Solopova, Dr Elizabeth
Job Title: Research Fellow
Period/ Subject: Medieval, Language and linguistics
Email address: email@example.com
My research focuses on the Wycliffite Bible, the first complete translation of the Bible into English, which survives in 250 manuscripts, in spite of being banned from circulation within 20 years of its appearance. Where, how and by whom these manuscripts were made, remains entirely obscure, and very little is known about their medieval ownership and use. My investigation looks at a wide range of details in the manuscripts’ production, ownership and use, from which answers should emerge about how far a predetermined plan involving almost professional ‘mass-production’ lies behind the copies, and what their early history can tell us about contemporary religious, academic and political culture. Previous hypotheses have suggested London as the geographical centre for the production of the Wycliffite Bible: if this is supported by my research, it will require a considerable revision of current views about the metropolitan book trade.
I am collaborating with historical geographers in my research on medieval maps. In particular my recent work focused on the 14th-century Gough map of Great Britain in the Bodleian Library and the tradition of medieval map-making it represents. The Gough map, the earliest surviving map to show the island of Britain in a geographically recognizable form, was a major influence on English cartography in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its place of production and authorship remain unknown, and there is a continuing debate about its purpose, audience, political and ideological significance. My research focuses on the historical context of the map's production; palaeographical and linguistic aspects of the text; and the methods of editing medieval maps for a scholarly audience.
I am also pursuing research on the poetic form of Old English verse. This line of enquiry focuses on the metrically and poetically significant aspects of its phonology, grammar, syntax, vocabulary and phraseology. I am particularly interested in investigating the Germanic background of Old English verse, and how its form was shaped by the linguistic and cultural circumstances of its creation and circulation.
Old English and Middle English literature; Old English Philology; Old English textual criticism; Gothic language; History of the English Language; the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
Catalogue of Medieval Psalters at the Bodleian Library (Oxford: Bodleian Library, April 2013)
Languages, Myths and History: An Introduction to the Linguistic and Literary background of J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction (New York: North Landing Books, 2009)
Key Concepts in Medieval Literature, Palgrave Key Concepts: Literature, E. Solopova and S. Lee (Basingstoke: Palgrave
The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, S. Lee and E. Solopova (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
[editor] General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales on CD-ROM (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
The Index of Middle English Verse, Linne R. Mooney and Elizabeth Solopova with Daniel W. Mosser and David H. Radcliffe
The Gough Map of Great Britain, digital edition and facsimile, with Keith Lilly (Queen's University Belfast), Nick Millea (Bodleian Library Oxford) and Paul Vetch (King’s College London)
'Manuscript Evidence for the Patronage, Ownership and Use of the Wycliffite Bible', Form and Function in the Late Medieval Bible, ed. Eyal Poleg and Laura Light (Leiden, The Manuscript World, forthcoming in 2012).
'The Liturgical Psalter in Medieval Europe', Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalms: Conflict and Convergence, ed. Susan Gillingham (Oxford: OUP, 2013), 89-104.
'The Making and Re-making of the Gough Map of Britain: Manuscript Evidence and Historical Context', Imago Mundi 65 (2012), 155-68.
'A Previously Unidentified Extract about the Litany in a Wycliffite Psalter (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 554)', Bodleian Library Record 24 (2011), 217-23.
'Before the King James Bible' [with Diarmaid MacCulloch], Manifold Greatness: The Making of the King James Bible, ed. Helen Moore and Julian Reid (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2011), 13-39.
Entries ‘Missal’, ‘Gradual’, ‘Pontifical’, ‘Ordinal’, ‘Breviary’, ‘Lectionary’, ‘Responsorial’, ‘Ritual’ and ‘Penitential’, The Oxford Companion to the Book, ed. M. Suarez and H. R. Woudhuysen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
‘Medieval Psalters in the Gough Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford’, Bodleian Library Record 22 (2009)
‘Alliteration and Prosody in Old and Middle English’, Approaches to the Metres of Alliterative Verse, Leeds Texts and Monographs n. s. 17, ed. J. Jefferson and A. Putter (Leeds: Leeds University Press, 2009), 25-39
‘English Poetry of the Reign of Henry II’, Writings of the Reign of Henry II: Twelve Essays, ed. R. Kennedy and S. Meecham-Jones (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 187-204
‘The Survival of Chaucer’s Punctuation in the Early Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales’, Middle English Poetry: Texts and Traditions. Essays in Honour of Derek Pearsall, ed. A. J. Minnis (York: York Medieval Press, 2001), 27-40
'Computer-assisted Study of Chaucer's Metre', Medieval English Measures, ed. Ruth Kennedy, Parergon, n.s. 18.1 (Special issue, July 2000), 157-79
‘Layout, Punctuation and Stanza Patterns in Middle English Verse’, Studies in the Harley Manuscript, ed. S. Fein (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000), 377-89
[contributor] Electronic Beowulf, ed. K. S. Kiernan (London: British Library Publications and Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000)
‘Editing all Manuscripts of all the Canterbury Tales in Electronic Form: Is it Worthwhile?’, New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1992-1996, ed. W. Speed Hill (Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1998), 54-75
‘Chaucer’s Metre and Scribal Editing in the Early Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales’, The Canterbury Tales Project Occasional Papers 2, ed. N. Blake and P. Robinson (London: Office for Humanities Communication Publications, 1997), 143-64
‘The Problem of Authorial Variants in the Wife in Bath’s Prologue’, Occasional Papers 2, 133-42
‘The Metre of the Ormulum’, Doubt Wisely: A Collection of Essays in Honour of Eric G. Stanley, ed. J. Toswell and E. Tyler (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 423-39
Current research projects:
'Mass Production, Clandestibe Circulation? Wycliffite Bibles in Oxford Libraries', with Professor Anne Hudson, funded by the Leverhulme Trust
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