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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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‘That Labour Y Forsook’: Durham, University Library, MS Cosin V.iii.9 and the End of the Series

‘That Labour Y Forsook’: Durham, University Library, MS Cosin V.iii.9 and the End of the Series

(p.103) 3 ‘That Labour Y Forsook’: Durham, University Library, MS Cosin V.iii.9 and the End of the Series
The Making of Thomas Hoccleve's Series

David Watt

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the end of the Series in Durham, University Library, MS Cosin V.iii.9 in order to understand the broader historical forces and acts that shaped it. The word ‘end’ connects the purpose of the Series with several different aspects of its making: the moment when the narrator stops translating the text he initially set out to translate, this moment's climactic function, all that follows by way of dénouement, and its envoy. This chapter explores how changing tastes during the call for reform in head and members during the conciliar period from the Council of Pisa (1409) to the end of the Council of Konstanz (1414-18). It argues that changing tastes influenced Hoccleve's making of the autograph copy of the Series dedicated to Joan Beaufort, the Countess of Westmorland. Each aspect of the Series’ end in MS Cosin V.iii.9 provides insight into the way that makers of books balanced the voracious appetite for devotional reading material and the dangers potentially associated with compiling or translating it. Throughout this book, Hoccleve implicitly relies on Lady Westmorland's good taste to show that Thomas has changed sufficiently to avoid the unsound state he was in before the Council of Konstanz began.

Keywords:   Durham University, MS Cosin V.iii.9, Joan Beaufort, Lady Westmorland, Council of Konstanz, Taste, End, ‘Learn to Die’, Reform in Head and Members

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