The Ellesmere Chaucer: Essays in Interpretation
Edited by: Martin Stevens and Daniel Woodward
Format: 378 pages, 8-1/2 x 11, illus., fold-out color poster, appendices, paper
Release Date: 1999-01-01
About this Book
First published in conjunction with the color facsimile of the Ellesmere Chaucer, this book features essays by fourteen internationally known British, American, and Japanese scholars who examine various aspects of the manuscript from its physical construction to its relationship to contemporary literary practice. The essays treat the most current theories about the manuscript's text and language, ordering of the tales, decoration, illustration, and provenance, and report on the conservation work that was done on the manuscript while the 1995 color facsimile was in the making. Introductory essays and two appendices explain the significance and construction of the facsimile. Together, the volume of essays and the facsimiles establish a benchmark for the study of Chaucer.
About the Author
Martin Stevens is Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School of the City University of New York.
Daniel Woodward is a senior research associate at the Huntington Library.
Reviews of The Ellesmere Chaucer: Essays in Interpretation:
"Chaucerians and historians of the book will find the essay volume a good buy."—Bibliographical Society of America
"This book will tell the reader all that he ever wanted to know about the Ellesmere Manuscript but was afraid to ask. . . . Stevens and Woodward are to be congratulated on having assembled such a collection of authoritative pronouncements on the Ellesmere MS?and especially on allowing conflicting authorities to stand alongside each other. . . . This book will set a benchmark in Chaucer studies." -- English Studies
"The introduction should be required reading for anyone who still believes that the making of a facsimile, of any kind, is a purely objective and 'scientific' activity, removed from any editorial judgment." -- Studies in the Age of Chaucer
“This lavishly produced volume is, in format, elegance of layout, and in range and depth of contents, a worthy companion to the New Ellesmere Chaucer Facsimile it is designed to accompany. Like the facsimile itself, it is an exemplar of the publisher's art… This emphasis on the manuscript as object is in harmony with the movement in medieval textual studies in the last decades toward the study of manuscripts as objects of cultural history in their own right… All these essays benefit from the generous space and opportunity for ample pictorial illustration given by the editors to present familiar arguments in rare detail… Gaylord's essay on pictorial images of poets in contemporary manuscripts has interesting material about Gower portraits, and gives useful context for students of the Ellesmere Chaucer portrait… there is much here to absorb the reader.” – Peter Robinson, De Montfort University, Leicester