This article is a textual analysis that compares features of the 1807 edition of The Book of the Duchess with its predecessors. The Book of the Duchess features, has been chosen for this analysis because, in a practical sense, it is limited enough to be manageable, but more importantly, it is a significant poem in Chaucer’s oeuvre and its authority has never been questioned. Thus, it has appeared in every printed edition of the works of Chaucer, providing this study with extensive points for comparison. The editor of the 1807 edition claims that his work is newly edited—a claim that many editors of Chaucer’s works made, without much effort to see through. In reality, the editor appears to have taken Thomas Tywhitt’s second edition of the Canterbury Tales, and used this as the basis for editing the non-Canterbury Tales texts. It is something of an homage to Tyrwhitt’s editing. Continue reading
Simone Celine Marshall
Simone Marshall is Associate Professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her research platform, A World Shaped by Texts, concerns how our understanding of the world around us is directly shaped by texts: religious, scientific, literary, legal and historical. Her research programmes include race, women, medievalisms and anonymity, as well as a specific focus on Chaucer. Marshall’s research programme on Chaucer and his afterlives includes attention on the continuations of The Squire’s Tale, an examination of an edition of John Urry’s 1722 Chaucer located in Auckland City Library, as well as cross-cultural comparisons between Chaucer’s The Parliament of Fowls and Sufi poet Farid Ud-din Attar’s The Conference of the Birds. Marshall’s research has been featured in the media, including The History of Anon, a BBC Radio 4 series on the history of literary anonymity, broadcast 1–4 January 2013, as well as interviews on Radio New Zealand National in 2010 and 2013 on the 1807 Chaucer. Further details can be found at https://simonecelinemarshall.com/.