A struggle in stemmatics: “Barnwell” again

Doctoral work on the edition of the 13th century “Barnwell chronicle” is moving forward. I am about to attack Richard Kay’s thesis that manuscript L (British Library Add. 35168) was the basis for all subsequent witnesses (ACMV). In his magisterial article published in Traditio (Walter of Coventry and the Barnwell Chronicle, vol. 54 , (1999), 141-167), he makes the case that what we have in the much celebrated Barnwell derived from this manuscript L which in turn descended from a lost archetype A compiled at Peterborough Abbey. While I am not yet questioning the provenance or existence of Alpha along Kay’s lines, I am however ready to challenge Dr. Kay on the relationship between manuscripts A and L on a number of points external to his argument. In the next TWO days (as a deadline is becoming deadlier and supervisors are watch-watching impatient) I will attempt to present my own theory as to how all Barnwell surviving manuscripts, including the victor ludorum L  descend from this exceptional A in a way that may not be as straightforward as Kay assumed. Below are both Kay’s stemma codicum and that derived from my preliminary conclusions, as the onus probandi in favour of A is gaining weight.

A (College of Arms Arundel 10)
L (British Library Add.35168)
C (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 175)
M (Magdalen College, Oxford, Lat. 36)
V (British Library Cotton Vitellius E.xiii)

The stemma codicum for the “Barnwell chronicle” as proposed by Richard Kay in 1999. He argues that manuscript L should be the basis for a new critical edition.

My own stemma codicum where manuscript A takes precedence over L.

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