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262 Reviews Richmond is at her best in the primary tasks of collection and textual analysis. Her research has been assiduous, involving both extensive Ubrary-work in numerous centres, and field-work in Warwickshire where G u y remains weU-known in the folk imagination (and is exploited in pub decor and tourist brochures). A later accretion to the legend that reinforces local interest is the famous episode describing Guy's combat with the D u n Cow. Richmond's extensive coUection of materials enables us to trace the origins and development of such an episode more precisely than hitherto. Its earUest surviving Uterary treatment appears in Richard Lloyd's The Nine Worthies (1584), but John Caius describes the rib of a giant cow slain by G u y that he saw at Warwick castle in 1552. Richmond traces the story back further, arguing that a marginal Ulustration in a fourteenth-century manuscript of Gregory DCs Decretals indicates the existence of an antecedent oral version of the story, if not a written one. Richmond's attempts at wider contextualisation of Guy's literary fortunes are necessarily brief, and less effective than the textual analyses (see, for example, the perfunctory treatment of late eighteenth-century medievalism and the Romantics, pp. 240-41). Sadly, it must be said that the book is not altogether easy to read. There are oddities of phrasing, and infelicities of punctuation and sentence structure. In striving for conciseness the writer (or perhaps a copy-editor?) often adopts indirect and impersonal forms of expression that tax the reader. Nevertheless, Veuna Richmond is to be commended for completing this large and complex study, and for providing an essential reference for the G u y legend. Greg Waite EngUsh Department University of Otago Robert le Chapelain, Corset: A Rhymed Commentary on the Seven Sacraments (Anglo-Norman Texts 52), ed. K. V. Sinclair, London, Birkbeck CoUege, Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1995; cloth; pp. x, 150; 1 plate; R.R.P. £15.00. This edition undoubtedly benefits from being the product of close on forty years of intermittent preparation, as Sinclair admits in his Reviews 263 Preface. The text, composed towards the middle of the thirteenth century, appears to be the earUest extant commentary on the Sacraments in Anglo-Norman verse. After carefuUy reviewing the evidence the editor concludes that the author Robert was probably an Augustinian canon and a priest from a priory or abbey in either LUleshaU in Shropshire or from somewhere in Northamptonshire; and that wlule functioning as a conventual chaplain he composed Corset for Alan la Zouche, w h o held m a n y important administrative posts in the reign of Henry III. The same author, under the name Robert of Greatham, later wrote a Miroir, ou les Evangiles des Domnees for Elena of Quency, the wife of Alan. Corset occurs, in partial form only, in Bodleian Library M S Douce 210, which consists of a collection of sixteen items in either AngloNorman or Latin, and the orthography of the text in question seems to date the copy from c. 1300. The editor estimates that through lost foUos the surviving portion of the poem represents approximately only half of its original length. It currently consists of 2436 verses in octosyUabic rhyming couplets, and the Introduction provides a detaUed analysis of the rhymes and metre, including an account of the relationship of the latter to content. Sinclair has a thorough grasp of traditional historical grammar, syntax, and phonology, and is therefore w e U able to analyse the language expertly and fully for the benefit of readers whose interests Ue specificaUy in the linguistic field. The poem is also found to contain a rich source of Anglo-Norman vocabulary, particularly in the area of priestly terminology. ThetitleCorset, n o w generally accepted for the poem as a whole, is derived from the rubric introducing the prologue, and Sinclair discusses fuUy the sense of the word and its appropriateness to a reUgious text of this kind. The prologue itself is brief and incomplete, but it provides the names of both patron ('son tres chier seignor Alain') and author ('Rober son chapelain'). The poem then proceeds with the commentary on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 262-265
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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