UNA professor publishes 16th century manuscript - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UNA professor publishes 16th century manuscript

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Peterson with Lucius Cary, 15th Viscount Falkland, a direct descendant of Elizabeth Tanfield Cary (Source: Lesley Peterson) Peterson with Lucius Cary, 15th Viscount Falkland, a direct descendant of Elizabeth Tanfield Cary (Source: Lesley Peterson)

A 400 year old manuscript has been published thanks to a University of North Alabama professor.

Dr. Lesley Peterson worked for more than 10 years to get the manuscript, Elizabeth Tanfield's "Mirror of the Worlde," published.

According to BBC News, the work was located in Burford Church, Oxfordshire, in the 1970s.

The piece was originally written in 1598 by poet and dramatist Elizabeth Tanfield Cary. Historians estimate Cary was 12 or 13 years old when she wrote it.

Peterson, an associate professor of English at UNA, has spent the past 10 years researching, translating from French and editing the manuscript for publication.

"It required several trips to England for research, and many hundreds of hours of work. One scholarly duty I have felt keenly is just the responsibility to get it exactly right," said Peterson.

Peterson worked with editors at McGill-Queen's University Press and two UNA research assistants to make sure the work was accurate.  

"I feel confident that we've taken our time and put together something we can all feel proud of."

Peterson hopes the manuscript provides a vital source of information to Cary scholars.

"The subtle decisions she makes about how to present her material, which adjective to use, and that sort of thing, is very revealing," said Peterson. "It should be a useful source of information for anyone interested in studying 15th-century childhood and education. And it makes available to cartographers and cartobibliographers, for the first time, the first translation into English of an atlas of the world."

The original work is being kept at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The published manuscript is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

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