Chaucer: A Plea for a Reliable Text.

Author / Editor
Southworth, James G.

Chaucer: A Plea for a Reliable Text.

College English 26.3 (1964) 173-79.

Critiques the editorial practice of "smoothing" Chaucer's verse to produce iambic pentameter rhythms by adjustments to final-"e," and advocates following medieval scribal practice of using the "'punctus elevatus'—the medial mark" to indicate the "two (occasionally three) phrasal units" of Chaucer's verse lines. Summarizes the history and practice of editorial emendation of Chaucer's verse patterns, and exemplifies differences between lines edited for regularized pentameter and those using the medial marks found in manuscripts.

Chaucer Subjects
Style and Versification
Language and Word Studies
Manuscripts and Textual Studies
Facsimiles, Editions, and Translations