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REVIEWS and ofF 699 with the extra word certeyn to give the rhyme sound provided by Frankeleyn in the other version. It is furthermore absurd to ascribe to those interested in making sense of the disconnected fragments Chaucer left behind the quixotic project of composing The Canons Yeomans Head/ink, Prologue, and Tale, connecting them to a saint's legend men­ tioned inLGWas a separate work, and then tying the resulting fragment to a specific place five miles from Canterbury and four and a halfmiles from the inn where thepilgrimsspentthe previous night. TheomissionofCYPT by Hengwrt has little in common with the omission of Gamelyn, though Blake tends to associate the two. CYPT makes its first appearance fully integrated into the sequence oftales. No grouping ofmanuscripts omits it. The Tale of Beryn, similarly compared by Blake, belongs to a totally different period of response to Chaucer's masterpiece. Numerous other objections to parts ofBlake's "tradition" could be made. Suffice it to mention his labeling of Ellesmere and Cambridge Gg as a manuscripts and his inclusion of Lincoln 110 in the b family. Only the ordering associates these manuscripts with a and b. As he does with his theory ofa single copy text, Blake ignores the evidence oftextual variants. This evidence confines the a family to Cambridge Dd, Egerton 2726, Devonshire, Cardigan, and Manchester English 113; the b family, to Helmingham, New College D314, Caxton's first edition, and Trinity Col­ lege Cambridge R.3.15. As one would expect ofso complicated a subject, the book is difficult to read; it is also repetitive. The questions Blake addresses himself to are important. The effort to present a consistent picture of the textual tradition is commendable. CHARLES A. OWEN,JR. University of Connecticut N. F. BLAKE. William Caxton: A Bibliographical Guide. Garland Refer­ ence Library of the Humanities, vol. 524. New York and London: Garland, 1985. Pp. x, 227. $39.00. One has to applaud the strategic marketing of the Garland Press because they have managed to fulfill a good many needs with this slender not very expensively printed text. As Caxton himselfhas become as interesting or perhaps more so than the works he printed, scholars have acutely felt the 187 SWDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER need for a convenient yet dependable bibliography as only a first rate scholar could produce.Garland answered the call with a vengeance.Nor­ man Blake is the best Caxton scholar working today, especially in the areas ofdating and establishing a rationale for the productions ofEngland's first press.As the first section ofBlake's bibliography indicates, there has been no complete bibliography of "Caxton and his world" and certainly none as up-to-date, detailed, and useful as this one.Blake's book does not include every entry relevant to Caxton's background, but I hardly see how it could. As Blake says, "Since Caxton lived at such an interesting period in many cultural activities, it has not been possible toprovidecomprehensive details to the scholarship dealing with these backgrounds" (p. viii). Given this difficulty ofthe broad range oftopics relevant to Caxton studies, this book is a very appropriate size for itssubject; however,thisrecommendationdoes not come without somereservations,chiefly in thedesign and manufacture of the book.While the success ofbringing out such a timely bibliography by the best scholar for the job can be attributed to the management of Garland, so also can many of the problems with the text. One oftheproblems, however, that is squarely Blake's own, concerns the format.He makes clear in theintroductionthat he worrieda gooddeal over how to arrange the entries, playing with a variety of categories and sub­ categories, but finally he "arranged the material in fairly broad categories ...[with] comprehensive indices so that interested scholars can trace all references to a particular title or manuscript more readily" (p.vii). The chapters are as follows: (A) Reference Works, (B) Caxton's Works, (C) Selections from Caxton's Works, (D) Caxton and his Work, (E) Printing, Typography, Binding and Bookselling, (H) The Historical Background. His indices are arranged under the headings of "Names," of "Titles," and of "Manuscripts." While this format makes the book seem neatly arranged and very accessible, close...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 187-190
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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