Diverting Authorities Experimental Glossing Practices in Manuscript and Print

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-02-11
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Diverting Authorities examines the glossing of a variety of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century texts by authors including Lydgate, Douglas, Chaloner, Baldwin, Bullein, Harington, and Nashe. It is concerned particularly with the use of glosses as a means for authors to reflect on the process of shaping a text, and with the emergence of the gloss as a self-consciously literary form. One of the main questions it addresses is to what extent the advent of print affects glossing practices. To this end, it traces the transmission of a number of glossed texts in both manuscript and print, but also examines glossing that is integral to texts written with print production in mind. With the latter, it focuses particularly on a little-remarked but surprisingly common category of gloss: glossing that is ostentatiously playful, diverting rather than directing its readers. Setting this in the context of emerging print conventions and concerns about the stability of print, Jane Griffiths argues that---like self-glossing in manuscript---such diverting glosses shape as well as reflect contemporary ideas of authorship and authority, and are thus genuinely experimental. The book reads across medieval-renaissance and manuscript-print boundaries in order to trace the emergence of the gloss as a genre and the way in which theories of authorship are affected by the material processes of writing and transmission.

Author Biography

Jane Griffiths, Tutor and Fellow in English, Wadham College, Oxford

Jane Griffiths is Tutor and Fellow in English at Wadham College, Oxford. Her first monograph, John Skelton and Poetic Authority: Defining the Liberty to Speak, was published by OUP in 2006, and her most recent collection of poetry is Terrestrial Variations (Bloodaxe, 2012).

Table of Contents

1. Material Processes: The Glossing of Lydgate's Siege of Thebes and Fall of Princes
2. Authors, Translators and Commentators: Glossing Practices in Bodleian MS Fairfax 16
3. Exhortations to the Reader: The Double Glossing of Douglas's Eneados
4. Glossing the Spoken Word: Erasmus's Moriae Encomium and Thomas Chaloner's Praise of Folie
5. 'A Broil of Voices': The Printed Word in Baldwin's Beware the Cat and Bullein's Dialogue against the Fever Pestilence
6. 'Masking naked in a net': George Gascoigne and Sir John Harington
7. 'Playing the Dolt in Print': The Extemporary Glossing of Nashe's Pierce Penilesse

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