Caxton's exemplar for the chronicles of England?
Besides these Latin texts, only one English manuscript has been firmly recognized as even spending time in Caxton's workshop--the "Winchester" manuscript of Malory's Arthurian writings--and this was seemingly not the exemplar for Caxton's 1485 edition. (3) It has also been suggested but ultimately doubted that Oxford, Magdalen College, MS 213 was a collateral source for Caxton's 1483 edition of Gower's Confessio Amantis, for checking against rather than printing from; (4) and it has been hypothesized but admitted unprovable that London, British Library, MS Harley 1900, was copied into a separate manuscript, now lost, in which the text was updated and rewritten to serve as Caxton's exemplar for Trevisa's English Polychronicon. (5) As yet no direct exemplar is known for one of Caxton's editions in English for which he is most famous.
It might, though, be possible to identify the exemplar for Caxton's first edition of the Middle English prose Brut, which he calls, more descriptively, The Chronicles of England (STC 9991). (6) This edition was printed in 1480 and was innovative in several respects: it was the first chronicle printed in English; it involved technical innovations in the use of justification and signatures; and it was the first dated use of Caxton's Type 4. It includes a blank leaf, a prologue, and a table of contents by Caxton in a first unnumbered quire of eight leaves (most likely added later). The rest of the book is in quires of eight leaves, a to y, apart from the final quire y, which has only six. Quire a begins with another blank leaf, and then the prose Brut, extending to the year 1419, runs through signatures a2r to u3v. This ends at the foot of signature u3v with the words "in rewle and in gouernaunce," but Caxton's edition then adds seamlessly to it from the top of signature u4r to signature y6v a continuation of the chronicle to 1461 found only in manuscripts descending from Caxton's edition (as is noted below). (7) Lister M. Matheson argues convincingly that Caxton composed the continuation himself. (8)
But where did Caxton get the prose Brut from? In a brilliant tracing of the textual tradition, Matheson deduces that Caxton got the prose Brut from a manuscript of the textual tradition that Matheson calls "CV-1419(r&g): B, subgroup (c)," that is, the Common Version, Group B, subgroup (c), extending to the year 1419, ending with the words "in rewle and in gouernaunce" and en route including or excluding various elements. (9) Matheson's exhaustive search allows him to note that this textual tradition is "represented" by only "a single manuscript," namely manuscript HM 136 in the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California. This manuscript is "important" for studying the textual tradition because "a text of this type formed the basis for William Caxton's." (10)
One might wonder whether manuscript HM 136 was in fact copied from Caxton's edition of The Chronicles of England. After all, there are six other manuscripts of which that is true, (11) and there are extant far more manuscripts copied from printed books than there are manuscript exemplars for such books. (12) (Indeed, it is noted below that a further short excerpt from Caxton's continuation has been added to the end of HM 136.) However, it is argued here that the likeness between this manuscript and the printed book is even closer than has hitherto been suggested but that the relationship runs in the other direction: it is argued that beyond those few folios of continuation, HM 136 was not a copy from Caxton's edition but rather was the exemplar for the edition of The Chronicles of England printed in 1480.
The Marks in Manuscript HM 136
Manuscript HM 136 in the Huntington Library is a parchment manuscript of the mid-fifteenth century, certainly after 1419, the date of the last events in the Common Version of Brut in this copy. The main scribe uses a hand modeled on the secretary script typical of the mid- to late fifteenth century. The handwriting is in some places fairly current, with minims run together and e "reversed," but in other places there is some slow care, with horns and broken strokes adorning several letters. The layout includes a certain amount of decoration: the first folio has a painted border; most of the chapter titles run on from the end of the preceding chapter but are in red; and the chapters themselves begin with blue lombards with red tracery and are punctuated with blue paraphs. The frame is ruled but the lines are not, and for the main text there are between thirty-nine and forty-two lines of text on each page. (13) The manuscript is in quires of eight leaves, and the Common Version of the prose Brut to 1419 ends with the words "in rewle and in gouernaunce" a little way down the verso of the fourth leaf of quire 20. (The short addition to the remainder of this quire is discussed below.) The manuscript has been annotated heavily by several people. There are several Latin prophecies and scholarly annotations in late fifteenth-century and early sixteenth-century hands. There are the names of several owners or readers, such as one Dorothy Helbarton, who wrote her name umpteen times (slightly obsessively) and John Leche, who wrote his ex libris inscription on a rear flyleaf. Similar ex libris inscriptions link this owner to other English and Latin manuscripts and to the distinguished Cheshire branch of the Leche family. (It should, though, be noted that many current comments on the manuscript's early owners and annotations will be clarified and corrected by research forthcoming from Anthony Bale, Julia Boffey, and Masako Takagi.) (14)
It is another set of marks added to HM 136 that offers the most important evidence that this was Caxton's exemplar. These marks have not been discussed in previous studies of the manuscript nor of The Chronicles of England but they deserve to be, because they seem to be marks by somebody using the manuscript for printing from it. (15) They occur throughout the 311 pages of the prose Brut to 1419. With a few exceptions, they consist of one, two, or three of the following components.
The first component occurs in the left-hand margin beside a line of text. It is a small circle about two millimeters in diameter, drawn in dark ink. The circle is usually at the extreme fore-edge of verso pages or in the gutter of rectos and is therefore sometimes trimmed or buried so that it is difficult to see (especially on the microfilm).
The second component occurs level with the circle but much closer to the left-hand edge of the text-block. It is a pair of virgules drawn in dark ink like this: [paragraph]. The scribes of fifteenth-century manuscripts often used a pair of virgules to guide the rubricator to add a paraph mark ([paragraph]) at the point thus noted. (16) However, in HM 136 a paraph would almost never be customary at these points, as there is seldom a clear break in the prose there.
Then, in the middle of many lines marked with two virgules and/or a circle, there occurs the third component. It is [conjunction], like an upturned letter v, drawn in perhaps slightly paler brown ink than the the virgules and circles. It looks most like the caret mark used by fifteenth-century scribes to insert text interlineally when correcting; it is placed between words at a low level, almost below the line of text. (17) It slightly suggests a more upright version of the mark that Malcolm Parkes calls the simplex ductus, which was "placed within a verse to separate matters erroneously run together," and here it does indeed separate things (as is noted below). (18) On no occasion does this seeming caret occur where text seems to be missing in HM 136. Manuscript HM 136 does also contain twenty-four other interlinear insertions, many of them with a real caret, (19) but those caret marks for interlineation seem to be by the scribe, whereas the seeming carets that accompany circles and/ or virgules differ in ink color, size, and style.
There are 307 sets of these marks. Most sets have the marginal circle; most also have the double virgules next to the text. Some fifty-four sets have, in addition, the seeming caret in the middle of the line. (20) There are some exceptions: fourteen times the circle and seeming caret occur without the virgules;21 nine times the circles, virgules, and seeming caret straddle two subsequent lines rather than marking just one;22 and a few other glitches occur, such as the duplication of the marks or the separation of their components by a line or two. (23) But three fifths of the sets are uniform in having a circle and virgules, and a further fifth in having a circle, virgules, and a seeming caret, too, so the marks are very regular in their appearance.
Moreover, they are regular in their position, for they recur at intervals of between thirty-nine and forty-two lines of the manuscript's text and most often after forty or forty-one lines. Only seldom do they recur after smaller or larger intervals, just once after only thirty-seven lines and once after forty-five. (24) As the manuscript most often has only forty lines of text or fewer per page, albeit with much variation, the marks appear successively further down each page, until just a few times the arithmetic makes them skip a page entirely and then occur twice on the following one.
The placing of these marks becomes even more regular just under halfway through. On folio 65r, the circle and virgules occur next to the first line of the page, after a count of forty-three lines of text;25 and thereafter on 172 of the remaining 182 pages of the manuscript the marks appear on this top line on each page. The exceptions are five pages where they appear on the first line but are duplicated on the last line of the preceding page, (26) three pages where they appear on the first line but are duplicated on the second or third line, (27) and two other oddities. (28)
Oddities aside, it is the overwhelming regularity of their spacing that suggests the significance of these marks. For the pair of virgules in the margin almost always falls at the precise point in the text where a page break falls in Caxton's edition of The Chronicles of England in 1480, unless there is a seeming caret. Where there is a seeming caret, then that always falls where a page break does in the edition. That is, when Caxton's page break occurs at a line break in this manuscript, the line is marked with virgules; when his page break occurs at a point in the middle of a line in this manuscript, it is marked with the seeming caret. This coincidence occurs precisely with 293 of the 307 sets of marks in HM 136. There are only fourteen of the 307 sets of marks in HM 136 in which none of the components coincides with Caxton's page break precisely, and even with those fourteen, Caxton's page break does usually fall just a few lines, words, or even letters away (as explained below). The most likely explanation of this methodical annotation and its coincidence with Caxton's page breaks is that these markings were made by somebody in Caxton's workshop using HM 136 as the exemplar for The Chronicles of England in 1480.
