, 247 n.24 Bishop, Louise M., 147, 256 n.65 Bishop, Richard, 70, 86, 87, 242 n.86 Bjork, Robert E., 233 n.84, 250 n.61 Blackwell, Basil, 188 Blackwell, Christine, 190 Blades, William, 219 n.8 Blake, Norman, 204, 267 n.26 Blake, William, 257 n.79, 269 n.49 Bodleian Library, 47, 110, 123, 247 nn. 24, 27 Boethius, 48, 49, 232 n.73 Bolter, Jay David, 201 Books for the Bairns, 158–59, 258 n.110. See also Stead, William Thomas Booth, Florence Eleanor, 133, 253 n.26 Bornstein, George, 218 n.5 Bouchet, Jean, 173 Bourchier, John, Lord Berners, xiv, 163– 64, 171, 173, 175, 185–91, 193, 195, 197, 261 n.23, 262 n.35 Brantley, Jessica, 238 n.38 Braswell, Mary Flowers, 128, 257 nn. 76, 95 Brereton, Geoffrey, 195

Index Breuker, Ph. H., 230 n.62 Brewer, Charlotte, 6, 11, 221 n.41 Brighton, 175 Britannica Curiosa, 91, 243 n.94 British Library, 97, 110, 120, 125, 162, 171, 173, 184, 196, 198–99, 205–16, 244 n.2, 260 n.1, 265 n.3, 268 n.46, 269 n.55 British Museum, xiii, 62, 175, 188, 195, 201, 220 n.24, 229 n.48, 244 n.2, 266 nn. 11, 13 Brown, Ford Madox, 151 Brown, Michelle P., 210 Brownrigg, Linda, 238 n.38 Bruges, 9, 164, 218 n.2, 260 n.11 Brussels, 188, 190 Buchon, J. A. C., 190, 260 n.8 Bullen, Arthur Henry, 188 Bulmer, William, 245 n.4 Burghers, Michael, 53–54 Burke, Peter, 224 n.3 Caldecott Medal, 130 Cambridge, 41, 48, 175, 251 n.1 Camden, William, xii, 21–26, 30, 31, 33, 36, 39, 40, 42, 44, 166, 225 n.7; Britannia, xii, 21–26, 30, 31, 33–35, 44–46, 223, 228 n.38, 231 n.68, 262 n.29; Remaines of a Greater Worke, 37, 226 n.22 Camille, Michael, 7, 9, 17, 219 n.22, 222 n.59 Campbell, Kofi, 237 n.30 Canterbury, 140, 145, 146, 257 n.79 Canterbury Classics, 151, 159–60 Canterbury Tales Project, 203–8, 211, 212, 267 nn.26–27, 268 n.28 Cardale, J. S., 56, 234 n.92 Cardiganshire Landlord’s Advice to His Tenants, A, 262 n.28 Carentan, 173 Carey, Henry, baron Hunsdon, 162–63, 168, 173, 260 n.2 Carley, James P., 247 n.27 Carlyle, E. I., 244 n.1 Carter, Harry, 231 n.65 Cartwright, Reg, 147 Castide, Henry (Henry Christell, Cristede), 172–73, 262 n.26 Cave, Edward (Sylvanus Urban), 234 n.1 Cavendish, William George Spencer, sixth duke of Devonshire, 117


Caxton, William, 10, 11, 63, 99, 100, 200, 202, 212 Cecil, William, lord Burghley, 199, 200, 228 n.35 Cerquiglini, Bernard, 202–4, 206 Chad, Saint, 215 Chalmers, Alexander, 246 n.21 Chambers, W. R, 190 Chanson de Roland, 157, 159, 171, 261 n.19 Chapbooks, 68, 74, 85, 88, 92, 93, 126, 140, 238 n.37, 242 n.91 Charles V, king of France, 165, 167, 178, 179 Chartier, Roger, xi, 265 n.5 Chaucer, Geoffrey, xiii, xv, 11, 19, 44, 48, 56, 61, 63, 65, 98, 100, 101, 105, 107, 108, 122, 124, 163, 174, 191, 193, 223 n.59, 230 n.53, 245 n.5, 246 n.22, 256 n.69; biography of, xiv, 144–45, 147, 150–53, 256 n.73; portraits of, 105, 109, 145, 147–50, 161, 266 nn.64–66, 257 nn. 79, 89; children’s adaptations of, 126– 61, 254 n.33, 256 n.67. See also Manuscripts: Aberystwyth, NLW, Peniarth 392D; San Marino, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.C.9 —works: apocrypha, 44, 140–41, 221n.44, 231 n.66; Book of the Duchess, 127; Canterbury Tales, 10, 127, 129, 134, 139–41, 147, 158–59, 212, 253 n.28, 259 n.121; (Clerk’s Tale, 130, 132, 134, 253 n.18; Cook’s Tale, 140; Franklin’s Tale, 130–34, 137–38; Friar’s Tale, 130; General Prologue, 130, 137, 145–47, 151, 204; Knight’s Tale, 130, 134–35, 137, 152; Man of Law’s Tale, 130, 134, 136; Merchant’s Tale, 142–43; Miller’s Tale, 130, 139, 141–43, 252 n.15; Nun’s Priest’s Tale, 130; Pardoner’s Tale, 130, 137; Prioress’s Tale, 151–52, 161, 257 n.96; Reeve’s Tale, 130, 139, 143; Sir Thopas, 63, 67, 237 n.22; Squire’s Tale, 130, 140, 152; Summoner’s Tale, 141, 143; Wife of Bath’s Tale, 203, 253 n.18); Prologue to the Legend of Good Women, 39; Troilus and Criseyde, 71, 127. See also Canterbury Tales Project Chaucer Society, 145, 151 Chelsea, ix Children, adaptations for, xiv, 19, 186, 191, 193, 195, 243 n.106, 244 n.107, 252 n.14, 253 n.28, 254 nn. 33, 38, 255 n. 50, 258



Children, adaptations for (continued ) n.104, 263 nn. 36, 55, 264 n.61. See also Chaucer, children’s adaptations of; de Belleforest, Franc¸ois; Lanier, Sidney; Pyle, Howard; Series for children Chimay, 196 Chiswick Press, 2–7, 10, 12, 13, 93, 234 n.89, 243 n.106 Chivalry, 193, 235 n.8 Chorography, 31, 36, 45. See also Camden, William; Dugdale, William; Lambarde, William; Maps; Speed, John Christie, Edward, 29 Christie, Manson & Woods, 125, 244 n.2 Chromolithography, 8, 164, 166, 199, 220 n.30, 260 n.11 Chronicon Anglicanum, 24 Church of England, 25, 27, 38, 57, 196. See also Parker, Matthew; Reformation Cibber, Theophilus, 102, 247 n.25 Civil War, English, 110 Clement, Richard W., 25, 28, 51, 225 nn.10–11, 226 n.20, 258 n.104 Clive, Robert, first baron Clive of Plassey (Clive of India), 97 Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis (CEEC), 212–13 Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG), 212–13 Cohen, Barbara, 253 n.17 Cohen, Nathalie, 246 n.15 Cole, Henry (Felix Summerly), 243 n.104 Cole, Herbert, 263 n.36 Collage, 9, 10, 120, 124 Collecting and collectors, xiv, 8, 103–4, 117, 157, 185, 190, 200, 223 n.64, 226 n.17. See also Cavendish, William George Spencer; Cecil, William; Johnes, Thomas; Lhuyd, Edward; Parker, Matthew; Spencer, George John; Sykes, Sir Mark Masterman Collier (publishing firm), 254 n.38 Collotype, 120, 250 n.66 Cologne, 212. See also Bevis of Hampton; Dragon Colophons, viii–ix, 191, 192 Combe, Thomas, 57 Complutensian Polyglot Bible, 225 n.15 Computer, xv, 199, 202, 203, 205, 206, 211. See also Digitization Conklin, Jeff, 210

