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Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries$
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Helen M. Hickey, Anne McKendry, and Melissa Raine

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526129154

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526129154.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 16 January 2022

Caxton in the middle of English

Caxton in the middle of English

(p.138) 9 Caxton in the middle of English
Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries

David Matthews

Manchester University Press

David Matthews explores how Caxton’s awareness of linguistic change informed his editing methods. Caxton’s editing of Trevisa's translation of Higden’s Polychronicon, for example, shows a distinct diachronic consciousness and a desire to forge something new out of Trevisa's ‘old’ English. This stands in contrast to his more deferential treatment of Chaucer. Matthews thus differentiates between philology as a tool for understanding another language and as an editorial practice focused on rendering texts transparent.

Keywords:   Chaucer, Geoffrey, Higden, Ranulph, Caxton, William, Canterbury Tales, Trevisa, John, Matthews, David, Polychronicon, Printing History – Fifteenth Century, Incunabula, Philology – Fifteenth Century

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