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By far the greater number of the writers of thirteenth-century England did not belong to either of these classes; they were secular or regular churchmen, canons, professors, or monks. 20) but in another version; the lines of the version in his chronicle are written on the margin of A.
Their activities have usually left few traces in contemporary records. Although a clerk he was no saint, and he never received high ecclesiastical preferment in England. The curious excerpts from the Doctrinale, which are about meter and the quantity of syllables, contain just the type of information that a poet might keep in his notebook; their inclusion suggests that the scribes were copying from the poet’s notebook.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries bibliographers of England became interested in mediaeval writers. His poems have been attributed to a supposititious ‘William of Ramsey,’ and to his enemy, Michael of Cornwall, as well as to various Master Henries.
To them we are deeply indebted for preserving information which otherwise might have disappeared. If this were not enough, much of the accurate information about him has been hidden in little known publications.
Permission granted by President Mierow of Colorado College to republish material which appeared in the Colorado College Publication, December, 1927, is hereby gratefully acknowledged. The text of the poems likewise owes much to the advice of the Mediaeval Academy’s reader, to whom are due in particular the emendations in Nos. Studies of the patronage of King John and Abbot Henry Longchamp of Croyland, in which Master Henry shared, are in his ‘Three Short Studies in Mediaeval Intellectual History,’ Colorado College Publication (December, 1927), pp. Geburtstage von Hermann Degering (Leipzig, 1926), pp. All emendations not specifically attributed to others, and those marked nos, are by the present editors. If we work from the index, four later stages in the history of the manuscript become clear: (1) additions noted at the bottom of the recto of the flyleaf; (2) additions noted at the top of both sides of the flyleaf; (3) a rebinding, or rebindings, in which one quire whose contents are not mentioned in the ancient index was added and some poems mentioned in the index were removed; (4) additions of poems not mentioned in the index upon blank pages of quires whose contents are mentioned. After a blank in the index are references to the Lives of SS Birin, Edmund, and Francis. Even at this date the manuscript had had a history. 51-57 may have been the same as the one who wrote the first 29 folios. 58-60 were written by an apparently unique hand, and then a very clear and even hand presents an almost monotonous regularity until fol. 65-75, which are not listed in the ancient index, are written by the same two hands which wrote several of the poems actually listed in the ancient index.
The following individuals have given advice and helpful suggestions: Mr G. 47-59; these are revised and included in the present edition. ] The results of our work appear in ‘The Grammatical Works of Master Henry of Avranches,’ Philological Quarterly, VIII (1929), 21-38, and ‘Two Types of Thirteenth Century Grammatical Poems,’ Colorado College Publication (February, 1929), pp. The division of the longer poems into sections follows that of the MSS, as indicated by ornate capitals and ¶ marks. xiii Unlike our modern writers, the mediaeval authors were seldom fortunate enough to have their biographies written by their contemporaries. The contents of the volume at the time of the original index can be identified with some certainty. 14 and 15 was apparently not yet in the manuscript. The first two, probably duplicates of Print Edition Page No. It had not been planned apparently for a single volume and seems rather to have been made by binding together three books. 58-178 are numbered by quires from I to XI and foll. The handwriting is instructive but difficult to distinguish because of the uniformity of the St Albans scriptorium. Separate hands wrote the next three poems, stopping at foll. 149), which are filled with odds and ends of poetry and prose in various hands. 90-93 are written in a different hand from that of the Life of St Francis. Possibly the indexer missed
The editing of the Latin poetry of the Middle Ages has proceeded very slowly; it has fallen somewhere between the classicists and the modern philologists. The manuscript which we designate as A (Cambridge University Library, MS Dd 11 78) is probably the volume to which reference is made.The general introduction includes an account of the sources from which our knowledge of Master Henry’s poetry is derived, a short history of his reputation, and a sketch of his life, together with some observations upon the significance of his career. Since such a title is credited to Master Henry by the Peterborough catalogue, there is strong evidence for including No. In one source or another six of the ten poems with similar conclusions are thus specifically attributed to our poet; there is thus little doubt but that he wrote the other four. 103) is also to be included since it has concluding lines of great similarity.In the edition of his poems we have followed a chronological arrangement as far as possible. The concluding lines may have some chronological significance; this is discussed in Appendix B.Under these conditions a large part of mediaeval literature remains, if not anonymous, at least of uncertain authorship. Probably an effort was made to simplify the volume by removing duplicates and poems by other authors. The very popular poem on the heart and the eye (No. The titles are very much like some of the titles of Master Henry’s poems. A scattering of other poems is added: of these only No. The result of the examination gives us a great body of poems whose authorship is quite certain; upon these a substantial study of the poet may be based.Our poet has been somewhat more fortunate than many of his contemporary writers, yet the loss of a single volume, as we shall see, would have made the reconstruction of his bibliography very difficult. Of Henry of Avranches it might be said that his light was hidden not under one but under several bushels.