A Sporting Lexicon of the Fifteenth Century: The J.B. Treatise (2nd revised edition)

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Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, Jul 15, 2017 - Literary Criticism - 398 pages

The J.B. Treatise is a collection of lore and information from the later

fifteenth century on a range of topics considered essential learning for

anyone aspiring to the English gentry. It has hitherto been known

principally by way of an eclectic medley of filler material in the printed

Boke of St Albans (1486), but survives in numerous variant forms in

twenty-two, mostly unrelated, manuscripts. The treatise’s foremost

concerns are hawking and hunting, but it differs from other contemporary

treatises on these sports by concentrating on terminology rather

than praxis. Much of its information is presented in the form of lists of

terms, suggesting that it served mainly as a lexical primer rather than a

manual of practical instruction.

This study – which includes four major variant texts, explanatory notes,

a glossary and complete collations of the ‘J.B.’ lists of collective nouns

and carving terms – is the first comprehensive survey of all known

versions of the J.B. Treatise, whose contents will be of interest to English

medievalists in a range of disciplines, including history, literature and

linguistics. This second edition of the J.B. Treatise includes

comprehensive updates to the introduction, notes, and glossary to account

for new scholarship, including numerous emendations to the OED

prompted by lexical evidence presented in the first edition (2003). It also

incorporates a revised bibliography and references to new editions of

medieval texts.


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