Manuscripts and Ghosts

Essays on the Transmission of Medieval and Early Renaissance Literature

By John Scattergood

Before the development of printing in the mid-15th century the written culture of Europe was transmitted through manuscripts. This collection of essays, which concentrates mainly on the late medieval period in England, explores how manuscript books were made, who made them, who owned them, and how they passed from one owner to another. Some deal with how particular manuscripts signify, how their layout and execution generate meaning. Some deal more generally with what manuscripts reveal about the ways in which literary culture was transmitted and about the importance of manuscripts in the interpretation of that culture. The subjects of these essays include, amongst other things, studies of an Anglo- Saxon riddle on the destruction of manuscripts, Chaucer's famous poem on 'Adam' his own scribe, a Lollard Bible owned by a succession of religious dissidents, two manuscripts of the Middle English Brut chronicle, and Trinity College Dublin MS 160, one of the most authoritative collections of early Tudor poetry.


320 pages

Publication Date: 12/31/2006
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781851829309