Lexical and Textual Studies on Fulgens and Lucres
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Henry Medwall's playFulgens and Lucres(1490s; printed by John Rastell perhaps as early as 1512) is commonly accepted as the first English drama to circulate in print. This article takes up small-scale matters of language and text whose practical significance is chiefly lexicographical and editorial, but which also warrant special interest due to this linguistically transitional play's status as perhaps the inaugural attempt by an English printer to transmute what began as a private, vernacular performance event into a book for commercial consumption. Section I, on words, phrases and meanings, supplements or revises current understanding on certain matters of Medwall's vocabulary and usage at the end of the Middle English period. Section II turns to textual details. Its first part is devoted to establishing the readings of Rastell's printed text, addressing fifty-five points of editorial divergence left unresolved by the three most recent editions, and its second re-evaluates the rationale for several emendations. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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