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Vol. 3 The Quare of Jelusy

Edited from MS Bodley Arch. Seld. B. 24 Edited by John Norton-Smith and Imogen Pravda

This early Scottish Framed Amatory Complaint (preserved only in Bodley MS Arch. Seld. B. 24) combines the crisp style of Chaucer’s Canterburian couplets with Lydgate’s stanzaic rhetorical and phraseological looseness. Although containing many Lydgatian features (lack of connection between author and complainer, superficial philosophical concerns, apologetical stratagems) yet there occur vivid passages of psychological description and displays of abbreviatory techniques (at times recalling the skill of Gower) which look forward to similar narrative dexterities in Dunbar. The present edition provides a more correct transcription and supplies new palaeographical information on this important manuscript additional to that contained in the 1971 Clarendon edition of the Kingis Quair. A theory is advanced as to the nature of the exemplar from which the Selden manuscript was copied, and the presence of the Grenacres stanza at the end of Chaucer’s Troilus on f. 118v is accounted for. There is a full discussion of the poem’s literary affiliations, stylistic attributes and linguistic characteristics.

This volume is currently out of print.