edited by M.C. Seymour
Mandeville's Travels was written in French in c. 1356 by an unknown author, possibly a regular in an abbey in northern France. A copy of this primary version of the book was carried into England before c. 1375 and there developed a separate Anglo-French scribal tradition, known as the Insular Version, which is the source of all of the English and Latin Translations made in England. The English translation known as the 'Defective Version' is the oldest and also circulated most widely. Its name derives from the loss of the second quire in the Insular manuscript, or its antecedent, from which it was translated, containing part of the description of Egypt. Despite this loss of text, the Defective Version established itself as the dominant form of the work in England, and was perpetuated in the printed editions of the text until 1725.