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Insular BooksVernacular manuscript miscellanies in late medieval Britain$
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Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265833

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.001.0001

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The Organisation of Multilingual Miscellanies

The Organisation of Multilingual Miscellanies

The Contrasting Fortunes of Middle English Lyrics and Romances

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 The Organisation of Multilingual Miscellanies
Source:
Insular Books
Author(s):

Ad Putter

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.003.0005

This chapter examines the use of multiple languages, and particularly the co-existence of English and French items, in one and the same codex, focusing on miscellanies from the 13th to the 15th centuries. It argues that the question of whether scribes mixed French and English texts in manuscript miscellanies depended not just on chronology but also on the types of text they copied. To substantiate this case, I compare the situation of romances, which rarely circulated with French-language companions in manuscript, with those of lyrics, which mixed freely with French lyrics. The association of the lyric with francophone culture explains why English and French lyrics continued to be copied alongside each other in medieval manuscripts.

Keywords:   multilingualism, Middle English romances, Middle English lyrics, French lyrics

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