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Yearbook of Langland Studies






The B-Version Archetype, published on-line and in print by the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive (PPEA), deserves close study by all scholars of Langland’s poem. John Burrow, Thorlac Turville-Petre, and their PPEA collaborators have produced an ‘intermittently critical edition’, in approximately the sense called for by Robert Adams in 1992, at the beginning of the PPEA project. On the difficult problem of ‘rolling revision’, Burrow and Turville-Petre adopt an unsatisfactory compromise; they probably also over-estimate the quality of the archetype as a record of Langland’s writing. Yet this edition is the best record now available of the received text of Piers Plowman B. Where it differs from previous critical editions, Burrow and Turville-Petre’s text serves as a valuable check on editorial judgement. An appendix to this review essay employs The B Version Archetype in a demonstration study of Langland’s metrical grammar. This study reveals previously unnoticed regularities in Langland’s verse technique and further idiosyncrasies in the heavily reworked text of Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS 201 (F).




Ian Cornelius. © {Brepols Publishers }, 2020. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of { Indiana University Press} for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Piers Plowman Electronic Archive (PPEA)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.