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Insular BooksVernacular manuscript miscellanies in late medieval Britain$
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Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265833

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265833.001.0001

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Writing Without Borders

Writing Without Borders

Multilingual Content in Welsh Miscellanies from Wales, the Marches, and Beyond

(p.175) 10 Writing Without Borders
Insular Books

Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan

British Academy

The single-text manuscript is not the norm in later mediaeval Wales and most surviving Welsh manuscripts of that period contain two or more distinct texts. The multi-text codex was the norm and a unifying principle – theme, form, or the interests of the compiler or patron – can usually be discerned. Miscellanies may be linguistically mixed or include translated material. The hegemony of plurality of content of the typical Welsh codex can be linked to the distinctive nature and history of Welsh literary tradition, including the late emergence within the prose tradition of the single, named author. A further factor may be the discernible impulse to collect and conserve textual goods in a period which saw a weakening of the traditional separation of poetry and prose, together with an increasing reliance on the written word rather than memory and performance for textual transmission.

Keywords:   medieval Wales, Welsh manuscripts, Welsh prose, multi-text codex, multilingualism, textual culture

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