University of Arizona

The Elusive History of English Book Production Before Printing

Clues in the Auchinleck Manuscript

Image from the Auchinleck Manuscript

As part of The Early Book Lectures Series VII, an annual exploration by UA scholars of the treasure trove of medieval texts held by the University Libraries, Professor Dahood will explore what is considered the first anthology of English literature. The Auchinleck manuscript, believed to have been produced in London around 1340, predates Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The manuscript consists of various pieces of literature, all in differing dialects of Middle English, and includes stories that range from the lives of saints to knightly romances. While the original work resides in the National Library of Scotland, Special Collections holds a facsimile of the manuscript.

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