Books and Manuscripts

A. S. G. Edwards

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Books and Manuscripts

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)



This article examines the modes of vernacular literary production during the Middle Ages in Britain, focusing on the production and circulation of books and manuscripts. It suggests that the evidence of oral transmission is linked to the creation of manuscripts because at some stage or stages in their textual history works were actually written down and thus become linked to the manuscript culture that forms the central focus of this article. It argues that the history of the development of the industry for manuscript production in England can be sketched as it relates to specifically literary works. It also discusses later medieval manuscript culture, the commercialization of book production, and the variation in manuscript production.

Keywords: literary production; Middle Ages; Britain; books; manuscripts; textual history; manuscript culture

Article.  7316 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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