A renaissance readers English annotations to Thynnes 1532 edition of Chaucers Works

Antonina Harbus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article introduces a heavily annotated copy of the first collected edition of Chaucers Works, published by William Thynne in 1532 (Beinecke Library, Osborn fpa 5). Over 1100 annotations, in English, record one near-contemporary but anonymous readers engagement with the content and style of texts in this edition. The marginal comments demonstrate this annotators predilection for proverbial material and figurative language, perhaps as a first step in transferring excerpts to a commonplace book or other place of record. This Renaissance reader evidently understood Chaucers language, so does not provide glosses to the existing diction, but reflects individual linguistic preferences in summarising and recasting the texts in the marginal annotations, at times commenting on Chaucers imagery or turn of phrase. This study indicates the range and type of annotation in this unique book, and suggests some implications for our knowledge of the reception of Chaucer in the sixteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-355
Number of pages14
JournalThe Review of English Studies
Volume59
Issue number240
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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