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A History of Old English Literature

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2181-1
360 pages
November 2004, ©2004, Wiley-Blackwell
A History of Old English Literature (1405121815) cover image

Description

This timely introduction to Old English literature focuses on the production and reception of Old English texts, and on their relation to Anglo-Saxon history and culture.
  • Introduces Old English texts and considers their relation to Anglo-Saxon culture.
  • Responds to renewed emphasis on historical and cultural contexts in the field of medieval studies.
  • Treats virtually the entire range of textual types preserved in Old English.
  • Considers the production, reception and uses of Old English texts.
  • Integrates the Anglo-Latin backgrounds crucial to understanding Old English literature.
  • Offers very extensive bibliographical guidance.
  • Demonstrates that Anglo-Saxon studies is uniquely placed to contribute to current literary debates.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Preface vii

Introduction

Anglo-Saxon England and Its Literature: A Social History 1

1 The Chronology and Varieties of Old English Literature 36

2 Literature of the Alfredian Period 48

3 Homilies 70

4 Saints’ Legends, by Rachel S. Anderson 87

5 Biblical Literature 106

6 Liturgical and Devotional Texts 120

7 Legal, Scientific, and Scholastic Works 148

8 Wisdom Literature and Lyric Poetry 164

9 Germanic Legend and Heroic Lay 193

Conclusion

Making Old English New: Anglo-Saxonism and the Cultural Work of Old English Literature 225

Notes 235

Works Cited 269

Index 339

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Author Information

R. D. Fulk is Class of 1964 Chancellor’s Professor of English at Indiana University. He is the editor of Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology (1991), author of A History of Old English Meter (1992), co-editor of Eight Old English Poems (third edition, 2001), and co-editor of the fourth edition of F. Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg (forthcoming).

Christopher M. Cain is Assistant Professor of English at Towson University, Maryland.

Rachel S. Anderson
is an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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The Wiley Advantage


  • Introduces Old English texts and considers their relation to Anglo-Saxon culture.

  • Responds to renewed emphasis on historical and cultural contexts in the field of medieval studies.

  • Treats virtually the entire range of textual types preserved in Old English.

  • Considers the production, reception and uses of Old English texts.

  • Integrates the Anglo-Latin backgrounds crucial to understanding Old English literature.

  • Offers very extensive bibliographical guidance.

  • Demonstrates that Anglo-Saxon studies is uniquely placed to contribute to current literary debates.
See More

Reviews

“Now the oldest English texts have a literary history for the twenty-first century. One of the chief virtues of A History of Old English Literature is the rich elaboration of contexts, extending from the manuscripts to the literary and intellectual world of Anglo-Saxon England, to the early modern criticism, and to the most recent critical reception.”

Professor Daniel Donoghue, HarvardUniversity

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