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From the Back Cover
The extensive new edition of original texts covers the Old an d Middle English periods from the eighth to the mid-fourteenth centuries. Key texts such as The Wife’s Lament. The Wanderer Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. The Owl and Nightingale
and Sir Orfeo
are included in full. While substantial extracts are given from numerous others. Such as Beowulf. The Peterborough Chronicle. Ancrene Wisse and Kyng Alisunder. Less frequently studied verse is included (Exodus. Dame Sirip and The Life of Wulfstan. For example). As is a selection of prose (Vercelli Homily X. Apollonius of Tyre. The Old English Life of Saint Margaret. The Trinity Homily of Psalms 119).
The volume is primarily organized by date of manuscript allowing physical context to play a full part in the discussion of texts and to foreground issues of dating, textual transmission, and the concept of authorship and audience. The traditional pedagogic and scholarly divide of pre-Conquest and post-Conquest literature is abandoned to provide an emphasis on the continuities, as well as the transitions, of literary production.
Each text is accompanied by a brief introduction and footnotes. Earlier materials are made fully accessible by accompanying translations, and the later by marginal glosses. The literary, historical, cultural and intellectual background to the period is discussed in a comprehensive introduction to the volume. Other aids to student learning are provided by a language analysis, a chronology, a select bibliography which includes sections on certain authors and leading figures, a glossary of common hard words, and index of manuscripts and a general index.
This volume will provide indispensable to all university courses in Medieval Studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and make an important contribution to the debates on periodicity and canonicity in university curricula.