Textual-Critical studies of medieval English literature have primarily focused on practical matters such as transcription, collation, recension, and the identification of scribal hands. But the theory of editing medieval English works remains largely unexplored. Tim William Machan addresses this void by setting out to articulate the textual and cultural factors that distinctively characterize Middle English works as Middle English and to reveal the role these factors play in editing and interpretation of these works.

In revealing how the creation of textual criticism affected the transmission of Middle English, this book will be of interest and accessible to readers relatively new to both textual criticism and Middle English. It will also be of vital importance to specialists in medieval studies, Renaissance studies, and textual criticism.