Translating Machiavelli's Prince in Early Modern England: New Manuscript Evidence
- Manuscript Studies: A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 3, Number 2, Fall 2018
- pp. 302-333
- View Citation
- Additional Information
'All Estates and signiories wich haue had and doe beare rule ouer men, haue either byn and are Comon weales or Monarchies': thus begins Sion MS L40.2/E24, preserved in Lambeth Palace Library, London. Written in clear anglicana, it offers a translation of Machiavelli's Prince. It is a welcome addition to the already known English manuscript translations preceding Dacres's printed version. The codex shows how the scribe paid attention to historical allusions in the text. It offers a faithful and elegant translation; the layout may offer interesting suggestions as to the modalities of reading in early modern England. This article presents hypotheses on the manuscript's provenance, compares this translation with four contemporary versions, and discusses its possible use.