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Vol. 35 John Trevisa’s Translation of the ‘Polychronicon’ of Ranulph Higden, Book VI

An Edition Based on British Library MS Cotton Tiberius D. VII.

Ronald Waldron (ed.)

This volume is the first step in the publication of a new edition of John Trevisa’s English translation of Higden’s universal history, Polychronicon, to replace the Rolls Series edition of 1865-86. It is based on British Library MS Cotton Tiberius D.vii, a copy made about 1400 in the local South-Western dialect of Middle English at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, where Trevisa was vicar and chaplain to Thomas IV, Baron Berkeley, and the text is fully collated with the thirteen other extant manuscripts and Caxton’s print. Book VI is of special interest not only for its subject-matter (principally the history of England from Alfred’s reign to the Norman Conquest) but also because it contains in six manuscripts a section of about twelve chapters in a more literal style of translation than that of Trevisa’s undoubted work. A critical edition of both translations of this section on facing pages makes possible for the first time a full comparison in order to establish their relationship, if any. The volume includes Higden’s original Latin text printed below the English texts, and a comprehensive introduction, notes and glossary.

Bisherige Forschungsschwerpunkte des Autors:
Sense and Sense Development (London, 1967)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (London, 1970, 2nd revised edn., 1979)
The Poem of the Pearl Manuscript (London, 1978, 4th edn, Exeter, 2002, with Malcolm Andrew)