Title Background

The Scribe of Huntington HM 114.

The Scribe of Huntington HM 114.

The scribe of HM 114, often dismissed on the basis of his conflated version of PPl, is noteworthy for his prolific production of alliterative poetry and the wide range of his scribal/editorial practice, from slavish attention to exemplar, to scribal substitution and indifference to WL’s sense and meter. His activity can be dated to the later 1420s and early 1430s; his writing is in the language of the Thames estuary in SE Essex, but he was almost certainly working in London. He knew there were three versions of PPl; he used two archetypes of Chaucer’s Troilus; and he perhaps relied on French material to fill in the gap in his Defective Text of Mandeville. The transmission histories of his texts clearly exemplify the north-to-south movement of alliterative verse in the cast in the fifteenth century. Unlike other East Midlands copyists, he seemed to understand the metrical and stanzaic conventions of what he was copying, though often (like other copyists) he modernized his alliterative texts. An appendix describes the three MSS. on which the scribe worked.


SB 42 (1989): 120-33.


Hanna, Ralph.