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Tyrwhitt's Urry's Chaucer's Works: the Tracks of Editorial History

Sarah A. Kelen


THE British Library owns six copies of John Urry's 1721 edition of Chaucer's Works, three of which are catalogued as containing manuscript notes. Of these three catalogue entries, two ascribe annotations to particular people, and one, 642.m.i (the second copy listed in the British Library catalogue), is described as containing 'copious MS notes', but without an attribution. The annotations in this volume are, indeed, copious: word by word correction of Urry's idiosyncratic Middle EngUsh orthography in some of the Canterbury Tales; notes making reference to the manuscripts; emendations to the Preface and the Glossary; cross-references to source texts; discussions of Tale order; as well as other sorts of commentary and correction. The annotations in this volume are interesting not only for their sheer number and their engagement with Urry's text, but for their source: they are the notes of Chaucer's next editor, the accomplished classical and Uterary scholar, and Trustee of the British Museum, Thomas Tyrwhitt.

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