The Testament of Love

The Testament of LoveThomas Usk; R. Allen Shoaf, Ed.

Medieval Institute Publications, 1998
ISBN: 1-58044-001-0

This edition of The Testament of Love is the first to be published since W.W. Skeat undertook the task in 1897. Since the work does not exist in any copy from Usk’s lifetime but only in William Thynne’s 1532 edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and Others, produced nearly 150 years after Usk’s death, “traditional” editing was impossible. Instead, in this edition, a diplomatic transcription of Thynne is printed with, contrapuntally, a pointed version of the text which represents the efforts of R. Allen Shoaf, the editor, to construe it.

In Professor Shoaf’s words: “I offer the contemporary reader the constant choice, in the absence of any other choice, between the sixteenth-century editor’s, Thynne’s, construction of Usk and the twentieth-century editor’s construction of Usk, mine.” – from the Introduction

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