Of course, circles, virgules, and seeming carets are tricky to date paleographically, so it is worth checking whether they were not prompts to Caxton's edition but were the work of somebody collating manuscript HM 136 against Caxton's edition at a later date. Amazingly, somebody has written the name "Caxton" on a flyleaf in an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century hand; but "Caxton" could be a shorthand title for the prose Brut, given Caxton's printing of it, so it need not imply any close study of the manuscript. (29)
But could somebody have marked up the printed book's page breaks in this manuscript out of some curious bibliographical fervor? Eighteenth-century scholars did study other copies carefully on occasion. (30) Yet probabilities make this explanation unlikely. If a bibliographer had marked up the manuscript, he would have struck lucky: the text he would have chosen to collate was the only surviving example of the textual tradition that Caxton followed, and followed in meticulous verbal detail, too (as is shown below); and he would have found his task lightened by the coincidence that 171 of the manuscript's page breaks occur exactly where Caxton's do, and 82 more occur at the manuscript's line breaks. This coincidence would be more difficult for a scribe to achieve in transferring prose to an unruled page than for a printer. And for such a manuscript then to be used by a bibliographer interested in comparing the two books' page breaks would be a fluky coincidence that, while possible, is less likely than that these marks were made in preparing Caxton's edition from this manuscript.
Casting Off with These Marks
How, though, did these marks assist in preparing Caxton's edition? There are broadly three ways in which they could serve: to allow the printer to calculate how many pages and quires the manuscript would become in the printed edition, perhaps for setting text seriatim, or in textual order; to allow him to "cast off" his copy so that he could print it out of textual sequence or "by forme"; and to record where page breaks fell so that a corrector could more easily proofread the copy against the manuscript. (31) Which would the marks in HM 136 best serve?
Minimal marks like the mere circles, virgules, and dashes in HM 136 might suggest some simpler process of setting copy: merely calculating the number of pages required and keeping track of where one page ended as one went along to avoid error in the next page in sequence and to ease correcting. The use of a small circle near the fore-edge and of a pair of virgules in the near margin is also found in the exemplar for an edition of Werner Rolewinck's Paradisus conscientiae printed by Arnold ther Hoernen in Cologne in 1475. Other evidence suggests that this Cologne edition was set not by forme but seriatim, in textual sequence. (32) The similarity of the marks and notably the lack of any numbering or quire or leaf signatures in HM 136 might suggest that Caxton's first edition of The Chronicles of England was also set seriatim. (33) Setting by forme required calculation in advance of the place at which the pages set nonsequentially would begin and end, so that whichever forme was set first, the compositor could begin (for example, in the outer forme) both signature 1r and signature 8v, which were cognate and on one side of a sheet (in a folio edition), and so on, before later printing the reverse pages in similar pairs (in such a case, in the inner forme). (34) To keep track of this process, some other exemplars for English incunables have numbers or letters specifying exactly where each page in a quire begins; such specificity occurs, for example, in the only previously identified exemplar for one of Caxton's editions, that for Traversagni's Nova rhetorica (1478), and in the exemplars for three English editions printed by Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson between 1493 and 1495. (35)
In HM 136 there are no numbers or letters to identify pages or quires, so it is interesting to ask how the manuscript could really have been used for casting off. However, Lotte Hellinga suggests that casting off might unfold in two "rounds," one to calculate the page breaks, another to specify the structure of quires. (36) If one purpose in casting off was to calculate which quire structure would best suit the manuscript, then specifying quire signatures in the first round might indeed be premature and the marks in HM 136 could be merely the first round of casting off. Yet that might not be the case either: Hellinga also notes that in some exemplars for incunables, including the Oxford edition of Rufinus's Symbola apostolorum in 1478, some of the marks were very discreet--just "small strokes," crosses, "squiggles," "little dashes between lines" or mere sets of "three or four small dots at the beginning of the marked-off page." (37) If the copy was to be returned to its owner, then the printer could not make too great a mess.38 So the tininess of the marks in HM 136 does not preclude their use for setting the text by forme. The process of setting the text by forme became more important as printers in England began to use a two-pull press on full sheets, which seems to have begun in Oxford about 1479 and in Caxton's workshop around 1480, the time of printing The Chronicles of England. (39) Therefore the question of whether the marks in HM 136 do reflect setting by forme in 1480 is of considerable interest for the history of Caxton's press. This matter requires further inquiry, but from preliminary inquiry I hypothesize that the edition was set by forme.
Some evidence that supports this hypothesis comes from the places where the printed page break does not follow a manuscript line break marked neatly by virgules, which was the usual tendency in this edition and in other incunables for which an exemplar has been found. While people casting off editions in the 1470s had tended to propose a printed page break at a line break in the manuscript, they sometimes shifted the printed page break to the middle of a manuscript line and sometimes marked that shift in the exemplar; such shifts are known as "free" page breaks, as opposed to "fixed" ones tacked to manuscript line breaks. (40) Such "free" page breaks occur in HM 136 in places where the seeming carets in HM 136 shift the proposed page break from the pair of virgules at the start of a manuscript line to some other point in the line and in four more places where the seeming carets shift the proposed page break to a point late in the preceding line just before the pair of virgules. (41)
These seeming carets, then, look like frequent attempts to correct some miscalculation of how much text would fit or be desirable to print before the end of the page by shifting the end just a few words later (or, much less often, earlier). Though it is impossible to be sure at which stages each of the different marks were added to HM 136, it is tempting to hypothesize that the seeming carets were added after the initial casting off with circles and virgules, as problems emerged. (As noted above, the ink of the seeming carets is slightly paler than that of the circles and virgules.) Of the forty-one pages on which the compositor was able to shift the place where the page would end to a "free" position, some thirty-four fell in the outer forme. (42) This suggests that the outer forme might have been printed first, because it was here that the compositor could shift the place where the page would end, presumably because he had not yet set the following page. By contrast, only seven "free" page breaks fell in the inner forme, which suggests that there was less chance to move the page end in the inner forme and that its pages were more often set after those that would follow them in textual order but that had been previously printed as part of the outer forme.
Moreover, in all seven places where a page in the inner forme was able to end with a "free" page break marked with a seeming caret, that seeming caret shifts the page end to the end of a word, rather than splitting it over the page break, or to the end of a sentence, paragraph, or chapter, rather than interrupting sense or creating "widows." (43) (Widows are tiny sections of text stranded at the top of a page before a large textual division, unpopular with early printers.) (44) Rather than reflecting a decision to end this page in the inner forme, such "free" page breaks could reflect a decision instead to start the subsequent page in the outer forme in such a place that would have its own logic (for example, to avoid starting a page mid-word or with a "widow"); that could be the prerogative of the person setting the outer forme: to shift where he started as well as where he ended. So it seems that the compositor was able to move his printed page end away from a manuscript line break more often in the outer forme, which suggests that these pages might have been printed first. This is a little surprising. It is said that there was a tendency for English printers to print the inner forme first, but that may not be the case here. (45)
There is further corroborating evidence that the pages were set by forme, and the outer forme first, out of textual sequence, in the twenty-eight places where something goes askew. Things go askew because there is no seeming caret to mark a "free" page break away from a manuscript line ending; because the circles, pairs of virgules, or carets were entered twice on different but nearby lines, and only one set fits the printed page breaks; or because the markings in HM 136 diverge from the page break in Caxton's edition by as little as a few letters to as much as a couple of lines.
Of these twenty-eight places, where no markings in HM 136 fit Caxton's page break exactly or where there are two sets of marks, ten fell at the end of pages in the outer forme. Nine of these ten page ends do have markings in the manuscript but just oddly placed or duplicated. This possibility of "free" page ends, and helpful marking of those page ends for future reference, suggests that these pages in the outer forme were set before the subsequent page in the inner forme. (46) The next set of anomalous page ends, thirteen of the twenty-eight, occurred in the inner forme, but all at the foot of the fourth verso, which, in these folio quires of eight, would be set at the same time as the fifth recto facing it on a full sheet. In this part of the inner forme, one could ignore the casting-off marks quite safely, as the two pages in textual order, signatures 4v and 5r of the quire, were done together; there was no chance to forget any oddities in the page breaks. Nor were any further casting-off marks added to these pages, and nor would they need to be, as the two facing pages in sequence were both set at the same time. (47) By contrast, only five places where the planned page ending was ignored or adjusted occurred elsewhere in the inner forme. (48)
So there were sixty-nine occasions when pages ended not at a manuscript line break marked with a circle and pair of virgules but instead with a "free" page break at a seeming caret in the middle of the manuscript line (41 occasions) or with some other glitch (28 occasions), of which sixty-nine only twelve would be awkward to achieve if setting by forme and setting the outer forme first.
This newly identified exemplar requires fuller investigation for the light it might throw on the order of printing at Caxton's press, and each of the glitches deserves further investigation in particular. But as well as hypothesizing that Caxton's compositor did indeed set by forme and set the outer forme first, from this exemplar it is also possible to generalize from the seeming caret more about the compositor's preferences.