Conybeare, John Josias, 56, 206, 233 n.86 Cooney, Barbara, 130, 252 n.16 Cooper, Elizabeth, 103, 105, 247 n.25, 248 nn. 31, 34, 35 Cooper, Helen, 219 n.4, 235 n.10, 239 nn. 49, 51, 242 n.83 Cope, Charles West, 253 n.23 Copland, William, 63–66, 74, 78, 235 n.9, 236 nn. 13, 19, 238 n.36, 239 n.52, 240 nn.63–64, 241 nn. 65, 68 Corbett, Margery, 218 n.2, 232 n.69 Corse, Taylor, 250 n.61 Costambeys, Marios, 218 n.9 Cotton, Sir Robert, 231 n.67 Cotton Library, 231 n.63, 245 n.3 Courtly love, 130–32, 134 Cowden Clarke, Charles, 143–45, 150–51, 153, 161, 255 nn.51–53, 256 n.73, 257 n.77 Cowden Clarke, Mary Victoria, 143 Cowell, John, 41–42, 230 n.57 Coxe, Henry Octavius, 123, 251 n.73 Crane, Walter, 254 n.32 Crankshaw, David, 266 n.8 Crawford, Alistair, 28 Crick, Julia, 231 n.63 Croenen, Godfried, 260 n.8 Crowley, Robert, 11, 12, 17, 221 nn. 38, 40–41 Crusades, 66, 237 n.23, 242 n.85. See also East, representation of Cundall, Joseph, 93, 244 n.107 Cunnally, John, 223 n.64 Cunnington, Susan, 255 n.50 Curiosities, Natural and Artificial, of the Island of Great Britain, 243 n.94 Dane, Joseph A., 220 n.31 Dante Alighieri, vii–xi, 142, 157, 159, 217 n.1, 255 n.50 Darmesteter, Mary, 195 Darton, F. J. Harvey, 140–41, 146–48, 150, 152, 161, 254 nn.37–39, 256 n.67 David Nutt (firm), 190 Day, John, 232 n.79 de Beauchamp, Thomas, 237 n.25 de Belleforest, Franc¸ois, 191, 263 n.54 de Burgh Kenworthy, David Montague, eleventh baron Strabolgi, 211 de Cisneros, Ximenes, 225 n.15 de Gobineau, Joseph-Arthur, 160

Index de Grise, Jehan, 6 de la Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Jean Baptiste, 175, 262 n.31 de Monstrelet, Enguerrand, 178, 180, 263 n.37 de Montluzin, Emily Lorraine, 234 n.1 de Roigny, Michael, 262 n.31 de Witt-Guizot, Henriette, 164, 171, 179, 260 n.8 de Worde, Wynkyn, 64, 67, 71, 74, 77, 78, 238 nn. 36, 40, 239 n.53, 240 nn. 61, 64, 241 nn. 65, 68 Dean, James M., 218 n.4 Dellheim, Charles, 185, 263 n.46 Delort, Charles Edouard, 169 DELOS, 268 n.36 Denison, J. Evelyn, 56, 226 n.22 Dibdin, Thomas Frognall, 117, 200–202 Dickens, Charles, 185 Dickins, Bruce, 233 n.86 Digitization, xiv–xvi, 17, 20, 198–99, 201– 16, 267 n.21, 268 n.31, 269 nn. 49, 52, 55, 270 nn.63–64. See also Canterbury Tales Project; Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis; Codices Electronici Sangallenses; Computer; DELOS; Electronic Beowulf; ERPANET; InterPARES; Treasures in Full; Turning the Pages Diluvio Noe, 118 Display capitals, viii, ix, x, xiv, 9, 59, 164, 168, 177, 222 n.59, 234 n.89, 249 n.50 D’Israeli, Isaac, 12, 15 Domesday Book, 227 n.24 Dorsetshire, 34 Doves Press Bible, 217 n.1 Doyle, A. I., 221 n.45 Drayton, Michael, 31, 87 Driver, Martha W., 19, 223 n.62, 239 n.44, 241 nn. 65, 81, 252 n.84 Drury, Henry, 117 Dryden, John, 152, 224 n.7 Dugdale, William, 81, 241 n.74 Duguid, Paul, 270 n.64 Dunbar, William, 245 n.8 Dunstan, Saint, 224 n.3 Dunster, Henry Peter, 263 n.36 Eagleton, Terry, 154 Early English Text Society, 124 Early Modern English Dictionaries Database, 230 n.51


East, Thomas, 75–78, 86–87, 240 nn. 62, 64, 241 n.65 East, representation of, 83–89, 92, 94, 95, 180, 182, 237 n.30, 242 nn. 85, 90. See also Crusades Echard, Siaˆn, 224 n.1, 246 nn. 11, 14, 16, 247 n.23, 250 n.62, 267 n.17, 268 n.38 Edgar, Madalen, 193–94, 264 n.61 Edinburgh, 12 Edinburgh Review, 175–76 Editorial practice, ix, xiv, xv, 6, 10, 17, 53, 56, 58, 59, 98, 113–14, 117, 122–25, 153, 155–56, 163–64, 166, 195, 203–9, 211, 215–16, 221 n.40, 234 nn. 92, 95, 244 n.2. See also Spelling, normalized Edward III, king of England, 151, 163, 169, 190, 197 Edwards, A. S. G., 240 n.61 Eger, Elizabeth, 248 n.31 Egerton, Francis, third duke of Bridgewater, 105, 248 n.38 Egerton, Francis Henry, eighth earl of Bridgewater, 105 Egerton, John William, seventh earl of Bridgewater, 105 Egerton, Louisa, 248 n.38 Egerton, Scroop, first duke of Bridgewater, 248 n.38 Electronic Beowulf, 205, 211–12, 268 nn. 37, 39 Elgin Marbles, 201, 205, 266 n.12, 270 n.66 Elizabeth I, queen of England, 162, 260 n.2 Ellis, Alexander J., 257 n.95 Ellis, George, 66–67, 92, 243 n.97, 244 n.2, 245 n.5 Ellis, Steve, 129, 145, 146, 152, 154, 251 n.3, 252 n.14, 255 n.58, 257 n.94 Emery, Elizabeth, 8, 171, 220 n.29 England (name), 32, 35, 36 Engravers. See Burghers, Michael; Lyne, Richard; Strutt, Joseph; Swaine, John Engraving, 8, 44, 46, 48, 51, 53, 91, 120, 166, 169, 175, 178, 228 n.35, 231 n.69, 232 n.73, 261 n.11. See also individual engravers Epigraph, 195 ERPANET, 268 n.36 Esposito, Anthony, 247 n.25 Etymology, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42. See also Lexicography Eugenio (pseudonym). See Nichols, John



Eustache, Guillaume, 262 n.31 Everyman’s Library, 222 n.59, 263 n.36 An Excellent Ballad of St. George for England and the King of Egypt’s daughter, 92, 243 n.101 Exeter, 28 Ezard, John, 198 Facsimile, ix, xiv, xv, 3–4, 6–9, 18–20, 25, 28, 33, 51, 53, 56, 98, 113, 118, 120–22, 124, 164–66, 168–69, 184, 186, 188, 200, 201, 203, 205, 214, 219 nn. 8, 12, 220 n.31, 224 n.2, 227 n.24, 229 n.48, 266 nn. 11, 13. See also Blades, William; Digitization; Harris, John; Humphreys, Henry Noel; Shaw, Henry; Wing, Caleb Fairfax, Sir Thomas, third baron, 110, 111, 125, 249 nn. 52, 54 Falconer, John, 250 n.66 Farjeon, Eleanor, 142–43, 161, 254 n.31 Feather, John, 225 n.14 Felix Summerly’s Home Treasury, 93, 157 Fell, John, 231 n.65 Fellows, Jennifer, 67, 237 n.36, 238 n.42, 240 n.59, 242 n.89 Fenwick, Simon, 244 n.108 Fine, private and small presses. See Ashendene Press; Chiswick Press; Hafod Press; Kelmscott Press; Riccardi Press; Shakespeare Head Press; Shakespeare Press Fisher, John H., 110, 247 n.23 Fisher, Judith L., 253 n.23 Flanders, 163, 164 Flint, William Russell, 137–38, 142–43, 254 nn.31–32 Font, Anglo-Saxon, xii, 12, 17, 25–47, 51, 53, 56, 59, 225 nn. 10, 11, 14, 226 nn.19– 20, 227 n.27, 232 nn. 73, 79, 234 nn.91–92 Fonts: black letter, xiii, 4, 12, 13, 27, 34, 35, 39, 40, 42, 56, 98, 118, 153, 158, 161, 164, 168, 175–76, 188, 222 nn. 49, 52, 224 n.6, 228 n.39; Caslon, 4, 123, 188, 234 n.89; Chaucer, 187; italic, 30, 34, 36, 41, 44, 100, 114, 224 n.6, 231 n.65; roman, 24, 35, 39, 42, 44, 51, 53, 56, 100, 164, 224 n.6, 229 n.46, 231 n.65; Subiaco, ix Forgery, xi, 8, 200. See also Spanish Forger iiii. Leues of the Trueloue, The, 71, 238 n.44 Fox, Samuel, 57, 234 nn. 91–92

