- "This and the rest Maisters we all may mende": Reconstructing the Practices and Anxieties of a Manuscript Miscellany's Reader-Compiler
- Huntington Library Quarterly
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 80, Number 2, Summer 2017
- pp. 277-292
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- Additional Information
This essay takes MS Dyce 44, National Art Library (V&A) as a case study to reconstruct the personal tastes and scribal habits of a manuscript miscellany's main copyist and compiler. Claire Bryony Williams uses evidence from the literary contents, copying stints, textual collations, and physical format of the manuscript to reveal its maker's intellectual preoccupations and investment of time and money in the project, as well as to explore the print and manuscript sources, and dramatic and musical interactions, that informed the collection. The essay concludes with an examination of the compiler's attempts to control other readers' access to and interpretations of erotic material through cipher and backward writing and the use of Latin tags to mediate morally dubious texts, as well as the way in which two subsequent readers responded to the miscellany through adding poems.