First, his avoidance of splitting words over page breaks is evident. Some five times when the break between manuscript lines, marked with a circles and/or virgules, splits a word in two, the seeming caret prevents this split over the break between pages in print:
HM 136: called Bellyngesgate aftir his owne name and when this Be [degree] lyn [conjunction] had regned nobely xj yer and iiij monthes he deid and lith
Chronicles: [b4r] that is called Belyngesgate after his owne name and when this belin [b4v] had regned nobely xj. yere he died and lieth atte newe Troie
HM 136: [degrees] [parallel] meny men had grete wonder [paragraph] The goodman that had dre med [conjunction] this dreme / had tolde it to a knyzt that tho was moste priue with the kyng of all men / and the knyght me called Ha
Chronicles: [h2r] meny men had grete wonder The goodman that had dremed [h2v] this dreme had told it to a knyght that tho was most priue with the kyng of all men / and the knyght was called Hamundes sone (49)
Again, even in the second half of the manuscript, when the compositor was following the manuscript's own page breaks, he shifted the break to avoid splitting the word:
HM 136: of hem that sey it ther come oute blode of the tombe of Tho [parallel] mas [conjunction] some tyme Erle of lancastre [paragraph] as fressh as fressh as that day pat
Chronicles: [q3r] of hem that saw it ther come oute blode of the tombe of Thomas [q3v] some tyme Erle of lancastre as fressh as that day that he was do to (50)
As well as these shifts, on one occasion the compositor drew the circle and virgules in the left-hand margin at the top of a page but then seems to have realized that the manuscript's own page break split the word "assembled": Jack Straw's mob "assem | bled hem vp on the blak heth" (assembled themselves at Blackheath). (51) But rather than put a seeming caret before "assem" on the bottom of the previous page, he instead wrote "assem" in the margin of the next page before "bled hem vp on the blak heth," with a caret in the same style as the seeming carets to mark the insertion; and sure enough, Caxton's page begins with "assembled" united. By contrast, it should be noted that the compositor twice followed the manuscript in splitting a word over a page break ("knygh = [absolute value of] tes," "Esche = ker") and twice moved the page break to the middle of the manuscript line with a seeming caret and thus split words. (52) But one split word was the compound "wherfor" (wherefore) split after "wher" (where), which could be interpreted by a compositor as a separate word, and these four anomalies are outnumbered by the nine times he removed word splits at manuscript line breaks when they became printed page breaks.
The same concern to avoid splitting words thus is evident in the work of other compositors of the 1470s, including the compositor of Traversagni's Nova rhetorica at Caxton's press in 1478. (53) This exemplar, then, confirms that contemporary dislike of page breaks that interrupt words.
The seeming carets in this exemplar also suggest a dislike for widows. In manuscript HM 136, headings for new chapters do not often begin on new lines but follow the preceding chapter continuously on the same line, but distinguished by red ink. Caxton instead sets chapter headings on a new line, a procedure that risks creating more widows. So on six occasions the seeming caret put the printed page break not at the manuscript line break but at some nearby chapter title:
HM 136: forne hym and he regned xve yere and died and lith at newe
[??] Troie [conjunction] How Kymor regned after Seisil his fadre and he be gat Howan that regned after Capitulo xxvij [degrees]
Chronicles: [b4v] done beforne hym and he regned xv. yere and died and lith at newe Troie
[b5r] How kymor regned after seisell his fadre and he begate howan that regned after Ca. xxvij
HM 136: [??]// Edward howe Robert the Brus had dryve hem out of the land and disherited hem [conjunction] Howe kyng Edward dubbed at westmynstre [xiiij.sup.e] score knyghtes Capitulo [C.sup.o] [iiij.sup.xx] ~ ~ ~
Chronicles: [l1r] playned vn to kyng Edward how Robert the Brus had driue hem oute of the land and disherited hem.
[l1v] How kyng Edward dubbed at westmynster xxiiij. score kny= ghtes Capitulo C. 1xxx (54)
Even when printed page breaks follow the manuscript page breaks, the compositor thrice more interrupts that alignment to avoid widows before new chapters. (55)
This avoidance of widows is also evident on another occasion, when the circle and virgules proposed a page break at the top of a manuscript page that had the last three lines of a chapter as a widow. Caxton's edition avoids the widow by ignoring the circle and virgules and trimming the text slightly:
HM 136: [??] // maner So that he bigate on me this childe [paragraph] But neuer myght I wit of him what he was ne whens he come / ne what was his name Of the ansuere of Merlyn wherfor the kyng axed why his werk myzt not stond that he had bigonne ner proue Capitulo lxij[??]]
Chronicles: [c8r] ner so that he begate this child / but neuer myzt I wit what he was
[c8v] Of the ansuerd of Merlyn wherfor the kyng axed why his werk myzt not stond that he had bigonne ner proue Capitulo. 1xij. (56)
This is uncharacteristic inaccuracy for The Chronicles of England's handling of its exemplar, but the need to avoid widows could explain why the compositor altered the text and ignored the casting off marks, especially if he had set signature c8v in the outer forme first, daring to start where a new chapter title starts--not seeing that he would then have trouble fitting the end of the preceding chapter onto the previous page when he printed it later in the inner forme.
Finally, the person casting off decided to ease the work of calculating where to begin pages out of sequence by deciding that the printed edition would follow the exemplar's own page breaks closely, from HM 136 folio 65r, or the end of printed quire h (as noted above). This could have eased his calculations of page breaks if setting by forme. But he did not ease the process as much as he might have, for although both the manuscript and the printed book are quired in eights, by the time the page breaks become coterminous, the manuscript is starting quire 9 (fol. 65r) but the printed book is still on the last page of its eighth quire (sig. h8v), so quires of the exemplar could not have been divided among different compositors or tracked quire by quire with any ease. (57) Yet at this point the compositor decided to follow the exemplar very closely indeed, even in its page breaks.
The Textual Relationship
It is the closeness of the manuscript and printed book in this and other respects that finally confirms that Caxton's edition was set from this manuscript. In general, the manuscript is the sole witness to the branch of the textual tradition that Caxton follows (as noted above, following Matheson's study). In particular, the collation of a sample from the edition with the manuscript shows that Caxton's edition is copied from the manuscript--and that their close relationship could not have arisen conversely, by the scribe copying from Caxton's print.
The collated sample (9,754 words on 21 pages) was not randomly selected but consisted of pages which had unusual markings at their page ends and other pages chosen to ensure a sample from throughout the text. (58) Yet the collation does suggest some tentative hypotheses. First, it confirms Matheson's observation about the general affiliation and shows that HM 136 and Caxton's edition are identical in more than 98.22% of 9,754 words, in the substantives (that is, in lexis and grammar but not in orthography or punctuation). This percentage is remarkably close to that found by comparing a sample of the edition of Lydgate's The Fall of Princes printed by Richard Pynson (1494) with its long-recognized manuscript exemplar, in which some 98.26% of words were identical in the substantives (1,303 of 1,326 words). (59)
The close similarity between Caxton's first edition of The Chronicles of England and HM 136 is accordant, then, with that of another English incunable and its exemplar. Of course, print and manuscript often diverge in accidentals--in the variable spelling, punctuation, and abbreviation common in Middle English--but even in those respects The Chronicles of England diverges less often and more systematically than one might expect. (60) Most noticeable is the punctuation: when HM 136 has a blue paraph, Caxton's edition almost always leaves a blank space for a handwritten one.
When HM 136 and Caxton's edition do diverge, in two thirds of these divergences (66.67% of 174 divergent words) the manuscript preserves the main textual tradition reproduced by the modern editor (Brie) from other manuscripts, and it is Caxton's edition that is the odd one out. Often these divergences can be readily explained as slips by the compositor: for example, the compositor misreads "howe he pursued" as "howe be pursued," either mistaking the hooked h of the scribe's hand modeled on secretary for a b or muddling these similar letters in his type case. (61) Once he omits the adverb "nowe," and he might conceivably miss it because it is the last word before the end of a line in HM 136. (62) A concern such as that for "widows" might prompt two divergences, cutting the words "more openly" and even cutting "our lord Ihesu crist" down to "our lord" to let a chapter finish on one line rather than straggling onto the next line, which would then be left predominantly blank before the next chapter title. (63)
Such omissions in Caxton's edition suggest that his is the later text that introduces divergences from the earlier. Moreover, in the few divergences (13.22%, or 23 of 174 divergent words) in which Caxton produces the text preferred by Brie and HM 136 diverges from it, two things occur. For eight of these divergent words, HM 136 differs from Brie's text but does reproduce the text of one or both of the manuscripts he collates in his apparatus criticus (MSS D and O), so HM 136 is not outlandish. (64) On the other occasions, he corrects obviously ungrammatical or nonsensical text in HM 136--the gibberish "righ" to "right" (65)--or he updates the language in few tiny details (noted below). So even when Caxton's divergence from HM 136 converges with the mainstream textual tradition, such convergence could come from the simple processes of correction that compositors, like scribes, made as they reproduced words.
By contrast, when HM 136 follows the mainstream textual tradition but Caxton diverges, HM 136 could not have restored the mainstream textual tradition, if it were copied from Caxton's edition, by simple guesswork. For example, there are divergences that seem to stem from eyeskip: the compositor for Caxton's edition on one occasion omitted just two words, shortening "from be toure of london burgh london vn to seint Giles" into "from the toure of london vn to seint Giles," (66) and on two occasions jumped from the middle of one line to the middle of the next, as for example here:
HM 136: othe / that arose ayens his liege lorde the noble kyng Edward and falsely made hym kynge of Scotland / as is said bifore and his sone sholde be kyng of Scotland that was of age of v yere [paragraph] And so thurgh this cursed counceill Dauid
Chronicles: forswore ayens his othe that arose ayens his liege lord the noble kyng Edward and falsely made hym kyng of Scotland that was of age of v. yere And so thurgh this cursed counceil (67)
It would be less easy for somebody to copy HM 136 from Caxton's edition and work out what to restore in such lines than it would for a compositor setting The Chronicles of England from the manuscript to err by means of eyeskip. A few smaller words are also dropped in ways that suggest Caxton's edition was copied from the manuscript and not vice versa. For example, at the end of original prose Brut in the manuscript, the text lists some fees paid by Rouen to Henry V: "all maner customes and fee fermes and kateremes <gap> | <gap> marce"; then one more sentence completes the text to 1419. The gap is unfilled in most manuscripts and was likely intended for the exact number of marks paid. In HM 136 the gap straddles a page break and "marce" begins a page after an odd space on the first line; then the next sentence begins: "And [??]an [??]e kyng entred in to [??]e toune." Given the odd gap and the stranded word "marce," it would be easy for somebody setting copy from HM 136 to overlook "marce" or decide to omit it. And sure enough, Caxton's edition omits the unit of currency ("marce") as well as the number, leaving a gap not much bigger than that usually left to add a paraph: "alle maner customes and fee fermes and kateremes <gap> And than the kyng entred in to the toune." If instead this manuscript had been copied from the printed book, then it would be harder to guess which unit of currency was omitted and to reinsert it; indeed, the manuscripts that are known to be copied from Caxton's edition omit "marce," too. (68) Overall, then, Caxton's edition looks like a close and accurate copy of manuscript HM 136.