Foxe, John, 30, 37, 38 Franco-Prussian War, 171, 259 n.116 Freud, Sigmund, 215 Froissart, Jean, xiv, xv, 12, 17, 120, 152, 153, 154, 160, 162–97, 217 n.4, 220 n.29, 256 n.58, 261 n.19, 262 n.31, 264 n.56, 265 nn.72–74 —Chroniques, particular editions: W. H. Smith (1839), 176–84, 186, 188, 209, 263 n.37; Hachette (1881), 8–9, 164–71, 175, 176, 178, 179, 260 n.11; Shakespeare Head (1927), 188–92, 195, 197, 261 nn. 51, 53 Frontispieces, 1–4, 53, 93–95, 105, 107, 109, 137, 147, 149, 194, 218 n.2, 232 n.73, 256 n.70 Fuller, Thomas, 103, 247 n.25 Furnivall, Frederick, 145, 151, 152, 161, 254 nn. 39, 41, 256 n.67, 257 nn. 76, 94, 258 n.114 Fyftene Joyes of Maryage, The, 241 n.65 Galloway, Andrew, 245 n.7 Gamelyn, 140, 257 n.84 Gammer Gurton’s Needle, 93 Gammer Gurton’s Story Books, 93–95, 157, 244 n.107 Ganim, John M., 88, 242 n.90 Gardiner, Alfonzo, 257 n.89 Gaston, count of Foix, 179, 180 Gedde, Charles, 110 Gentleman’s Magazine, xii, 60–62, 222 n.51, 234 n.1, 235 n.4 Geoffrey of Monmouth, 31, 33 George Bell and Sons, 234 n.92 George, duke of Clarence, 69 George V, king of England, 191, 197 George, Saint, 87, 92, 243 n.101 Gerald of Wales, 224 n.1 Ge´ricault, The´odore, 164, 166, 260 n.9 Gerritsen, Johan, 250 n.61 Gesta Romanorum, 140, 241 n.65 Gibson, Edmund, 30, 45, 228 n.38, 231 n.68, 262 n.29 Gildas, 51, 232 n.79 Gillespie, Alexandra, 221 n.39, 246 n.22, 266 n.8 Girouard, Mark, 218 n.10 Glastonbury, 224 n.3 Glastonbury Cross, xii, 21–25, 27, 44, 45, 223, 224 nn. 2–3, 6, 229 n.46

Index ‘‘God Speed the Plow,’’ 1, 218 n.4, 220 n.24 Godfray, Thomas, 221 n.44 Gollancz, Israel, 151, 256 n.76 Goodridge, J. F., 222 n.59 Gothic (term), 25, 29, 59, 143, 224 n.7, 229 n.46 Gower, John, xiii, 17, 19, 97–125, 155, 217 n.3, 245 n.5, 247 nn. 25, 28, 251 n.74; manuscripts, 250 nn. 58, 59, 62, 251 n. 75; tomb, 100, 102, 103, 105, 106, 246 nn. 14–15, 17, 22, 247 n.25. See also Manuscripts: London, BL, Additional MSS 59495, 59496; San Marino, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.A.17 —works: Carmen super multiplici viciorum, 123, 251 n.75; Cinkante Balades, 97, 98, 100, 107, 109, 110, 117, 122, 123, 125, 245 n.5, 248 n.39; Confessio Amantis, 10, 98, 100, 107, 109, 110, 117, 122, 123, 125, 245 n.5, 248 n.39; Cronica Tripertita, 99, 123, 246 n.14; Eneidos Bucolis, 99, 101, 246 n.17; Miroure de L’Homme (Speculum Meditantis), 100, 123, 247 n.24; ‘‘In Praise of Peace,’’ 122, 245 n.5; Quia unusquisque, 99, 124, 246 n.17; Traitie´ Pour Essampler les Amantz Marietz, 99, 123, 125, 245 n.6, 247 n.24, 251 n.75; Vox Clamantis, 99, 100, 123, 246 n.14 Gower, Sir Robert, 108 Gower, Sir Thomas, 110, 112, 125, 249 n.54 Grafton, Richard, 163 Graham, Timothy, 225 n.13, 226 n.20 Grant, Raymond J. S., 227 n.31 Greene, Belle da Costa, 220 n.27 Greene, Frances Nimmo, 251 n.4 Gregory, Collins and Reynolds, 243 n.106 Griffith, David, 68, 235 n.3, 238 n.39 Gruffydd, R. Geraint, 226 nn.16–17 Grusin, Richard, 201 Guardian (newspaper), 195, 198, 253 n.19, 265 n.4 Gummere, Francis, 59 Gutenberg Bible, 269 n.59 Guy of Warwick, xii, xiii, 60–96, 126, 153, 157, 222 n.58, 236 nn. 14, 19, 237 nn. 22–23, 30, 33, 239 n.54, 242 n.85, 243 n.99, 254 n.37; and Amorant (giant), 80, 83–85; cave, 71–75, 79; and Colbrond (giant), 78, 80–83, 85, 88; and dragons, xii, 60–66, 80, 83, 88, 90, 236 n.15, 237 n.21; and Dun Cow, 68–70, 71, 75, 79,


80, 88; mazer with image of, 60–62, 64, 90, 234, 235 n.3; tapestry with image of, 66, 237 n.25 —printings and versions: Crouch, Humphrey, Heroick History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 72, 239 n.45; Famous History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 241 n.78; ‘‘Guy and Amarant,’’ 235 nn.9–10; Guy de Warwich, 239 n.44; Here Endeth the Booke of the Moste Victoryous Prynce Guy of Warwick (Copland, 1565), 63–64, 66, 71, 74, 75, 78, 236 n.13, 239 n.52; History of the Famous Exploits of Guy, Earl of Warwick (1680), 68–70, 73, 235 n.6, 239 n.47; History of the Famous Exploits of Guy Earl of Warwick (1720), 64, 236 n.21; Noble and Renowned History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 88, 90, 236 n.21; Pleasant Song of the valiant deeds of chivalry, atchieved by that noble knight, Sir Guy of Warwick, 63, 79–80, 241 n.69; Rowlands, Samuel, Famous History of Warwick, 65, 74–75, 82–85, 90, 235 n.10, 236 n.20; Shurley, John, Renowned History, or the Life and Death of Guy Earl of Warwick, 60, 62, 64, 70, 73, 83, 235 n. 6, 239 n.47, 242 n.89; Smithson, Samuel, Famous History of Guy Earl of Warwick, 241 n.78 Hafod Press, 175, 178, 262 n.31 Hafod Uchtryd, 175 Hainault, 163, 171, 195 Hall, Basil, 225 n.15 Hall, J. R., 233 n.87 Hanna, Ralph, III, 11 Harbledown, 60 Hardy, Thomas, 253 n.20 Hardyng, John, 163 Harris, John, 200–201, 266 nn. 11, 13 Harris, P. R., 229 n.48, 244 n.2 Harrison, Elizabeth, 255 n.50 Harrow, 251 n.1 Haslewood, Joseph, 117 Hastings, Selina, 147, 253 n.17 Hauer, Stanley R., 233 n.87 Haweis, Hugh Reginald, 128, 258 n.109 Haweis, Lionel, 129, 142, 252 n.11 Haweis, Mary Eliza Joy, xiii, 128–35, 139, 142–44, 149–61, 252 n.1, 253 nn. 20, 26, 254 n.32, 256 n.70, 257 nn. 76, 84, 95– 96, 258 n.109 —works: Art of Beauty, 128; Art of Dress, 128;



