Sederi 31 — 2021
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Isabel Guerrero Llorente
Henk, Antony. “Mending ‘the injurie of oblivion’: ‘Englishing’ Chaucer and Barbour in early printed editions.” SEDERI 31 (2021): 31–46.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2021.2 Download PDF
This article examines the editorial choices made in Edinburgh printer Andro Hart’s 1616 edition of John Barbour’s Brus. Comparison of the 1616 Hart edition with Thomas Speght’s 1602 Chaucer edition displays similar concerns with preserving accessibility to historical texts despite significant language changes in both Older Scots and English, noting shared employment of assistive paratextual apparati. Linguistic assessment comparing Hart and Speght’s editions to their parent texts demonstrates how both editors modernize language to improve reader accessibility while preserving archaic qualities and metricality. Contextualization of the declining prestige of Older Scots during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries further clarifies this assessment. Hart’s edition portrays both a genesis of mutual intelligibility between Scots and English, and a coda for Older Scots as a literary prestige tongue.
Keywords: Older Scots; Thomas Speght; Scottish printing; Early Modern printing; Anglicization.
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Hart 1616. See Barbour, John 1616.
Speght 1598; 1602. See Chaucer, Geoffrey 1598; 1602.
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