The New Ellesmere Chaucer Monochromatic Facsimile by Daniel Woodward, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The New Ellesmere Chaucer Monochromatic Facsimile

The New Ellesmere Chaucer Monochromatic Facsimile

by Daniel Woodward
     
 

The Ellesmere Manuscript is the most complete, authentic version of the Canterbury Tales and the most famous literary treasure in the Huntington Library's collections. The manuscript's 464 text pages are embellished with floriated borders, illuminated initials and other decorations, and twenty-three illustrations of the pilgrim-storytellers. In 1995, the

Overview

The Ellesmere Manuscript is the most complete, authentic version of the Canterbury Tales and the most famous literary treasure in the Huntington Library's collections. The manuscript's 464 text pages are embellished with floriated borders, illuminated initials and other decorations, and twenty-three illustrations of the pilgrim-storytellers. In 1995, the Huntington Library and the Yushodo Co., Ltd., of Japan produced a color facsimile of this beautiful manuscript. The transparencies that were the basis of the landmark color facsimile were then used to make a full-size, monochromatic facsimile, an edition of special usefulness for those involved in textual and other studies where color is not of primary significance. The Huntington's purpose in producing the monochromatic facsimile is to make available an edition that is more readily affordable to students, scholars, and libraries.
Elegantly printed by the Stinehour Press of Lunenberg, Vermont, the facsimile conveys the trim, texture, and decoration of the original manuscript pages. It also features a color frontispiece, the page that begins the Knight's Tale. The facsimile can be a useful teaching tool in courses on Chaucer and the history of the book as well as a cornerstone in every library (private or public) supporting the study of literature in English.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Charles Lamb's edition of Shakespeare, Hastings's loose prose translation of seven of Chaucer's tales is more faithful to the work's plot than to the poet's language. This is not a prudish retelling (even the bawdy Miller's tale is included here) but the vigor of Chaucer's text is considerably tamed. In the original, the pilgrims possess unique voices, but here the tone is uniformly bookish. The colloquial speech of the storyteller is replaced by formal prose; for example, while Cohen (see review above) directly translates Chaucer's ``domb as a stoon'' as ``silent as stones,'' Hastings writes ``in solemn silence.'' Cartwright's startling paintings skillfully suggest the stylized flatness of a medieval canvas, but often without the accompanying richness of detail. Like Punch and Judy puppets, the faces and voices of these pilgrims are generally representative but lack the life and charm of the original text. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The old standby here gets its first facelift in more than 50 years. Librarian/author Ecker and scholar Crook translated Chaucer's Middle English into a more modern, more accesssible form. Large English literature collections should consider.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9 These 13 rollicking interpretations take their inspiration from Chaucer but are freely adapted for young readers. Students will have to get the feel of original text elsewhere: the excellent A Taste of Chaucer (HBJ, 1964; o.p.) by Malcolmson, Farjeon's Tales from Chaucer (Branford, 1948; o.p.) and even the Hieatts' adapted selections from Canterbury Tales (Golden, 1961; o.p.), are long out of print. The emphasis here is on the pilgrims and their stories, and these, despite some shifts to avoid bawdiness, come off as rousingly good. In colorful style and language, McCaughrean creatively reconstructs and adds conversation, event and detail, in keeping with the medieval times, to stitch the tales together. ``Death's Murderers,'' McCaughrean's version of ``How the Three Found Death,'' is exceptionally stark and good. The collection is rounded off by having the pilgrims reach Canterbury, with a look to the return trip. A brief historical note is given on the endpapers. Ambrus' handsome portrait of Chaucer gives a nod to that of the Ellesmere manuscript, but his colorful paintings showing the other pilgrims and their tales are his exuberant own. This attractive volume is a good introduction to medieval stories for reluctant but able junior high readers. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Pub . Lib .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873281621
Publisher:
Huntington Library Press
Publication date:
01/01/1996
Series:
Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printing
Edition description:
New Ellesmere Chaucer Monochromatic Facs
Pages:
484
Product dimensions:
12.38(w) x 17.25(h) x 1.75(d)

Meet the Author

Martin Stevens is Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School of the City University of New York.
Daniel Woodward is a senior research associate at the Huntington Library.

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