Author: emmanuscripts

The Problem of Manuscript Excerpts

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Bible verses in Folger MS V.a.148

For most of my academic career, I’ve approached manuscripts knowing that at least one of the items each codex contained was directly relevant to my current studies. For many years, that relevant item was likely to be a Shakespearean sonnet (statistically, probably Sonnet 2). During the summer of my M.Litt, I travelled to a series of libraries, often for only one or two days at a time, and tried to get a feel for the contexts into which Shakespearean sonnets were transcribed in different poetical miscellanies. It was a wonderful, whirlwind tour, during which time I spent between one and ten days (each) in nine glorious academic libraries . . .

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