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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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Vying for Attention

Vying for Attention

The Contents of Dublin, Trinity College, MS 432

Chapter:
(p.121) 7 Vying for Attention
Source:
Insular Books
Author(s):

Raluca Radulescu

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.003.0007

This chapter focuses on Dublin, Trinity College, MS 432, a miscellany often neglected in criticism, with the exception of two texts within it, a romance, King Robert of Sicily, and a play, the Northampton Abraham and Isaac. Although clearly missing parts of its original contents, the manuscript displays more coherence than previously thought, and deserves a re-examination, both of the label previously given to it (miscellany; commonplace book) and of its contents. I examine formal features, such as the presentation of all the verse narratives, in what resembles a dramatic/debate format, and the association of rhyme royal with the authority figure of a ‘Doctor’. These choices were possibly informed by its compiler’s choice to record or produce dramatic pieces performed in his region/locality, perhaps for educational purposes. The compiler might have been a schoolmaster, or someone who had an interest in presenting materials of interest to one.

Keywords:   miscellany, commonplace book, anthology, romance, medieval drama, expositor, rhyme royal verse, political verse, king list, Northampton, educational material

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