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In 1489, John Ramsay, a ‘notary public’ in Fife, copied a manuscript for the use of Symon Lochmalony, vicar of Auchtermoonzie in the same county. This book, now Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, MS Advocates’ 19.2.2, contains the two principal epic-romances of Older Scots literature: John Barbour’s Bruce, a poem originally presented to Robert II, King of Scots, in 1375, and ‘Blind’ Hary’s Wallace, which dates from a century later.Ramsay had already completed a copy of TheBruce two years before, although this earlier manuscript, now Cambridge, St John’s College, MS G.23, seems to be drawn from a different exemplar; the Cambridge manuscript is moreover much damaged, the first three books of the poem being missing.
Historical pragmatics is a mode of analysis that is not only descriptive but also explanatory. Hitherto, most – very valuable – work in historical pragmatics has focused on corpus-analysis, especially of grammatical or lexical features; a ‘typical’ piece of research from this orientation deploys quantitative analysis to map (e.g.) the linguistic expression of ‘polite’ discourse (see e.g. the essays in Bax and Kádár 2011). More recently, however, as flagged earlier by Andreas Jucker and Irma Taavitsainen, and developed further by such scholars as Claudia Claridge, Merja Kytö, Matti Peikola, Carla Suhr and Jukka Tyrkkö, the domain has become more capacious and qualitative in orientation, including as additional objects of enquiry features that have traditionally been seen as non-linguistic.
William Langland’s Piers Plowman, one of the greatest English poems of the late fourteenth century, was first printed in 1550. This edition was produced by Robert Crowley (c. 1517–88), who combined his short-lived commercial activities – supported, albeit without acknowledgement, by the king’s printer, Richard Grafton – with a longer career as a polemical author and reformed clergyman, active in the evangelical interest and inter alia a major source for the protestant martyrologist John Foxe. He has, perhaps a little over-enthusiastically, been described as ‘the most significant poet between Surrey and Gascoigne’ (King 1982: 320). Piers Plowman was Crowley’s most ambitious verse publication in terms of size, and was clearly a success for him. No fewer than three impressions (1550a–1550c) appeared in the same year, in a substantial quarto format; with the exception of an edition of the Psalter, all Crowley’s other publications were more modest octavos.
In 1867, John Hales (1836–1914) and Frederick J. Furnivall (1825–1910), two distinguished Victorian men of letters and enthusiasts for earlier literature (Gregory 2006), produced a new edition of a very famous poetic miscellany: the seventeenth-century Percy Folio manuscript. This volume, now London, British Library, MS Additional 27879, is a collection of ballads and romances, many originating (it seems) in the late Middle Ages, albeit heavily revised by a seventeenth-century learned (and, probably, royalist) antiquarian (Donatelli 1993). The new edition superseded that of the manuscript’s eponymous first editor, Bishop Thomas Percy (1729–1811), who a century earlier had included much of its contents in his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765).
Transforming Early English shows how historical pragmatics can offer a powerful explanatory framework for the changes medieval English and Older Scots texts undergo, as they are transmitted over time and space. The book argues that formal features such as spelling, script and font, and punctuation - often neglected in critical engagement with past texts - relate closely to dynamic, shifting socio-cultural processes, imperatives and functions. This theme is illustrated through numerous case-studies in textual recuperation, ranging from the reinvention of Old English poetry and prose in the later medieval and early modern periods, to the eighteenth-century 'vernacular revival' of literature in Older Scots.
Towards the end of the fourteenth century, someone, somewhere (probably) in the English West Midlands, decided to make a substantial investment: the production of a vast manuscript miscellany of religious texts in the vernacular. This book, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet. A.1, is better known nowadays as the Vernon manuscript, after Edward Vernon, its seventeenth-century owner who gifted it to the Bodleian in 1677. Such miscellanies seem to have been fashionable at the time of its making; for instance, John Northwood’s collection in London, British Library, MS Additional 37787, associated with Bordesley Abbey in North Worcestershire, where Northwood entered as a novice in 1386, contains some twenty English works of vernacular devotion, several in common with Vernon.
This book began with the case of Thomas Percy, and it seems therefore appropriate to conclude it with a figure who has a claim to be Percy’s principal successor as an imaginative recuperator of the medieval past, and whose presence will have been noted in several places earlier. In 1804, Walter Scott published his first edition of Sir Tristrem; a Metrical Romance of The Thirteenth Century; by Thomas of Erceldoune, called The Rhymer. Scott was not yet Sir Walter; nor was he yet the laird of the great estate of Abbotsford, which was still a farm nicknamed Clarty (i.e. ‘muddy’) Hole.
