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Epilogue: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108 And Other English Manuscripts

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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter situates Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108 (L) in the wider context of the emerging English manuscript culture of the later thirteenth to early fourteenth centuries. L is the earliest surviving substantial collection of Middle English verse. Distinctive feature of L is its emphasis on narrative, both religious and secular. One fragmentary manuscript from the same period as L is worth noting since it does hint at related forms of compilation. L can be seen, then, as perhaps the earliest harbinger of what was to become the emergent vernacular literary culture that developed over the course of the fourteenth century, a cultural evolution that culminated in the remarkable efflorescence of so-called "Ricardian" poetry. L is, of course, very different from the sophisticated, often metropolitan, literary culture than had emerged in England by the last quarter of the fourteenth century.

Keywords: &t;Ricardian" poetry; Bodleian library; English manuscript; fourteenth century; Laud Misc 108 (L); Oxford



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