By Robert D. Fulk, Christopher M. Cain

This well timed creation to outdated English literature specializes in the construction and reception of outdated English texts, and on their relation to Anglo-Saxon heritage and tradition.
• Introduces outdated English texts and considers their relation to Anglo-Saxon tradition.
• Responds to renewed emphasis on ancient and cultural contexts within the box of medieval experiences.
• Treats almost the total variety of textual varieties preserved in outdated English.
• Considers the construction, reception and makes use of of outdated English texts.
• Integrates the Anglo-Latin backgrounds the most important to realizing previous English literature.
• deals very broad bibliographical information.
• Demonstrates that Anglo-Saxon experiences is uniquely positioned to give a contribution to present literary debates.

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Extra info for A History of Old English Literature (Blackwell History of Literature)

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Zupitza Introduction 23 1880), Ælfric tells us that a few years earlier, before Dunstan and Æthelwold restored monastic life, no English priest could compose or fully understand a letter in Latin (p. , Charles Wright 2007: 38). 27 Whatever its possible ultimate effect on lay reading, certainly Alfred’s program of translation had the consequence of dignifying the vernacular, legitimizing English as a language of scholarship, which it had never been before. The promotion of vernacular reading no doubt detracted from the importance attached to Latin; certainly, AngloSaxon Latinity never regained the refinement that it had achieved in the pre-viking age.

On Alcuin’s life and works, the only comprehensive treatments are Gaskoin 1904 and Duckett 1951. For a concise overview, see McGowan 2001b: 31–6. Alfred’s life and times are treated informatively by Keynes and Lapidge (1983), Frantzen (1986), Smyth (1995), and Abels (1998). Morrish (1986) doubts that Latin literacy was as rare as Alfred claims; but Lapidge (1996d) finds that such Latin as late ninth-century scribes had was exceptionally poor. Whether there was any significant body of vernacular prose in existence before Alfred’s day, likely of a Mercian nature, is a matter of contention: for arguments in favor, see Vleeskruyer 1953: 56, Schabram 1965: 75, 38 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Introduction and N.

The result is not exactly factual – the work is larded with accounts of miracles and deific visions, including those of Fursa, Adamnan, and Dryhthelm (see chapter 7) – but such supernatural matters are generally employed not for their sensational interest but as a form of evidence, proving the sanctity and divine favor of God’s champions in England. When one considers how great were the obstacles in Bede’s day to compiling and sifting such a vast volume of information from so many different, and often distant, sources, his history seems truly remarkable.

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