In the previous chapter, it was claimed that a text’s formal features reflect contemporary ideologies, and that as a work is copied and recopied these formal features change to reflect shifting socio-cultural imperatives; texts are not only invented in the ancient rhetorical sense (i.e. inventio ‘finding’), but in the modern sense as well. This claim is well demonstrated by the transmission history of a work now canonical in Anglo-Saxon studies: the Old English epic poem Beowulf, surviving in London, British Library, MS Cotton Vitellius A.xv (part II). In addition to Beowulf the codex also contains a poem on the Biblical story of Judith, and three prose works: The Life of St Christopher, The Marvels of the East and The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle. The manuscript was copied by two scribes.
Populations of native North American parasitoids attacking Agrilus Curtis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) species have recently been considered as part of an augmentative biological control programme in an attempt to manage emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, a destructive wood-boring beetle discovered in North America in 2002. We evaluate trapping methods to detect and monitor populations of two important native larval parasitoids, Phasgonophora sulcata Westwood (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) and Atanycolus Förster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) species, attacking emerald ash borer in its introduced range. We found that purple prism traps captured more P. sulcata than green prism traps, yellow pan traps, and log samples and thus were considered better for detecting and monitoring P. sulcata populations. Trap type did not affect the number of captures of Atanycolus species. Surprisingly, baiting prism traps with a green leaf volatile or manuka oil did not significantly increase captures of P. sulcata or Atanycolus species. Based on these results, unbaited purple prism traps would be optimal for sampling these native emerald ash borer parasitoids in long-term management programmes.
Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.
The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.
Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Significance of results
The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.
For over 120 years, the shell middens of western Scotland and the series of open-air sites on Oronsay have been the focus of debate in European Mesolithic studies. This paper challenges the significance of Oronsay in light of results from the geophysical survey and test-excavation of a new limpet and periwinkle shell midden dated to the late 5th or start of the 4th millennium cal bc at Port Lobh, Colonsay that offers fresh evidence to re-evaluate critically the role of Oronsay and coastal resources in island settlement models ahead of the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition. Test excavations recovered a marine molluscan assemblage dominated by limpet and periwinkle shells together with crab, sea urchin, a fishbone assemblage composed mainly of Gadidae, some identifiable bird and mammal bone, carbonised macroplant remains, and pumice as well as a bipolar lithic assemblage and coarse stone implements. Novel seasonality studies of saithe otolith thin-sections suggest wintertime tidal fishing practices. At least two activity events may be discerned, dating from the late 5th millennium cal bc. The midden could represent a small number of rapidly deposited assemblages or maybe the result of stocastic events within a more extended timeframe. We argue that alternative research questions are needed to advance long-standing debates about seasonal inter-island mobility versus island sedentism that look beyond Oronsay to better understand later Mesolithic occupation patterns and the formation and date of Oronsay middens. We propose alternative methodological strategies to aid identification of contemporaneous sites using geophysical techniques and lithic technological signatures.
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) remains a significant public health concern, resulting in excess morbidity, mortality, and costs. Additional insight into the burden of CDI in adults aged <65 years is needed.
A 6-year retrospective cohort study was conducted using data extracted from United States Veterans Health Administration electronic medical records.
Patients aged 18–64 years on January 1, 2011, were followed until incident CDI, death, loss-to-follow-up, or December 31, 2016. CDI was identified by a diagnosis code accompanied by metronidazole, vancomycin, or fidaxomicin therapy, or positive laboratory test. The clinical setting of CDI onset was defined according to 2017 SHEA-IDSA guidelines.
Of 1,073,900 patients, 10,534 had a CDI during follow-up. The overall incidence rate was 177 CDIs per 100,000 person years, rising steadily from 164 per 100,000 person years in 2011 to 189 per 100,000 person years in 2016. Those with a CDI were slightly older (55 vs 51 years) and sicker, with a higher baseline Charlson comorbidity index score (1.4 vs 0.5) than those without an infection. Nearly half (48%) of all incident CDIs were community associated, and this proportion rose from 41% in 2011 to 56% in 2016.
The findings from this large retrospective study indicate that CDI incidence, driven primarily by increasing community-associated infection, is rising among young and middle-aged adult Veterans with high service-related disability. The increasing burden of community associated CDI in this vulnerable population warrants attention. Future studies quantifying the economic and societal burden of CDI will inform decisions surrounding prevention strategies.