The “Tale of Gamelyn” of the “Canterbury Tales”: An annotated edition. By Nila Vázquez. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009. Pp. vi, 466. [Review article]
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Original versionThaisen, J. (2012) The “Tale of Gamelyn” of the “Canterbury Tales”: An annotated edition. By Nila Vázquez. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009. Pp. vi, 466. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 47(1), pp. 73-80 10.2478/v10121-010-0021-6
Did Geoffrey Chaucer compose the Tale of Gamelyn? The question is inevitable in any discussion of this tale, since the manuscripts of his poem the Canterbury Tales provide the only medieval context in which it has survived. Nila Vázquez takes no stand in the volume under review but she does succeed in showing that previous scholarship has failed to supply convincing evidence against the possibility that Chaucer may indeed be the tale’s author. The stated principal aim instead is to furnish the reader with an edition permitting the tale to have an identity separate from the Canterbury Tales. To accomplish this aim, Vázquez offers more than merely the elements typically constituting a synoptic edition. For in addition to such typical elements as a fresh critical text supplemented with apparatus, notes, and indices, and an evaluative review of previous studies, she provides a translation of the tale and full diplomatic transcripts of ten key manuscripts. This hardbound volume, a Santiago de Compostela doctoral thesis in origin, measures 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches and contains no figures, tables, or illustrations. The text is presented with 1.5 line spacing on matte beige paper with the transcripts set in a smaller font size. The contents are structured as follows. Teresa Fanego praises the edition’s model properties in a foreword, while a personal narrative serves as Vázquez’s short introduction. The first chapter enumerates the primary source materials available to the editor of the Tale of Gamelyn. It gives sigil, shelf-mark, and repository for every manuscript of the Canterbury Tales. For those of them containing the tale, it also gives their tale order and textual affiliation as established by John Manly and Edith Rickert (1940), in addition to offering select details about their present condition and production circumstances.
Previously published in Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 47/1, 2012 doi: 10.2478/v10121-010-0021-6.