Caxton's Deliberate Divergences
There are, though, a few divergences odder than simple errors--but still explicable. They are intriguing for what they suggest about Caxton's processes of "editing," and they confirm processes of updating and of historical curiosity found in his printing of Malory's works and other histories such as Trevisa's English Polychronicon.
The first set of such divergences occurs when Caxton or his colleague updates the Middle English of the prose Brut. Such updating of archaic forms or removal of dialectally striking forms has been noted in other texts that Caxton claims to have revised by updating the language, such as Trevisa's English Polychronicon. (69) The same thing happens in the sample of The Chronicles of England. Once Caxton updates the archaic verb "wyten" into "knoweth." (70) The other efforts to update vocabulary and grammar occur more regularly, almost systematically, albeit never in every possible instance. Some six times in the 9,754 collated words, the edition updates "greek" as the name of the country to "Grece." (71) Some eight times it replaces the verb nim, which was becoming archaic during the fifteenth century, with forms of the verb take. (Often the modern printed edition by Brie has take, but again HM 136 follows MSS D and/or O in Brie's apparatus criticus, which do have nim.) (72) And most commonly, some ten times in the collated pages it alters the phrase "that me called Diane" or similar for different characters. This phrase uses the impersonal pronoun me, equivalent to modern English one, and can be translated as whom people called Diane; but the impersonal pronoun me was becoming archaic, and that is likely why Caxton's edition changes these phrases to the passive construction "that was called Diane" and so on. (73) The regularity of these divergences between the manuscript and print throws fascinating light on the work of Caxton's press and on linguistic attitudes in the late fifteenth century. Further study might yield other evidence of Caxton's handling of English works.
The second and third sets of divergences are less regular, yet while they might seem to make the printed book look less close to HM 136, both sets of divergences continue to reflect the manuscript closely--and conversely, also leave their mark on the manuscript. The second set includes larger structural changes. As in Malory's works, which Caxton seems to unite into a larger whole while simultaneously rendering the text into smaller chapters, so in The Chronicles of England, Caxton takes care to articulate the structure of the text. (74) First, he adds onto The Chronicles of England his continuation, seamlessly joined, and he also seems to have intended his 1480 edition of a geographical work, The Description of Britain, to be sold alongside The Chronicles of England for binding with it, as the two texts do indeed survive together in many extant copies. (75) These elements he adds to what he found in HM 136. But the manuscript was already subdivided into chapters, most with separate titles and consecutive numbers, so Caxton added in his edition a table of contents, helping readers to negotiate the chapters. He also, curiously, modified two chapter titles in the collated sample of text:
HM 136: Here may a man here that England was furst called Albion and thurgh whom it had the name
Chronicles: How the lande of Englonde was fyrst namd Albyon And by what encheson it was so namd
HM 136: Amen And aftir this kyng henry be iiij e regned kyng henry his sone kyng of Englond Capitulo CC xliiij to ~
Chronicles: Of kyng Henry the v. that was kyng henries sone Capitulo ducentesimo xliiij. (76)
Whereas these chapter titles are anomalously chatty and narrative in the manuscript (and the second is confusing), Caxton standardizes their phrasing with How or Of for the printed edition--the phrasing used for all but nine of 263 chapter titles. (77) Moreover, beyond the collated sample, Caxton's edition lacks a title for chapter 179 in the text, though it nevertheless appears in his table of contents ("How sir Robert the Brus was crouned capitulo c. lxxix"); and in HM 136 this chapter title was omitted by the original scribe too--no doubt the reason for Caxton's omission--but was then added to the manuscript in a different ink and different fifteenth-century hand in wording similar to Caxton's ("How Robrt [sic] the bruys was crowned in saint Iohns toun capitulo Clxxix o"). (78) While the table of contents and these few different chapter titles do diverge between the manuscript and the printed book, the divergences seem explicable given Caxton's known care for such paratexts. And the chapter title added later to HM 136, echoing the printed table of contents, may suggest further the proximity between Caxton's book and this manuscript--albeit a complex proximity with two directions of influence.
Similarly, the third and final set of divergences is regular and explicable. On five occasions in the collated sample, The Chronicles of England adds a few words not found in the main textual tradition of the prose Brut nor in HM 136. Yet these additions could reflect a regular process of editing, for they all clarify the identities of people by expanding their names or connections in some way:
HM 136 Caxton The kynges messagiers > The messagiers of the kyng Vortiger the messagiers > the kynges messagiers be Erle > the Erle of Fiffe the kyng > kyng Edward Erle of Arundell > Erle of Arundell as his fadre had bene (79)
Considered as clarifications of people's identities, these alterations are as regular and helpful as updated archaisms; they are handy in a chronicle of the English and Scottish aristocracies, with their tendencies to shared names, competing affinities, and knotty genealogies. These few altered words (in a sample of 9,754) suggest something about the intellectual engagement of Caxton or his compositor and in particular about their historical passions--passions suggested by Caxton's long-standing commitment to printing histories and his modifications of the history in Malory's Arthurian romance, drawing on this very chronicle. (80) They also confirm the sense from the textual tradition of Trevisa's English Polychronicon, where the manuscripts closest to Caxton's--one of them perhaps being the exemplar of his exemplar--include a few comments glossing people and places, comments that Caxton incorporates into his text. (81)
Manuscript HM 136 has almost no written markings in it telling the compositor to add the modernizations of vocabulary or added identifications of people which appear in the first printed edition of The Chronicles of England. As has been noted of the "Winchester" manuscript of Malory's works, Caxton presumably did not want to deface a loaned exemplar and so added "running corrections" during typesetting. (82) However, there are four added identifications that appear in Caxton's edition and not otherwise in the textual tradition but that have been interlineated into HM 136 by a second scribe:
HM 136 (with interlineations Caxton in markings [??] and [??]) his wyfe [??]^Emme[??] > his wife Emme his moder [??]/Em[??] > his moder Emme be kyng [??]his fadir[??] > be kyng his fadre kyng Edwardes sone [??]^called > kyng Edwardes sone called Edward with the long schankes[??] edward with long schankes (83)
Beyond the pages collated fully, there are three other added identifications of people's identities interlineated into HM 136 and printed in full in Caxton's edition. (84)
On the one hand, the identifications lacking in HM 136 confirm that HM 136 was not originally copied from Caxton's printed edition--for a scribe would be unlikely to omit in a systematic way only those phrases identifying people (of which the prose Brut naturally has many anyway) unique to Caxton's edition--but rather that Caxton's copy must be a descendant of HM 136. Other signs of eyeskips by Caxton's compositor (noted above) confirm this direction of textual affiliation.
The identifications then interlineated into HM 136 seem to confirm the close proximity between HM 136 and Caxton's edition. Yet, on the other hand, these interlineations into HM 136 beg questions. Might they be signs of somebody tinkering with the text before or while Caxton's compositor set the pages, as though beginning to envisage the editing process? It is teasing that the handwriting of these interlineations is similar to that which added some running headings of kings' names in the manuscript, as far as one can tell, (85) and similar to the hand which added "assem" when assembled straddled a page break; the carets used for some of these interlineations are similar to the seeming carets that mark the page breaks. But it is difficult to make confident judgments about such tiny pieces of writing, and the precise meaning of these marks is unclear.
Further Links between Manuscript and Print
Might these interlineations instead be signs of somebody checking Caxton's edition against the manuscript? This is feasible, given that she or he interlineated into and so maybe checked only a few pages. They suggest that the influence between manuscript and printed book could flow in both directions.
After all, finally, at some stage somebody did copy into HM 136 a short excerpt of Caxton's edition: an excerpt of the continuation of the prose Brut from 1419. (86) As noted above, the manuscript is in quires of eight leaves, and the Common Version of the prose Brut to 1419 ends with the words "in rewle and in gouernaunce" three lines down the verso of the fourth leaf of quire 20. But then somebody added to the rest of this verso and to the next folio and recto after that (that is, up to the recto of leaf 6 of quire 20) a short excerpt from the start of Caxton's continuation beyond 1419. (87) (The following verso was left blank and the final two leaves of quire 20 were removed at some point.)
The individual graphs used by the scribe of this excerpt of the continuation are often very similar to those of the main scribe of the rest of the manuscript, although the general aspect of the handwriting differs to some extent. The layout differs, too, as the scribe of the excerpt of the continuation uses more and longer lines on each page, leaves large gaps between chapters, and leaves spaces for painted initials, clearly following Caxton's use of spacing before new chapters.