Haweis, Mary Eliza Joy (continued ) Art of Decoration, 128; Chaucer’s Beads, 128, 252 n.8; Chaucer for Children, xiii, 128–34, 135, 149, 150, 154, 252 nn. 8, 15, 253 nn. 19, 23, 256 n.74; Chaucer for Schools, 128, 130, 142, 154, 252 n.8, 253 n.19, 257 n.92; History of Women, 253 n.20; Rus in Urbe, 128; Tales from Chaucer, 252 nn. 8, 15 Haweis, Stephen, 258 n.109 Hawes, Stephen, 77, 239 n.44, 240 n.61, 241 n.65 Hayles, N. Katherine, 267 n.21 Hearne, Thomas, 12, 247 n.27 Hellinga, Lotte, 226 n.15, 228 n.39 Henry II, king of England, 224, 224 n.1 Henry IV, king of England, 110, 112, 120, 125, 249 n.56 Henry VII, king of England, xiii, 110, 112, 120, 124 Henry VIII, king of England, 21, 101, 191, 246 n.20 Henry G. Bohn’s Antiquarian Library, 234 n.92 Heraldry. See Armes parlantes; Arms, representation and discussion of Here Begynneth the Iustes of the moneth of Maye, 241 n.68 Here Begynneth Vndo Your Dore, 71, 238 n.44 Hetherington, M. Sue, 230 n.62 Hewitt, Graily, viii Heyworth, P. I., 231 n.63 Hibbard, Laura A. (Loomis), 66 Hickes, George, 56, 57, 233 n.83, 234 n.91 Higden, Ranulf, 74, 239 n.53 Hill, Frank Ernest, 127, 128, 130, 252 n.5 Hill, William, 221 n.44 Hind, Arthur Mayger, 231 n.69 Hindman, Sandra, 9 Hinds, Gareth, 58–59, 234 n.96 Hines, John, 246 n.15 Histoire de Renaud de Montaubon, 8–9 Hoccleve, Thomas, 18, 19, 48, 147, 155 Hodnett, Edward, 239 n.53, 240 nn. 61, 64, 242 n.84 Holbein, Hans, 93, 244 n.107 Holland, Philemon, 21, 24, 25, 228 n.40 Hornby, C. H. St. John, vii–x, 59, 191. See also Ashendene Press Horsman, Reginald, 159, 233 n.87, 259 n.116

Howard, Seymour, 266 n.12 Howe, Bea, 258 n.109 Hu¨llen, Werner, 229 n.49 Humanist book design, 25, 30, 100, 101, 114, 234 n.89 Humphreys, Henry Noel, 184–85 Hundred Years’ War, 163, 171 Hunt, Leigh, 152 Iconclass, 209, 212 Illumination, 3, 6–7, 176, 177, 184, 185, 191, 209, 212, 261 n.15. See also Miniatures Illustrations, ix–xiv, 1–3, 13, 21, 25, 44–46, 64–65, 68–80, 83–96, 120, 127–29, 131– 36, 139, 144–49, 157–58, 161, 166–67, 176–80, 184, 186, 193–94, 220 n.27, 223, 224 n.2, 228 n.34, 231 n.67, 237 n.21, 238 nn.42–44, 239 nn. 44, 52, 54, 240 nn.61–64, 241 nn. 65, 68, 81, 242 nn. 81, 85–86, 243 n.101, 244 n.107, 253 nn. 17, 23, 254 n.37, 256 nn. 67, 70, 257 n.79, 259 n.125. See also Author portraits; Chromolithography; Engraving; Facsimile; Frontispiece; Miniatures; Portraits; Title page; Woodcut; and individual illustrators Illustrators. See Cole, Herbert; Crane, Walter; Delort, Charles Edouard; Flint, William Russell; Haweis, Mary Eliza Joy; Kellerhoven, Franz; Kent, Rockwell; Pranishnikoff, Ivan; Robinson, Heath; Ronjat, Etienne-Antoine-Euge`ne; Shaw, Henry; Szyk, Arthur; Tayler, John Frederick; Thomson, Hugh; Walters, Marjorie; Wyeth, N. C. Images, role of, 6, 10, 19, 48, 176, 184, 209 Imperial Classics, 185 Ing, Janet, 219 n.13, 234 n.89 Ingle`s, Jorge, 220 n.27 Inglis-Jones, Elisabeth, 175, 262 nn. 28, 30 InterPARES, 268 n.36 Irish Script on Screen, 213 Jacob, Bibliophile (pseudonym). See Lacroix, Paul James I, king of England, 41, 230 n.57 Jefferson, Thomas, 56–57, 154, 159, 226 n.22, 233 n.87 Jenkins, Dafydd, 262 n.28 John of Gaunt, 250 n.58 Johnes, Thomas, 12, 175–76, 180, 184–87,

Index 222 n.50, 262 nn. 27, 29, 31, 35, 263 nn. 36–37, 41 Johns, Adrian, 17, 222 n.57 Johnson, Richard, 92, 243 n.101 Johnson, Samuel, 265 n.72 Johnston, Arthur, 63, 92, 93 Jones, George W., 128 Jones, Thomas, 262 n.29 Joscelyn, John, 40, 42, 225 n.13, 226 n.20, 232 n.79 Josephe de la Guerre Judaique, 242 n.84 Jowell, Tessa, 198 Joy, Eileen, 231 n.63 Joy, Thomas Musgrave, 128 Julian Notary, 67 Junius, Franciscus, 42, 44, 46–48, 51, 53, 230 n.62, 232 n.73 Kelen, Sarah A., 12, 222 n.48 Kellerhoven, Franz, 8 Kelly, Regina Z., 130, 252 n.17 Kelman, Janet Harvey, 129, 134, 136–37, 157, 160 Kelmscott Chaucer, 187, 217 n.1, 263 n.49 Kelmscott Press, 187 Kemble, John Mitchell, 56, 233 n.86 Kendrick, Laura, 233 n.87 Kent, Rockwell, 259 n.121 Ker, William Paton, 163–64, 190 Kerling, Johan, 229 n.49, 230 nn. 53, 62 Kervyn de Lettenhove, baron Joseph-MarieBruno-Constantin, 164, 188, 190, 260 n.7, 262 n.26 Keynes, Simon, 232 nn.74–76 Kiernan, Kevin S., 205, 250 n.61 Kilbride, William, 206, 268 n.37 King of Tars, 66 Kings Treasuries of Literature, 142 Klaeber, Frederick, 57, 234 n.95, 261 n.12 Knyght of the Swanne, 241 n.65 Koestler, Arthur, 267 n.18 Ko¨lbing, Eugen, 237 n.22 Kongelige Bibliotek, 206 Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 209 Kuist, James M., 234 n.1 Kynge Rycharde Cuer du Lyon, 66, 241 n.68 Lacroix, Paul (Bibliophile Jacob), 7, 8, 15, 219 nn.20–21, 235 n.11 Lambarde, William, 30–36, 40, 45; Archaionomia, 30, 31, 227 n.31, 228 n.35; A Perambulation of Kent, 30–33, 45, 228 n.34


Lancashire, Ian, 230 n.51 Lancaster, house of, 250 n.58 Landino, Cristoforo, ix Lang, Andrew, 80, 94 Langland, William, xv, 13, 15; Piers Plowman, xi, 1, 2, 4, 7–8, 10–12, 15, 17, 56, 101, 219 n.22, 220 n.24, 221 n.41, 222 n.59. See also Pierce the Plowman’s Creed; Plowman tradition Languages, treatment of: Aramaic, 225 n.15; Basque, 226 n.19; Brythonic, 34, 159; Danish, 42; Dutch, 38, 40, 42; Flemish, 40; French, 38, 41, 44; Gascon, 226 n.19; Germanic, 35, 40, 228 n.39, 259 n.116; Gothic, 42; Greek, 27, 38, 39, 40, 56, 225 n.14, 231 n.65; Hebrew, 27, 38, 39, 225 n.15; Icelandic, 42; Irish, 226 n.19; Italian, ix, 38; Latin, ix, 21, 27, 28, 30, 33, 35, 38, 44, 51, 53, 56, 225 n.15, 227 n.26; Middle Scots, 44; Portuguese, 38; Runic, 42; Spanish, 38. See also Old English; Middle English; Welsh Lanier, Sidney, 191, 193, 196, 251 n.4, 263 n.55, 264 n.56 Leath, Emily, 252 n.10 Lee, Colin, 249 n.47 Lefvre, Raoul, 240 n.64 Leland, John, 102, 103, 108; Assertio inclytissimi Arturij, 24, 224 nn. 4, 6; Collectanea, 247 n.27 Lerer, Seth, 10, 220 n.34, 232 n.83, 270 n.63 Letter table, 25–26, 30–31, 37, 39, 45, 227 n.28 Leveson-Gower, George Granville (b. 1758), 105, 108, 109, 248 n.38 Leveson-Gower, George Granville (b. 1786), xiii, 97, 117–18, 120, 122–25, 245 nn.4–5 Leveson-Gower, Granville, xiii, 97, 112, 248 n.38 Lexicography, 38, 48, 226 n.20, 229 n.49, 230 nn. 53, 62. See also Cowell, John; Junius, Franciscus; Minsheu, John Lhuyd, Edward, 175, 262 n.29 Libraries. See Bodleian Library; British Library; British Museum; Cotton Library; Morgan Library; National Library of Medicine; Kongelige Bibliothek; Koninglijke Bibliotheek; Llyfrgell Cenedlaethol Cymru; Smithsonian Institution; Wellcome Library



