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Title: An analysis of medieval schemes of authorship in the Edinburgh University Library Manuscript 184 'The Brut or the Chronicles of England' with a transcription and glossary of the text
Author: Enstam, Gwendolyn Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis consists of three chapters of critical analysis of the Edinburgh University Library Manuscript 184 version of the “Brut”, a description of that manuscript, and a glossary. The Middle English Prose “Brut” is divided by modern scholars into two parts, the first consisting of legendary material, and the second of historical material. However, this division does not reflect the medieval conception of the “Brut”, nor does it allow the modern reader to address the many structures of meaning which form the narrative. This thesis uses Edinburgh University Library Manuscript 184, in conjunction with the edition of the “Brut” published in 1906 and 1909 by Frederick Brie, to demonstrate the symbolism primarily inherent in the legendary material, which may appear to a modern reader to be simply a collection of legendary stories. The EUL MS 184 text of the “Brut” is organised into several layers of meaning, and more than one tactic is used in order to make the aim of the text clear and memorable to the reader. It is also constructed so as to be available to readers at every stage of learning and ability, as well as the illiterate audience, to whom the text may have been effectively narrated. Numerical structures, both within the narrative and in the structure of the manuscript itself, are one way in which the text conveys a depth of meaning beyond the actual stories it relates. Characters are related to each other in a structure which reflects not only a general theme of growth and learning within the narrative, but also represents such growth and learning in mankind in general. Beginning before the advent of Christianity to Britain, the EUL MS 184 version of the “Brut” traces the effect Christianity has upon the British, again representing mankind, which is demonstrated in the actions, and specifically in the type of punishment assigned to each infraction of another major theme, that of justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available