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Earliest English Poems (Encyclopedia) Hardcover – 14 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: callender press; Revised edition edition (14 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075341189X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753411896
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE EARLY STORY OF BRITAIN starts some half a million years ago in prehistory (the vast period of time before written records). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 4 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
One of the characteristic aspects of Old English/Anglo-Saxon poetry is that it is highly alliterative; done in short measures with a break (the most common pattern), the use of alliteration can almost drive one to distraction until one gets into the rhythm and process of the metrical sounds.
This is a wonderful, brief collection of early (pre-Norman Conquest) English poetry. When one thinks of this period, one usually defaults to the poem 'Beowulf', from which excerpts are included here, including the title line of this review (which demonstrates the alliterative aspect as well as the short meter with a break). The translations included here are very well done, keeping much of the flavour of the original language, which in relation to modern English, really is a foreign tongue.
Michael Alexander has provided both translations and notes, as well as a very good introduction to early English literature. Anglo-Saxon was an inflected language to a more significant degree than is modern English; in that sense, it has more in common with its Germanic cousins. However, poetry had a much more important role than simply demonstrating facility with language, whatever its origin. 'The Old English poet up until Alfred's time was a man with a public function: he was the voice and memory of the tribe.... Knowing the past, he could interpret life as it came, making it part of the tale of the tribe.'
Poems thus reflect the important aspects of life. 'Beowulf' along with poems 'Widsith', 'Deor', The Fight at Finnsburg' and 'Waldere', demonstrates the heroic aspects of the community, and some of the ideals that the members strive to live up to.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Julie on 12 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book! I bought it for my son 2 years ago and it has proved invaluable for school projects, extra information etc. I have certainly improved my knowledge of British History reading it! All KS2 children should have one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 April 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for myself (I'm 63) because it sets out history in a clear concise manner with lots of excellent illustrations. I especially liked the drawings of how people lived in times gone by, era by era. There is enough in here to cover the basics of British History without making it boring. If you want to find out more then buy another book on the subject - much better than searching the internet! Recommended for the young and the not-so-young !
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