Library Edition of British Poets, 255 n.53 Lichfield, 215 Lightbown, Ronald, 218 n.2 Lily, Peter, 200, 266 n.8 Limited Editions Club, 127–28, 261 n.19 Lindberg, Donald A., 215 Lindisfarne, 214 Lisle, William, 30, 36, 227 n.28, 228 nn.41–42 Literary anthologies and histories. See Berkenhout, John; Biographia Britannica; Chalmers, Alexander; Cibber, Theophilus; Cooper, Elizabeth; Ellis, George; Shiels, Robert; Towers, Joseph; Warton, Thomas; Winstanley, William Livingston, Michael, 245 n.7 Llandeilo Fawr, 214 Lloyd, Richard, 63, 69, 73, 82 Lloyd-Morgan, Ceridwen, 268 n.29 Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, 268 n.31 London, 28, 88, 103, 128, 156, 160–61, 171, 186, 217 n.4, 221 n.44, 257 n.84 Lord’s Prayer, 28, 226 n.22 Louis of Gruuthuse, 164 Love, Harold, 231 n.63, 245 n.3, 250 n.60 Lowenthal, David, 8, 201, 211, 219 nn. 12, 15, 269 n.55 Lower, Mark Antony, 92 Lucas, Peter J., 27, 42, 226 nn.19–20 Luce, Sime´on, 190 Lumiansky, R. M., 252 n.16 Lupack, Alan, 218 n.10 Lupack, Barbara Tepa, 218 n.10, 252 n.4 Lydgate, John, 19, 98, 99, 101, 104, 140–41, 152, 241 n.65, 246 n.22, 248 n.34, 257 n.84; Hystorye, Sege and Dystruccyon of Troye, 86, 240 n.62, 242 n.86; Siege of Thebes, 223 n.59; translation of De coniuge non ducenda, 241 n.65 Lye´det, Loiset, 164 Lyne, Richard, 228 n.35 Mabinogion, 157 Macaulay, G. C., 98, 110, 123–25, 190, 193, 195, 245 n.7, 246 n.12, 250 n.58, 251 n.74 Macaulay, Margaret C., 154–55 Macfarlane, John, 260 n.1, 261 n.14 MacGregor, Mary, 251 n.4, 255 n.50 Machan, Tim William, 246 nn. 11, 18 Macmillan, 190

Macy, George, 128 Madden, Frederic, 62, 64, 206, 236 n.18 Magna Carta, 213, 269 n.59 Malory, Thomas, xv, 101, 118, 127, 163, 212, 251 n.4, 254 n.31 Mancoff, Debra N., 218 n.10 Manguel, Alberto, 213–14, 269 n.62 Manifest destiny, 233 n.87, 259 n.116 Manuscripts —Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, MSS 5599, 5600C, 244 n.2; NLW, Peniarth 392D (the Hengwrt MS), 203–5, 267 n.26, 268 n.31 —Alnwick Castle, Duke of Northumberland, MS 455, 141 —Cambridge: Corpus Christi College MS 293, 1; Gonville and Caius College, Caius MS 107, 71, 83; Cambridge University Library, MS Ff.ii.38, 236 nn.14–15; Trinity College MS B.15.17, 6, 7, 221 n.45; Trinity College MS R.3.2, 251 n.75; Trinity College MS R.3.14, 1–4, 6–8, 10–13, 15, 17, 19, 220 n.24, 235 n.11; Trinity College MS R.3.15, 221 n.45; —Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates Library MS 19.2.1 (the Auchinleck MS), 63, 71, 80, 95 —Geneva, Fondation Bodmer, MS 178, 251 n.75 —Glasgow, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 59, 246 nn.14–15, 251 n.75 —Lichfield, Lichfield Cathedral Library, MS 1 (the St. Teilo Gospels/St. Chad Gospels), 214–15 —London: British Library, Additional MS 5141, 19, 48, 149, 150; BL Additional MS 30222, 244 n.2; BL Additional MS 42130 (the Luttrell Psalter), 7, 17, 222 n.59, 269 n.49; BL Additional MS 48976 (the Middle English Rous Roll), 69, 238 n.39; BL Additional MS 59495 (the Trentham manuscript), xiii, 97–99, 103, 107, 109– 12, 114, 115, 118, 120, 122–23, 125, 244 n.2, 245 nn.5–6, 249 nn. 48, 51, 53, 56, 250 n.58; BL Additional MS 59496 (the Trentham transcription), 97–99, 101, 103, 105, 109, 112–14, 116–17, 120, 125, 244 n.2, 245 n.3, 248 n.38, 250 n.60; BL Additional MS 59678 (the Winchester MS), 212, 269 n.59; BL Additional MS

Index 74236 (the Sherborne Missal), xv, 198, 205–12, 214, 216, 269 n.49; BL MS Arundel 38, 17–19; BL MS Cotton Claudius D.ii, 48; BL MS Cotton Nero D.iv (the Lindisfarne Gospels), 214, 269 n.49; BL MS Cotton Tiberius B.i, 234 n.91; BL MS Cotton Vespasian A.i (the Vespasian Psalter), 200; BL MS Cotton Vitellius A.xv (the Beowulf MS), 113, 117, 205–6; BL MS Egerton 913, 246 n.10; BL MS Harley 78, 221 n.45; BL MS Harley 3469, 179, 181; BL MS Harley 3869, 251 n.75; BL MS Harley 4379, 263 n.40; BL MS Harley 4866, 147, 149, 161, 256 n.70, 257 n.79; BL I.A.55533 (print fragment of Guy), 64, 236 n.17; BL MS Lansdowne 762, 218 n.4; BL MS Royal 10.E.iv (the Smithfield Decretals), 68, 238 n.38; BL MS Royal 18.B.xvii, 221 n.45; BL Royal MS 18.E.i, 263 n.40; BL Yates Thompson MS 13 (the Taymouth Hours), 68, 80, 238 n.38 —New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Osborn Collection, MS fa.1, 251 n.75 —Nottingham, University Library, MS Mi LM 8, 251 n.75 —Oxford: All Souls College, MS 98, 251 n.75; Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden B.26, 218 n.4; Bodleian Library, Bodley Douce Fragment e.14, 64, 236 n.16; Bodleian Library MS Bodley 264, 6–7, 9–10; Bodleian Library MS Bodley 294, 251 n.75; Bodleian Library MS Digby 23, 261 n.19; Bodleian Library MS Douce 104, 222 n.59; Bodleian Library, MS Fairfax 3, 109, 249 n.48, 251 n.75; Corpus Christi College MS 201m 223 n.59 —Paris: Bibliothe`que nationale de France, MSS franc¸ais 2643, 2644, 2646, 164, 167, 178–80, 182, 183, 260 n.11, 263 n.40; Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal, MS 5073, 8–9; Bibliothe`que de l’Arsenal, MS 5190, 260 n.11 —Princeton, Princeton University, Firestone Library, Robert H. Taylor Collection, Medieval MS 5, 251 n.75 —Rothesay, Marquess of Bute, MS I.17, 246 n.10 —San Marino, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS EL 26.A.17, 109, 112, 249


