This second volume, which completes the first comprehensive catalogue of Chaucer's manuscripts, describes the 56 extant copies and the fragments of 8 otherwise lost copies of the Canterbury Tales. These manuscripts, last examined together over 50 years ago, are here described after a fresh appraisal and in the light of modern scholarship, and some revisions of date, decoration, dialect, location, provenance, and script are suggested. The Introduction defines some of the major textual problems posed by the manuscripts and presents some thoughts thereon, while suggesting solutions to some incidental cruces. The Indices and Appendices record the citation of lost and unidentified copies of the Canterbury Tales, the names of former owners and associates, and addenda et corrigenda for Volume I. The Catalogue is designed as a reference work for those teachers and students who wish to know what and where the extant material is without the labour of its collection and for those able in the various specialities of manuscript bibliography to advance present knowledge.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; The Canterbury Tales: The classification of the manuscripts; The order of the tales; The earliest manuscripts; Claims of authorial revision; The interpolations; Summary; THE MANUSCRIPTS; THE SMALLER FRAGMENTS; OTHER Recorded Manuscripts; Index of Former Owners and Inscribed Names; Volume I: Addenda and Corrigenda.
’Seymour’s second volume has certainly been worth waiting for... This is, to repeat the conclusion of my review of the first volume in Reference Reviews Vol. 10/3 1996, 96/180, ’a must for all collections with pretentions to scholarship in English literature and cultural history.’ Reference Reviews 12/4