Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Laurel Braswell




In this Master's thesis I have attempted to provide a reliable and readable text of Lydgate's Hertford Mumming and London Mumming. This text is generally faithful to that of Trinity College Cambridge MS. R.3.20, although the copy contained in British Library Additional MS. 29729 has been consulted at all points. The method of editing applied here could and should be applied to the other poems by Lydgate which are contained only in these two manuscripts, especially his other Mummings.

Following the text itself, a full commentary is provided in the form of notes. This commentary is intended to shed light on Lydgate's craftmanship and his use of specific traditions and techniques in writing for performed presentations. In addition, it is designed to clarify difficult points within the text itself.

A further aim of this thesis has been to establish a starting point for the understanding of secular "dramatic" activity in and around London during the first quarter of the Fifteenth Century. The intention of my Introduction has been less to envision a pattern of development of dramatic forms and practices than to give a description of the various uses to which staged performances were put at this time. Lydgate's own role as foremost public poet of his time; his probable involvement in major events and celebrations; his awareness of contemporary literary and dramatic conventions in England and France; and his possible emulation of what he saw to be a Classical tradi tion of recitation and performance: all these factors are to be considered in determining his particular contribution t o secular dramatic activity at Court and in the City of London.


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McMaster University Library

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