Mending “the injurie of oblivion”: “Englishing” Chaucer and Barbour in early printed editions

Authors

  • Antony Henk Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Keywords:

Thomas Speght, Andro Hart, Early Modern Printing, Anglicization, Older Scots, Scottish printing

Abstract

This article examines the editorial and design choices made in Edinburgh printer Andro Hart’s 1616 Middle Scots edition of John Barbour’s Brus. Comparison of the 1616 Hart edition with Thomas Speght’s 1602 Chaucer edition displays similar concerns with preserving accessibility to historical texts despite Scots and English language change, noting shared techniques for surmounting this problem. Linguistic assessment comparing Hart and Speght’s editions to their parent texts highlights commonalities in editing style. Hart’s edition thus portrays both a genesis of mutual intellibility between Scots and English, and a coda for Middle Scots as a literary prestige tongue.

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Published

2021-11-22

Issue

Section

Articles