Lillian Vail Dymond

July 6, 2016 in Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized

lmb.birth.certificate sealAll In A Name — Or Some Other Name

Our guest blogger Linde M. Brocato (University of Memphis) serendipitiously reflects on the conditions, and, it may be, contradictions, relating to the several names which official documents might perforce adopt at various times when referring to a single individual.  Particularly an individual whose history also passes through various times and, it may be, places of different forms of record.

Her own experiences, energetically related here, may allow us to consider — as she encourages us to do — how medieval cartularies (among other forms of records) might sometimes reflect personal conditions (and contradictions) in their naming patterns. A companion post for our blog on Manuscript Studies will describe these reflections about medieval cartularies in their own terms.

As she remarks in sending this essay for our blog, “The other aspect that intrigues me is how we tend to judge medieval habits of re-inscription (in cartularies) as though we were innocent of the same habits in the case of a high-stakes issue like renaming an adopted child to erase any other origin for the child.”

It can always be important to think about the person behind, within, or beyond, the official record.  And to be aware that the documentary evidence might not always be transparent.  Hence our respect for Linde’s willingness to share her experiences with us, devoted to the manuscript record — fragile or tremulous as it can, or must, be.

Over to her:

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