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Tag: manuscript studies

Tara Andrews and Caroline Macé, eds. Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches

Tara Andrews and Caroline Macé, eds. Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2014. 346 p., 27 b/w and 51 col. ill. ISBN: 9782503552682. €97.00 (hardcover).

For many, the detailed study of ancient and medieval manuscripts may evoke images of a sort of textual archeologist working alone in a painstaking effort to unearth and dust-off forgotten texts. During the earliest days of formalized modern manuscript studies in the nineteenth century, this picture might have been apt as collectors, enthusiasts, and scholars mined caches of manuscripts across Europe and the Near East in a race to discover and recover ancient and medieval texts. As the field evolved in the twentieth century, scholars shifted their focus to the application of a range of critical theoretical approaches to the countless texts their predecessors had made available.

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines. Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines. Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015. ix, 251 p., ill. ISBN 9789004304536. €135.00 (hardcover).

This book focuses on a manuscript in the Huntington Library, located in San Marino, California (Ms HM 83), an unstudied fifteenth-century German codex that contains not only the largest but also the most curious collection of mappaemundi in any one document.

Susanna Fein and Michael Johnston, eds. Robert Thornton and his Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Thornton Manuscripts

Susanna Fein and Michael Johnston, eds. Robert Thornton and his Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Thornton Manuscripts. Rochester, NY & Cambridge, UK: York Medieval Press, 2014. xii, 316p., ill. ISBN 9781903153512. £60 / US $99 (hardback).

Robert Thornton was a mid-fifteenth-century Yorkshire gentleman who compiled and wrote two miscellanies for household use: Lincoln Cathedral Library, MS 91 and London, British Library, Additional MS 31042. Lincoln’s three main booklets contain romance, religious, and medical texts, respectively, reflecting an interest in world history; the less neatly organized London explores sacred history – and raises similar questions about genre and devotion – through its textual pairings and sequences. The current volume toggles productively between technical book history and literary analysis,

Erik Kwakkel, ed. Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200

Erik Kwakkel, ed. Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200. Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture. Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2015. 224p., ill. ISBN 9789087282264. €39.50 (paperback).

This paperback presents six case studies of medieval manuscript copies of Latin works that were composed between the first century BCE and the fifth century CE. It is edited by the medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel who argues in his introduction (13-21) that, as material objects, these codices form a distinct group, since the Latin classics of both the Roman Republic (509-27 BCE) and the Roman Empire (27 BCE-295 CE) were taught in the schools of northern Europe.

Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu, eds. Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Late Medieval Britain

Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu, eds. Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Late Medieval Britain. Oxford: Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2015. xviii, 330p., colour ill. ISBN 9780197265833. US $155.00 (hardback).

Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu’s edited collection Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Late Medieval Britain contains a number of essays that emerged from a conference on this subject held in London at the British Academy in June 2012. As stated on its website, the conference’s objective was to “bring a new and multidisciplinary focus to the late medieval miscellany, a little-investigated and poorly understood type of manuscript”

Steven W. May and Arthur F. Marotti, eds. Ink, Stink Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth: A Yorkshire Yeoman’s Household Book

Steven W. May and Arthur F. Marotti, eds. Ink, Stink Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth: A Yorkshire Yeoman’s Household Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014. xii, 272p., ill. ISBN 9780801456565. £16.47 / US $24.95 (paperback).

The focus of this book is the manuscript household miscellany of a literate Yorkshire gentleman, recently uncovered in the British Library (Add. MS 82370). The text features several hands, but was predominantly compiled by one John Hanson of Rastrick, Yorkshire (1517–1599), most likely in the early 1590s, and highlights a broad range of interests from local feuds over land, poems about events of national and international significance (like the Spanish Armada), and recipes for common household goods such as ink, fish bait and sealing wax.

Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A Bibliographical Handlist of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100. Compiled by Helmut Gneuss and Michael Lapidge

Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A Bibliographical Handlist of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100. Compiled by Helmut Gneuss and Michael Lapidge. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 2014. xix, 937 p. ISBN: 9781442648234. £119.99 / $175.00 (hardback).

Attempting to compile and record the entire known corpus of manuscripts produced or historically owned in a single country over a period of five centuries is at best a daunting, if not impossible, task. Trying to do so while also providing as comprehensive a record as possible of the critical multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship dealing with those manuscripts transforms such a project from a (relatively) simple — if painstaking, lengthy, and exceptionally useful — act of bibliography to a scholarly effort of heroic proportions.

Peter Beal, ed. Discovering, Identifying and Editing Early Modern Manuscripts 1100-1700

Peter Beal, ed. Discovering, Identifying and Editing Early Modern Manuscripts. English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, vol. 18. London: The British Library, 2013. vi, 269p., ill. ISBN 9780712358934. £50.00 (hardback).

The great Restoration scholar Harold Love (1937-2007) looks out quizzically at us from the frontispiece of this issue of Peter Beal’s invaluable English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 (EMS). In front of him is a large folio volume (print? manuscript?) whose pages are only apparently blank – the unintended effect, presumably of the camera’s exposure settings. An image of absent presence is apt, for this number of EMS in Love’s memory is, we learn in passing towards the end, the journal’s “final volume” (253).