Type of Document Dissertation Author Healy, Christopher Andrew Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-1008102-162013 Title The “Minor” Author and the Major Editor: A Case Study in Determining the Canon Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Department English Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Malcolm Richardson Committee Chair Carl Freedman Committee Member Jim Springer Borck Committee Member Susannah Monta Committee Member Renita Coleman Dean's Representative Keywords
- frederick j. furnivall
- middle english
- thomas hoccleve
- early english text society (eets)
- canon construction
- textual editing
Date of Defense 2002-09-12 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis dissertation explores the relationship between a literary work and its printed edition in the production of reputation--the editor as gatekeeper of the reputation of a “minor” poet. That relationship is demonstrated through a case study on the effects of the nineteenth-century edition of the works of the fifteenth-century poet Thomas Hoccleve and an analysis of the lingering effects of the Foucauldian “editor-function.”
The number of surviving manuscripts indicates that Hoccleve’s work was well-regarded during the early fifteenth century, but his reputation fell with that of other non-Chaucerian medieval poets as later critics lost linguistic familiarity with Middle English. The Victorian-era work of the Early English Text Society was intended to reclaim the positive reception for medieval works; however, the EETS offerings achieved just the opposite result for Hoccleve’s poetry and perpetuated the negative reputation the poet had acquired.
Frederick J. Furnivall’s EETS “standard” Hoccleve editions, still in print, are largely unfavorable in the crucial prefatory matter, even though it is rife with transparent Victorian prejudices. Furnivall’s text itself is haphazardly irregular, frequently producing--not reproducing--the same flaws the forewords criticize. As these blemished editions have remained the standard for over a century, Furnivall’s editorial irresponsibility undoubtedly slowed the critical re-evaluation of Hoccleve, which began at the end of the twentieth century.
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