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The Anglo Saxon Literature Handbook : Wiley Blackwell Literature Handbooks - Mark C. Amodio

The Anglo Saxon Literature Handbook

Wiley Blackwell Literature Handbooks

Paperback Published: 17th May 2013
ISBN: 9780631226987
Number Of Pages: 432

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Main blurb (for internal use only - CHECK BEFORE USING IN PRINTED PUBLICITY):The Anglo-Saxon era is not only the most remote period of English literary history but for many contemporary readers the vernacular literature produced during the period (traditionally dated from AD 410 to 1066) is among the most impenetrable as well: the language in which the texts wereoriginally composed presents a very real barrier and even though there are many good translations currently available, the aesthetics that informs Anglo-Saxon verse and prose, an aesthetics only weakly connected to that of contemporary literature, continues to present problems to the common or non-specialist reader. My aim with this volume is to make the culture and literature of the period that is widely (if mistakenly) held to be one of the darkest in English literary history more accessible to contemporary readers by demonstrating how vital and dynamic Anglo-Saxon verse and prose are through readings of the works themselves (chapters 2 and 3) and by situating selected works within the critical discussions that are currently circulating around them (chapter 4). While the following proposal generally adheres to the outline of the series, I've had to make some changes to the plan. These changes reflect the realities of the Anglo-Saxon world, a world in which the written historical and literary records are among the most spotty of any period in English history. Only some 30,000 lines of poetry are extant from the period, named authors are few and far between, and critical texts, especially in the vernacular, are virtually unknown.

Industry Reviews

"(An) accessible, invaluable book. Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Lower-and upper-division undergraduates."  (Choice, 1 January 2014)

"This is a mighty and magisterial book that is at once deeply learned and highly accessible; to read it is to learn from one of the finest teachers in the field: this is exactly the kind of book I wish I had read when I was a student, and exactly the kind of book I wish I had written myself!"?Andy Orchard, University of Toronto

?Presenting an overview of work from the last fifteen years, this handbook offers a useful and detailed survey of the major periods and genres of Old English literature. Liberal use of quotations in Old English will help those new to the field trace larger political and social ideas to their original textual forms. Students will find it an effective starting point for exploration of Anglo-Saxon culture.??Allen J. Frantzen, Loyola University

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Note on the Text xvii

List of Abbreviations xix

Part 1 Anglo-Saxon England: Backgrounds and Beginnings 1

Political History 3

Ecclesiastical History 11

Intellectual History 15

Linguistic History 20

Literary History 24

Traditions: Oral and Literate 27

A Note on Dating Anglo-Saxon Texts 30

Part 2 Anglo-Saxon Prose 33

The Writings of King Alfred the Great 35

Alfred?s Translation of Pope Gregory the Great?s Pastoral Care 36

Alfred?s Translation of Boethius?s Consolation of Philosophy 42

Alfred?s Translation of St Augustine?s Soliloquies 47

Alfred?s Translations of the Prose Psalms of the Paris Psalter 51

Alfred?s Preface to Waerferth?s Translation of Pope

Gregory?s Dialogues 54

The Vercelli Homilies 56

The Blickling Homilies 62

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 67

The Old English Orosius 72

Bede?s Ecclesiastical History of the English People 78

Apollonius of Tyre 87

The Old English Martyrology 92

The Life of St Guthlac 96

The Wonders of the East, The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle, and The Life of St Christopher 99

Bald?s Leechbook and Leechbook III 105

The Writings of Wulfstan, Archbishop of York 109

The Writings of Ælfric of Eynsham 116

Catholic Homilies 122

Lives of Saints 126

Colloquy on the Occupations 127

Ælfric as Author 130

Part 3 Anglo-Saxon Poetry 135

The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Tradition 137

Caedmon?s Hymn 147

Bede?s Death Song 152

The Junius Manuscript 154

Genesis 155

Genesis A 156

Genesis B 157

Exodus 162

Daniel 167

Christ and Satan 170

The Poems of the Vercelli Book 176

Andreas 177

Fates of the Apostles 185

Soul and Body I (and II) 188

Homiletic Fragment I 192

The Dream of the Rood 192

Elene 197

The Exeter Book 202

The Advent Lyrics (Christ I) 203

The Ascension (Christ II) 206

Christ in Judgement (Christ III) 209

Life of St Guthlac 212

Guthlac A 213

Guthlac B 215

Azarias 219

The Phoenix 221

Juliana 225

The Wanderer 229

The Gifts of Men 233

Precepts 234

The Seafarer 235

Vainglory 237

Widsið 240

The Fortunes of Men 242

Maxims (I) 244

The Order of the World 246

The Rhyming Poem 247

The Panther, The Whale, The Partridge (The Old English Physiologus) 249

Soul and Body II (and I) 252

Deor 253

Wulf and Eadwacer 255

The Exeter Book Riddles 257

The Wife?s Lament 260

Judgement Day I 262

Resignation (A and B) 265

The Descent into Hell 267

Almsgiving 268

Pharaoh 269

The Lord?s Prayer I 270

Homiletic Fragment II 270

The Husband?s Message 271

The Ruin 273

The Poems of Cotton Vitellius A.xv 276

Beowulf 277

Judith 294

Poems from Various Manuscripts 300

The Metres of Boethius 300

The Metrical Psalms of the Paris Psalter 305

Solomon and Saturn I and II 307

The Menologium 311

The Rune Poem 313

The Poems of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 315

The Battle of Brunanburh 317

The Battle of Maldon 319

The Fight at Finnsburh 323

Waldere 326

Durham 329

Part 4 Critical Approaches 333

The Alterity of Anglo-Saxon Literature 335

Source Studies 339

Manuscript Studies 342

Grammatical and Syntactic Studies 343

Theoretical Perspectives 345

Part 5 Themes 361

Anglo-Saxon Thematics 363

Heroism 365

The End of the World 368

The Transitory Nature of Life 370

Fate 372

Wisdom 374

Otherness 376

Oral-Traditional Themes 378

Bibliography 381

Index 401

Index of Manuscripts 411

ISBN: 9780631226987
ISBN-10: 0631226982
Series: Wiley Blackwell Literature Handbooks
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 17th May 2013
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.73 x 15.29  x 2.02
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1