Langland’s Reading: Some Evidence from MSS. Containing Religious Prophecy.
WL probably gained his knowledge of religious prophecy from perusing MSS. of English provenance containing Latin prophecy, initially, perhaps, while in search of other kinds of literature. In manuscripts religious prophecy keeps company with the same kinds of works that PPl does. Latin religious prophecy occurs in three types of miscellanies that often include apparently unrelated works because of some kind of association in the mind of the copyist: chronicle and mirabilia collections; ascetic and reformist collections; and those containing the literature of clerical controversy and satire. An appendix (254-56) lists the contents of various MS. collections illustrative of the essay’s thesis.
Morse, Doob, abd Woods, Uses of Manuscripts in Literary Studies, 237-61.