Editing Chaucer's Early Poems: A Rationale for Virtual Copy-Text

Murray McGillivray

Abstract


The textual situations of the Legend of Good Women, Anelida and Arcite, the House of Fame, the Parliament of Fowls, and the Book of the Duchess are precarious: few and mostly bad manuscripts, all of quite late date. A computer-facilitated re-spelling of a reconstructed archetype to the standard of spelling represented by the Hengwrt manuscript of the Canterbury Tales ought to be the basis for editions of these poems. Some of the challenges and rewards of working in this way with the Book of the Duchess are illustrated by brief passages.

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