The 2004 announcement that Chaucer's scribe had been discovered resulted in a paradigm shift in medieval studies. Adam Pynkhurst dominated the classroom, became a fictional character, and led to suggestions that this identification should prompt the abandonment of our understanding of the development of London English and acceptance that the clerks of the Guildhall were promoting vernacular literature as part of a concerted political program. In this meticulously researched study, Lawrence Warner challenges the narratives and conclusions of recent scholarship. In place of the accepted story, Warner provides a fresh, more nuanced one in which many more scribes, anonymous ones, worked in conditions we are only beginning to understand. Bringing to light new information, not least, hundreds of documents in the hand of one of the most important fifteenth-century scribes of Chaucer and Langland, this book represents an important intervention in the field of Middle English studies.
Table of Contents
1. Adam; 2. The Pynkhurst canon; 3. Pynkhurst's London English and the dilemma of copy-text; 4. Looking for the scribe of Huntington Hm 114; 5. The Guildhall clerks; 6. Hoccleve's Hengwrt, Hoccleve's Holographs.