Chapter

Some Thoughts on his Intentions

Christine Franzen

in The Tremulous Hand of Worcester

Published in print September 1991 | ISBN: 9780198117421
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117421.003.0007

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Some Thoughts on his Intentions

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There is little doubt that the tremulous scribe went through a learning process as he glossed the Old English manuscripts. He also abandoned his initial attempt to copy and update the Old English directly into Middle English. One conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the copying of Old English manuscripts, and probably the studying of them as well, was a tradition which had either died out or had nearly died out and which the scribe and others in Worcester were apparently reviving. Why he may have become interested in these manuscripts, and what sustained his interest for the several years which his glossing must have taken are much more difficult questions to answer. This chapter considers some of the events and concerns in Worcester around the turn of the 13th century and shortly thereafter in an attempt to suggest some possible reasons for the glosses.

Keywords: Old English; tremulous scribe; manuscripts; glosses; glossing; Middle English; Worcester

Chapter.  5642 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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