This collection of twenty-nine papers is in honour of E. G. Stanley, Rawlinson and Bosworth Emeritus Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford. Written by scholars he has supervised, examined or otherwise served as mentor for within the last twenty years, the contributors illustrate the advantages of following John Donne's axiom to 'doubt wisely'. Professor Stanley's own published work has shown the utility of wise scepticism as a critical stance; these papers presented to him apply similar approaches to a wide variety of texts, most of them in the field of Old or Middle English literature. The primary focus of the collection is on the close reading of words in their immediate context, which commonly entails a reconsideration of accepted assumptions. Consequently, new links are created here among the disciplines in medieval studies, based on various combinations of these scholarly applications.
Contributors provide new analyses of such difficult but rewarding fields as Old English metre and syntax, Beowulf, the origins and development of standard English, the definitions of Old English words and their connotations, the styles and themes of Old English poems, Middle English poetry and prose, the post-medieval reception of medieval works and the styles, themes and sources of Old English poetry and prose.
M.J. Toswell is Associate Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.E.M. Tyler is Lecturer in the Department of English and Related Literature at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York.