Caption: The wordes moote be cosyn to the dede.
9> The aesthetic/bibliophilic analysis of texts has been introduced by various authors, so its inclusion as a way of understanding efforts toward exact copies should come as no surprise. The reading experience is generally visual, so reproducing the appearance of a text carries through some of the paratextual apparatus. Aesthetic considerations are not always attached to an effort toward exact copy, but in the case of Chaucer we have a tradition of particular typefaces. Consider the appearance of the Monk’s Tale from the Kelmscott Chaucer, (figure 2.)
Caption: The beginning of the Monk’s Tale from the “Hengwrt Chaucer.”
15> The phrase “blind prosperitee” is also expanded differently in the two versions, which supports the general assumption that either these two texts share a parent or are copied from one another. The transcription gives an example of an aesthetic effort at exact copy and, since the two versions are expanded differently, provides a case where exact copies of the two manuscripts would differ.
27> His re-interpretive work changed the reading of the Monk’s Tale. Examining line three of Adam’s Tale, we can see that Urry uses the word “strene,” meaning gain or sexual intercourse, rather than the more common “sperme.” The line thus reads “And not begotin of mannes strene [cf. sperme] unclene,” which suggests that the sex act or man’s gain, which could be interpreted variously, is unclean, rather than suggesting that sperm is unclean. Manly and Rickert do not find this reading in any of the manuscripts they review, suggesting that it was one of Urry’s restorations. These restorations earned Urry the scorn of many editors and is succinctly summarized by Tyrwhitt:
37> However, a scholar who wanted to reuse data could use another font or even map the font to standard Unicode. The glyphic data is thus encoded, but reusable in a documented way.
 Ideal copy is a fraught term used in bibliography and editorial theory. John Carter provides a good summary of the resonances--both positive and negative--evoked here: “This term, once popular among textual bibliographers, arose from the fact that books printed in the hand-press period (more rarely after) might be corrected during the course of printing, thus creating a moving target, difficult to strike at the ideal moment. Although it is possible in theory for an individual example of the book in question to conform to it, exhibiting the final intention of the author, publisher and printer at the completion of printing, in so far as intention is capable of being established, the ‘ideal copy’ is a sort of Platonic archetype’ laid up where neither moth nor rust can corrupt it. In fact, there ill inevitably be several ‘ideal copies’, distinct in the circumstances of their issue ... But the term has now fallen out of fashion, those concerned preferring to chart the conventional signs of change than pursue a snark that may be a boojum.” John Carter and Nicolas Barker, ABCs for Book Collectors, 8th ed. (London: British Library, 2004): 126-7. Numerous bibliographers and editors have written about the usefulness of the concept of ideal copy and opinions vary wildly.
 An older tradition of book-sniffery (here alluded to as bibliophila) can be found in the work of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, Edward Newton, and even occasionally William Blades. A classic of the bibliophilic ilk is Thomas Frognall Dibdin, Bibliomania, or, Book madness : a bibliographical romance, (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1811) A more modern, measured, approach to the aesthetics in a disciplined way is discussed in G. Thomas Tanselle, Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) 81-88, 158, provides a summary of the literature.
 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Now Newly Imprinted, ed. by F.S. Ellis (Upper Mall, Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896).
 Typical of this work is Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. by William Caxton (Westminster: William Caxton, 1477) (ESTC S109814) and Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. William Caxton (Westminster: W. Caxton, 1483) (ESTC S108804).
 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer: Newly Printed, with Dyvers Workes Never in Print Before As in the Table More Playnly Dothe Appear, ed. by William Thynne (London: T. Godfray, 1532).
 Blackletter is associated with particular genres, time periods, languages, etc. The most recent comprehensive study of the aesthetic resonances is Stanely Morison, Black Letter: Its History and Current Use (London: Monotype Corp, 1937) this substantial text is in some ways revisited by Blackletter: Type and National Identity, eds. Peter Bain and Paul Shaw (New York: Cooper Union, 1998). In particular, “Blackletter vs. Roman: Type as Ideological Surrogate” by the editors and “The German Language and the Two Faces of Its Script: A Genuine Expression of European Culture?” by Philipp Th. Bertheau use the same sort of aesthetic criticism employed in this paper to explore relationships with German culture and language.
 Geoffrey Chaucer, The workes of our ancient and learned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, ed. Thomas Speght (London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1602).
 G. Thomas Tanselle, A Rationale of Textual Criticsm (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989).
 A summary of uses can be found in Talbot Baines Reed, A History of the Old English Letter Foundries, new ed. rev. and enlg. by A.F. Johnson (Kent: Dawsons, 1974) 47-50.
 Jan Baetens, and Jan Van Looy, “Digitising Cultural Heritage: The Role of Interpretation in Cultural Preservation,” Image [&] Narrative, 17 The Digital Archive. (2007).
 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and Others; Being a Reproduction in Fasimile of the First Collected Edition 1532, from the Copy in the British Museum, ed. Walter W. Skeat (London: A. Moring, H. Frowde, 1905).
 Andron Scriptor Web, retrieved Oct. 6, 2009,
 This is something of a stretching of the usage employed in Gérard Genette, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997). In that work, he builds a structure of second-order literature comprised of re-writing texts in the form of satire, parody, burlesque, etc. This paper argues that diplomacy intends to achieve exactness, it is in several ways a rewriting in the same way. This sits most easily in Genette’s structure between a transformation (same style, new content) and forgery (new content, same style).
Caption: The wordes moote be cosyn to the dede.
Legend: The image is a fanciful fugue on the topic and themes of this paper. It graphically represents four alternate readings of line 742 in the Riverside Chaucer “The wordes moote be cosyn to the dede.” By way of Old French “cosyn” might be read “cosin” meaning trickery, and “dede” can mean both action and document. The image represents the hyper-position between meanings and the role of the physical text as represented by rewriting.
Caption: Three columns of F.J. Furnivall’s Six Text edition of the
Caption: The beginning of the Monk’s Tale diplomatically transcribed from the Ellesmere manuscript.
Legend: The source text is from “Ellesmere Chaucer.” EL 26 C 9. Huntington Library,
James P. Ascher is an Assistant Professor and Rare Book Cataloger at the