$250K to Hodgkins for George Herbert research

Professor Christopher Hodgkins has received a $250,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions grant. The funding will support Hodgkins and Robert Whalen of Northern Michigan University (NMU) as co-editors in producing George Herbert: Complete Prose, with Latin and Greek Verse over the course of three years.

The researchers will collect high-resolution digital captures of all Herbert’s known works. As UNCG’s Walter Clinton Jackson Library boasts one of the largest Herbert collections in the country, George Herbert: Complete Prose, with Latin and Greek Verse will truly live up to its name.

The finished product will be constructed as an XML database, searchable to student and scholar not only by keyword but also rhyme scheme and verse structure. It will present original-spelling transcriptions linked to each page, partially modernized edited texts, translations of the Latin and Greek works, and a scholarly apparatus with a full set of textual and critical annotations. Ultimately, Hodgkins’s and Whalen’s edition will yield a definitive resource for all future Herbert studies.

George Herbert (1593-1633) was an orator at Cambridge University, a priest in the Church of England, and most notably a founding metaphysical poet. Herbert is largely known for his collection The Temple, a work widely considered the finest of English-language devotional verse. His influence as a master of form and technique spans centuries, informing the likes of Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill.

Complete Prose, with Latin and Greek Verse is a major expansion of Hodgkins’ and Whalen’s previous edition of Herbert’s English poetry, The Digital Temple. The earlier project, also funded by the NEH, was published in 2013 by University of Virginia Press and selected by the American Library Association’s Choice as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles. It can be found by all UNCG students, faculty, and staff at http://digitaltemple.rotunda.upress.virginia.edu via the Databases supported by the Jackson Library.