nn.48, 50, 250 n.58; Huntington Library, MS EL 26.C.9 (the Ellesmere Chaucer), 48, 105, 109, 147, 148, 161, 203, 255 n.66, 257 nn. 79, 89 Maps, 31, 32, 44, 45, 46, 153, 169, 188, 190, 228 nn.34–36, 261 n.12 Marcel, Etienne, 166, 168 Marks, P. J. M., 169 Marlborough School, 251 n.1 Marshall, H. E., 258 n.108 Martin, Dorothy, 156 Matthews, David, 92, 118, 145, 218 n.9, 243 n.99, 250 n.63, 251 n.3, 253 n.28, 254 n.33, 256 n.64 Mayhew, Robert, 231 n.68 McCaughrean, Geraldine, 253 n.17 McDonald, Peter D., 222 n.56 McGann, Jerome, xi, 218 n.5 McKenzie, D. F., vii, 217 n.2, 218 n.5 McKitterick, David, 3, 4, 33, 227 n.27, 265 n.5, 233 nn. 13, 16, 269 nn. 48, 62 McLean, Ruari, 243 nn. 106–7 McLuhan, Marshall, 199 McMullan, Gordon, 218 n.9 McRae, Andrew, 218 n.4 McSpadden, J. Walker, 156 McTern, Des, 260 n.1 Mediaeval Bæbes, 198–99 Medici Society, 137, 139, 142, 254 n.31 Meecham-Jones, Simon, 244 n.2 Mehl, Dieter, 67, 232 n.33 Mendyk, Stanley E., 228 n.38 Menologium, 57 Merchant Taylor’s School, 251 n.1 Merton, Ambrose (pseudonym). See Thoms, William John Merridew, John, 88, 91, 242 n.92 Middle English, xii, 56, 151, 152, 154, 155, 221 n.40, 257 n.95 Middleton, William, 171–73, 196, 197 Miller, Miriam Youngerman, 254 n.32, 259 n.125 Mills, George Galwey, 208 Mills, Maldwyn, 67, 238 n.36 Miniatures, 164, 166, 169, 179, 249 n.50 Minsheu, John, 38–42, 44, 229 nn.50–51 Mitchell, Rosemary, 261 n.12 Moncrieff, Charles Scott, 261 n.19 Moore, Edward, ix Morden, Robert, 45 Morgan, Gareth, 215



Morgan Library, New York, 220 n.27 Morowitz, Laura, 8, 171, 220 n.29, 261 n.21 Morris, Richard, 151 Morris, William, xiv, 59, 160–61, 187, 188, 217 n.1, 263 n.46 Morse, Charlotte C., 255 n.53 Myers, Robin, 219 n.8, 235 n.2 Nash, John, 175 National Library of Medicine, 210, 215, 269 n.50 National Library of the Netherlands. See Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of Wales. See Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru Naunton, Sir Robert, 162 Neville, Edward, earl of Warwick, 69 Neville, Isabel, 69 Neville, Richard (Kingmaker), 69 New York, 258 n.104 New York Times, 264 nn. 56, 63 Newbolt, Henry, 156, 195–97 Newdigate, Bernard, 188, 191 Nichols, John (Eugenio), xii, 60–65, 67–68, 70, 79, 90, 235 n.1, 236 n.18 Nicolas, Sir Harris, 109, 249 n.47 Northumberland, second duke of, 208, 268 n.44 Northumberland, twelfth duke of, 198, 211 Norton, Michael Charles, 232 n.69 Nostalgia, 193, 259 n.116 Notes and Queries, 93 Nowell, Laurence, 42, 227 n.31, 228 n.35 Noyes, Gertrude E., 229 n.49 Nunberg, Geoffrey, 214, 270 n.64 Oakden, Ellen, 141–42, 255 n.45 O’Donnell, James J., 207 O’Donoghue, F. M., 250 n.66 ‘‘Old and True,’’ xiv, 197, 264 n.72, 265 n.73 Old English language, xii, 25, 27–28, 30, 33–42, 44, 46–48, 51, 56–57, 59, 151, 154, 200, 225 nn. 11, 13, 226 n.22, 228 n.41, 230 n.53, 233 nn. 84, 86–87 Old English literature, 53, 56, 232 n.83. See also Beowulf Olyuer of Castille, 239 n.53, 241 n.65 Owen, Wilfred, 261 n.19 Oxford, 42, 48, 175, 231 n.65, 249 n.54 Oxford World’s Classics, 222 n.59

Page, R. I., 200, 266 n.7 Panizzi, Anthony, 266 n.13 Paralel of Times and Events, 163 Paris, 8, 175, 180, 190, 191, 220 n.27, 262 n.31 Paris Commune, 171 Parker, Matthew, 25, 27–31, 36–37, 39–40, 42, 51–52, 113, 159, 196, 199–201, 225 nn. 11, 13, 226 nn.19, 20, 24, 227 n. 27, 228 n.35, 231 n.63, 232 n.79, 266 n.8 Parkes, M. B., 231 n.63 Parry, Graham, 228 n.38, 231 n.67, 249 n.44 Pauli, Reinhold, 123, 249 n.49, 251 n.70 Payne, Richard C., 53, 232 n.83, 233 n.86 Pearsall, Derek, 19, 223 n.62, 246 n.10, 247 n.23, 250 nn. 58, 62, 256 n.66 Peck, Russell, 245 n.7 Pegge, Samuel, 243 n.99 Penguin (publisher), 195, 222 n.59 Penrith, 35 Percy family, 198–99 Percy, Thomas, 61–63, 79, 88, 235 nn.9–10 Peterson, William S., 263 n.49 Philippa of Hainault, 163 Photography, 164, 166, 188, 201, 214–15, 220 n.30, 223 n.64, 257 n.79 Pickering, William, 2, 4, 5, 13, 56–57, 233 n.86, 234 n.89 Pierce the Plowmans Crede, 10–12, 15, 219 n.22, 221 n.45 Piggott, Stuart, 228 n.38 Plowman tradition, 10–12, 15, 218 n.4, 221 n.44 Pooley, Julian, 235 n.2 Portraits, 46, 47, 50, 51, 232 nn. 73, 76 Poulson, Christine, 218 n.10 Pranishnikoff, Ivan, 169 Pre-Raphaelites, 139 Price, Leah, x Printers. See Barker, Christopher; Berthelette, Thomas; Bishop, Richard; Bulmer, William; Caxton, William; Combe, Thomas; Copland, William; Crowley, Robert; Day, John; de Roigny, Michael; de Worde, Wynkyn; East, Thomas; Eustache, Guillaume; Fine, private and small presses; Godfray, Thomas; Hill, William; Jones, George W.; Julian Notary; Middleton, William; Newdigate, Bernard; Printing societies; Publishers;

Index Pynson, Richard; Regnault, Francoys; Rogers, Owen; Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide; Sauvage, Denys; Snagg, R.; Sonnius, Michael; Ve´rard, Antoine; Whitchurch, Edward; Whittingham, Charles; Wolfe, Reynold. Printer’s device, 4–5 Printing societies. See Arnamagnæan Commission; Chaucer Society; Early English Texts Society; Medici Society; Socie´te´ de l’Histoire de France; Society for the Encouragement of Learning Prise, Sioˆn, 27, 226 n.17 Pughe, William Owen, 262 n.28 Publishers. See Blackwell, Basil; Collier; Cundall, Joseph; David Nutt; George Bell and Sons; Gregory, Collins, and Reynolds; Macmillan; Penguin; Pickering, William; Printers; Rivington; Sampson and Low; Scribner’s; Wells Gardner, Darton; W. H. Smith Pulsiano, Philip, 228 n.41 Pyle, Howard, 193, 251 n.4, 264 n.58 Pynson, Richard, xii, xiii, 64, 67, 70, 77–79, 85–88, 92, 171, 186, 188, 191, 236 n.17, 238 n.36, 239 n.54, 240 nn. 62, 65 Quiller Couch, Arthur Thomas, 142 Radcliffe, David Hill, 254 n.40 Ralph of Coggeshall, 224 n.1 Rawlinson, Christopher, 49, 57, 232 n.73 Reddick, Allen, 229 n.49 Reformation, 27, 159, 174, 198. See also Church of England; Parker, Matthew Regnault, Francoys, 239 n.44 Reinbrun, 236 n.14 Renwein, 31, 35 Restoration (of books, buildings, objects), 185, 201, 220 n.30, 226 n.20, 263 n.46, 266 nn.11–13 Riccardi Press, 137 Richard II, king of England, 124, 163, 172, 174, 237 n.25 Richard III, king of England, 190 Richmond, Velma Bourgeois, 63, 64, 68, 69, 80, 127, 131, 132, 134, 151, 157, 161, 235 nn. 3, 6, 10, 236 nn. 13–14, 17, 20, 237 nn. 25, 27, 238 nn. 38, 40, 239 nn. 44–45, 47, 52, 241 n.78, 242 nn.91–92, 251 n.3, 253 n. 18, 254 nn. 38, 41, 255 n.45, 256 nn. 67, 70, 257 n.89


