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The Ilchester Prologue, the Penultimate Passus of Corpus 201 (F), and a New School of Piers Plowman Textual Studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-516
Number of pages31
JournalJOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY
Volume118
Issue number4
Early online date31 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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Abstract

The recent textual work on Piers Plowman by Ralph Hanna and by Sarah Wood, attacking arguments that early stages of Langland's poem circulated on loose leaves, reverses the logic of convergent variation. Agreements between manuscripts that by definition are signs of genetic relations are deemed coincidental; those that by definition are coincidental are rescued and announced to be meaningful. This essay shows that Hanna's and Wood's approaches to the 'Ilchester Prologue', which they claim to descend from the C archetype, and to the penultimate passus of Corpus 201 (F), which Hanna has announced is a C rather than B text as all editors have said, do not stand up.

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