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Title: An edition, from the manuscripts, of Book II of Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection
Author: Hussey, Stanley Stewart
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1962
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The basis of this first critical edition of Book II of Hilton's Scale of Perfection is MS. British Museum, Harley 6579. The twenty-four known extant manuscripts have been collated in full (with the exception of one where only a partial collation was possible). The manuscript problem proved to be very complicated. The results of collation are discussed at length, and an argument advanced which leads to the choice of the basic manuscript, and to the citation in footnotes throughout the text of all but the slightest variants from five representatives of differing traditions of transmission which can be established with some probability. A further examination of interesting readings from all twenty-four manuscripts will be found appended to the text; this aims to give support for the principles of emendation adopted as well as to indicate the character of manuscripts not cited in the footnotes. The basic manuscript was frequently corrected at an early date (these corrections are set between round brackets). Square brackets indicate necessary emendations. To avoid presenting a text needlessly difficult to read, standard contractions have been silently expanded. In view of the wide variation in scribal practice, the word division, punctuation and paragraphing of the critical text have been modernized. The aim throughout has been to present a text which, whilst seeking to approach the author's original, retains as far as possible the homogeneity of a single manuscript. The major part of the Introduction is devoted to the textual argument. The Introduction also contains a brief summary of what is known of Hilton's life and works, and a description of all the manuscripts of The Scale, Book II. This description is detailed in order to throw some light on the associations of Hilton's text with other medieval devotional works. The edition is completed by a selective Glossary and a Bibliography of works which have assisted the editor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature