Title Background

<i>New Directions in Medieval Manuscript Studies and Reading Practices: Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall</i>

New Directions in Medieval Manuscript Studies and Reading Practices: Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall

The twenty-four chapters in this book were originally presented as papers at the conference ‘New Directions in Medieval Manuscript Studies and Reading Practices’ held in 2011 to honour Derek Pearsall’s 80th birthday. In her preface, Kerby-Fulton writes that ‘This book, like the conference, covers a range of issues from the study of medieval manuscripts to the history of medieval books, libraries, literacy, censorship, and the social classes who used books … [It] blends the study of literary manuscripts with literary criticism and direct evidence of how medieval people read.’ (p. xvii, p. xix). The essays have been organised into seven sections, each of which begins with a foreword. The essays in the first section, ‘Celebrating Pearsallian Reading Practices’ respond to Pearsall’s literary criticism, which is rooted in close analysis, unafraid to make ‘caustic’ evaluative claims, and expressed in rich language that offers productive metaphors of its own. The essays in part 2, ‘England and International’ take up Pearsall and Elizabeth Salter’s work at York on courtly verse and affectivity. Those in part 3, ‘The Making of a Field’, reflect the influence of the 1981 conference at the York Centre for Medieval Studies, which set a new agenda for the study of medieval English literature by ‘[demonstrating] the need for literary scholars … to develop a properly nuanced understanding of the socioliterary milieus in which the books and texts which interest them were written, produced, disseminated, collected, and read’ (p. 160). Two sections on ‘Newer Directions in Manuscript Studies’ respond to different aspects of Pearsall’s work in this field: the first is concerned with questions of regional and scribal identity, while the second considers ‘Women, Children, and Literacy at Work in Late Medieval and Early Tudor England’. The essays in part 6, ‘Chaucerian and Post-Chaucerian Reading Practices’, take up Pearsall’s call for a ‘balanced and nuanced’ reading of Chaucer (p. 359), and those in part 7, ‘What a Poet is “Entitled to Be Remembered By”,’ respond to Pearsall’s work as an editor of PPl. The book contains essays by A. C. Spearing, Oliver Pickering, Martha W. Driver, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Susan Powell, Sarah McNamer, Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis, Julia Boffey, A. I. Doyle, Carol M. Meale, A. S. G. Edwards, Hannah Zdansky, Hilary E. Fox, Theresa O’Byrne, Nicole Eddy, Karrie Fuller, Maura Giles-Watson, Elizabeth Scala, Sarah Baechle, Peter Brown, Stephen Partridge, Jill Mann, Melinda Nielsen, and Kerby-Fulton, a preface by Kerby-Fulton, and a biographical sketch of Pearsall by Linne Mooney. The sections are introduced by Christopher Cannon, William Marx, John J. Thompson, Siân Echard, Phillipa Hardman, Edward Wheatley, and Nicolette Zeeman. (AB)
This bibliography contains individual entries for the following chapters on PPl:

• Hilary E. Fox, ‘Langlandian Economics in James Yonge’s Gouernaunce: Translation and Ethics in Fifteenth-Century Dublin’, pp. 251-70
• Karrie Fuller,’Langland in the Early Modern Household: Piers Plowman in Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Digby 145, and Its Scribe-Annotator Dialogues’, pp. 324-41
• Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, ‘Confronting the Scribe-Poet Binary: The Z-Text, Writing Office Redaction, and the Oxford Reading Circles’, pp. 489-15
• Jill Mann, ‘Was the C-Reviser’s Manuscript Really So Corrupt?’, pp. 452-66
• Melinda Nielsen, ‘Emending Oneself: Compilatio and Revisio in Langland, Usk, and Higden’, pp. 467-88
• Susan Powell, ‘Wings, Wingfields, and Wynnere and Wastoure‘, pp. 99-118