Riddell, James A., 229 n.49 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 269 n.48 Ritson, Joseph, 66–68, 244 n.2; Ancient Engleish Metrical Romancee¨s, 66, 237 n.27; Gammer Gurton’s Garland, 93; Observations on the Three First Volumes of the History of English Poetry, 66, 237 n.27 Rivington (publisher), 186 Robertson, H. Rocke, 229 n.49; H. Rocke Robertson Collection, 229 n.49 Robertson, J. Wesley, 229 n.43 Robin Hood, 127, 157, 159, 160 Robinson, Heath, 134, 136, 137 Robinson, Peter, 203, 204, 267 n.26, 268 n.28 Rochester, 31 Roffey, Simon, 246 n.15 Rogers, Owen, 10, 11, 12, 221 n.42 Rolls Chapel, 244 n.2 Romance, xiii, 7, 62, 63, 65–67, 88, 93, 127, 140, 163, 235 n.8, 237 nn. 23, 30, 242 n.90, 234 n. 37. See also Bevis of Hampton; Guy of Warwick Romance of Alexander, 6 Ronjat, Etienne-Antoine-Euge`ne, 164 Rooke, Henry, 97, 113, 244 n.2, 245 n.3 Rosier, James L., 229 n.51 Rowe, Nina, 9, 220 n.32 Roxburghe, duke of, 117 Roxburghe Club, xiii, 97–98, 117–25, 164, 186, 222 n.52, 245 nn.4–6, 250 nn. 63, 65 Royal Academy, 128 Royal Library of Denmark. See Kongelige Bibliotek Royal Society, 269 n.50 Ryle, Gilbert, 267 n.18 Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, 231 n.65 Saint Mary Overies. See Southwark Cathedral Sampson and Low, 264 n.55 Samuels, M. L., 249 n.48 Sangster, Charles, 156, 159 Saunders, Corinne, 237 n.30 Sauvage, Denys, 175–76, 262 n.31 Scha¨fer, Ju¨rgen, 38, 39, 41, 229 n.49 Scholarly Digital Editions, 204, 268 n.29 School Guardian, 253 n.19



School texts, xv, 59, 153, 154, 156, 221 n.40, 245 n.7, 255 n.51, 257 n.89, 262 n.12 Scott, Sir Walter, 175–76, 184, 222 n.50, 262 n.35 Scribner’s (firm), 264 n.55 Sebright, Sir Thomas, 262 n.29 Selborne, Joanna, 250 n.66 Selden, John, 40, 46 Selfe, Rose E., 255 n.50 Series. See Everyman’s Library; Henry G. Bohn’s Antiquarian Library; Heritage Illustrated Bookshelf; Imperial Classics; Kings Treasuries of Literature; Library Edition of British Poets; Limited Editions Club; Oxford World’s Classics Series for children. See A. L. Bright Story Readers; American Junior Classics; Books for the Bairns; Canterbury Classics; Felix Summerly’s Home Treasury; Gammer Gurton’s Story Books; Told to the Children Shakespeare Head Press, xiv, 172, 188–92, 195, 263 n.50 Shakespeare Press, 245 n.4 Shakespeare, William, 140, 145, 151, 154, 188, 196, 213, 269 n.59 Shaw, Henry, xi, 3, 4, 6–10, 15, 17–19, 219 n.18, 223 n.60 Shepard, Thomas, 190 Sherbo, Arthur, 243 n.102 Sherborne Abbey, 210 Shiels, Robert, 102, 247 n.25, 248 n.34 Shirley, John, 235 n.6 Shirley, Rodney W., 228 nn.35–36 Shrank, Cathy, 227 n.26 Sidgwick, Frank, 188 Simmons, Clare A., 159, 259 n.116 Simons, John, 74, 238 n.37, 264 n.71, 265 n.72 Sir Isumbras, 66 Skeat, Walter W., 137, 151, 218 n.4 Skedd, S. J, 244 n.1 Sleidan, Johannes Philippson (Johannes Sleidanus), 163, 173, 191 Smith, A. H., 235 n.2 Smith, Goldwin, 132 Smith, Jeremy J., 249 n.48 Smith, Margaret M., 218 n.2, 243 n.107 Smith, R. J., 229 n.48 Smith, William Henry, viii Smithsonian Institution, 213

Snagg, R., 243 n.94 Society of Antiquaries, 186 Socie´te´ de l’Histoire de France, 190 Society for the Encouragement of Learning, 104 Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, 263 n.46 Song of Roland. See Chanson de Roland Sonnius, Michael, 262 n.31 Sontag, Susan, 223 n.64 Southampton, 91 Southampton Guide, The, 91 Southwark Cathedral (Saintt Mary Overies), 100, 103 Spanish Forger, 8–9, 166, 220 nn. 27, 30 Speed, John, 21, 24, 31, 36, 166, 223 n, 228 n.40, 231 n.67 Speght, Thomas, 108, 141 Spelling, normalized, 11, 257 n.96 Spelman, Henry, 46, 232 n.70 Spelman, John, 30, 48, 227 n.29 Spencer, George John, second earl, 117 Spenser family, 171, 173, 261 n.23 Spenser, Edmund, 140, 157, 159 Splendor Solis, 179, 181 Squire of Low Degree. See Here Begynneth Vndo Your Dore Stanley, Eric G., 229 n.49, 230 n.62 Starnes, DeWitt T., 229 n.49 Stead, William Thomas, 158–59, 258 nn.109–10 Stein, Gabriele, 229 n.49 Stengel, Edmund, 245 n.6 Sterling, Joseph, 140, 254 n.40 Stittenham, 102, 107–10, 249 n.54 Storr, Francis, 126–28, 139–40, 146–47, 153–54, 157 Stothard, Thomas, 256 n.70 Stow, John, 102–3, 141, 221 n.45, 231 n.66, 247 n.25 Strachey, Henry, 97, 244 nn.1–2, 245 n.3 Stratford-Upon-Avon, 188 Strutt, Joseph, 7–9, 13, 219 n.18 Stubbs, Estelle, 268 n.29 Sturt, Mary, 141–42 Suffrage Movement, 130, 132–34, 139, 253 nn. 20, 25 Summerly, Felix (pseudonym). See Cole, Henry Sutherland, countess of, 125 Swaine, John, 120, 250 n.66

Index Swann, Marjorie, 223 n.64, 228 n.36 Sweet, Rosemary, 227 n.24 Sykes, Sir Mark Masterman, 117 Syr Degore, 241 n.66 Szyk, Arthur, 128, 161, 259 n.125 Takamiya, Toshiyuki, 266 n.11 Tale of Beryn, 141, 254 n.41 Tayler, John Frederick, 94–95 Taylor, Andrew, 261 n.19 Tennyson, Alfred, lord, 127, 251 n.4 Testimonie of Antiquitie, 25, 27–31, 36, 232 n.79 Thoms, William J. (Ambrose Merton), 93 Thomson, Hugh, 147, 148, 256 n.67 Thorkelı´n, Grimu´r Jo´nsson, 53, 56, 113, 117, 206, 233 n.85 Thorne, J. R., 221 n.40 Thorpe, Markham John, 162, 260 n.1 Thwaites, Edward, 53–55 Thynne, Francis, 108–9 Times (newspaper), xiv, 132, 197, 262 n.30, 263 n.53, 264 n.71, 265 nn. 72–73 Title page, 4, 5, 11, 12, 25, 38, 40, 51, 53, 85, 107, 137, 147, 148, 161, 171, 186, 190, 218 n.2, 238 n.44, 240 nn. 62, 65, 232 n.16 Todd, Henry J., 105–9, 112, 122, 125, 247 n.39, 249 n.49, 250 n.58, 256 n.66 Told to the Children, 136–37, 157, 251 n.4, 255 n.50, 258 n.108 Tolkien, J. R. R., 56 Towers, Joseph, 102, 247 n.24 Tracing, 3, 179 Traduction and Mariage of the Princesse, 241 n.65 Transcription, xiii, 42, 97–98, 113, 117, 166, 203–4, 206, 226 n.20, 227 n.31, 231 n.63, 232 n.73, 233 n.85, 244 n.2, 245 n.3 Translation, xiv, 17, 28, 30, 33, 37, 53, 114, 127, 152, 163, 166, 169, 171, 173, 175– 76, 179, 184–91, 195, 197, 217 n.4, 220 n.29, 222 n.59, 224 n.6, 228 n.40, 233 n.86, 252 nn.15–16, 259 n.121, 261 n.19, 262 nn. 31, 35, 264 n.56 Treasures in Full, 210, 212–13, 269 n.59 Trigg, Stephanie, 147, 223 n.59, 256 nn. 67, 69, 258 n.114 Trismosin, Salomon, 179 Tupper, George Isaac Frederick, 219 n.8


