Medieval Manuscripts

An annotated bibliography of 100+ items for anyone interested in working more extensively with medieval manuscripts. As dictated by its publication in the section of Oxford Bibliographies Online devoted to British and Irish Literature, the focus is on Latin, English and French manuscripts from the insular world, c. 500-1500 (manuscripts in Celtic languages I largely left to the experts!).

Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Medieval Manuscripts’, Oxford Bibliographies Online (2019).

English

Co-written with my former Sheffield colleague, Joan Beal, this is an introduction to the role of language contact in the shaping of the English language, which particularly considers contact with Celtic, Norse and French from the beginnings to the present day.

Reference: Joan Beal and Mark Faulkner, ‘English’, in The Oxford Handbook of Language Contact ed. Anthony Grant (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 374-387.

Quantifying the Consistency of ‘Standard’ Old English Spelling

This paper presents two large datasets, one of over 19,000 morphemes from 100 texts, the other of over 91,000 spellings from 941 texts across 198 manuscripts for one phonological segment, with a view to providing an empirical basis for discussions of the homogeneity with which the vernacular was written in late Anglo‐Saxon England. These show the infinitive morpheme was spelt <‐an> 96.1 per cent of the time and the diphthong /æa, æ:a/ was written <ea> 96.5 per cent of the time. Such consistency, over time and across dialect boundaries, suggests that recent scepticism about the existence of a homogenous, conservative, supraregional variety of written Old English, perhaps a ‘standard’ Old English, is unwarranted.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Quantifying the Consistency of ‘Standard’ Old English’Transactions of the Philological Society 118 (2020), 192-205.

‘Like a Virgin’: the Reheading of St Edmund

Argues that the late-tenth-century lives of St Edmund by Abbo and Ælfric form an opus geminatum which uses the posthumous reattachment of Edmund’s heard to figure the possibility of married clerks becoming chaste monks, in accordance with the goals of the ‘Benedictine Reform’.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘”Like a Virgin”: the reheading of St Edmund and monastic reform in late-tenth-century England’, in Heads will Roll: decapitation in the medieval and early modern imagination eds. Larissa Tracy and Jeff Massey (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 39-52.

Teaching Beowulf in its Manuscript Context

Draws on my experience of teaching the poem in Cork to suggest some ways in which students of different levels can be introduced to medieval manuscripts and manuscript textuality through the Beowulf manuscript.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Teaching Beowulf in its Manuscript Context’, in Teaching Beowulf in the Twenty-First Century eds. Howell D. Chickering, Allen J. Frantzen and Robert F. Yeager (Tempe: ACMRS, 2014), 169-75.

The Hand of John Lydgate

This paper identifies an annotating hand in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud misc. 233 as that of the poet John Lydgate and explores the likely context for his use of the manuscript and its implications for understanding his poetic oeuvre.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner and W. H. E. Sweet, ‘The Autograph Hand of John Lydgate and a Manuscript from Bury St Edmunds Abbey’, Speculum 87 (2012), 766-92.

The Spatial Hermeneutics of Lucian’s De Laude Cestrie

One of a pair of articles deriving from my time as the postdoc on the Mapping Medieval Chester project, this paper examines Lucian’s representation of Chester in his work, discussing the different generic influences present in the text, and considering two itineraries that Lucian describes himself following through and around the city. In passing, it offers the suggestion that Lucian was not a Benedictine monk of St Werburgh’s in Chester, but a Cistercian from Combermere.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘The Spatial Hermeneutics of Lucian’s De Laude Cestrie‘, in Mapping the medieval City: space, place and identity in Chester c. 1200-1600 ed. Catherine Clarke (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011), pp. 78-98.

Exegesis in the City

One of a pair of articles deriving from my time as the postdoc on the Mapping Medieval Chester project, this paper compares Lucian’s twelfth-century De laude Cestrie with the late medieval / early modern Chester Mystery Cycle on the basis that both perform exegesis in city space.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Exegesis in the City: the Chester Plays and Earlier Chester Writing’, in The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555-1575: religion, drama and the impact of change eds. Jessica Dell, David Klausner and Helen Ostovich (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 161-177.