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The Commonplace Book in Tudor London: An Examination of BL MSS Egerton 1995, Harley 2252, Lansdowne 762, and Oxford Balliol College, MS 354 written by David R. Parker

 

The Commonplace Book in Tudor London: An Examination of BL MSS Egerton 1995, Harley 2252, Lansdowne 762, and Oxford Balliol College, MS 354 written by David R. Parker

Overview:

The Commonplace Book in Tudor London examines the late medieval commonplace book in England, who kept these cheap, popular anthologies, what sorts of texts were transcribed into them, and what accounts for their rapid rise in popularity in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The author discusses previous scholarship on commonplace books, as well as four manuscripts in exhaustive detail, giving as complete an account as possible of its provenance, materials, compiler, and individual texts, using all of these factors to produce a literary and cultural analysis of that codex. Finally, a brief analysis of the importance of the genre as an indicator of popular tastes, a milestone in the development of the internal life of the middle class Londoner, and as an aid to modern literary and historical interpretation of texts within the manuscripts.

Synopsis:

The Commonplace Book in Tudor London examines the late medieval commonplace book in England, who kept these cheap, popular anthologies, what sorts of texts were transcribed into them, and what accounts for their rapid rise in popularity in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The author discusses previous scholarship on commonplace books, as well as four manuscripts in exhaustive detail, giving as complete an account as possible of its provenance, materials, compiler, and individual texts, using all of these factors to produce a literary and cultural analysis of that codex. Finally, a brief analysis of the importance of the genre as an indicator of popular tastes, a milestone in the development of the internal life of the middle class Londoner, and as an aid to modern literary and historical interpretation of texts within the manuscripts.

Author Biography: David R. Parker is Assistant Professor of English at Gardner-Webb University.

Booknews

Not concerned with the then-controversial Book of Common Prayer, but with four rather pedestrian texts representing a melange of household, political, business, and religious works. Taking them as representative, explores the nature of literature and its audience among the merchant class of the time and place. Neither an edition of the four texts nor a comprehensive theory of the English book expressed in the post-modern idiom, but a stroll pointing out various sights and curiosities. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Title: The Commonplace Book in Tudor London: An Examination of BL MSS Egerton 1995, Harley 2252, Lansdowne 762, and Oxford Balliol College, MS 354

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