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Vol. 4 An East Midland Revision of the South English Legendary

Edited by Manfred Görlach (1976) A selection from MS C.U.L Add. 3039.

Manfred Görlach (ed.) By the early fifteenth century the South English Legendary had spread from its original home in SW England to the East Midlands.  It is now difficult to determine how popular the collection was in these regions before the verse texts were superseded by the prose saints’ lives commonly known as the Gilte Legende, since most of the SEL Midland tradition appears to be lost.  MS C.U.L. Add. 3039 preserves the most complete eastern collection, and it is especially interesting because its revision is not confined to dialect, vocabulary and syntax: the Legenda Aurea, which had already been used for the main revision of the SEL in the late thirteenth century, again influenced the SEL texts, mainly in the December legends. The edition is preceded by a description of the manuscript, a discussion of the textual quality and its affiliations, and an investigation of the reviser’s techniques.