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Robert Mannyng (c. 1293—1343) poet and historian

Frederick James Furnivall (1825—1910) textual scholar and editor


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By Mannyng of Brunne, written in rough octosyllabics and begun in 1303. It is based on the French Manuel des Pechez, by William of Wadington. It deals with sin under various headings: the Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Sins, Sacrilege and the Sacraments, culminating with Penance. Each sin is illustrated by a story and the value of the work lies in Mannyng's narrative vigour. His most familiar and often anthologized story is ‘The Dancers of Colbeck’ which tells of some churchyard revellers, including the priest's daughter, who would not stop dancing when the priest bade them do so and whom he cursed, condemning them to dance incessantly for a year. They do this, and at the end of the year the priest's daughter drops dead.

Subjects: Literature.

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