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Judgement Day I, Resignation A and Resignation B: a conceptual unit in the Exeter Book

Green, Johanna M. E. (2012) Judgement Day I, Resignation A and Resignation B: a conceptual unit in the Exeter Book. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis offers an examination and analysis of the manuscript compilation of three poems: Judgement Day I, Resignation A and Resignation B (ff.115v-19v) found in Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501. It argues that paratextual information including textual division, subordination and manuscript layout are indicative of compiler intention and are significant in the interpretation and subsequent editing practice of Old English texts. An examination of other Old English manuscripts reveals that compilation of this sort was not uncommon; this compilation is indicative of the intended function of the poems as conceived by the manuscript compiler. Evidence from Old English homilies provides a context for the compilation of JDayI with ResA and ResB, where the poems can be seen to share themes common to sets of Rogationtide homilies. An analysis of the use of textual division markers found throughout the Exeter Book manuscript is also provided. This thesis is divided into five main sections: methodology; thematic evidence; contextual evidence; manuscript evidence; and a transcription of JDayI, ResA and ResB. Section I presents the methodology which informs this study, examining the significance of manuscript context in the interpretation and editorial practice of Old English poetry; it also provides an editorial rationale for the semi-diplomatic transcription of Section V. Section II: Thematic Evidence provides an individual review of each poem’s critical history, genre classification and literary analysis, and re-evaluates the poems anew. Section III: Contextual Evidence brings together the thematic evidence of Section II to argue the poems were compiled together in the Exeter Book because they reflected themes common to Rogationtide homilies. Using evidence of similar manuscript compilation in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 201 (CCCC 201) and in the Vercelli Homilies (specifically VercHomXIX-XXI) it is argued the three Exeter Book poems were placed together for use during Rogationtide, and thereby designed to promote compunction, confession and penance among the audience. Section IV: Manuscript Evidence examines the layout and textual division of these three texts and results displaying the textual division and subordination practice found throughout the Exeter Book manuscript are provided. Finally, Section V: Transcription presents a diplomatic transcription of the texts with facing facsimile image to reflect their manuscript context. The original contributions of this thesis are therefore twofold: i. It presents original data and analysis of textual division practice used in the Exeter Book manuscript ii. It provides thematic, contextual and manuscript evidence of manuscript compilation of JDayI, ResA and ResB and provides an explanation of the purpose such compilation sought to offer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Exeter Book, Old English, paratext, Judgement Day I, Resignation A, Resignation B, manuscript, compilation, compiler, Rogation, Rogationtide, litterae notabiliores, textual division and subordination, diplomatic, editing, Anglo-Saxon
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language
Supervisor's Name: Lowe, Dr. Kathryn and Caie, Prof. Graham
Date of Award: 2012
Embargo Date: 5 November 2015
Depositing User: Miss Johanna M. E. Green
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3725
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2012
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:10
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3725

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