Llyfr Coch Hergest: studies in text and manuscript context

Booth-Cockcroft, Myra (2024) Llyfr Coch Hergest: studies in text and manuscript context. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Measuring 34 x 21cm, comprising 362 surviving leaves in thirty-four quires and containing some fifty prose texts and around 370 poems the late-fourteenth century Llyfr Coch Hergest (Oxford, Jesus College MS 111) is the largest extant medieval Welsh manuscript. Incorporating examples of almost every kind of Welsh literature from the period – excluding only the early poetry, the religious texts, and the laws – this manuscript has long been characterised by its size and scope, and scholars have commented on its perceived lack of organisational principle, beyond that of sheer inclusivity. Modern scholarship has tended to extract the texts from the manuscript in order to study them under their modern academic categorisations: researchers are interested in the Mabinogi; or the poetry of the Gogynfeirdd; or the Brutiau. Yet, in removing texts from their manuscript context, we are deprived of the opportunity to consider any editorial decisions on the part of patron or scribe, and a further layer of understanding is stripped away by not considering the socio-political context, or the potential motivations, of those responsible for the creation of the manuscript. This PhD thesis seeks to return the texts of Llyfr Coch Hergest to their manuscript context, through an examination of three case studies: the corpus of canu dychan (satirical poetry); two poems in the voice of Myrddin; and three translated popular European narrative prose texts, Pererindod Siarlymaen, Ystorya Bown o Hamtwn, and Kedymdeithas Amlyn ac Amic. In contemplating questions of textual organisation in the manuscript, it is hoped that some new light is shed on the interpretation of these texts through reading them in the order that patron and scribe intended.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: This work was supported by funding from the AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Celtic Studies.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Funder's Name: AHRC
Supervisor's Name: Clancy, Professor Thomas, Johnston, Professor Dafydd and Innes, Dr. Sìm
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84371
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2024 15:24
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 15:24
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84371
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/84371

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