Authority and Subjugation in Writing of Medieval Wales by Ruth Kennedy, Simon Meecham-Jones (eds.)

By Ruth Kennedy, Simon Meecham-Jones (eds.)

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By Ruth Kennedy, Simon Meecham-Jones (eds.)

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7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. A Social History of the Welsh Language (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1997), 15–44, and Alan R. Thomas, “English in Wales,” in The Cambridge History of the English Language, vol. V: English in Britain and Overseas, ed. Robert Burchfield (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 94–147, at 94–98, 107–10. See note 2. Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards, A New Index of Middle English Verse (London: British Library, 2005). For a summary of the history of the foundation of the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru and its manuscript collections see the Introduction to Marx, Index, XIV, xiii–xx, which draws on a range of work published by members of the staff of Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.

12r–73r contain the Welsh language text of the Elucidarius; of these, fols. 39r–58r are a fifteenth-century vellum fragment of the text, and Hugh Evans has constructed a complete Welsh language text of the Elucidarius around this earlier fragment. The remainder of the folios (fols. 73v–81v) contain, in Hugh Evans’s hand, religious texts in Welsh, with the exception of a Latin text of the Creed. What had escaped the notice of English scholars, but not Welsh scholars, is that the first eleven folios contain a significant portion of a distinct Middle English translation also of the Elucidarius.

The picture suggests a culture in which English, Welsh, Latin, and French were used side by side, a multilingual cultural environment. Whether Hugh Evans later, in 1583, compiled his manuscript in Welsh-speaking west Herefordshire, Archenfield, or Ergyng is not clear, but it is evident that when he came to assemble his collection, there was every reason for him to prefer Welsh to English. The codicological evidence shows that he actively sought to reconstruct a Welsh language Elucidarius around the fifteenth-century Welsh fragment of the text that he had in hand.

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