The Anglo-Saxon contents of a lost register from Bury St Edmunds

Lowe, K.A. (2004) The Anglo-Saxon contents of a lost register from Bury St Edmunds. Anglia Zeitschrift fur Englische Philologie, 121(4), pp. 515-534. (doi: 10.1515/ANGL.2003.515)

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The paucity of fresh vernacular composition during the Early Middle English period means that copies of Anglo-Saxon charters, which continued to be made in monasteries for well over two hundred years after the Conquest, assume considerable importance for the study of dialectology of that time. Two cartularies in particular have attracted sustained attention from linguists: BL Additional 14847 and CUL Ff. 2.33, both from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds and datable to the late thirteenth century. In this article, I examine the structure of those sections of the two manuscripts that contain copies of pre-Conquest texts. References to further copies of charters in other cartularies reveal that behind these manuscripts lies the lost thirteenth-century register of John of Northwold, abbot of the foundation between 1279 and 1301. I reconstruct this manuscript's contents, and show that it presented the same selection of pre-Conquest charters as does Ff. 2.33, although laid out rather differently. I show that at least two eleventh-century vernacular charters were copied literatim into the Northwold register, although it is unclear whether this unusual practice was adopted consistently for all text types.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lowe, Dr Kathryn
Authors: Lowe, K.A.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PE English
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Anglia Zeitschrift fur Englische Philologie

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