Essays in Manuscript Geography: Vernacular Manuscripts of the English West Midlands from the Conquest to the Sixteenth Century (MEDIEVAL TEXTS AND CULTURES OF NORTHERN EUROPE)

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9782503516950: Essays in Manuscript Geography: Vernacular Manuscripts of the English West Midlands from the Conquest to the Sixteenth Century (MEDIEVAL TEXTS AND CULTURES OF NORTHERN EUROPE)
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Medieval studies is seeing the emergence of a new agenda that aims to produce 'thick description' of medieval textual cultures rather than a definitive edition, or a critical interpretation, of a single text or group of text. With this new agenda, the material book becomes an important focus of study, and the geographical region in which it was produced and/or received becomes a crucial context. The medieval West Midlands has long been associated with the production of crucially important vernacular books and texts. This collection revisits some of the most important manuscripts and texts associated with this region and situates them in broader cultural contexts, while also considering some of the theoretical and methodological issues raised by manuscript geography. Both the series of more theoretical essays (part one) and the case studies (part two) challenge and revise earlier models of the production and reception of textual culture in England from 1066 to the sixteenth century. This collection of essays is the fruit of a conference on 'Manuscripts of the West Midlands' held at the University of Birmingham, 4-6 April 2003, and is related to the production of a major new research reference tool: An Electronic Catalogue of Vernacular Manuscripts of the Medieval West Midlands. In association with this AHRB-funded project to produce a major new research tool for manuscript studies, the conference heard papers from specialists on Midlands manuscripts. This volume comprises essays on the topic as developed at the conference plus new invited contributions.

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