Mandeville's travels : translated from the French of Jean d'Outremeuse / ed. from Ms. Cotton Titus C.XVI in the British Museum

John Mandeville, Paul Hamelius, ed.

London: Early English Text Society / K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co, 1919

Digital resource

Middle English version of the Travels of Sir John Mandeville, based on British Library Cotton Titus C. xvi.

"The editor's choice lay between two principal manuscripts, the Cotton MS., first edited in 1725 and since then frequently reprinted from that edition, and the Egerton MS., edited with full commentary for the Roxburghe Club by Sir George Warner (1889). Imperfect as the Cotton version is, it adheres very closely to the French original, as represented in Sir George Warner's Anglo-French text, and in two Brussels MSS. copied by the present editor. Its mistakes are to a great extent due to the anonymous English translator. They exemplify the way in which the growth of literary Middle English was influenced by French phraseology, and they are traceable to three main causes: (1) the original French book, and a fortiori its Englisher, is quite inaccurate in its geography; (2) the Englisher followed a faulty manuscript; (3) he was very imperfectly acquainted with its language, and very slipshod in his grammar. On the whole, his method was that of a schoolboy, who follows his author literally, without much attention to sense or idiom. For these reasons, the task of distinguishing between original mistakes, which an editor has no right to remove, and the copyist's scribal blunders has been found a delicate one, and no attempt has been made to produce a correct or faked text. The punctuation is the editor's." - Hamelius

Language: English


Last update December 17, 2021