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Design and Distribution of Late Medieval Manuscripts in England

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Margaret Connolly, Linne R. Mooney

School/Research organisations


One of the most important developments in medieval English literary studies since the 1980s has been the growth of manuscript studies. Long regarded as mere textual repositories, and treated superficially by editors, manuscripts are now acknowledged as centrally important in the study of later medieval texts. The essays collected here discuss aspects of the design and distribution of manuscripts in late medieval England, with a particular focus on vernacular manuscripts of the late fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Those in the first half consider material evidence for scribal decisions about design: these range from analysis of individual codices to broader discussions of particular types of manuscripts, both religious and secular. Later essays look at the evidence for the production and distribution of manuscripts of specific English texts or types of text. These include the major Middle English poems The Canterbury Tales and Piers Plowman, as well as key religious works such as Love's Mirror, Hilton's Scale of Perfection, the Speculum Vitae and The Pricke of Conscience, all of which survive in significant numbers of manuscripts. The comparison of secular and devotional texts illuminates shared networks of production and dissemination, and increases our knowledge of regional and metropolitan book production in the period before printing.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherYork Medieval Press
Number of pages352
ISBN (Print)9781903153246
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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  1. John Shirley and John Gower

    Connolly, M., 9 Apr 2020, John Gower in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books. Driver, M., Pearsall, D. & Yeager, R. F. (eds.). Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, p. 153-66 14 p. (Publications of the John Gower Society).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Reading Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

    Connolly, M., 27 Mar 2020, Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England. Cré, M., Denissen, D. & Renevey, D. (eds.). Turnhout: Brepols, p. 131-156 26 p. (Medieval Church Studies; vol. 41).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. Late Medieval Books of Hours and Their Early Tudor Readers In and Around London

    Connolly, M., 12 Apr 2019, Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Tudor Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey. Atkin, T. & Rajsic, J. (eds.). Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, p. 107-21 15 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  4. Sixteenth-century readers, fifteenth-century books: continuities of reading in the English Reformation

    Connolly, M., 21 Jan 2019, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 316 p. (Cambridge studies in palaeography and codicology; vol. 16)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  5. John Shirley: Book Production and the Noble Household in Fifteenth-Century England

    Connolly, M., 18 Sep 2018, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. 247 p. (Routledge Revivals)

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