Moreover, the text of this added continuation follows Caxton's text closely: of 2,115 words, only six diverge from Caxton's text in substantives. (88) The manuscript excerpt of the continuation even repeats an erroneous dittography in Caxton's edition ("distroyeng of of heretikes") and has an odd word division in the name of the feast day "whit sontyd" (Whitsuntide) where Caxton's edition has a mid-word line break ("whit | sontyd"). (89) Moreover, it is possible that the handwriting and orthography of this continuation in HM 136 were influenced by Caxton's book: majuscules in the manuscript excerpt of the continuation, especially in some Latin verses, closely resemble the uppercase letters in Caxton's edition; and whereas the earlier scribe of HM 136 uses thorn ([??]) a lot, which Caxton often removed, the scribe of the continuation from 1419 uses only one thorn, and at the end of a line where he might have felt that he was running out of room. (90)
Finally and crucially, this continuation from 1419 to 1461 is known otherwise only in Caxton's edition and in manuscripts copied from it entirely or in this part. (91) And it seems that here, too, this final part of manuscript HM 136, which is set out differently from the rest--and without any of the casting-off marks either--was not the source for Caxton's edition but was copied from it.
Yet this copy is visibly an afterthought and is soon abandoned: it stops at the foot of a recto just two lines into chapter 247, having left space for the heading of this chapter, and leaving the verso overleaf unused. (92) This addition from Caxton's text, along with its interruption, thus raises puzzling questions about which scribe or owner of HM 136 could both provide this book to Caxton as an exemplar and then copy into it or have copied into it only an incomplete excerpt of Caxton's edition. Such questions need answering by further research into the manuscript's provenance. Further research is also needed in order to confirm or deny the hypotheses offered here about Caxton's printing from this exemplar by forme and by the outer forme first rather than seriatim; about his or his compositor's interest in avoiding word splits and widows; about the interest in updating Middle English; and about the interest in expanding historical details. However, the combination of the casting-off marks with a collation of 9,754 words does suggest strongly that manuscript HM 136 is Caxton's exemplar. With that exemplar identified, all manner of questions about Caxton's processes of editing and printing English can be asked and perhaps answered afresh.
University of Cambridge
I must thank two anonymous readers as well as Anthony Bale, Richard Beadle, Julia Boffey, Alexandra Gillespie, Hope Johnston, Mary Robinson, Toshiyuki Takamiya, Satoko Tokunaga, and especially Masako Takagi for helpful feedback on this piece. None of them is responsible for any errors in the article. This research was made possible by a generous grant from the Huntington Library to spend time at the library as a Foundation Fellow from January to March 2009.
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(1.) For lists of examples before 1500, see N. F. Blake, "Manuscript to Print," in Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1375-1475, ed. Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 403-432 (426-429, nos. 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12); and Margaret Lane Ford, "Author's Autograph and Printer's Copy: Werner Rolewinck's Paradisus conscientiae," in Incunabula: Studies in Fifteenth-Century Printed Books Presented to Lotte Hellinga, ed. Martin Davies (London: British Library, 1999), 109-128 (119-125); and for English examples 1500-1640, see J. K. Moore, Primary Materials Relating to Copy and Print in English Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Oxford Bibliographical Society Occasional Publications 24 (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1992), 11-18.
(2.) Jose Ruysschaert, "Les manuscrits autographes de deux ceuvres de Lorenzo Guglielmo Traversagni imprimees chez Caxton," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 36 (1953): 191-197; A. C. de la Mare and Lotte Hellinga, "The First Book Printed in Oxford: The Expositio symboli of Rufinus," Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 7 (1978): 184-244; Blake, "Manuscript to Print," 423 (no. 17), omits the latter from the relevant list on 426-429, although he mentions it earlier in his chapter (405-406).
(3.) Takako Kato, Caxton's Morte D'Arthur: The Printing Process and the Authenticity of the Text, Medium iEvum Monographs ns 22 (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 2002), 14-16, 21.
(4.) Contrast Gavin Bone, "Extant Manuscripts Printed from by W. de Worde, with Notes on the Owner, Roger Thorney," The Library 4th ser., 12 (1932): 284-306 (285); with N. F. Blake, "Caxton's Copy-Text of Gower's Confessio Amantis," in N. F. Blake, William Caxton and English Literary Culture (London: Hambledon Press, 1991), 187-198 (190-191).
(5.) Ronald Waldron, "Caxton and the Polychronicon," in Chaucer in Perspective: Middle English Essays in Honour of Norman Blake, ed. Geoffrey Lester (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 375-394 (380-381). Ronald Waldron, ed., John Trevisas Translation of the Polychronicon of Ranulph Higden, Book VI, Middle English Texts 35 (Heidelberg, Germany: Winter, 2004), xxviii-xxxi, does not discuss the hypothesis further.
(6.) Quotations from Caxton's edition are hereafter cited as "Chronicles" with signatures and line numbers thus: "sig. a4r:30." There is a facsimile entitled Chronicles of England, Westmynstre, 1480, The English Experience: Its Record in Early Printed Books Published in Facsimile 508 (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1973). The modern edition by Friedrich W. D. Brie, ed., The Brut or The Chronicles, EETS os 131, 136, 2 vols. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1906-1908), is hereafter cited as "Brie" with page and line numbers thus: "35:2."
(7.) Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century now in the British Library: Part XI: England, ed. Lotte Hellinga ('t Goy-Houten, Holland: Hes and De Graaf, 2007), 11:116-118 (hereafter cited as "BMC, XI"); Nicolas Barker, "Caxton's Typography," Journal of the Printing Historical Society 11 (1976): 114-133 (123); William Blades, The Biography and Typography of William Caxton, England's First Printer, ed. James Moran (1877; London: Muller, 1971), 117, 123, 245-246.
(8.) Lister M. Matheson, The Prose Brut: The Development of a Middle English Chronicle (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998), 123-124, 157, 164.
(9.) Ibid., 123-124; Lister M. Matheson, "Printer and Scribe: Caxton, the Polychronicon and the Brut," Speculum 60 (1985): 593-614 (594-595, 598-599).
(10.) Matheson, Prose Brut, 118, 157, 339.
(11.) Matheson, "Printer and Scribe," 595-596; Blake, "Manuscript to Print," 420 (no. 4).
(12.) Lotte Hellinga, "Manuscripts in the Hands of Printers," in Manuscripts in the Fifty Years after the Invention of Printing, ed. J. B. Trapp (London: Warburg Institute, 1983), 3-11 (4); see also Blake, "Manuscript to Print," 419-425.
(13.) San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library, MS HM 136, hereafter cited as "HM 136" with folio and line numbers thus: "fol. 77v:4." For descriptions, see C. W. Dutschke, Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library, 2 vols. (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1989),1:181-183; Friedrich W. D. Brie, Geschichte und Quellen der mittelenglische Proschronik The Brute of England oder The Chronicles of England (Marburg: N. G. Elwert'sche, 1905), 63, 110-111, where it is listed as "Cheltenham 8858"; and John Thompson, ed., "Huntington MS. HM 136," in The Imagining History Portal, last modified July 2, 2006, http://www.qub.ac.uk/ imagining-history/resources/wiki/index.php/Huntington_MS._HM_136.
(14.) HM 136, fol. viir, the first recto after quire 22 (8 leaves, lacking 7-8). See an almost identical ex libris in Oxford, Trinity College, MS 13, fol. 104r; MS 14, fol. 69r; MS 16 (part A); MS 49, fol. 295v. The signatures in London, British Library, MS Additional 41321, fols. 33v, 72v, and 11v are different. For previous discussion, see Jeremy Griffiths, "The Manuscripts," in Lollard Sermons, ed. Gloria Cigman, EETS os 294 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), xi-xxx (xv, n. 1); R W. Pfaff, New Liturgical Feasts in Late Medieval England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 50-51; John M. Manly, Edith Rickert, et al., ed., The Text of the "Canterbury Tales," Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts, 8 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940), 1:540-544; and in the information file kept at the Huntington Library.
(15.) Masako Takagi, "Research Note--1/4: Study on the Prose Brut MSS in relation to William Caxton's Chronicles of England (1480)," Kyorin University Review 22 (2010): 101-114 (107), mentions these marks in the light of my discussion of them with her on April 2, 2009.
(16.) M. B. Parkes, Pause and Effect, An Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West (Aldershot: Scolar, 1992), 305 s.v. paraph, 307 s.v. virgula suspensiva, illustrated in pl. 28, by chance from another fifteenth-century manuscript of the Middle English prose Brut.
(17.) Charles Johnson and Hilary Jenkinson, English Court Hand, A.D. 1066 to 1500: Illustrated Chiefly from the Public Records, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915), 1:78, illustrates five variant forms of the caret. Some fifteenth-century scribes form a caret more like two short virgules [paragraph], but this seems to be a more casual caret in which its two strokes fail to converge.
(18.) Parkes, Pause and Effect, 307 s.v. simplex ductus, 12, 118-119 (n. 54).
(19.) But not all interlinear insertions had a caret mark: see, e.g., "in thraldome and bondage [??] of [??] of [logical not] The kyng Pandras of greek," without any caret mark (fol. 3r:19; cf. Chronicles, sig. a4r:12; Brie, 6:20). One of the interlineations without a caret mark was accompanied by crossing out "the truage that was woned to be paied [at] [??] to [??] [logical not] Rome" (fol. 16v:1; Chronicles, sig. b8v:40; Brie, 39:18). Including these 24 interlinear insertions, there are 57 corrections in the manuscript.
(20.) Eleven sets lack the circle, though it seems likely to have been trimmed off the fore-edge by binders: HM 136, fols. 2v:6, 10v:16, 24v:7, 54v:19, 56v:17, 57v:18, 60v:14, 84v:1, 89v:1, 90v:1, 102v:1.
