The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Boffey, Julia. "The Reputation and Circulation of Chaucer's Lyrics in the Fifteenth Century." 28 (1993): 23-40.
Though the impact of Chaucer's lyrics on fifteenth-century writers is difficult to determine, his influence can be traced in three different ways: "general situations" and "rhetorical strategies" (28), rhyme royal and ballad stanza forms, and rhymes. Examinations of sample texts illustrate imitations in each of the three ways. That other writers imitate Chaucer so much suggests that Chaucer's short poems circulated in some form. Among the poems in which passages which specific passages can be found illustrating that other writers borrowed passages and methods from Chaucer's works are Hoccleve's Mother of God and Balade to Sir Henry Somer, Lydgate's Temple of Glass, the Complaint of the Black Knight, the Troy Book, A Pageant of Knowledge, Thoroughfare of Woe, the Fall of Princes, and the Flower of Courtesy. In addition, the translator of Partonope de Blois, and the writer of the Kingis Quair also use some of chaucer's methods and lift certain passages. Unfortunately, however, because the original poems were never bound and scribes had difficulties copying them, there are a number of textual problems which make the influence of Chaucer's works difficult to trace.
Edwards, A. S. G. "Friar's Tale, D 1489: 'At oure prayere.'" 28 (1993): 146-47.
The use of the word "prayere" (1489) in the Friar's Tale is probably a corruption resulting from transmission of "pray" or "prey." By this reading, the devils are at their "prey."
Edwards, A. S. G. "House of Fame 2018: An Unnecessary Emendation." 25 (1990): 78-79.
The reading "laugh" for "languisshe" in line 2018 of House of Fame Book III makes the most sense of the passage. Laugh could easily have degenerated into languish through scribal transmission.
Edwards, A. S. G. "Man of Law's Tale 517: A Conjectural Emendation." 25 (1990): 76-77.
Changing "out" to "not" in line 517 of the Man of Law's Tale resolves the problem of Constance's request for death.
Field, Rosalind. "'Superfluous Ribaldry': Spurious Lines in the Merchant's Tale." 28 (1994): 353-67.
Lines 2350-78 in the Caxton edition of the Merchant's Tale were added by a fifteenth-century scribe, taking up the challenge "I cannot glose" (2351). Clearly the person who contributed these lines had read Chaucer carefully. Though the Shipman's Tale also contains unnecessary bawdy, the lines in that tale do not remake the ending as they do in the Caxton version of Merchant's Tale.
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 Rejoinder." 22 (1988): 332-34.
The reading "woman" for "wo man" in line 847 of the Man of Law's Tale is indeed difficult to prove. The emendation, however, suggests that the breakdown of the original text may have been influenced by traditional attitudes toward gender.
Machan, Tim William. "Scribal Role, Authorial Intention, and Chaucer's Boece." 24 (1989): 150-62.
The traditional view of scribal role and authorial intent in creating manuscripts does not adequately describe how scribes thought about their work. Looking at Boece, for example, reveals that scribes may have altered Chaucer's word choice to make it more modern and consulted sources to "improve" what Chaucer had done. Scribal alterations show that the scribes did not think of the text or the author as untouchable. They were primarily concerned with communication.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. "Pre-1450 Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales: Relationships and Significance (Part I)." 23 (1988): 1-29.
Recent examination of the manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales suggests that readers reconsider of the accepted order. The evidence shows that the Hengwrt scribe and the Ellesmere scribe are not the same and that the primacy of Hengwrt is not incontrovertible.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. "Pre-1450 Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales: Relationships and Significance (Part II)." 23 (1988): 95-116.
No evidence suggests that any of the d manuscripts are the product of a group of scribes in a shop. The b manuscript group seems to have been produced after 1450. Three methods of manuscript production can be discerned after careful study. First, exemplars were gathered for specific occasions, resulting in manuscripts like Hengwrt, Harley 7334, Cambridge Dd, Ellesmere, and Cambridge Gg. Second, copies were made of pre-existing manuscripts. Third, a manuscript might be the product of amassing "exemplars made for a previous manuscript" (114).
Pinti, Daniel J. "Governing the Cook's Tale in Bodley MS 686." 30 (1996): 379-88.
As the fifteenth-century Bodley MS 686 suggests, fifteenth-century scribes and readers did not recognize the inviolability of an author's text. The scribe of the Bodley MS clearly differentiates his voice from that of Chaucer, but develops the fundamental conflict between apprentice and master in the tale and also suggests an end to the story. His changes offer a different view of the themes of the tale and indicate the fifteenth-century conception of Chaucerian authority. The alternating voices throughout the telling of the tale create a story in dialogue and tell readers that they may view the story from different points of view. The scribe also plays on Perkyn's position as an apprentice to create a position for himself as a poet apprenticed to Chaucer. The text of the tale itself also becomes Chaucer's apprentice, but like Perkyn, it is recalcitrant, thus allowing the apprentice poet to demonstrate his poetic ability and to become the poetic master Chaucer. The scribe's participation in the text not only subjects it to necessary governing, but also negotiates the troubled waters of authority in the fifteenth century.
Richardson, Peter. "Chaucer's Final -E: Some Discourse Considerations." 28 (1993): 83-93.
The final -e appearing in Chaucer's works results from his choice of the historical present tense, as examination of the Miller's Tale indicates. Scrutiny of the manuscripts suggests that the final -e was added by scribes and thus that Chaucer's use of historical present tense was fairly systematic.
Smith, Macklin. "Sith and Syn in Chaucer's Troilus." 26 (1992): 266-82.
Though the forms for "since" do not generally alter readings of lines in which they occur, awareness of "syn," used less frequently than "sith" or "sithen" shifts readers' perceptions of the lines in which "syn" appears because "syn" implies some kind of moral judgment. Chaucer uses "syn" in Troilus and Criseyde more often than most writers, and comparison of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to works like Cursor mundi and Piers Plowman and to writers like Robert Manning of Brunne and Hoccleve shows that scribes were indifferent to the form they used. Chaucer is then responsible for the increased use of "syn" in Troilus and Criseyde, suggesting that he intended to use the pun and to create ambiguity and double meanings. Chaucer uses the same pun in the "Legend of Phyllis," the Miller's and Man of Law's Tales, and the Wife of Bath's Prologue and tale. In Troilus and Criseyde, however, this pun is more frequent, and Chaucer employs it to create double reality and Christian irony.
Tschann, Judith. "The Layout of Sir Thopas in the Ellesmere, Hengwrt, Cambridge Dd.4.24, and Cambridge Gg.4.27 Manuscripts." 20 (1985): 1-13.
The presentation of the Tale of Sir Thopas in the Ellesmere, Hengwrt, and Cambridge manuscripts gives readers different ways of reading it, and suggests the ability of the scribes who presented the poem to read and understand the story they were copying as if it were a piece of architecture.