As I’ve been reading through OUMEM I’ve found myself focusing on the changes made to text over time- more specifically, how those changes would affect the understanding taken by readers. A great example of this can be found on page 26, “Will then cries out to Kynd for advice in avenging Elde, and Kynd counsels him to retreat to Unity (Holy Church), and ‘lerne to loue’ (line 208), promising that he will never lack life’s necessities: “and thou loue <treuly> : lake schal thou neuer.” This line is one of many places in Douce where the corrector has visibly supplanted a word he thought his MHE audience would not understand.”
Take a look at how I typed out that quote one more time. Did you catch the alterations I made in order to fit it into this post? There are two places where I replaced the “thorn” letter with a th because I didn’t know how to type them into this. I also replaced the taller pointed brackets found around the word “truly” with these things for a similar reason: <>. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, these tiny changes alter the way anyone reading this post experiences the text. My hope was that it would make it easier to understand (maybe you don’t automatically read the th sound when you come across a “thorn”), but it’s also possible that I have stripped away some of its authenticity. The text says that words were supplanted in Douce in order to make it more legible to a MHE audience, but I can’t help but think that corrections like this carry a bit of the corrector’s bias within them.