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Title: The lyf of oure Lord and the Virgyn Mary : edited from MS Trinity College Cambridge B.15.42 and MS Bodley 578
Author: Blom-Smith, Elisabeth
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1993
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This is a critical edition of the early fifteenth-century narrative prose The Lyf of Oure Lord and the Virgyn Aary in MS Trinity College Cambridge B.15.42 and MS Bodley 578. The work claims to be a translation of the Pseudo-Bonaventuran Xeditationes Vitae Christi and has usually been regarded as such by scholars. However, the NYC provides no more than the narrative structure and less than half of the narrative material for the Lyf. Crucially, the Lyf diverges strongly from the meditational character of the NYC. Other important sources of the Lyf are the Bible, St Bernard, and st Bridget's Revelations. At least eight further sources, both Latin and English, were used. From these works too the Lyf drew mostly narrative, as opposed to didactic or devotional, material. Where sources conflict, the Lyf suppresses one or the other in order to keep the narrative line clear. Another important aspect of the Lyf that emerges from the choice and treatment of the sources is the importance attached to the role of Mary. The number of sources and their skilful deployment point to a fairly scholarly author/compiler, writing for a devout lay or female religious audience. Comparison with other important lives of Christ, notably Nicholas Love's Xyrrour, shows that the Lyf is much less meditational, devotional and didactic. It is perhaps closest to the Speculum Devotorum. The Cambridge MS is written in a WarwickshireWorcestershire- Gloucestershire dialect, whereas the language of the Bodley MS can be localized in Surrey-Berkshire-Hampshire. The Cambridge MS is the more carefully executed copy and therefore serves as base text, complemented by the Bodley MS in cases of lost leaves. There is a full apparatus of Bodley variants, and there are Textual Notes, Explanatory Notes and a Glossary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
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