Bram Caers (University of Antwerp), Universiteit Antwerpen, Instituut voor de Studie van de Letterkunde in de Nederlanden, Prinsstraat 13, S.D. 214, B–2000 Antwerpen, firstname.lastname@example.org
As a rule, chronicles are never finished. Chronicle texts were continued, expanded and altered, and are in this way the very essence of text variation. Chroniclers could and did mould existing text material, altering historical narratives to better fit into their present needs and those of their intended audience(s). The chronicle material from Mechelen is no exception to this rule. This paper focuses on a sixteenth-century manuscript in which a fifteenth-century chronicle text, the ‘Cronike van die scone ende heerlijke stadt van Mechelen’, has been continued and heavily altered by two contributors. The manuscript seems to have functioned for both as a type of ‘work in progress’, and is the autograph of their alterations and additions. The aim of this essay is to disentangle the complex text formation process within this manuscript. Doing so provides an improved insight into early modern authorship.
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