York Mystery Plays


The unaltered Middle English text

  • The first publication was that of Toulmin Smith in 1885.[3] This was republished in 1963 and again in 2007.
  • A century later Richard Beadle felt the time was ripe for re-examination of the manuscript, and he published a facsimile edition.[32]
  • Beadle also published a transcription of the text with notes and glossary.[33] This included many minor amendments to Toulmin Smith's work, but no major surprises.
  • Beadle's 1982 text has been put on-line at the University of Michigan[34] and at the University of Virginia[35] Because this has been constrained to use a modern alphabet, the obsolete letters thorn and yogh, which are correctly reproduced in the printed version, here appear as "th" and "yo" respectively.
  • More recently Beadle has revised and enhanced his work into two volumes, the first containing an introduction, the text and musical settings accompanying the plays[36] and the second containing notes, glossary and discussion.[36]

Edition in modern spelling

  • The version of Beadle and King[1] contains a transcription of 22 of the plays into modern spelling. This is not unambiguously a benign process; where the modernisation involves the loss of a syllable it has just been dropped, which in general damages the scansion, for example is the Middle English word "withouten", which in this edition appears as "without". The Middle English ending "-and" for the present participle has been changed to the modern equivalent "-ing", but retained where the "-and" was required for a rhyme.

Modernised editions

  • The first complete full modernisation was that of J. S. Purvis.[11][13]
  • A more recent complete modernisation is that of Chester N. Scoville and Kimberley M. Yates[37] in Toronto.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.