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REVIEWS women, and most importantly, to the role of Morgan. Twice, Sadowski alludes to her centrality to the workings of the plot (pp. 154, 214-15), yet both these mentions are very brief. Sadowski seems aware of the lack, for in an endnote he acknowledges that he has only "cursorilydealt" with "the enigmatic role played by Morgan le Fay" (p. 262, n. 102.) But be­ yond the neglect of Morgan, Sadowski also fails to mention Gawain's an­ tifeminist outburst (lines 2414-28). Even without emphasizing femi­ nist approaches, any reading of the poem in its entirety (which Sadowski purports to be giving) will fall short if it fails to account for such promi­ nent and perplexing elements. Here, Sadowski's commitment to older and more traditional approaches to the poem seems to hamper his abil­ ity even to see aspects of the poem that newer discussions have brought into focus. Sadowski writes that his aim in the book is "not the purity of methodological approach or a validation of a theory, but rather the ex­ citing intellectual adventure of engaging in a mental interaction with the Gawain-poet through his text" (p. 49). The particular adventure Sadowski sets for himself is constrained by his omission of some of the poem's important elements and of its specific historical context. Yet even with its limitations, the book does evoke some of the complex tra­ ditions that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight embodies. DONNA CRAWFORD Virginia State University M. C. SEYMOUR, gen. ed. Authors ofthe Middle Ages: English Writers of the Late Middle Ages: Vol. 3, Nos. 7-11. Aldershot, Hants.: Variorum; and Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing, 1996. Pp. vi, 256. $67.95. The present hardback volume comprises five studies of individual named authors that have also been made available by the publishers as separate paperback titles. Accordingly, a double system of pagination is provided; references in the contents pages are to the individual pagina­ tions (though references below are to the running pagination). As I have noted in an earlier review of Ralph Hanna's William Langlandin this se­ ries, the slim format of the individual pamphlet-style versions of these studies makes them ideal for slipping into a pocket or briefcase when one is engaged in library work. 329 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER In the present volume, the medieval authors and their modern com­ mentators are as follows: William Caxton, by N. F. Blake; Reginald Pecock, by Wendy Sease; Robert Henryson, by Douglas Gray; William Dunbar, again by Douglas Gray; andJohn Capgrave, by M. C. Seymour, who also serves as the general editor of the subseries. (A second subseries on Historical and Religious Writers of the Latin West is edited by Patrick Geary.) The separate studies have been written according to a flexible set of commonguidelines, aimingtogivethebiographicalfactsforeachauthor, including a review of scholarship; a detailed list of works and manu­ scripts; a printing or listing of documentary and other sources for the au­ thor's life; and a selective secondary bibliography. The precise arrange­ ment for including these elements varies slightly from study to study according to immediate requirements, but all are present. Thus, appendices to the individual studies contain a calendar of bio­ graphical references for Caxton and documents for Pecock's life printed in full or in excerpts, while those for Henryson (almost nonexistent) and Dunbar appear in footnotes; the considerably more numerous records of Capgrave's life are used passim in the narrative text or appear in the footnotes, and are supplemented by a short table of dates. In the cases of Pecock and Capgrave respectively, Sease and Seymour are able to in­ clude previously unknown biographical and contextual information that marks a useful advance in scholarly knowledge of these writers. (Two potentially misleading typos occur on page 52 of the Caxton ap­ pendix, where the dates in documents I.T. 2 and 3 should read "149396 " in both instances.) One of the most useful features of these studies is the full listing of manuscripts and early prints of works written by the individual authors (or, in the case of Caxton, works issued from his press, though a list of manuscript copies from Caxton...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 329-331
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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