Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $5.99 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Elves in Anglo-Saxon Engl... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by riviera_america
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used, Like New item, Shipped fast from United Kingdom
Trade in your item
Get a $1.75
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Elves in Anglo-Saxon England (Anglo-Saxon Studies) Paperback – October 15, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$23.96
$17.98 $19.95

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
$23.96 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Elves in Anglo-Saxon England (Anglo-Saxon Studies)
  • +
  • Popular Religion in Late Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context
Total price: $63.91
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

A work of great value. COSMOS Succeeds in being both a solidly scholarly work, with meticulous discussion of philological matters, and also an open-minded (although strictly evidence-based) attempt to look at the bigger picture. FOLKLORE Should become standard reading in all fields touching on Anglo-Saxon interests for a number of its merits. (...) It is an admirably careful, measured study with a strong focus on primary evidence, lexical items and good philology. MIRATOR Sets an admirable standard for other researchers through its integration of Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Celtic lore in a productive European mix. A delightful (book) that will stimulate thought across the disciplines regarding the importance, to the Anglo-Saxons, of a class of creatures whose fascination for us today stands in direct proportion to their enigmatic nature. At many turns, this well-researched study exemplifies the value of joining lexically based research to larger cultural inquiries. SPECULUM

About the Author

ALARIC HALL is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at the University of Leeds.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: BOYE6; Reprint edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843835096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843835097
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Fisher on May 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I actually first read this book (unbeknown to its author) in its earlier form as an academic dissertation for Hall's PhD at the University of Glasgow. It traces -- quite thoroughly -- the history of the concept of the elf through the Old English (as ælfe) and Old Norse (as álfar) traditions. I enjoyed it very much and put the book you are now considering on my wish-list straight away.

Given the scope implicit in the title, Hall omits parallel study of elves in other, related Germanic literary traditions (not to mention Celtic), only touching on them in a brief appendix on Germanic cognates (purely linguistic in scope). For a glimpse of these other traditions, see Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie, Chapter XVII. But his coverage of OE / ON elves is wonderful. Hall wisely includes onomastics in his study (how many casual readers would otherwise realize that names like "Alfred" included a reference to elves?). He also examines medieval medical texts (addressing the famous -- or infamous -- matter of "elf-shot"). And of course, he ranges all over the literary record of these curious and semi-legendary beings.

For many readers, the material may be much too much. If you're a casual reader, simply interested in elves (as, say, a fan of fantasy literature), then this is surely not the book for you. Even for some academic readers, the level of technical detail may be intimidating. But for serious scholars of the medieval tradition of elves (if Hall is not in fact the first such specialist to be quite so dedicated :), it's an essential new study. Highly recommended!
1 Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Elves. The word conjures up a variety of images, ranging from Harry Potter's Dobby, a helpful but somewhat pathetic, tiny and ugly creature, to Tolkien's ethereal and enigmatic Gildor Inglorion or the Queen of Lorien, Galadriel. Both are highly magical beings, of course, but could hardly be more dissimilar otherwise. Of course, the idea of the elf is centuries old, reflected in the words from which it is derived, such as the Old English ælf, or the Old Norse álfr. Hall's approach is thorough, scholarly and cautious, yet so comprehensive that he arrives at some fascinating conclusions that are hard to dispute, if you are patient enough to work through it. His mission is simple: explore every shred of textual evidence in Old English, and to a lesser extent Old Norse, concerning ælfe or álfr, as well as related terms such as ælfscyne or ælfsiden, to get a handle on the concept from purely contextual readings, "from the ground up" rather than going into the study with a preconceived idea of what ælfe are and fitting the evidence around it, which has been a common approach in past scholarship. Included are some continental, Middle English, and Old Irish references as well, to round out the study. The results give us a picture of these strange and powerful beings that come across as more Tolkien than Rowling, by a strong measure, and there is more, especially concerning the oft discussed `elf-shot' of the Lacnunga or the Leechbooks. Hall shows how the medical texts are more consistent than originally thought in their depiction of how ælfe cause illness, and what kinds of illnesses they were known for (curiously, mostly psychosomatic ailments such as foul moods, nightmares, hallucinations, internal pains and sudden fevers).Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where to begin? This book is required reading if one has any real interest in the topic of cunning-folk and fairy-lore(or aelf-lore). It is so interesting and informative on so many levels, I can not recommend it enough. Also people interested in early medicine, norse myths, and ancient languages will find a treasure trove of information. Buy this book!
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here comes a scholarly look at the concept of elves in England as believed by the Anglo-Saxons who conquered the islands. In my reading of the book I found it to be very scholarly, dry and textbook like. Bit hard to enjoy and focus on but none the less informative.

The concept of Alf, Alp or alb comes up a lot in  English lore. Usually it is thought to mean Elf but what is an elf ?, especially in Anglo Saxon lore. The author here uses old lore from the norse and scandinavia to help give the reader a picture of what elves were. The author also relies strongly on linguistics and word variation to give us a definition. While that in itself can be enlightening it can also make for very difficult reading especially if you are not a linguist.

For starters going into old Scandinavian folklore we learn from bardic writing left behind that Elves were usually though of as males who were warriors at that. They were described in very human terms. The author nexts evaluates Icelandic Lore about elves. It is here we learn that Snorri Stulson had his view of elves influenced very strongly by Christianity. Especially with him dividing them into light elves and dark elves. Dark Elves lived below the earth and light elves lived above in the sky with the Aesir. THe elves in Snorri Stulson's view had their own world.

In Germanic lore there were no female elves, yet there were supernatural being that were supernatural. THe three that were spoken of were the Nornir, Disir and Valkyries. In original mythos the terms seem to bespeak supernaturalness and not a specific definition. It was only later that there would be female elves and these seem to have been based on the Greek concept of Nymph. Nymph were water maidens who could sing and seduce men.  In fact look at Grenedel from Beowulf.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Elves in Anglo-Saxon England (Anglo-Saxon Studies)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Elves in Anglo-Saxon England (Anglo-Saxon Studies)