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Den Arnamagnæanske Kommission
The Arnamagnæan Commission began in 1958 the publication of a series of critical editions of texts based on the manuscripts, Editiones Arnamagnæanæ. The works are divided according to size between Series A in larger, and Series B in smaller format. Mfrmanns saga, edited by Desmond Slay, is now issued as the seventeenth volume of Series A.
Mírmanns saga belongs to the group of Icelandic romantic sagas (riddarasögur) for which no demonstrable foreign sources or models have been found. Its plot is unusual, especially with regard to the assertiveness of the female characters (and the decided nastiness of some of them).
The volume concludes with indices of the names in the saga and the names and manuscripts in the introduction.
Desmond Slay, (1927-2004), took his degree in English from St Catherine's College, Oxford in 1948. He then became a lecturer at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. After taking his doctorate, he remained at Aberystwyth for the rest of his career, becoming Rendel Professor of English Language and Literature in 1978.
His earliest major project was on Hrólfs saga kraka, on which he produced a monograph in 1960. His approach of studying the entire history of the text's transmission, taking into account manuscript copies that had been considered secondary, anticipated by decades ideas which were later promoted as the "New Philology" of the 1990s.
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