Old English Prose and Verse
An Annotated Selection with Introductions and Notes by
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Originally published in 1966, this book provides students of the earliest stage of our literature with a selection of texts for a complete introductory course. All the principal poems and prose works in this literature are represented, including more generous extracts from Beowulf than are common in anthologies of this type. By omitting texts of primarily philological and historical interest it has been possible to include enough literary texts to satisfy all but the advanced student, who will follow this volume with the specialised editions available. A departure from the traditional design of Old English anthologies is the provision of full critical and annotative apparatus. In the past it has been necessary for students to go beyond their Readers, to specialised editions or to learned articles, in order to discover even the most basic information about the extracts or their content. Here each text is accompanied by an introduction which gives brief details of (where known) date, authorship, manuscript situation, character and critical interest. Line-by-line explanatory notes are also provided, and a bibliography of books and articles for further study. The glossary aims to be more explicit about form and meaning, and easier to use than those of earlier selections.
Table of Contents
Preface. Abbreviations. Prose I: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Introduction 1. The Feud of Cynewulf and Cyneheard 2. Alfred’s Wars with the Danes 3. A Portrait of William the Conqueror II: Alfredian Prose 4. Alfred’s Preface to the Pastoral Care 5. Bede’s Account of the Poet Cædmon 6. The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan III: Romance 7. Apollonius of Tyre IV: Homilies 8. The End of the World 9. Wulfstan’s Address to the English 10. Ælfric’s Life of King Oswald. Verse I: Heroic Poetry 11. Beowulf 12. The Battle of Maldon II: Religious Epic 13. Andreas 14. Genesis B III: Short Poems 15. The Dream of the Rood 16. The Wanderer 17. The Seafarer 18. Deor IV: Poetic Paraphrase 19. The Phoenix 20. Alfred’s Translation of a Metre of Boethius. Bibliography. Notes. Glossary.