Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Starting the Dissertation- Finding the Texts

Yesterday I officially completed my reading for my comprehensive exams. I've emailed my committee members the final lists, and my revised prospectus based on my reading.

So the next step is to start writing the dissertation. I have a two step plan:
  1. Pull close reading passages from primary documents and analyze them 
  2. Go back and add scholarship based on these readings
Chapter 2 focuses on the physical description of the Devil, and Chapter 3 on his personality/actions. I've combined these two markers for Chapter 3 because his personality as tempter for example cannot be separated from his actions as tempter.
Since my argument is that the devil of these texts as the folkloric devil I am focusing on popular texts only (vernacular), texts that would have been known to the "folk". 
Middle English:
  • Genesis B
  • William of Malmesbury Chronicle of Kings (I have the J.A Giles translation, but need the original)
  • [Thomas Aquinas]
  • Legenda Aurea/The Golden Legend need Caxton's version
  • Piers Plowman B Text, Harrowing of Hell
  • Shewings of Julian Norwich
  • The Castle of Perseverance
  • Parliament of Fiends
  • The Book of Margery Kempe
  • Prose Merlin
  • York Corpus Christi
  • Sir Gowther
Early Modern:
  • Discoverie of Witchcraft
  • English Faust Book
    • Doctor Faustus
  • Edward II
  • The Honourable History of Friar Bacon  
  • Demonologie
  • The Merry Devil of Edmonton
  • The Death of Merlin
  • The Devil is an Ass
  • The Devil's Charter
  • The Late Lancashire Witches
  • The Goblins
  • Paradise Lost 
The early modern texts are easy- I have all of them. However, the issue I'm running into is finding original Middle English versions of those texts. I have Middle English copies of the highlighted texts, but am having a hard time finding the others. I've noticed in a lot of scholarship, the argument is based on summaries of a text without a close reading (or specific citation). Since specific word choice/descriptions are key to my argument, I need to originals.
A search of the library (even for ILL) has not turned up anything.
So, can anyone point me in the direction of originals for the Middle English texts I need?
Thanks in advance. 

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