Thursday, 27 November 2008

Books Books Books

Help. I think that may be what I need. Help. I have gone a little insane on the old book buying front lately and this term have been adding significantly to the Biblioteca del Crazy Guy. Just before I moved over I found a lovely original copy, in two parts, of Rossetti's parallel text edition of Troilus and Criseyde (Chaucer's Troylus and Cryseyde (from the Harl. ms. 3943) compared with Boccaccio's Filostrato [London: Pub. for the Chaucer Society by N. Trübner & Co, 1873]). I also picked up some of those parallel texts transcriptions of Troilus MSS in the Chaucer Society series. Very pleasing. Still in Oxfam on St Giles, I found a (cheap-ish) copy of the Z-Text facsimile (Brewer, 1994), prepared by Brewer and Rigg. In BW's, I found a lovely discounted copy of Claire Donovan's The De Brailles Hours (BL, 1991) which I very much enjoyed reading.

I have also received some books in lieu, such as the excellent facsimile of Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden B. 24, intro. Boffey & Edwards (Brewer, 1997), and Butterfield's collection of essays in Chaucer and the City (Brewer, 2006), which is extremely good. I also got some interesting Palgrave books, such as The Palgrave Literary Dictionary of Chaucer (2006); Baldwin's A Guidebook to Piers Plowman (2007), which looks very good; Cooney's collection Writings on Love in the English Middle Ages (2006); Edwards' Chaucer and Boccaccio (2002), which of course I'd read by did not own; Patterson's Temporal Circumstances (2006), most of which I've read before, but with a few new things; Tison Pugh's Queering Medieval Genres (2004); Martha Rust's Imaginary Worlds in Medieval Books (2007), which I have not read yet but am looking forward to; and Elizabeth Scala's Absent Narratives (2002).

It was however, when I moved over that I discovered G. David, a rather well-known bookseller here in Cambridge. There I found some marvellous things, mainly Chaucer editions and criticism (about 15 items or so) but other stuff too, such as Philippa Tristram, Figures of Life and Death in Medieval English Literature (London: Paul Elek, 1976) which I did not know. These books belonged to the late and lamented Derek Brewer, which he'd sold off shortly before he passed away. I feel unworthy to have them, but glad too.

A visit to Oxford last weekend for a very enjoyable birthday party provided the opportunity to return to BW's where a distinguished don was selling his books after retirement. Gawd. I hardly knew where to look. What I'm particularly pleased with is Mary Wack's Lovesickness in the Middle Ages (UPenn, 1990); Smither's edition of Havelok (Oxford, 1987); and Vantuono's edition of Pearl (Garland, 1984), though sadly vol. 1 only. I'm not exactly sure how good it is, but it is rather full. Vol. 2 seems utterly irretrievable. Anyway, there was lots of Langland too, which I wanted, but I restricted myself to Justice & Kerby Fulton's Written Work (UPenn, 1997), and then Bloomfield's PP as a Fourteenth-Century Apocalypse and Robertson & Huppé's PP and Scriptural Tradition. Very pleased with that haul I must say.

By the way, I managed to find a paperback copy of Volume 1 Foster & Boyde's Dante's Lyric Poetry. Yes, a paperback was printed of the first volume only, which I had never seen. I'm still on the lookout for the whole thing in h/b, needless to say. But I'm getting there. I also picked up some volumes (1, 6 & 10) of Tutte le opere di Giovanni Boccaccio, ed. by Vittore Branca (in 10 volumes, published between 1964-1998), but am still missing vols 2, 3, 4, 5/1, and 9, which I despair of ever seeing in the flesh. I also found a copy of Judson Boyce Allen's Ethical Poetic of the Later Middle Ages (Toronto, 1982), which is very hard to find and looks now like it was printed during the war the paper is so yellowed (in every copy I've ever seen actually!).

I'm afraid that this is just a taster of what has been going on this term chez miglior acque but I admit I'll have to cool it for a while. I have now been banned from using my debit card or credit card for a number of months. I may also need a psychiatric evaluation before I'm allowed them back.

1 comment:

Bo said...

I know the feeling! I've bought 76 books in two months (LibraryThing v useful for cataloguing btw if you don't already use it.)

Must get back to the Cambridge Companion to Lucretius!

Thanks again for t'other night. Hope you got the card.


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