Parallel WebTexts is a project which aims to link
research and teaching by producing scholarly editions freely
available on the World Wide Web for student use. Its website offers
an electronic anthology of Middle English works in prose and verse,
together with background material for use in teaching.
main purpose of the project is to provide full-scale, self-contained
editions of short Middle English texts; each edition will normally
include a short introduction, a colour reproduction of the MS, the
Middle English text, a Modern English translation, notes, a full
glossary, and a booklist. Annotated translations of some
longer Middle English works will also be provided, as well as
a variety of Middle English works will be included, the main focus
initially will be on early Middle English lyrics, with particular
emphasis on the ‘Harley Lyrics’, the largest single collection
of EME lyrics, found in London, British Library, MS Harley 2253.
project is currently being developed by Dr
Bella Millett, who is the editor of the material so far
published, and is also responsible for the design and maintenance of
the website. The initial development was partly supported by a grant
from the University of Southampton, and the section on mouvance
was produced with the help of a grant in 2002 from the English
Postscript, September 2014: because of other
research commitments, this website has been only partially and
intermittently updated over the past ten years. I'm now retiring and
will not be maintaining it further, but will be leaving it online
for the immediate future for the benefit of anyone who finds it
The WPWT website is mainly intended as a learning resource
which is cheaper, fuller, and more flexible than a printed student
anthology---students might, for instance, print out the texts and
translations for classroom use but consult the background material
on-screen. It has deliberately been designed simply, to encourage
access by the maximum number of readers.
was redesigned in 2003 to update its appearance and navigational
conventions, but retains the very basic technology and minimalist
aesthetic of the original version. The new version is designed
for viewing at a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels or higher,
with Internet Explorer version 5 or later (pages can be printed out
in 'landscape' format).
are welcome to make use of any material on the website (apart from
the copyright images, which must not be reproduced without the
written permission of the owners), provided that it is not used for
profit and that its source is acknowledged (Wessex Parallel WebTexts,
ed. Bella Millett, English, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton).
The texts have been re-edited from the manuscripts; where a work
survives in more than one MS, the texts will be edited separately
rather than conflated. Any emendations have been indicated, and
where necessary discussed in the notes. Layout and punctuation have
been modernized (for the original layout and punctuation, the MS
reproductions can be consulted); spelling has not, but the special
character thorn has been replaced by th, and yogh
by gh or y according to its phonetic value.
The individual glossaries for each text are arranged in modern
alphabetical order for ease of reference; I have not distinguished
between u/v consonant and u/v vowel.
Cross-references are used to link spelling-variants of the same
word; they are also used (where possible) to link past participles
beginning in y-, or verb-forms with prefixed pronouns, to
the main entry for the verb. All forms of all words are recorded,
but not every instance of each word.
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