(21.) HM 136, fols. 2r:5, 8v:12, 9v:13, 11v:21, 12r:23, 16v:42, 20r:39, 33v:35, 38v:26, 40v:34, 41r:35, 49v:22, 105v:1, and 106v:44 with 107r:1 (straddling a page break). In 9 of these 14 instances, virgules at the line end would have separated off the last few words of a chapter or sentence or would have split a word in two; by contrast, the seeming caret appears at a clear break in sentence, chapter, or word.
(22.) HM 136, fols. 7v:8 with 7v:12, 10v:15-16, 43r:38 with 43r:40, 58r:15-16, 59r:16-17, 82r:1-2, as well as on subsequent lines of text straddling a page break in the manuscript on fols. 17v:40 and 18r:1; 92v:43 and 93r:1; 124v:45 and 125r:1.
(23.) The glitches are discussed below as important clues to the significance of the marks.
(24.) HM 136, fols. 7r:7 and 8r:10.
(25.) The previous set of marks was on the last line of fol. 64r:42 The person marking the text counted 43 lines, which led him or her to the top of fol. 65r:1, skipping fol. 64v entirely. Chronicles follows the manuscript's page breaks from sig. h8v onwards.
(26.) HM 136, fols. 83r:1 (and also 82v:42), 93r:1 (and also 92v:44), 107r:1 (and also 106v:44), 125r:1 (and also 124v:45), 144r:1 (and also 143v:42).
(27.) HM 136, fols. 91r:1 and 91r:2, 104v:1 and 104v:3 and 112v:1 and 112v:2.
(28.) HM 136, fol. 106r, where they appear only on line 2, and fol. 101v, where they appear on lines 1 and 41 but not on fol. 102r.
(29.) HM 136, fol. iiir. I owe this suggestion to Alexandra Gillespie.
(30.) For example, a copy of a later edition of The Chronicles of England (London: William de Machlinia, [ca. 1486]; STC 9993), now in London, British Library, shelfmark IB.55463, contains notes in red ink comparing its omissions and inclusions with the prose Brut in London, British Library, MS Egerton 650, which has corresponding notes in pencil in the same hand (e.g., printed sig. F8v and MS fol. 2r; printed sig. V3r and MS fol. 74v; printed sig. aa8r and MS fol. 108v; printed sig. bb4r and MS fol. 111r). This annotator calls MS Egerton 650 "my MS. C" and also compares his two other manuscripts of the text, which he calls "A" and "B," although the notes about "A" and "B" do not fit the details of HM 136.
(31.) Ford, "Author's Autograph," 111; and Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), 41, 50, note the various procedures that such marks can reveal.
(32.) Ford, "Author's Autograph," 112-113.
(33.) It is interesting to recall here that Caxton learned to print in Cologne and that Arnold ther Hoernen of Cologne had close connections with the press in Oxford; see Lotte Hellinga, William Caxton and Early Printing in England (London: British Library, 2010), 26-32, 78-79.
(34.) On these processes, see Gaskell, New Introduction, 81-82; Lotte Hellinga, "Press and Text in the First Decades of Printing," in Libri, tipografi e biblioteche: Ricerche storiche dedicate a Luigi Balsamo, ed. Instituto di Biblioteconomia e Paleografia Universita degli Studi, Parma, 2 vols. (Florence, Italy: Olschki, 1997), 1:1-23 (4-5); Lotte Hellinga, "Introduction," in Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century now in the British Library: Part XI: England, ed. Lotte Hellinga ('t Goy-Houten, Holland: Hes and De Graaf, 2007), 11:1-84 (21-22); and for recent thinking, G. Thomas Tanselle, Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 39-41.
(35.) See, respectively, Ruysschaert, "Manuscrits autographes," 194-195; Robert W. Mitchner, "Wynkyn de Worde's Use of the Plimpton Manuscript of De proprietatibus rerum," The Library 5th ser., 6 (1951): 7-18 (8); Margery M. Morgan, "Pynson's Manuscript of Dives and Pauper," The Library 5th ser., 8 (1953): 217-228 (217); Margery M. Morgan, "A Specimen of Early Printer's Copy: Rylands English MS. 2," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 33 (1950-1): 194-196; with further observations by Daniel Wakelin, "Writing the Words," in The Production of Books in England c. 1350-c. 1500, ed. Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 34-58 (56-58).
(36.) Hellinga, "Introduction," 22.
(37.) See both Hellinga, "Introduction," 21; and de la Mare and Hellinga, "First Book," 198. For minimal marks used to cast off copy-text, see Moore, Primary Materials, pl. 1, with a dash between lines 16 and 17 reflecting the page break shown in pl. 2; and Wytze Gs. Hellinga, Copy and Print in the Netherlands: An Atlas of Historical Bibliography (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing, 1962), 95 and pl. 13, with a mere scratch.
(38.) Percy Simpson, Proof-Reading in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, with an introduction by Harry Carter (1935; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 57; Blake, "Caxton's Copy-Text," 196-197.
(39.) Hellinga, "Press and Text," 4; Hellinga, "Introduction," 23-24. The Oxford edition of Rufinus's Symbola apostolorum was printed nonsequentially but on half-sheets (Hellinga, "Introduction," 23-24; and BMC, XI, 234).
(40.) Ruysschaert, "Manuscrits autographes," 196; de la Mare and Hellinga, "First Book," 201; Ford, "Author's Autograph," 114.
(41.) For the latter, see HM 136, fols. 10v:15-16 (Chronicles, sig. b3v; Brie, 24:24), 17v:42 with virgules on 18r:1 (Chronicles, sig. c2v; Brie, 43:11), 58r:15-16 (Chronicles, sig. h1v; Brie, 137:9), 124v:45 with virgules on 125r:1 (Chronicles, sig. q4v; Brie, 311:34). I have also counted them as "free" page breaks.
(42.) Chronicles, sigs. a2r (HM 136, fol. 1v:2), a4r (fol. 3v:8), b1r (fol. 8v:12), b2r (9v:13), b3r (fol. 10v:15), b4r (fol. 11v:21), b8v (fol. 16v:2), c1r (fol. 16v:42), c2r (fol. 17v:40), c5v (fol. 21v:1), d6v (fol. 30v:29), d7v (fol. 31v:30), e4r (fol. 36v:17), e5v (fol. 38r:23), e7v (fol. 40r:31), e8v (fol. 41r:35), f5v (fol. 46v:14), f8v (fol. 49v:22), g4r (fol. 53r:23), g6v (fol. 55v:17), h1r (fol. 58r:15), h3r (fol. 60r:14), h6v (fol. 63r:40), i3r (fol. 68r:1), n8v (fol. 105v:1), p2r (fol. 115r:1), q3r (fol. 124r:1), q4r (fol. 124v:45), q6v (fol. 127v:1), r1r (fol. 130r:1), s2r (fol. 139r:1), s3r (fol. 140r:1), s7v (fol. 144v:1), t5v (fol. 150v:1). Ten of these seeming carets shift the end of the pages so that they fall at breaks between words, sentences, or chapters.
(43.) Chronicles, sigs. a2v (HM 136, fol. 2r:5), b4v (fol. 12r:23), e1v (fol. 33v:35), e6r (fol. 38v:26), e8r (fol. 40v:35), f3v (fol. 44v:4), h2v (fol. 59v:14). By contrast, in the preceding list of 34 "free" page ends in the first-printed outer forme, only 10 shifts followed sense in these ways (namely, from the previous note, the page ends of Chronicles, sigs. b2r, b4r, c1r, c5v, d6v, e8v, f8v, g4r, h6v, q3r), while by contrast, some break up syntactical units (such as "kyng Arthur" in HM 136, fol. 36v:17, to "kyng | Arthur" in Chronicles, sig. e4r-v) which might be thought less desirable.
(44.) On the dislike of widows, see Hellinga, Copy and Print, 113-114.
(45.) Hellinga, "Introduction," 22.
(46.) In Chronicles, sig. h2r ends with a seeming caret at HM 136, fol. 59r:17 (Brie, 139:24), not with the virgules at fol. 59r:16; sig. l1r ends with a seeming caret at fol. 82r:2 (Brie, 200:4), not with the virgules at fol. 82r:1; sig. l2r ends with a seeming caret at 82v:41 (Brie, 202:26), not with the alternative set of virgules at fol. 83r:1; sig. m2r ends with a seeming caret at fol. 91r:2 (Brie, 223:18), not with the alternative set of virgules at fol. 91r:1; sig. m4r ends with a seeming caret at fol. 92v:43 (Brie, 228:19), not with the virgules at fol. 93r:1; sig. n7v ends with a seeming caret at fol. 104v:3 (Brie, 256:21), not with the virgules at fol. 104v:1; sig. o2r ends with a seeming caret at fol. 106v:44 (Brie, 262:29), not at the alternative seeming caret at fol. 107r:1; sig. o7v ends at fol. 112v:2 (Brie, 277:2), not with the alternative set of virgules at fol. 112v:1; sig. r5v ends at fol. 134v:1 (Brie, 336:12) with a seeming caret and an unusual marking, on which see n. 51 below. Among these ten page ends in the other forme, only the page end for sig. l7v is wholly unmarked at fol. 88v:1 (Brie, 217:6); it is only one word into the line, away from the virgules at the line break, and falls at a new chapter title, an obvious place to break even without a seeming caret.
