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The Tremulous Hand of Worcester: A Study of Old English in the Thirteenth Century - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
  • The Tremulous Hand of Worcester: A Study of Old English in the Thirteenth Century - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
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The Tremulous Hand of Worcester: A Study of Old English in the Thirteenth Century - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)

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£147.50
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 12/09/1991
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The shaky handwriting of the thirteenth-century scribe known as 'the tremulous hand of Worcester' appears in at least twenty manuscripts dating from the late ninth to the twelfth century, glossing perhaps 50,000 Old English words, sometimes into Middle English, but much more often into Latin. This book examines the full range of the scribe's work and addresses some important questions, such as which of the Worcester glosses may be attributed to him, why he glossed the words he did, what the purpose of the glossing may have been, and how well he knew or came to know Old English. Christine Franzen argues that the scribe went through a methodical learning process, one step of which was the preparation of a first-letter alphabetical English-Latin word list, the earliest known in the English language. This first full-scale study of the Worcester glosses is important for the wealth of information it provides about the work methods of the tremulous scribe, the English language at a transitional point in its history, and about the ability to read Old English in the thirteenth century.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198117421
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 464 g
Dimensions: 224 x 145 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'At every stage, every care has been taken to establish details and to base conclusions on them which make this an authoritative book. The lexicographical information is of great interest. As a result, a reader's understanding is greatly enriched.' E.G. STanley, Pembroke College, Oxford, Notes and Queries, September 1992
`... stimulating study ... This is in some ways a demanding book to read but one that repays careful attention.' P.R. Robinson, Medium AEvum
`Frazen is thorough, her research well-documented her argument supported in almost exhausting detail ... I am greatly impressed by the thoroughness and detail of her analysis ... Franzen's book is undeniably a work of thorough scholarship'
'Much that one had wanted to know has now been clarified by Christine Franzen in a dense and meticulous monograph' Milton McC. Gatch, Union Theological Seminary, Albion, Summer 1993, Vol. 25, No. 2
'... careful and comprehensive study ...a brilliant piece of detective work ... In addition to the clear and persuasive arguments summarized above, Franzen provides descriptions of the manuscripts ... a list of the 176 most commonly gossed Old English words in three manuscripts, with glosses, frequencies, and references to the Middle English Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary;and indexes of the Old and Middle English words discussed. These features add to the book's already considerable virtues those of a useful reference tool.' Peter S. Baker, University of Virginia. Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies. April 1994
'Christine Franzen's remarkable study of the Worcester Tremulous hand is a singular book for a number of reasons. It is complex and highly technical study which, if it had been undertaken by a pedant, would have been exceedingly dull to all but a handful of diehard palaeographers. But it is far from pedantic or dull. Franzen writers clearly, and with great personal interest in her chosen work. ... an intriguing work on a technical subject that is highly readable and enjoyable, as an academic "detective analysis" if nothing else. What is best about her book is that it is nicely organized.' A N Q Vol 7 No 2 April '94

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