|The Nun's Priest's Tale on CD-ROM|
|Edited by Paul Thomas|
|View sample online|
The Nun's Priest's Tale on CD-ROM is the fourth in the series of 'single-tale' CD-ROMs prepared by the Canterbury Tales Project: that for the Wife of Bath's Prologue won the English Association's 1998 Beatrice White award for an outstanding contribution to medieval and renaissance studies. Like its fellows in the series, this CD-ROM contains a full set of materials for study of the text in all extant fifteenth-century witnesses: fifty-one manuscripts and four incunabula. The whole text of the tale and associated links in every witness is transcribed, with a digital image of every one of the 1000 pages also given. The images, now of enhanced quality, are mostly grey-scale, with some full-colour images. The transcripts are linked to full collations in both regularized and unregularized forms, and to thorough descriptions of each manuscript (provided by Dan Mosser). A stemmatic analysis and commentary offer an overview of the whole tradition, with discussion of individual readings.
This CD-ROM uses the Anastasia publication interface, offering innovative access to all manuscript readings and images, and to all variant readings at each word. Clicking on any word or phrase in any witness opens up a window showing the variant readings in all witnesses at that point. At each point, a unique 'variant map' feature shows how the variants are distributed across the families of witnesses. Links in the transcripts and collations take the reader to the stemmatic commentary on individual readings. A specialized 'variant search' feature permits retrieval of all variants according to their distribution: thus, all readings found in the Hengwrt manuscript but not the Ellesmere manuscipt. Editorial articles describe how the CD-ROM was made, the transcription system used, and analyze the relationships between the witnesses, drawing on evolutionary biology software methods.
This CD-ROM version is designed so that the reader can load it on the hard disc of the computer and always have the full text and images of the books available.
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