Grindley, Carl James
The life of a book: British Library manuscript additional 35157 in historical context.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This dissertation is an investigation into the social history of British Library Manuscript Additional 35157 (hereafter Add.35157), which is a late fourteenth-century copy of William Langland's alliterative poem Piers Plowman.
Part one contains the text of the dissertation. In chapter 1 a general outline of the dissertation is provided and some bibliographical issues relating to the identification of Add.35157 are discussed. Chapter 2 proposes that the knowledge of a manuscript's provenance is itself a legitimate goal of research. Chapter 2 also provides a sample exercise in manuscript research using a copy of John Lydgate's poem Life of Our Lady from the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Collection. Chapter 3 forwards a classification system for manuscript marginalia and explains how some of the classification arose. Chapter 4 discusses issues related to the codicology of Add.35157, suggests a new date for the manuscript's construction, discusses the work of its scribes and provides several new catalogue descriptions of the manuscript. Chapters 5 through 8 analyse the contributions and detail the biographies of four of Add.35157's owners or commentators. Chapter 9 concludes that there is much to be learned from the continued study of the social history of medieval manuscripts. Part two comprises fourteen appendices, includes an edition of Add.35157's marginal supply, surveys of its dialect, transcriptions of its text and reproductions of selected folios.
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