The Tremulous Hand of Worcester: A Study of Old English in the Thirteenth Century

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byChristine Franzen

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The shaky handwriting of the thirteenth-century scribe known as `the tremulous hand of Worcester' appears in at least twenty manuscripts dating from the late ninth to the twelfth century, glossing perhaps 50,000 Old English words, sometimes into Middle English, but much more often into Latin.This book examines the full range of the scribe's work and addresses some important questions, such as which of the Worcester glosses may be attributed to him, why he glossed the words he did, what the purpose of the glossing may have been, and how well he knew or came to know Old English.Christine Franzen argues that the scribe went through a methodical learning process, one step of which was the preparation of a first-letter alphabetical English-Latin word list, the earliest known in the English language. This first full-scale study of the Worcester glosses is important for thewealth of information it provides about the work methods of the tremulous scribe, the English language at a transitional point in its history, and about the ability to read Old English in the thirteenth century.

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From the Publisher

The shaky handwriting of the thirteenth-century scribe known as `the tremulous hand of Worcester' appears in at least twenty manuscripts dating from the late ninth to the twelfth century, glossing perhaps 50,000 Old English words, sometimes into Middle English, but much more often into Latin.This book examines the full range of the scr...

Christine Franzen is at Victoria University of Wellington.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198117426

ISBN - 13:9780198117421

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'Christine Franzen's remarkable study of the Worcester Tremulous hand is a singular book for a number of reasons. It is complex and highly technical study which, if it had been undertaken by a pedant, would have been exceedingly dull to all but a handful of diehard palaeographers. But it isfar from pedantic or dull. Franzen writers clearly, and with great personal interest in her chosen work. ... an intriguing work on a technical subject that is highly readable and enjoyable, as an academic "detective analysis" if nothing else. What is best about her book is that it is nicelyorganized.'A N Q Vol 7 No 2 April '94