This article explores Cambridge University librarian Henry Bradshaw's development of tests for the authenticity of works attributed to Chaucer and his application of these principles to two disputed works: the Middle English Romaunt of the Rose and the Tale of Gamelyn. It makes use of unpublished archival papers and reconsiders historical editorial approaches using methods from the digital humanities to display and analyze Bradshaw's data. After establishing the nature of these rhyme tests and the context of their development, I consider their later use by Walter W. Skeat in the Clarendon edition. I argue that Skeat reached conclusions different from those of Bradshaw because he misunderstood the purpose of Bradshaw's rhyme tests and their intended relationship to manuscript evidence. This realization has implications for contemporary Chaucer scholarship, which builds upon Skeat's textual work in the Oxford and Riverside editions.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 273-301
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.