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The Assemble of Goddes   By:

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[Transcriber's note: Until recently this work was attributed to John Lydgate, but now most scholars consider that the author is unknown. The first mention of Lydgate's authorship of this work was made by Stephen Hawes in 1505 as one of Lydgate's seven major works. But many scholars have doubted over the years that this poem was written by Lydgate, because the style used doesn't greatly resemble the style of Lydgate's other works, and the vocabulary is somewhat more modern than Lydgate is known to have used. Modern scholars believe that this work was written between 1478 and 1483 (about forty years after Lydgate's death). Analysis of style and vocabulary have led scholars to conclude that the author might have been a woman. For further information about this poem please see The Assembly of Gods, edited by Jane Chance, published by Medieval Institute Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1999, ISBN: 1580440223, which is also available online at

The book from which this e book was transcribed is a fascimile reprint of the third printing of this book, made by Wynkyn de Worde circa 1500. The book was printed in blackletter font known as Wynkyn de Worde's type 3, and uses many abbreviations, which I have expanded and rendered inside parenthesis, eg., {x}. The abbreviations used in this book are:

Macron over the letter. The most common one, usually meaning missing "n" or "m" after the letter. But in some cases might also mean missing "e," "er" or "re" after the letter. This happens usually when p, q or r have macrons. Little e over Middle English thorn, meaning "the." Little t over Middle English thorn, meaning "that." Little u over Middle English thorn, meaning "thou." Little t over w, meaning "with." Middle English yogh, representing "gh." Superscripted 9 after letter, meaning missing "us." Used only at the end of the word. Superscripted 2 after letter, meaning missing "e," "er" or "re." Used only at the end of the word. Stretched s, looking like integral sign, meaning missing "e" or "i" before letter s. Dot over the letter, meaning missing "e," "er" or "re" after the letter. Usually used with d, t, e and u. Combination qd with dot means "quod." Strike through letter, meaning missing "e," "er" or "re" after the letter. Usually used with p, v and s. Striked through p might also mean missing "ro" or "or" after p.

Occasionally there were some letters printed upside down. I have rendered them inside brackets, e.g., [x]. The poem uses two types of punctuation a dot, meaning longer pause, and a slash, meaning shorter pause or comma. I have corrected many errors and noted them on a right margin. Also this printing was missing three lines and one line had several letters missing from the middle of the line. I have marked them on a right margin and the correct reading supplied from the modern edition. There were a couple of places where the word "nota" or "note" was printed, but the actual notes weren't found in this reprint. There's a fair chance that those notes were never printed. The original page images are available with html edition.]

The assemble of goddes by John Lydgate

Printed at Westminster by Wynkyn de Worde about the year 1500

Cambridge at the University Press 1906

The work here reprinted formed part of the famous volume of black letter tracts (formerly marked AB. 4. 58), which came to the University Library in 1715 by the gift of King George the First with the rest of the library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely. No other copy of this edition is recorded to be in existence.

The types used are Caxton's type 3 (for the title) and Wynkyn de Worde's type 3, with final m and n etc. from type 1 (in the rest of the book). This type 3 is not known to have been used before 1499.

Mr Sayle remarks that the woodcut illustration is taken from Caxton's second edition (ab... Continue reading book >>

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