Gower Bibliography

Scribe D's SW Midland Roots: A Reconsideration

Horobin, Simon, and Mosser, Daniel W. "Scribe D's SW Midland Roots: A Reconsideration." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 106 (2005), pp. 289-305. ISSN 0028-3754

Review

"Scribe D" is one of five scribes who worked on the copy of CA that is now Trinity College, Cambridge MS R.3.2, as identified by Ian Doyle and Malcolm Parkes in their celebrated 1978 essay, and his hand has been found in eleven other MSS, including seven more of CA, two of CT, and one of PP. On the basis of the spellings found in these copies, his origins have been traced to the SW Midlands, specifically to Worcestershire. Horobin and Mosser argue, however, that the SW Midlands forms in his copies of Chaucer and Langland derive not from his own dialect but from the spellings of his exemplars, a conclusion consistent with data that Jeremy Smith has presented from Scribe D's copies of Gower. D appears to have been remarkably conservative in his attitude towards his exemplars, an observation that may require a reconsideration of the chronology of his work. It also suggests "a considerable tolerance of dialect variation within London English, indicating that the establishment of a London standard language was a later, and more gradual phenomenon, than has previously been considered" (304). [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 26.1]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies
Manuscripts and Textual Studies

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