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Richard Hakluyt and the ‘Vulgate Latin’ version of Mandeville’s Travels

Richard Hakluyt and the ‘Vulgate Latin’ version of Mandeville’s Travels
Richard Hakluyt and the ‘Vulgate Latin’ version of Mandeville’s Travels
In his Principall Navigations of 1589, the celebrated renaissance editor and proponent of English expansion in the Americas Richard Hakluyt the Younger published a Latin version of The Book of Sir John Mandeville (c.1356). The version he selected was widely known across continental Europe from the latefourteenth through to the sixteenth centuries, but almost unknown in England, and is now known as the “Vulgate Latin” in scholarship. Hakluyt’s editorial choice has created something of a puzzle in scholarship; since the Book of Sir John Mandeville was widely available, and repeatedly printed, in English, why this Latin version? And why not translate into English? In the same vein, the editor’s subsequent decision to silently excise the text from the second volume of his second edition (1598–1600), replacing the travel fictions of a probably pseudonymous, purportedly English author with the reports of his better attested, continental, Franciscan sources, has incited comment. This article takes a new perspective on these old questions. It considers how the content and material forms of Hakluyt’s source(s) would have shaped readers’ attitudes to the text, as well as Hakluyt’s attitude as an editor. The article also offers a systematic analysis of Hakluyt’s treatment of the text, considering factors such as the decision not to translate the text into English, its textual context and paratexts, and, in particular, Hakluyt’s extensive marginal annotations. The article proposes that the version of Mandeville included in the 1589 edition was chosen and presented with care. However, the attentiveness with which successive editors, finally culminating in Hakluyt himself, treated the Vulgate Latin version is likely to have contributed to the text’s eventual discrediting and exclusion from the second edition of The Principal Navigations.
0083-5897
O'doherty, Marianne
fdc9f775-1d70-45da-9fe8-e9a75d5a185d
O'doherty, Marianne
fdc9f775-1d70-45da-9fe8-e9a75d5a185d

O'doherty, Marianne (2019) Richard Hakluyt and the ‘Vulgate Latin’ version of Mandeville’s Travels. Viator, 50 (1). (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

In his Principall Navigations of 1589, the celebrated renaissance editor and proponent of English expansion in the Americas Richard Hakluyt the Younger published a Latin version of The Book of Sir John Mandeville (c.1356). The version he selected was widely known across continental Europe from the latefourteenth through to the sixteenth centuries, but almost unknown in England, and is now known as the “Vulgate Latin” in scholarship. Hakluyt’s editorial choice has created something of a puzzle in scholarship; since the Book of Sir John Mandeville was widely available, and repeatedly printed, in English, why this Latin version? And why not translate into English? In the same vein, the editor’s subsequent decision to silently excise the text from the second volume of his second edition (1598–1600), replacing the travel fictions of a probably pseudonymous, purportedly English author with the reports of his better attested, continental, Franciscan sources, has incited comment. This article takes a new perspective on these old questions. It considers how the content and material forms of Hakluyt’s source(s) would have shaped readers’ attitudes to the text, as well as Hakluyt’s attitude as an editor. The article also offers a systematic analysis of Hakluyt’s treatment of the text, considering factors such as the decision not to translate the text into English, its textual context and paratexts, and, in particular, Hakluyt’s extensive marginal annotations. The article proposes that the version of Mandeville included in the 1589 edition was chosen and presented with care. However, the attentiveness with which successive editors, finally culminating in Hakluyt himself, treated the Vulgate Latin version is likely to have contributed to the text’s eventual discrediting and exclusion from the second edition of The Principal Navigations.

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More information

Submitted date: 2 August 2018
Accepted/In Press date: 26 November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424201
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424201
ISSN: 0083-5897
PURE UUID: 74735bee-b0f0-4ac2-ab7e-9e3ee8aeb435

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:34
Last modified: 22 Jun 2020 16:34

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