- Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np); 7th Bk&CD edition (June 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393151093
- ISBN-13: 978-0393151091
- Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th Ed, Vol. 1 (Packaged with Media Companion) 7th Bk&CD Edition
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Top customer reviews
Now, that probably sounded pretty negative, but I do mean in to be positive since being a good reference is the entire purpose of it. It gets as close to the original text as possible and sometimes it IS in the original language. It makes a great reference, but I will there are some things to point out in case it matters to someone buying this, and I will give an outline of what it contains.
It starts out with a very brief history of the Middle Ages and short overview of the sounds, pronunciation, and grammar of middle english, before it begins you at one of the oldest known Old English Poem's, Caedmon's Hymn, for which it gives the Old English verse for verse with translation. And then a translation of Dream of the Rood with annotation. Unfortunately the Old English is not provided for the Dream of the Rood in this book (they could have added it, the poem's only a couple of pages), so if you want a side by side translation, you would have to search elsewhere. And then it has a few more Anglo-saxon pieces, including Beowulf of course, translated and annotated. These also do not provide the Old English, but more understandably so, because if they had, the book would be twice as thick and probably not necessary for it's intended use.
Then just a little Irish Literature and Anglo Norman Literature before the Romance genre which includes Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. (there's very little else involving King Arthur) Then it goes right into Geoffrey Chaucer's the Cantebury Tales which is in the actual Middle English with translation on the side for some words each page and also with heavy annotation. They include the General Prologue, as well as The Miller's Prologue and Tale, The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, and The Parsons tale. We didn't go much farther than that in the class I was using it for, and I haven't really checked it out the rest for myself, but there's some more from the 14th and 15th century, some lyrics, mystery plays, and courtly romance poems/ lyrics.
Also the book came as described, which was in good condition with little to no writing or highlighting. (there was only one page with minimal pencil markings and writing)
I know this was a very long review, but I try to be thorough, so I hope it really helps someone. I was completely satisfied with this item.
There are some advantages to this 9th ed over the 8th. The Anglo-Saxon selection is greatly improved: the translations now are all in verse, and give much more sense of the originals as poetry. Some changes are an ambiguous blessing: we now get the whole of Utopia, which sounds like a good idea, but is more than most teachers will want to include in a survey class (so now we have to do our own selections instead). Other changes are a big mistake, like the new text of Margery Kempe - haphazardly semi-modernized, and really unusable.
The best thing, apart from the Anglo-Saxon selection, is the new font, which is bigger and clearer than that of the 8th ed. For choice of texts, I'm inclined to prefer the 6th ed., which included more from the Canterbury Tales (the beautiful Franklin's Tale), and the 7th ed., which included some strange and wonderful Ranter writing - very briefly fashionable in academia.