A Guide to Editing Middle English

Vincent McCarren and Douglas Moffat, Editors
An invaluable companion for scholars and students of Middle English


Those who undertake a scholarly edition of a Middle English text have until now had no general guide for their work. All who study English literary works must rely on editions at some stage, and this volume will provide them with many perspectives on the formation of these necessary scholarly tools. Editors of texts in other medieval languages and indeed all those engaged with questions of scholarly editing--whether practical, historical, or theoretical--will also find important contributions in this volume.

A Guide to Editing Middle English collects nineteen essays and three appendices written by leading text editors in Middle English. A number of essays deal primarily with theoretical questions, while others offer assessments of historical developments in editing, especially in regard to the most well-known Middle English works. Most of the essays deal with practical matters: how to use a computer in preparing and presenting an edition; how to form and arrange the standard parts of an edition; and how to handle problems presented by texts in areas such as science, astrology, and cooking. The three appendices provide bibliographical references to dictionaries, facsimiles, and manuscript description.

Contributors, in addition to the editors, are Peter Baker, Richard Beadle, Norman Blake, Helen Cooper, A. S. G. Edwards, Jennifer Fellows, David C. Greetham, Mary Hamel, Constance Heiatt, Nicholas Jacobs, Geroge Keiser, Peter J. Lucas, Maldwyn Mills, Linne Mooney, and Peter Robinson.

The many and varied perspectives of this volume will make it of interest to readers of Middle English texts, those involved in textual scholarship, and those interested in editing in general. It occupies a unique place in the field of Middle English studies and will likely remain a standard reference tool for a long time.

Vincent McCarren is a Research Associate with the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan.

Douglas Moffat, formerly with the Middle English Dictionary, is a Development Officer with the University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "McCarren and Moffat's Guide to Editing Middle English , compiled by former editors of the Middle English Dictionary with the aim 'to raise the standard of scholarly editions of Middle English texts', succeeds admirably in providing just the sort of guidance the novice is likely to need. . . . after the discussion of specialized texts, the practical, 'how to' heart of A Guide to Editing Middle English comes in six essays by experienced scholars, dealing with various aspects and components of an edition to which any editor must attend. . . . This is a well-conceived collection of essays offering helpful advice by experienced editors, with abundant reference to fuller discussions elsewhere of every aspect of editing."
    --Samuel A. Overstreet, Journal of English and Fermani Philology , October 2001
  • ". . . this volume has much to offer. . . . Throughout a wealth of bibliographical information is provided. A weight of practical experience has been brought to bear, so that, though this is not a dull textbook, it will surely be found to have in full measure the usefulness which it seeks."
    --Hugh White, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, Review of English Studies, Volume 50, No. 200, 1999)

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 352pp.
  • line drawings.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1998
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10604-2

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  • $94.95 U.S.