(47.) In Chronicles, sig. a4v ends unmarked at HM 136, fol. 4r:11 (Brie, 8:20), not with the virgules at fol. 4r:8; sig. c4v ends unmarked at fol. 20v:3 (Brie, 49:6), not at the circle and seeming caret at fol. 20r:39; sig. f4v ends unmarked at fol. 45v:9 (Brie, 104:22), not with the virgules at fol. 45v:8; sig. g4v ends unmarked at fol. 53v:20 (Brie, 125:27), not with the virgules at fol. 53v:22; sig. i4v ends unmarked at fol. 69r:41 (Brie, 166:19), not with the virgules on fol. 69v:1; sig. k4v ends unmarked at fol. 77r:43 (Brie, 187:21), not with the virgules at fol. 77v:1; sig. l4v ends unmarked at fol. 85v:3 (Brie, 209:11), not with the virgules at fol. 85v:1; sig. m4v ends unmarked at fol. 93v:1, two words into the line (Brie, 229:33), not with the virgules at the line break; sig. n4v ends unmarked at fol. 101r:41 (Brie, 249:3), not with the virgules at fol. 101v:1; sig. o4v ends unmarked at fol. 109r:43 (Brie, 269:7), not with the virgules at fol. 109v:1; sig. p4v ends unmarked at fol. 117v:3 (294:14), not with the virgules at fol. 117v:1; sig. s4v ends unmarked at fol. 141v:1, four words into the line (Brie, 354:6), not with the virgules at the line break; sig. t4v ends unmarked at fol. 149r:42 (Brie, 374:2), not with the virgules at fol. 149v:1.
(48.) In Chronicles, sig. a6r ends at HM 136, fol. 5v:3 (Brie, 11:27); sig. a8r ends at fol. 7v:8 (Brie, 16:16), not fol. 7v:12; sig. c8r ends at fol. 24r:1 (Brie, 57:18); sig. f2v, ends at fol. 43r:37 (in the section on Cadwallader, printed in Matheson, Prose Brut, 59); sig. s7r ends at fol. 143v:42 (Brie, 360:6).
(49.) Respectively, HM 136, fol. 11v:20-21, and Chronicles, sig. b4r:39 and b4v:1 (Brie, 27:9); HM 136, fol. 59r:16-17, and Chronicles, sig. h2r:40 and h2v:1-2 (Brie, 139:24). See also HM 136, fol. 16v:41-42, and Chronicles, sig. c1v:1 (Brie, 40:25); HM 136, fol. 33v:34-35, and Chronicles, sig. e2r:1 (Brie, 80:23); HM 136, fol. 40v:34-35, and Chronicles, sig. e8v:1 (Brie, 97:17); HM 136, fol. 43r:37-38, and Chronicles, sigs. f2v:38 and f3r:1 (in the section on Cadwallader, printed in Matheson, Prose Brut, 59); HM 136, fol. 49v:21-22, and Chronicles, sig. g1r:1 (Brie, 115:13).
(50.) HM 136, fols. 123v:43 and 124r:1, and Chronicles, sig. q3r:40 and q3v:1 (Brie, 309:17).
(51.) HM 136, fol. 134r-v, reproduced in Chronicles, sig. r6r:1 (Brie, 336:12). As far as one can tell with so few letters, "assem" seems to be in the same ink, and the use of the slanting long s would fit a dating to the fifteenth century.
(52.) Respectively, HM 136, fol. 123r-v (using yogh: "kny3 | tes"), and Chronicles, sigs. q2v-23r (Brie, 308:11); HM 136, fol. 138r-v, and Chronicles, sigs. s1v-s2r (Brie, 346:26); HM 136, fol. 53v:20, "har | deknoght" split across Chronicles, sigs. g4v-g5r (Brie, 125:27); HM 136, fol. 130r:1, "wher | for" split over Chronicles, sig. r1r-v (Brie, 323:32).
(53.) Ford, "Author's Autograph," 114-115; N. F. Blake, Caxton: England's First Publisher (London: Osprey, 1976), 85-86. The second edition of The Chronicles ofEngland in 1482 removes a few more word splits at page breaks (BMC, XI, 130). Masako Takagi informs me that all the quires of the second edition of Chronicles have some differences in page breaks from the first edition (except for quires p and t) but that only one page break diverges from that of the first edition of Chronicles (sig. m5r) and thereby restores that of HM 136 (fol. 93r-v).
(54.) HM 136, fol. 12r:22-24, and Chronicles, sigs. b4v-b5r (Brie, 28:20-21); HM 136, fol. 82r:1-3; Chronicles, sig. l1r-v (Brie, 200:3-4). See also HM 136, fol. 9v:13, and Chronicles, sig. b2v (Brie, 22:1); HM 136, fol. 38v:26, and Chronicles, sig. e6v (Brie, 92:13); HM 136, fol. 53r:23, and Chronicles, sig. g4v (Brie, 124:20); HM 136, fol. 63r:40, and Chronicles, sig. h7r (Brie, 150:26). Despite a seeming caret preceding the chapter title on HM 136, fol. 20r:39, and Chronicles, sig. c4v (Brie, 49:4-7), that chapter title ends up in fact on the previous page, and the chapter number is printed as though a separate heading on sig. c5r.
(55.) HM 136, fol. 21v:1, and Chronicles, sig. c6r (Brie, 51:23); HM 136, fol. 88v:1, and Chronicles, sig. l8r (Brie, 217:6); HM 136, fols. 101v:41, and 102r:1, and Chronicles, sig. n5v (Brie, 250:8).
(56.) HM 136, fol. 24r:1-3; Chronicles, sig. c8r-v (Brie, 57:15-18).
(57.) Therefore the alphabetical quire signatures in the manuscript are out of kilter with the quire signatures in the printed book by one page; e.g., the signature "v j" appears at the foot of fol. 153r, marking the manuscript's quire structure--though accidentally looking like a herald for the printed "v1r" which begins its text overleaf at the top of fol. 153v.
(58.) Chronicles, sigs. a2r, a3v, a4r, a4v, a8r, b4v, c7v, c8r, d1r, f2v, f4v, g4v, h2r, l4v, n4v, n7v, o7v, p4v, s7r, t4v, and the hypothesized antecedents, HM 136, fols. 3v-4r, 7r-v, 58v-59r, 85r-v, 101r, 104r-v, 112r-v, 117r-v, 143v, 149r; and also Chronicles, sig. d1r, and the hypothesized antecedent, HM 136, fols. 24v-25r, which is reproduced online at "HM 136," in Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library, http:// sunsite3.berkeley.edu/hehweb/HM136.html.
(59.) That is, Manchester, John Rylands Library, MS Eng. 2, identified in Morgan, "Specimen," 194-196. Wakelin, "Writing the Words," 56-58, mentions this sample, taken from Manchester, John Rylands Library, MS Eng. 2, fol. 29r-v, and John Lydgate, The Fall of Princes (London: Richard Pynson, 1494; STC 3175), sigs. e1r-e2v.
(60.) For the term substantive, see Gaskell, New Introduction, 339-342. However, I did count as substantive any divergent spellings of proper nouns or grammatical inflections that could obscure the information conveyed; e.g., "Greneschall" in HM 136, fol. 7r:15, changed to "Grenescheld" in Chronicles, sig. a8r:8-9, over the line break (Brie, 15:16); "ye knowyth" in HM 136, fol. 112r:24, which could at a push be a polite imperative in context, changed to the declarative "ye knowe" in Chronicles, sig. o7v:24 (Brie, 276:18).
(61.) HM 136, fol. 24v:30; Chronicles, sig. d1r:23 (Brie, 59:18).
(62.) HM 136, fol. 7r:11; Chronicles, sig. a8r:5 (Brie, 15:12).
(63.) HM 136, fol. 101r:27, and Chronicles, sig. n4v:24 (Brie, 248:21); HM 136, fol. 149r:3, and Chronicles, sig. t4v:3 (Brie, 372:32).
(64.) Brie's MS D is Dublin, Trinity College, MS 490, which Matheson, Prose Brut, 118-119, puts in group CV-1419(r&g): B, subgroup (a), close to HM 136; MS O is Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 323, which Matheson, Prose Brut, 80, puts in group CV-1333. In another 8 divergences , neither HM 136 nor Caxton's edition preserves Brie's text, but HM 136 does again preserve readings from MSS D, O, or both D and O in Brie's apparatus criticus.
(65.) HM 136, fol. 104r:7 and Chronicles, sig. n.7v:7 (Brie, 255:21). Sometimes Chronicles corrects errors in ways that cause its text to diverge from the mainstream textual tradition (Brie) even more: e.g., Brie, 208:29, has "bere was in Engeland a rybaude"; HM 136, fol. 85r:29-20, has the ungrammatical "the was in Englond a ribaud"; Chronicles, sig. 14v:25, corrects it into the grammatical but unauthoritative "tho was in englond a ribaude," reading the nonsensical "the" in HM 136 as the Middle English adverb tho ("then").
(66.) HM 136, fol. 149r:40, and Chronicles, sig. t4v:36 (Brie, 374:1).
(67.) HM 136, fol. 104r:20-22, and Chronicles, sig. n7v:19-21 (Brie, 256:1-2). See also HM 136, fol. 23r:28-29, and Chronicles, sig. c7v:26, though Chronicles here also adds the words "and wist not" (Brie, 55:30-31).
(68.) HM 136, fol. 156r:42-156v:1; Chronicles, sig. u3v:38 (Brie, 391:14). Compare the lack of "marce" in, for example, London, British Library, MS Cotton Claudius A.viii, fol. 15v:10-11, on which see Matheson, Prose Brut, 162; and n. 92 below; or Cambridge, Peterhouse, MS 190, fol. 197r:7, on which see Lister M. Matheson, ed., Death and Dissent: Two Fifteenth-Century Chronicles (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1999), 74-76.
