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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The book is a source of information about the past, a material result of inevitably imperfect human labor. Because they are further disordered by time, books are unstable witnesses to that past. Book history is of growing significance to the study of culture and literature. The importance of the press, and the nature of the “print culture” associated with it, has been the subject of debate between scholars who argue that the press was “an agent of change,” and Adrian Johns and others who insist that while the advent of print resulted in “fixity,” possessive authorship, the invention of copyright, a proliferation of titles, and capitalist investment in book production, they were not its inevitable result. This article focuses on “books,” particularly medieval “books.” It considers the poem “Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn” and Linne R. Mooney’s identification of Adam Pinkhurst as the copyist of the Hengwrt and Ellesmere manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Keywords: books, book history, print culture, Adrian Johns, medieval books, Geoffrey Chaucer, Linne R. Mooney, Adam Pinkhurst, manuscripts, Canterbury Tales

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