Monday, November 12, 2018

Collation Advice from the Past

0
Following from Tommy’s recent transcription suggestions, here is some advice on the subject from A. A. Vansittart, written to Hort on October 15, 1869.
…. How I wish I had seriously taken to collating and the like when I took my M.A. degree! Then I might have been able to follow your plans of collation which are in many respects admirable. Now alas I have 45 strong reasons against it! But I think I should recommend it to any young man beginning betimes: only with two modification. First I should impress on his mind always to collate to the best text within reach: never for instance to use a Lloyd’s Testament if he could beg, borrow, or steal a ‘Tregelles’. The best plan I think is what Wright was doing this year with his Chaucer, to take or make a text and have a lot of copies printed (with large margin, on writing paper: neglect nothing which may help one to write with speed what can be read with ease) and collate two or three MSS in each of them. Secondly I should decidedly recommend the use of coloured inks. They lose no minute of time: and they gain distinctness which is an equivalent of time: very likely they may save you from the dilemma of either having to do the work of weeks over again or not being able to rely on it. But perhaps I may have misunderstood your monochromania: perhaps it may bear the innocent nay laudable meaning that one should only write with one ink at a time? …
Given that Vansittart wrote this from the Hotel du Louvre in Paris, I think I would add one more tip: always try to do your collating from nice hotels in Paris.

No comments

Post a comment