About this Hypertext Book of Hours

This particular "Hours" is a hypertext version of the Hours according to the Use of Rome recorded in The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Marie, in Latin and English (Antwerp: Arnold Conings, 1599). This text is available in facsimile as The Primer... in Latin and English, 1599, English Recusant Literature, 1558-1640, selected and edited by D.M. Rogers, volume 262 (Ilkley, Yorkshire, and London: The Scolar Press, 1975).

The Latin of this on-line document is presented exactly as printed in the source (note that it does not always correspond exactly with the text of the Vulgate). The English, however, has been edited. Archaic words and phrases have been retained, but the spelling has been modernized and regularized. The punctuation of the Latin and the English has been rendered exactly as it was in the 1599 Primer.

The kinds of differences that exist between the English of the original source and the English of this hypertext document should be clear from the follow comparison:

Original text Edited text
Whe' as vnspeakeably thow wast borne of the virgin, then were the scriptures fulfilled, thow didest desce'd lyke raigne into the fleese: that thow mightest saue mankynde: we praise the our God. When as unspeakably thou wast born of the virgin, then were the scriptures fulfilled, thou didst descend like rain into the fleece: that thou mightest save mankind: we praise thee our God.

In addition to modernizing the English spellings, I have also corrected errors and lacunae in the Latin and English, filled in ellipses, and replaced such phrases as "ut supra" with the texts to which they refer. Most actual Books of Hours would employ all these forms of abbreviation, and so will not match this expanded hypertext version exactly. In a medieval manuscript you might find, at the end of a Psalm, the words "Gloria patri et filio" or "Gloria patri" or even only "Gloria." Sometimes "Gloria" will be followed by "Sicut." All of these abbreviations would be replaced in this hypertext document by the text they stand for: "Gloria Patri, et Filio: et Spiritui sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper: et in saecula saeculorum. Amen."

This web document was created in conjunction with the exhibition Sacred Time: The Book of Hours from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. It was prepared by Glenn Gunhouse. Any errors should be reported to him at ggunhouse@gmail.com.


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