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.

The Eadwine Psalter and Twelfth-Century English Vernacular Literary Culture

Challenges the recent description of the English gloss to the Eadwine Psalter (c. 1155) as ‘the most sustained example of a formal, but contemporary language in the period of the manuscript’s compilation’, through a close comparison of different layers of the text, restating the traditional view that the majority of the gloss goes back to an exemplar (*Ead) very probably written before 900, but identifying various passages as mid-twelfth-century compositions. Having reconstructed the language of the exemplar and how Canterbury scribes of that period might have written English in its absence, it attempts to evaluate what the aim of the project was, seeing the scribes attempting to invoke Canterbury’s pre-Conquest past by using an ancient exemplar but struggling with its language. The appendices contain some rudimentary corpus-based quantitative studies of the orthography of *Ead.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘The Eadwine Psalter and Twelfth-Century English Vernacular Literary Culture’, in The Psalms and Medieval English Literature: from the conversion to the Reformation eds. Tamara Atkin and Francis Leneghan (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2017), 72-107.

The Twelfth-Century Annotations to the Old English Hexateuch: Some Corrected Readings

Provides corrections to the edition of the annotations by Doane and Stoneman (2011), with reference also to two earlier editions of the English annotations by S. J. Crawford. There is more detailed discussion of the reading ‘atan hæfedes’ (fol. 5v) and the insertion ‘efter fyftene wintra’ (fol. 8r).

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘The Twelfth-Century Annotations to the Old English Hexateuch: Some Corrected Readings’, ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews 30 (2017), pp. 6 – 9.

Linguistic Evidence for the Compilation of Twelfth-Century Manuscripts containing Old English: the case of Cotton Vespasian D. xiv

Vespasian D. xiv is an anthology of “Old” and “early Middle” English religious texts which recent scholarship has argued was compiled around 1150 at Christ Church Canterbury, making it an important witness to the active reuse of Old English materials almost a hundred years after the Norman Conquest. Using an electronic text of the manuscript from the Innsbruck Corpus, an innovative focus (the orthography of high-frequency lexical items) and an innovative method to collect that data (regular expression searches), the article shows that all but two of the items in the manuscript were copied directly from a single pre-existing exemplar or group of related exemplars, dismantling the case for seeing it as the product of a compiler working around 1150. More generally, the article demonstrates the value of electronic methods as a supplement to traditional philology in establishing the production histories of medieval manuscripts.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Linguistic Evidence for the Compilation of Twelfth-Century Manuscripts containing Old English: the case of Cotton Vespasian D. xiv’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 118 (2017), 279-316.

Dublin, Trinity College, MS 492: A New Witness to the Old English Bede and its Twelfth-Century Context

Examines a series of seven English annotations in a mid-twelfth-century copy of Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica from Bury St Edmunds, demonstrating that the annotations reflect the comparison of Bede’s Latin with a now-lost manuscript of the Old English Bede shortly after the twelfth-century codex’s production . The annotations are shown to hold a respect for the authority of the Old English Bede that contrasts with the prevailing twelfth-century attitude of gentle suspicion towards earlier vernacular translations.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Dublin, Trinity College, MS 492: A New Witness to the Old English Bede and its Twelfth-Century Context’, Anglia: Zeitschrift fur Englische Philologie 135 (2017), 274-290.

(For additional discussion of these findings, along with other Old English in Trinity manuscripts, see my post on the Manuscripts at Trinity blog.)

Further Evidence for Knowledge of Werferth’s Translation of Gregory’s Dialogues at Canterbury around 1200

Identifies the source of a pen trial in a hand of around 1200 in a late-twelfth-century copy of the Old English Gospels (London, British Library, Royal 1 A. xiv) as Werferth’s translation of Gregory’s Dialogues, proposing on linguistic grounds the likely exemplar as the late-tenth-century manuscript, Canterbury, Cathedral Library, Add. 25, which survives only as a fragment. The paper corroborates the identification of the hand of the pen trial as that of the scribe of another copy of the Old English Gospels (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Hatton 38; c. 1200). The identification of the pen trial’s source as a manuscript from Christ Church, Canterbury manuscript confirms the suspected Christ Church origin of Hatton 38.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Further Evidence for Knowledge of Werferth’s Translation of Gregory’s Dialogues at Canterbury around 1200’, Notes and Queries n. s. 63 (2016), 514-515.

Worcester, Cathedral Library, Q. 29, fols. 133-7: an Early Middle English Sermon and its Context

This paper revisits an Early Middle English sermon first published by E. G. Stanley in 1961. It shows that another copy of this sermon was once the first of the Otho Homilies (London, British Library, Cotton Otho A. iii, fols. ‘202-216’, burnt in the Cotton fire but partly reconstructed by Pelle 2014). that this sermon circulated in the same milieu as the Lambeth and Trinity Homilies, and that its source is a nativity sermon by the twelfth-century archbishop of Bordeaux, Geoffrey Babion (d. 1158). It offers an account of the twelve Latin sermons which accompany it in Worcester Q. 29 and a handful of corrections to Stanley’s edition.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner and Stephen Pelle, ‘Worcester, Cathedral Library, Q. 29, fols. 133-7: An Early Middle English Sermon and Its Context’, Mediaeval Studies 75 (2013), 147-176.

Rewriting English Literary History 1042-1215

Offers an overview of what I thought were the necessities for a new literary history of the long twelfth century back in 2012, stressing the need to situate English writing in its multilingual context, to examine not just new composition but the remediation of older works and to focus on works in their regional environments. Includes a very extensive bibliography.

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Reference: Mark Faulkner, ‘Rewriting English Literary History, 1042-1215’, Literature Compass 9 (2012), 275-291.