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REVIEWS other manuscripts ofthe work.The volumeconcludes with two indices: one of authors and titles and another of manuscripts. Paging through the Index is like paging through a photograph album of medievallife, for the Middle English prose writers addressed themselves to a multitude ofphilosophical, recreational, and cultural topics.One finds, besides the anticipated prayers and proverbs, works on divination, fishing, hawking, toothaches, sundials, horses, grammar, medicine, hunting, bloodletting, navigation, obstetrics, and journeys to the Holy Land.The number of manuscripts in which some of these works exist can also be striking and instructive.The Wyse Bake ofPhilosophie and Astronomye, for instance, survives in twenty-eight manuscripts, and so it is indeed indicative of medieval tastes that Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe is found in twenty-six manuscripts, while his Troilus and Cnseyde occurs in only twenty authorities. The limitation ofthe Index to printed materials is understandable given the volume of Middle English prose, and, indeed, the unprinted material will be fully indexed in the handlists of The Index ofMiddle English Prose (see SAC 8 (1986]:196-2 00).An objection can be raised, however, against the exclusion of unprinted dissertations, which are sometimes important editions; and lexicographers will be puzzled by the alphabetization of "obsolete words ...under their nearest modern English equivalent" (p.xxix ).A strictly topical index would also facilitate use of the Index. But even these objections, when the quality and value of the Index are considered, are quibbles.The editors hope to have provided "an index that will be ofmaximum utility to editors and bibliographers ofMiddle English prose" (p. xxvi), but they have in fact provided much more. The Index offers access to some of the most popular literature of medieval England and in so doing facilitates modern understanding of the period and its people.Middle English prose needs no defense; it needs study, and the present volume is an essential step in this direction. TIM WILLIAM MACHAN Marquette University JOHN LEYERLE and ANNE QUICK. Chaucer: A BibliographicalIntroduc­ tion. Toronto MedievalBibliographies, vol.1 0. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1986.Pp.xx, 322.$35.00. This selective, annotated bibliography, consistjng of 1,242 items plus generous cross-referencing, satisfies a major desideratum in Chaucer stud231 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER ies. Like the other volumes of the Toronto Medieval Bibliographies, it aims to assist scholars new to the areas of interest in question, both students and more advanced readers, along with newlibraries building their collections. As for more practiced Chaucerians, the compilers modestly hope that their work may act as"a convenient finding list." I feel confident that it will serve these functions well, and more, and I recommend it to both neophyte and veteran. Despite inevitable drawbacks, the selection is judicious, the an­ notations are helpful, and the taxonomies which it sets up work well. Besides, there is little competition. Whereas the inclusive bibliographies of Hammond, Griffith, Crawford, Fisher, Baird, SAC, PMLA, and the Mod­ ern Humanities Research Association-not to mention the new Toronto series of annotated Chaucer bibliographies-provide a treasury of com­ plete lists for the scholar, the selected compilations available are inade­ quate: Baugh's Goldentree Bibliography is now twenty years old, Fisher's very helpful bibliography in his edition is partly inclusive and partly selective, and the lists provided by the essayists in Beryl Rowland's Com­ panion to Chaucer and byL. D. Benson in DerekBrewer's Geoffrey Chaucer are aging and very limited. Moreover, none of these selections has system­ atic annotation. Among the drawbacks of the Leyerle-Quick book, the most poignant is that it is already out of date, since it covers items only through 1979. Fortunately, a second edition is in planning. Another problem, at least for me, is with the identifying code used for the items. Letters are used to identify a category, with numbers for the items within the category: the Chaucer Life-Records is M106 (M for Materials), listed on p. 26; Lewis's Discarded Image is BI45 (B for Background), found on p. 284; while Spurgeon's collection of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion is CrS16 (CrS for Critical Studies), found on p. 103. One can decipher the code...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 231-235
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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