An edition of 'Contemplations of the dread and love of God'
This thesis presents an edition of Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God, a late Middle English devotional prose text for which no critical edition is currently available. I have transcribed and collated the text from all sixteen extant manuscripts and the 1506 printed edition. An investigation of the errors and variants according to the classical method of textual criticism has yielded little in the way of conclusive results, and it has therefore not proved possible to construct a stemma of manuscripts from the corpus of evidence as it now exists. My edition therefore uses one manuscript (Maidstone MS Museum 6) as a base; I emend the text of Maidstone where necessary, and cite variants from all the other witnesses to show all differences of substance. A full critical apparatus is provided, comprising: the text with variants, textual notes and glossary. The introduction includes a full description of all the manuscripts and the two early printed editions, an outline of the methods of textual criticism applied and their results, and an explanation of the choice of base manuscript; information about the language of the Maidstone manuscript and the date of the text are also provided, as is an outline of my editorial principles. The thesis also contains two appendices. The first of these deals briefly with the twenty-two instances where individual chapters of Contemplations appear in other manuscript compilations; the second discusses the English and Latin prayers which follow the full text in some manuscripts.