The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Brosnahan, Leger. "The Authenticity of And Preestes Thre." 16 (1982): 293-310.
The half-line "and preestes thre" (24) in the General Prologue has caused a number of scholars to advance various explanations which will reduce the 31 pilgrims to the stated 29. Careful examination of the pattern of portraits in the General Prologue suggests that the Second Nun's portrait was interrupted and the rest of the line filled with the phrase "and preestes thre." Removing this half-line on the basis that it is a scribal filler simplifies the Prioress's entourage, reduces the number of pilgrims, and better conforms to the pattern of the other portraits in the General Prologue.
Caie, Graham D. "The Significance of the Early Chaucer Manuscript Glosses (with Special Reference to the Wife of Bath's Prologue)." 10 (1976): 350-60.
The glosses in the manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales are carefully written, and are of similar size as the text of the tales themselves. Quotes from Jerome constitute most of the glosses on the Wife of Bath's Prologue, suggesting that the scribe did not want the reader to be convinced by the Wife's logic. The glosses also highlight the Wife's misinterpretation of Old and New Testament passages.
Cook, Daniel. "The Revision of Chaucer's Troilus: The Beta Text." 9 (1974): 51-62.
Of the three available texts of Troilus and Criseyde, scholars have always accepted the gamma text as the most accurate version. This decision, however, is open to debate. The readings given by the beta text differ significantly from both the alpha and gamma versions, and since most changes improve the quality of the text by adding detail, they cannot be considered merely scribal. Thus, the beta text must be accepted as the most authoritative.
Farrell, Thomas J. "The 'Envoy de Chaucer' and the Clerk's Tale." 24 (1990): 329-36.
Scribes never regarded "Lenvoy de Chaucer" at the end of the Clerk's Tale as an integral part of the tale. In some manuscripts the Envoy is even left off entirely. The shift in verse form indicates that the Envoy is separate from the tale. Because the Clerk is so careful to identify Petrarch as his source, the attribution of the Envoy to Chaucer clarifies the originality of the Envoy in keeping with the sensitivity to authority. The Envoy clearly shows that the Clerk's Tale must be considered a response to the Wife of Bath, but the Envoy must be thought of as a separate entity from the tale while indicating that the parts of the Canterbury Tales can be read as intersecting intertextually.
Hardman, Phillipa. "Chaucer's Articulation of the Narrative in Troilus: The Manuscript Evidence." 30 (1995): 111-33.
The discovery of an autograph copy of the Filostrato indicates that the narrative glosses, previously though to be scribal, are actually authorial. The presence of such glosses in Troilus and Criseyde suggests that perhaps some of the glosses previously considered scribal might be authorial. Comparison of Chaucer manuscripts with those of Boccaccio reveals a number of differences and some surprising similarities. Examination of all the Chaucer manuscripts of Troilus and Criseyde shows that while there is some evidence of scribal error and variation, a number of the narrative divisions, illuminated capitals, and textual glosses appear in the same place in many manuscripts. Such similarity between so many manuscripts suggests that Chaucer may have followed Boccaccio's practice of inserting glosses and narrative breaks in the manuscript.
Hirsh, John C. "Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale 847: A Conjectural Emendation." 20 (1985): 68-69.
Constance's prayer as she leaves Northumberland in the Man of Law's Tale can be better understood by altering line 847 to read "woman" in place of "wo man." The possibly scribal shift to "wo man" may indicate a gender bias on the part of scribes.
Kennedy, Beverly. "Cambridge MS. Dd.4.24: A Misogynous Scribal Revision of the Wife of Bath's Prologue?" 30 (1996): 343-58.
Cambridge Dd.4.24 is a unique manuscript in Chaucer studies because dating indicates that a scribe copied it within 25 years of Chaucer's death and because it includes five sizable, additional sections and renumbers the Wife's husbands. The additions villify women and make the Wife of Bath more misogynistic. Examination of the these passages suggests that the scribe who copied the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale added the material, since much of it contradicts what Chaucer has already said about the Wife. The renumbering of her husbands increases the coherence of the final section of her Prologue. Together, the interpolations and the renumbering of the husbands make the Wife merely the typical subject of estates satire. Since these changes lessen the ambiguity for which Chaucer is noted, scholars must assume that the five passages are scribal, rather than Chaucerian, revisions.
Seymour, M. C. "Of this Cokes tale." 24 (1990): 259-62.
Chaucer probably completed the Cook's Tale, but the quire containing the rest of the tale was lost. The slight changes in handwriting between tales may suggest that several different scribes worked on the Canterbury Tales and so support the idea that Chaucer completed the tale. There is some manuscript evidence to suggest the misplacement of a full "quire of sight" containing the rest of the completed Cook's story.