Textual Copying and Transmission

Orietta Da Rold

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

Textual Copying and Transmission

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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)



This article examines the copying and transmission of medieval texts in their manuscript culture in England during the Middle Ages. It considers the complicated process of the making of a manuscript from several perspectives including the difficult relationship between scribes and authors. It evaluates the different writing environments in which manuscripts were copied and circulated and analyses the difficulties associated with the transmission of the texts of two medieval authors, who are situated at the opposite ends of the medieval period: Ælfric of Eynsham in the tenth century and Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth. The findings suggest that Ælfric and Chaucer share the same anxieties regarding scribes.

Keywords: medieval text; textual copying; textual transmission; manuscript culture; England; Middle Ages; scribes; authors; Ælfric of Eynsham; Geoffrey Chaucer

Article.  12476 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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