Worcester, Cathedral Library F. 174 Ælfric's "Grammar and Glossary': "Worcester Fragments"

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A. N. Doane


490. Worcester, Cathedral Library F. 17 4

Ælfric's "Grammar and Glossary': "Worcester Fragments"

[Ker 398, Gneuss -- ]

HISTORY: Written at Worcester in the late 12c or early 13c by the famous "tremulous hand;' with ME linguistic features; Franzen (1991: 11-15) sees this manuscript as among the earlier work in the "tremulous hand;' and it is the only manuscript entirely written by this scribe, who has been discerned as adding glosses in about 20 manuscripts (listed and discussed Franzen 1991: 28-83 ); "His work consists mainly of interlinear and marginal glosses to OE texts .... Some of the glosses are ME, but the vast majority are Latin" (Franzen 1991: l); the variety of his glossing and interpretive activity suggests he was a master and not merely a copyist (Collier 2000: 197). The manuscript was discovered in the Worcester Cathedral Library in 1838 "in the cover of an old book" by Sir Thomas Phillipps, the leaves used as padding. This version of Ælfric's "Grammar" is Zupitza's "W".

[Note: Phillipps explained: "The Fragments having been found in the cover of an old book ( of which they with some other fragments constituted the sole stiffening) had been so much smeared with a brown paste to make them adhere together that it required much washing to make some them in the least degree legible" (Phillipps 1838: errata page). He printed the pages he had made legible at the time of publication, ff. 59rv, 60rv, 61rv, 62rv, 63rv, 64rv, 65rv, 66rv, as pages 1-16 (see Floyer and Hamilton 1906: 100).] 

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