The Layers of Glossing

Christine Franzen

in The Tremulous Hand of Worcester

Published in print September 1991 | ISBN: 9780198117421
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670954 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

The Layers of Glossing

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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)


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The first priority in a study of the tremulous scribe must be to determine which of the glosses in the manuscripts are his work. This chapter describes the characteristics of the different layers of Worcester glosses. It defines a small number of categories which distinguish the most important stages of the tremulous hand and uses these states to demonstrate that the glosses are indeed ‘tremulous’ and to determine the sequence in which the layers were added to the manuscripts. From such evidence, one can see how the layers built upon each other, and how the Worcester scribe's methods and knowledge of Old English developed. Aside from the chronology of the layers, the superscript marks are also examined.

Keywords: tremulous scribe; glosses; manuscripts; layers; Old English; tremulous hand; superscript marks

Chapter.  11497 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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