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Legend of Good Women, F 329-334, F 416-430, G 264-5, G 344, G 405-417, Retractions X, 1085-87. All line references to Chaucer's text are to The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed., general editor Larry D. Benson (1986).


The Rawlinson manuscript contains only the Legend of Dido; the attribution to Lydgate is added in a later hand.


The G Prologue to the Legend of Good Women refers to "the Wreched Engendrynge of Mankynde" (414) and "Orygenes upon the Maudeleyne" (418; cf. F 429), while the Retractions mention "the book of the Leoun" (X, 1086).


On these lines see most recently N. F. Blake, "The Book of the Duchess Again," English Studies, 67 (1986), 122-125 and the references cited there.


This survives in a complete form in a single manuscript, Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27, where it has been added in a later hand.


See J. M. Manly and Edith Rickert, The Text of the Canterbury Tales (1940), II, 316, 340.


Which N. F. Blake has argued is probably non-canonical; see his "The relationship


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between the Hengwrt and Ellesmere manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales," Essays and Studies, n.s. 32 (1979), 1-18.


John Bowers recently suggested that this work might find a place in the canon, in a paper delivered to the New Chaucer Congress in Philadelphia in March, 1986.


The only scholar (to the best of my knowledge) to doubt that any substantial portion of the poem was by Chaucer is Ethel Seaton, who, in her Sir Richard Roos (1961), pp. 334-338, claims lines 1-210 for her eponymous hero. Her arguments, which depend on the existence and correct interpretation of cryptogrammatic evidence, have not gained support. On the likely spuriousness of lines 351-357 see below, fn. 25.


W. W. Skeat, The Chaucer Canon (repr. 1965), p. 60.


The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. F. N. Robinson, 2nd ed. (1955), p. 788; see also The Riverside Chaucer, p. 991: "it is of unquestioned authenticity."


"Here Chaucer the budding virtuoso practices his scales"; The Complete Poetry and Prose of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. John H. Fisher (1977), p. 669. It should be noted that the poem cannot be dated with any confidence.


I disregard the fragment, lines 308-316, in British Library Additional 17492.


For details, see The Complete Works of Chaucer, ed. Robinson, p. 915.


For full details of the contents, rubrics and forms of ascription in each manuscript, see below, Appendix.


See A. Brusendorff, The Chaucer Tradition (1925), p. 208. As Brusendorff points out, the manuscript must have been completed before 1439, and was probably copied some time before that year.


See Brusendorff, pp. 208-209; since one rubric alludes to Henry VI's mother as alive, the manuscript must have been copied before her death in 1437.


See Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. With an introduction by J. Norton-Smith (1979), vii-viii, and Manuscript Tanner 346: A Facsimile. Introduction by Pamela Robinson (1980), xix.


See Manly/Rickert, I, 207-218, esp. 209. The exemplar for Harley 7333 could not have been completed before 1442; see Brusendorff, pp. 220-221.


On information privately supplied by Professor Dan Mosser.


I have dated the relevant portion of Pepys 2006 as "very late fifteenth century" in Manuscript Pepys 2006: A Facsimile (1985), xxiii; Pamela Robinson has dated Bodley 638 as "last quarter of the [fifteenth] century" in Manuscript Bodleian 686: A Facsimile (1982), xxiii. It is more difficult to date Cambridge Ff.i.6 since it was largely compiled privately over a long period of time. But it was clearly not begun before the second half of the fifteenth century, and its transcription went on into the sixteenth; see The Findern Manuscript: Cambridge University Library Ff.i.6. Introduction by Richard Beadle and A. E. B. Owen (1977).


E. P. Hammond, English Verse between Chaucer and Surrey (1927), p. 191.


This has been argued by Richard Firth Green, Poets and Princepleasers (1980), p. 132.


The best general account of Shirley's activities remains that of Brusendorff, pp. 207-236, 453-471; on Shirley's life see A. I. Doyle, "More Light on John Shirley," Medium Aevum, 30 (1961), 93-101; see also A. S. G. Edwards, "Lydgate Manuscripts: Some Directions for Future Research," in Manuscripts and Readers in Fifteenth-Century England, ed. D. Pearsall (1983), pp. 19-22.


See Brusendorff, p. 260, who dismisses these lines as a "spurious addition" and concludes that "there is no reason to believe [the poem] not to have been finished."


A particular problem in regard to the ordering of the Complaint is lines 290-298. These lines are omitted in all three Shirley related manuscripts (Additional, Trinity and Harley 7333), as well as in the Pepys and Huntington manuscripts. Their omission in these manuscripts provides an indication of the rather confused transmission of exemplars of this part of the poem. I hope to explore the early textual history of Anelida and Arcite in a subsequent study and to consider the issue of the authenticity of these lines.


In her Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual (1908), p. 356 E. P. Hammond observes that "the independence of the Complaint, originally . . . becomes a possible question," on


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the basis of its appearance as a separate work in a number of manuscripts. She evidently believed both poems were by Chaucer.


In contrast to the Shirley derived Harley 7333 which stresses his "feyned chere doublenesse and flateryng."


Additional has lost two leaves containing 79 lines of the text; see further, Appendix.


On this term see Pamela Robinson, "The 'Booklet'. A Self Contained in Composite Manuscripts," Codicologica, 3 (1980), 46-69, and Ralph Hanna III, "Booklets in Medieval Manuscript: Further Considerations," Studies in Bibliography, 39 (1986), 100-111.


See further, Seaton, p. 83.


John Lydgate, Fall of Princes, ed. H. Bergen (1924), I, 320-321.


Fairfax 16 and Harley 372 both describe both parts of the poem as "complaints"; see below, Appendix.


Lines 204-210 are open to some suspicion. The preceding stanza, lines 197-203, provides a concluding summation to the narrative. Lines 204-210 offer a rather clumsy link that is, at best, unclearly related to what follows, particularly in the announcement that "She caste her for to make a compleynynge / And with her owne hond she gan hit write" (208-209). It is noteworthy that there is no indication in the Complaint itself that it is a letter (the only verb Anelida uses to describe her activity is "singe" (348)).