Tupper, Martin, 234 n.92 Turner, Hawes Harrison, 126–39, 146–47, 153–54 Turner, Sharon, 233 n.86 Turning the Pages, 199, 207–10, 212–15, 265 n.3, 268 n.46, 269 nn. 49, 52 Tusiani, Joseph, 255 n.50 Typography, 30, 33, 34, 38, 40, 41, 44, 47, 51, 53, 56, 101, 120, 158, 184, 188, 226 nn. 15, 17, 19, 22, 227 n.24, 228 n.39, 229 n.46, 230 n.53, 231 n.65, 234 n.89, 261 n.15. See also Font Uhart, Marie-Claire, 221 n.40 Urban, Sylvanus (pseudonym). See Cave, Edward Urry, John, 245 n.5 Utterson, Edward Vernon, 117, 186 Valenciennes, xiv, 163 Van Dyck, Anthony, 47, 232 n.73 Van Gorp, Jan, 40 Vancil, David E., 229 n.49 VanHoosier-Carey, Gregory A., 233 n.87 Venice, ix Ve´rard, Antoine, 13, 168, 169, 242 n. 84, 259 n.1, 261 n.15 Vernon, G. G., ix Victoria, queen of England, 94 Viollet-le-Duc, Euge`ne, 220 n.29 Virgil, 99, 101, 114 Voelkle, William, 220 nn. 27, 30 Vortigern, 31, 33 Wales, 214, 215 Walters, Marjorie, 143 Wanley, Humfrey, 42, 231 n.63 Warren, Jonathan, 230 n.51 Warton, Thomas, 65–68, 88, 109, 112, 120, 122, 123, 237 n.23, 245 nn. 5, 9, 248 n.34 Warwick, 88–91 Watson, Henry, 241 nn.66, 68 Watson, Rowan, 9, 220 n.32 Watt, Tessa, 238 n.37 Wawn, Andrew, 233 n.84 Weever, John, 108–9, 248 n.44 Wellcome Library, 269 n.50 Wells Gardner, Darton, 140, 243 n.106 Welsh, 27–28, 35, 38–40, 214–15, 226 nn. 17, 19, 251 n.4, 262 n.28 Western Mail (newspaper), 215



Westminster Abbey, 246 n.22, 253 n.20 Wheale, Nigel, 238 n.37 Wheelocke, Abraham, 30, 227 n.29 W. H. Smith (firm), vii, viii, 176–85 Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, 12–17 Whitchurch, Edward, 226 nn.16–17 Whittaker, John, 200 Whittingham, Charles, the elder, 4 Whittingham, Charles, the younger, 4, 13, 234 n.89. See also Chiswick Press Wien, Jake Milgram, 259 n.121 Wiggins, Alison, 236 n.14 Wikipedia, 8, 220 n.24 Wilcox, Rebecca, 237 n.30, 242 n.85 Wiley, Raymond A., 233 n.86 Wilson, John, 249 n.52 Wing, Caleb, 220 n.30 Winn, Mary Beth, 169, 261 n.15 Winstanley, William, 247 n.25 Wisker, Richard, 249 n.54 Wolfe, Reynold, 11, 15 Wood, Sally, 258 nn.10–11

Woodcuts, ix, 4, 68, 70, 74, 78, 87, 95, 176– 77, 201, 222 n.58, 228 n.35, 236 n.19, 238 n.42, 239 nn. 44, 52–54, 239 nn.52– 54, 240 nn. 59, 63–64, 241 nn. 65, 68, 242 n.84, 254 n.37, 259 n.121 Woodroffe, Paul, 190 Woolf, Daniel, 4, 228 n.38 Worcester, 28 Wordsworth, William, 152, 265 n.72 World War I, 161, 196–97 World War II, xiv, xv, 161, 197, 265 n.72 World’s Fairs, 8 Wright, C. E., 225 n.12 Wright, C. J., 231 n.67 Wright, Thomas, 6, 10, 12 Wyeth, N. C., 264 n.55 Yeager, R. F., 110, 245 n.7, 246 n.13, 259 n.56 Yny Llhyvyr Hwnn, 27, 226 n.16 Zumthor, Paul, 267 n.23


A book that has been this long in the making incurs many debts. I first began thinking about how books looked when working on John Gower, and among the Gowerians who nourished this growing obsession and patiently answered questions, I must thank in particular Georgiana Donavin, Tamara O’Callaghan, Tim Machan, Russell Peck, and R. F. Yeager. The chapter on Guy and Bevis resulted from work I did toward a contribution to a collection of essays on Guy, and I am very grateful to the editors of that collection, Rosalind Field and Alison Wiggins, for helping me sort through the complexities of Guy’s transmission history. They also put me in touch with Jennifer Fellows, who shared her considerable expertise on the Bevis tradition with me. Many of the chapters began life as papers for meetings of the Early Book Society: I could not have hoped for better audiences. I became particularly accustomed to calling on the wisdom of James Carley, Martha Driver, Tony Edwards, Alex Gillespie, Derek Pearsall, Peter Robinson, and Toshiyuki Takamiya. Encounters at other conferences were also extremely useful: thanks to Erik Kwakkel, William Sherman, Jennifer Summit, and Andrew Taylor for some of those. I also received prompt, collegial responses to ‘‘cold’’ queries for help from Mary Flowers Braswell, Godfried Croenen, Simon Keynes, David Matthews, Andrew McRae, Richard Moore-Colyer, Steven Muhlberger, Garrett Sullivan, and Mary Beth Winn. Book professionals—sellers and librarians—have been invaluable to me. I am particularly grateful to Richard Clement, Justin Croft, Consuelo Duetschke, Clive Izard, Bernard Linehan, Des McTernan, Ralph Stanton, and Pam Yerrington. Gareth Hinds graciously answered my questions about his graphic novel, and provided me with the image that appears as figure 29. Colleagues at the University of British Columbia have supported me and this project for years. I got advice about writing, and the occasional beer, from Mary Chapman, Pamela Dalziel, Anthony Dawson, Alex Dick, Adam Frank, Stephen Guy-Bray, Liz Hodgson, Tina Lupton, Greg Mackie, Vin Nardizzi, Stephen Partridge, Robert Rouse, Mark Vessey, and Jerry Wasserman—and this book simply would not have happened without the constant encouragement and chivvying from the lunch crowd; Patricia Badir, Miranda Burgess, Judy Segal, and Sandra Tomc.



I have had amazing research assistants over the years. This project has been going on for so long they probably don’t remember working for me, but I must thank Lisa Brocklebank, Charles Dawson, Kari Maaren, and Barbara Wallin. The research for this project was supported by funds from the University of British Columbia’s Hampton Fund, the Killam Trusts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The University of Pennsylvania Press has been a pleasure to work with. Jerry Singerman has offered solid advice all through the process, and the readers for the press offered valuable commentary and more than once pointed me at ideas that became central in my revisions. Mariana Martinez and Noreen O’Connor-Abel have dealt patiently with all my queries. Finally, as ever, there is my family, all of whom have been remarkably tolerant of the presence of this uninvited child/ sibling. Eric, Patrick, and Catherine, this one is for you.