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The Making of Thomas Hoccleve's Series$
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David Watt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898690

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898690.001.0001

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date: 23 September 2018

‘Among the Prees’: San Marino, Huntington Library, MS HM 111 and the Audience in and for the Series

‘Among the Prees’: San Marino, Huntington Library, MS HM 111 and the Audience in and for the Series

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 ‘Among the Prees’: San Marino, Huntington Library, MS HM 111 and the Audience in and for the Series
Source:
The Making of Thomas Hoccleve's Series
Author(s):

David Watt

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780859898690.003.0002

One of Hoccleve's autograph manuscripts, San Marino, Huntington Library, MS HM 111, provides insight into the audience that Thomas anticipates in the Series as well as the audience that Hoccleve might have anticipated for the book he was making. MS HM 111 can help us to understand Thomas's view that bureaucratic clerks will read his “Complaint” even though—and perhaps because—it forms part of a book he is making for Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. This chapter argues that the audiences anticipated in and for the Series were capable of employing sophisticated interpretative practices when judging the ironic juxtaposition between what the narrator intends and what he accomplishes when making his book. It ends on a cautious note, however, by acknowledging that many of the readers whom Hoccleve addresses were profoundly committed to personal reform and may therefore have focused especially on the moral and spiritual significance of the Series rather than its formal innovation.

Keywords:   San Marino, Huntington Library, MS HM 111, Audience, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, “Complaint”, Irony, Bureaucratic Forms, Personal Reform

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