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Somer Soneday: Kingship, Sainthood, And Fortune In Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108

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Chapter Summary

When Carl Horstmann edited the South English Legendary (SEL) in 1887, he observed that unraveling "this mass of materials" and discovering "the relation of the principal MSS" will "require more brains, the brains of several generations to come, before every question relative to this collection can be decided". The medieval volume upon which he based his edition was the composite book Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108 (L), preserving the earliest version of the SEL. In this chapter the author examines Somer Soneday, an alliterative poem in thirteen-line stanzas and the text that ends the whole book. It is the last item in the manuscript proper, for the three snippets of verse that appear after it are each inscribed by later hands on the last flyleaf. Somer Soneday is similarly a lyrical event calculated to complement and elicit reflection upon items that have come before it in L.

Keywords: Carl Horstmann; MS Laud Misc. 108; Somer Soneday; South English Legendary (SEL)

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