Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-jr42d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-20T11:50:09.405Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

12 - Scribal Corrections in the Auchinleck Manuscript

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2021

Susanna Fein
Affiliation:
Professor of English, Kent State University.
A. S. G. Edwards
Affiliation:
Professor of Medieval Manuscripts, School of English, University of Kent
Helen Phillips
Affiliation:
Professor of English, Cardiff University
Derek Pearsall
Affiliation:
Professor Emeritus of English, Harvard University, Honorary Member, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Cathy Hume
Affiliation:
Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University, Illinois.
Ralph Hanna
Affiliation:
Emeritus Professor of Palaeography, University of Oxford
Get access

Summary

WHILE there is general agreement that Scribe 1 served in a final, compilational role in the construction of the Auchinleck manuscript (Edinburgh, NLS, MS Advocates 19. 2. 1), we have not (so far) succeeded in making entirely clear the chronological order in which the various booklets (or fascicles) came together and how they came to be arranged as they now stand in Auchinleck. Even if we set aside the continuing dispute over whether there were six (A. J. Bliss, Derek Pearsall and Ian Cunningham, Alison Wiggins), five (Eugen Kolbing, Malcolm Parkes, Ralph Hanna) or four (Pamela Robinson) scribes at work on the collection, we are unable to describe a firm sequence for the production of the twelve booklets that now comprise the manuscript: we do not know exactly how the contributions of the various scribes fit together into a fully convincing chronology. And, while the catchwords and item numbers attest to the present (i.e., final), compiled order of the fascicles, which we now (following Timothy Shonk) confidently attribute to Scribe 1 (Robinson's Scribe D), that order certainly cannot correspond to, or even clearly reveal, the earlier stages of the manuscript's composition and arrangement. As Wiggins quite properly notes: ‘Clues as to how the fascicles were organised and arranged during the various stages of production are not easily found or interpreted as no regular system of signatures has survived in the manuscript’. And it is not just the absence of signatures that is an obstacle to identifying the ‘stages of production’: the composition of booklets in which two (or more) scribes participated works against any simple, linear sequence of production.

If the old idea of a ‘London workshop’ has become no longer entirely tenable, how do the irregularities in the serial composition of the constituent booklets make sense? Scribe 3, for instance, clearly preceded Scribe 2 (in booklet 3) and Scribe 2 preceded Scribe 1 (in booklet 2). And, of course, if the final ordering of the quires (with their catchwords) and the titles were the work of Scribe 1, then he succeeded all of the other scribes, and not simply in those booklets where his texts appear after those of Scribe 2 (in booklet 2) and Scribe 5 (in booklet 5), but also in booklet 4, where Scribe 5's Reinbrun Gij Sone of Warwike followed his stanzaic Guy of Warwick.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2016

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×