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Vol. 12 The King of Tars

Edited by Judith Perryman (1980). Edition from the Auchinleck MS, Advocated 19.2.1

Judith Perryman (ed.) The King of Tars, a successful and entertaining example of a Middle English didactic romance, is preserved in three important manuscript miscellanies: Auchinleck, Vernon, and Simeon. The text of this new edition is based on the Auchinleck version, which probably comes closest to the original. The introduction investigates its relations with the other Auchinleck romances, suggesting the possibility that they were all (in this form) written and collected for commercial sale in a London bookshop. It also discusses the many analogues of The King of Tars, and considers the author’s literary aims and achievements in this handling of the various historical and legendary elements.  It is the handling of the moral and Christian themes in romance form which may account for The King of Tars’s inclusion in the Vernon collection. The edited text is accompanied by linguistic, textual, and general explanatory comment and a brief glossary.