Introduction to methods and terms
in Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
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This chapter addresses critical issues which lead to the formation of a vocabulary for the discussion of reading practice and experience. It addresses the nature of the evidence including the approach to the formation of case studies and associated issues of how to employ empirical evidence in a non empiricist mode. The chapter also presents some key concepts discussed in this book. The book examines some of the ways that a manuscript itself provides extensive evidence for the reading process in terms of performance, intertextuality, and the connections between word and image. Investigation of moral reading takes as its main focus a collection of popular short stories known as the Gesta Romanorum. The book is guided by manuscript evidence for the organisation of a Middle English miscellany and the making of thematic connections between texts within it.

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