This study conceives of Thomas Hoccleve's Regement of Princes (1410-1413) as an essentially performative text, one that expresses its awareness of the manuscript culture in which it is so firmly rooted. The openness of manuscripts is a recurring subject in the Regement and is not only expressed through mere descriptions of, but through complex references to this manuscript context.
Performances of manuscript culture manifest themselves in several aspects of the text. The first is the narrator persona, and especially the question of how persona and text are intertwined. The second is the constantly recurring interpretation of quotes from authoritative sources that pervades the Regement. This urge to interpret is expressed both in the tradition of adding marginal glosses and in the process of subjecting the text to an exegetical reading. The third aspect is the relation between text and images in the Regement's manuscripts, which shows how mediality is performed and how the manuscript context is made the focus of this performance. In this monograph, all of these aspects are studied in a mindset that combines the concept of performativity with the postulations of Material Philology.