Reading Boccaccio in the Fourteenth Century
This chapter looks at copies of Boccaccio’s Decameron in the fourteenth century and poses questions around the reading of this work, the varity of manuscripts of the text, and what happens in the margins of some of those manuscripts. One particular manuscript is examined in detail: Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Plut. 42,1, copied in 1384 by Francesco d’Amaretto Mannelli. It has an extraordinary paratextual apparatus of glosses that provides insights into reading Boccaccio at precisely the same time Chaucer was composing those works most influenced by his literary vernacular Italian traditions. The chapter examines in detail Mannelli’s glosses to Decameron X. 10, the story of Griselda. This marginal response is a reading of the tale that is largely unknown to Chaucerians and yet provides an important context in which to consider Chaucer’s treatment of the tale.
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