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The narrative of the Scottish nation and its late medieval readers: non-textual reader scribal activity in the MSS of Fordun, Bower and their derivatives

Tod, Murray Andrew Lucas (2005) The narrative of the Scottish nation and its late medieval readers: non-textual reader scribal activity in the MSS of Fordun, Bower and their derivatives. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Fordun’s Chronica Gentis Scotorum, Gesta Annalia I and II, Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon and Liber Pluscardensis, present the narrative of the Scottish nation from its early origins up to (in the later works) the minority of James II. The extant MSS of Fordun, Bower and their derivatives, dateable ca 1440 to ca 1500, are therefore invaluable sources for studies of late-medieval Scotland. The popularity of these histories is reflected in the number of subsequent abbreviations of their text in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (for example, Extracta e variis Cronicis Scocie and Brevis Chronica) and by no further independent narrative being produced in Latin until John Mair’s Historia in 1521. The principal objective of this thesis is to analyse the nature and extent of reader interest, ca 1450 to ca 1550, in these narratives. In particular, the aim is to demonstrate what specific subjects of the narrative of the Scottish nation interested late-medieval readers the most. To achieve this, the extant MSS of Fordun, Bower and their derivatives, numbering over thirty, have been thoroughly researched. Within each MS the additions by late-medieval readers (non-textural reader scribal activity) have been identified, recorded and subjected to thematic analysis. To further demonstrate the process under consideration, an edition of particular reader interest is presented as an appendix. The result of this research is that these narratives evidently continued to be consulted throughout the period ca 1450x1550 (and into the early-modern era) and that one can detect both the individual concerns of the readers’ in the texts and that distinct patterns of interest are apparent in their additions to the MSS. Moreover, the research indicates some surprising results, with topics previously considered as pivotal in the narrative of the Scottish nation not registering as much interest among the late-medieval readers as expected.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Dauvit, Dr. Broun
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-1396
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:39
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1396

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