(69.) Waldron, "Caxton and the Polychronicon," 388-390.
(70.) HM 136, fol. 23v:14, and Chronicles, sig. c8r:14 (Brie, 56:22).
(71.) HM 136, fol. 2v:14, and Chronicles, sig. a3v:9 (Brie, 5:8); HM 136, fol. 3r:10, 3r:15, 3r:19, and Chronicles, sig. a4r:4, a4r:9, a4r:13 (Brie, 6:11, 6:17, 6:21); HM 136, fol. 3v:23, 3v:33, and Chronicles, sig. a4v:14, a4v:22-23 (Brie, 7:30, 8:4).
(72.) HM 136, fol. 3v:32, and Chronicles, sig. a4v:22 (Brie, 8:3, reading from MS D); HM 136, fol. 45r:16, 45r:38, and Chronicles, sig. f4v:11, f4v:32 (Brie, 103:23, 104:14); HM 136, fol. 45v:6, and Chronicles, sig. f4v:38 (Brie, 104:20); HM 136, fol. 85r:26, and Chronicles, sig. l4v:23 (Brie, 208:27, reading from MS O); HM 136, fol. 101r:14, and Chronicles, sig. n4v:13 (Brie, 248:9, reading from MSS D and O); HM 136, fol. 112r:16, and Chronicles, sig. o7v:15 (Brie, 276:11, reading from MS D). And see also HM 136, fol. 1r:25, and Chronicles, sig. a2r:24, where Brie, 2:4, does have "nomme." BMC, XI, 130, notes a further replacement of "nome" with "toke" in the second edition of Chronicles in 1482. On nim, see OED, nim, v., which dates few of its quotations after ca. 1450.
(73.) HM 136, fol. 2v:17, and Chronicles, sig. a3v:12 (Brie, 5:10); HM 136, fol. 3v:13-14, 3v:34-35, 3v:39-40, and Chronicles, sig. a4v:5-6, a4v:-24 25, a4v:29 (Brie, 7:22, 8:5, 8:9-10); HM 136, fol. 12r:9, and Chronicles, sig. b4v:25 (Brie, 28:5); HM 136, fol. 23v:7, 23v:19, and Chronicles, sig. c8r:7, c8r:19 (Brie, 56:14, 56:26); HM 136, fol. 45r:6, and Chronicles, sig. f4v:2 (Brie, 124:22); HM 136, fol. 53v:18, and Chronicles, sig. g4v:36 (Brie, 125:24); HM 136, fol. 85r:29, and Chronicles, sig. l4v:25 (Brie, 208:30). And interestingly, in two uses of "that me called" near the start of HM 136 (fol. 2v:17, 2v:30), somebody using a different, darker ink added a macron to e to signal an abbreviated n, giving "men," as though uneasy with "me"; Caxton did not print "me" or "men" here but again "that was called" (Chronicles, sig. a3v:11, a3v:24; Brie, 5:10, 5:27). On me, see OED, me, pron. 2, which records no uses after ca. 1525; and Tauno F. Mustanoja, A Middle English Syntax: Part I: Parts of Speech (Helsinki, Finland: Societe Neophilologique, 1960), 219-222.
(74.) On Caxton's editing of Malory thus, see Kato, Caxton's Morte D'Arthur, 34, 37-39, 41-42.
(75.) BMC, XI, 117; Paul Needham, The Printer and the Pardoner (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1986), 66-67.
(76.) Respectively HM 136, fol. 1r:1-2, and Chronicles, sig. a2r:1-2 (Brie, 1:1-4, which has a completely different first heading again); HM 136, fol. 149r:4-5, and Chronicles, sig. t4v:4-5 (Brie, 373:1-2, which is closer to HM 136, but still not identical).
(77.) In the text and table for Chronicles, the only anomalous chapter titles are the initial unnumbered prologue (again, sig. iir, but with How on sig. a2r, as noted above); the first numbered chapter (sigs. iir, a3v); two chapters called "The prophecie of Merlyn" (chap. 160, on sigs. vir, i8v-k1r; and chap. 211, on sigs. viir, n2v), and chaps. 68 (sigs. iiiv, d2v), 206 (sig. m7r, but with How on sig. viir), 224 (sigs. viir, p2v), and 240 (sig. r5v, not separately listed on sig. viiv). The chapter title is omitted, apart from the numbering, for chap. 249, on sig. u8v, but it begins with Of on sig. viiir.
(78.) HM 136, fol. 81v:31-32; Chronicles, sigs. vir:36 and l1r:30 (Brie, 199:23-24, slightly different).
(79.) HM 136, fol. 23v:15, 23v:20, and Chronicles, sig. c8r:15, c8r:20-21 (Brie, 56:22-23, 56:27); HM 136, fol. 112r:19-20, and Chronicles, sig. o7v:19 (Brie, 276:13); HM 136, fol. 117r:34-35, and Chronicles, sig. p4v:33 (Brie, 294:7); HM 136, fol. 143v:40, and Chronicles, sig. s7r:35-36 (Brie, 360:5). It should be noted that once Caxton cuts such detail, "Sir Ah^aundre of Seton the sone" becomes "Sir Alizaundre of Seton" (HM 136, fol. 112r:7; Chronicles, sig. o7v:6; Brie, 276:2, reading from MSS D and O with "[??]e sone").
(80.) As traced in Masako Takagi, "Arthurian Geography: King Arthur's Roman War Episode in Malory (1485) and in the Chronicles of England (1480)," Kyorin University Review 21 (2009): 127-135; Masako Takagi, "William Caxton's Alteration of Text: The Case of Belyn and Brenne from 1480 to 1485," Kyorin University Review 19 (2007): 121-130; Masako Takagi and Toshiyuki Takamiya, "Caxton Edits the Roman War Episode: The Chronicles of England and Caxton's Book V," in The Malory Debate: Essays on the Texts of 'LeMorte Darthur,'" ed. Bonnie Wheeler, Robert L. Kendrick, and Michael N. Salda, Arthurian Studies 47 (Cambridge, UK: Brewer, 2000), 169-190. Kathleen Tonry, "Reading History in Caxton's Polychronicon," Journal of English and Germanic Philology (forthcoming), traces Caxton's work and repute as a historian.
(81.) Waldron, "Caxton and the Polychronicon," 380, esp. n. 6, lists three glosses on people and places and a few other clarificatory corrections.
(82.) N. F. Blake, "Caxton Prepares His Edition of the Morte Darthur," in N. F. Blake, William Caxton and English Literary Culture (London: Hambledon Press, 1991), 199-211 (202).
(83.) Brie does not record these words in his modern edition of the main textual tradition. HM 136, fol. 53r:25, 53r:31, and Chronicles, sig. g4v:3, g4v:9 (cf. Brie, 124:22, 124:27); HM 136, fol. 101r:32-33, 101r:40-41, and Chronicles, sig. n4v:30-31, n4v:37-38 (cf. Brie, 248:27, and 249:2).
(84.) HM 136, fol. 48v:24-25: "And after this Eldred Edwyne "Asone of Edmond [logical not] his brober regned"; Chronicles, sig. f8r:5-6: "And after this Eldred Edwyne sone of Edmond his brother regned" (not in Brie, 113:1); HM 136, fol. 51r:1: "spake to the duke [??] [conjunction] Richard [conjunction] that the duke yafe him his suster [??] [conjunction] Emma [logical not] to wyfe"; Chronicles, sig. g2r:18-19: "spake to the duke richard that the duke yaf hym his sustre Emma to wyfe" (not in Brie, 118:17).
(85.) On interlinear "Richard" (fol. 51r:1), majuscule R and the curl of abbreviation after c resemble the running headings "Richard ij" on some folios (fols. 136r, 137r); on interlinear "Edward" (fol. 101r), the majuscule E, loops on w and d, and the general aspect resemble the running heading "Edward iij" (fol. 129r). It is not possible, though, to be sure about such small samples of handwriting.
(86.) Noted in Matheson, Prose Brut, 163-165.
(87.) HM 136, fols. 156v:4-158r:39; Chronicles, sigs. u4r:3-u6r:25 (Brie, 491:1-497:6), noted in Matheson, "Printer and Scribe," 595-596. In Chronicles the full continuation covers sigs. u4r-y6r (Brie, 491-497).
(88.) In HM 136, "of" is added, "as" is omitted, "lasse masse" is mangled as "last mast," echoing "first" a few words earlier, "pray" becomes more correctly "prayde," and "regnyng" becomes less satisfactorily "regned."
(89.) HM 136, fol. 157v:6, and Chronicles, sig. u5r:20, spelling it as "destroyng" (Brie, 494:15); HM 136, fol. 156v:34, and Chronicles, sig. u4r:36 (Brie, 492:11).
(90.) HM 136, fol. 157v:29. HM 136 does omit the chapter titles but leaves room for them, as though intending to add them in a different ink that unfortunately did not materialize.
(91.) Matheson, Prose Brut, 164-165; Matheson, "Printer and Scribe," 594-601, 610-613.
(92.) HM 136, fol. 158r. The appearance suggests some unexpected interruption, although the excerpt of the continuation does thus end by completing a grammatical unit and completing the life of Henry V. A copy from Caxton's edition in London, British Library, MS Cotton Claudius A.viii, fols. 7r-18r, excerpts only the last part of the Common Version to 1419 and the first part of the continuation from 1419 to 1422 on the life of Henry, but it stops more neatly at the end of a chapter. See Matheson, Prose Brut, 162.
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|Title Annotation:||William Caxton|
|Publication:||The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2011|
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