Excerpt from The Eight-Text Edition of the Canterbury Tales: With Remarks Upon the Classification of the Manuscripts and Upon the Harleian Manuscript 7334
As the present article contains results of a rather miscellaneous character, a short description of its contents is here given.
Pp. 1 - 18. This portion contains nothing new, and is intended less for present perusal than for permanent use. I here collect all that is valuable in the Eight-text (as explained at p. 1) in the way of Titles, Colophons, Glosses, Remarks, and Side-notes. The References to Authorities (pp. 9 - 18) are, of course, of very great interest and value; but they have long been known and were mostly familiar to Tyrwhitt, who made use of them, and they are largely quoted in the Notes to my six-volume edition of Chaucer. They are here, for the first time, carefully collected and adapted for handy reference.
Pp. 18 - 28. Here follows a line-byline collation of the eight mss. Published by the Chaucer Society, showing at a glance, by means of Tables, the exact contents of each of these M ss. One object of making this comparison (besides the obvious advantage of it) was to test my theory of The Evolution of the Canterbury Tales, which it strongly confirms.
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