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Old and Middle English: An Anthology (Blackwell Anthologies) Hardcover – 8 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (8 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631204652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631204657
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 4.1 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,487,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

The extensive new edition of original texts covers the Old an d Middle English periods from the eighth to the mid–fourteenth centuries. Key texts such as The Wife’s Lament. The Wanderer Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. The Owl and Nightingale and Sir Orfeo are included in full. While substantial extracts are given from numerous others. Such as Beowulf. The Peterborough Chronicle. Ancrene Wisse and Kyng Alisunder. Less frequently studied verse is included (Exodus. Dame Sirip and The Life of Wulfstan. For example). As is a selection of prose (Vercelli Homily X. Apollonius of Tyre. The Old English Life of Saint Margaret. The Trinity Homily of Psalms 119).

The volume is primarily organized by date of manuscript allowing physical context to play a full part in the discussion of texts and to foreground issues of dating, textual transmission, and the concept of authorship and audience. The traditional pedagogic and scholarly divide of pre–Conquest and post–Conquest literature is abandoned to provide an emphasis on the continuities, as well as the transitions, of literary production.

Each text is accompanied by a brief introduction and footnotes. Earlier materials are made fully accessible by accompanying translations, and the later by marginal glosses. The literary, historical, cultural and intellectual background to the period is discussed in a comprehensive introduction to the volume. Other aids to student learning are provided by a language analysis, a chronology, a select bibliography which includes sections on certain authors and leading figures, a glossary of common hard words, and index of manuscripts and a general index.

This volume will provide indispensable to all university courses in Medieval Studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and make an important contribution to the debates on periodicity and canonicity in university curricula.

About the Author

Elaine M. Treharne is Reader in Medieval Literature at the University of Leicester. She is the editor of Old and Middle English: An Anthology (Blackwell Publishing, 2000), the co–editor of The Blackwell Companion to Anglo–Saxon Literature (Blackwell Publishing, 2001) and of Anglo–Saxon Manuscripts and their Heritage (1998), and the author of The Old English Life of St Nicholas with the Old English Life of St Giles (1997). She is also a past editor of the annual Year's Work in English Studies.

Duncan Wu is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His numerous publications include Wordsworth: An Inner Life (2001), Romanticism: An Anthology (Second Edition, 1998), Romantic Women Poets: An Anthology (1997), Romanticism: A Critical Reader (1995), an edition of William Wordsworth′s The Five–Book Prelude (1997) and, with Tom Paulin, of William Hazlitt′s The Plain–Speaker: Key Essays (1998), all available from Blackwell Publishing. He collaborated with David Miall in preparing Blackwell Publishing′s Romanticism: The CD–ROM and is the editor of a nine–volume edition of The Selected Writings of William Hazlitt (1998).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Mar 2001
Format: Paperback
This anthology contains a combination of mainstream and less-well-known texts from the period from the mid-seventh century to the mid-fourteenth century. All the major works are here ('Beowulf'; 'The Wanderer', 'The Seafarer', 'The Dream of The Rood', extracts from Bede's 'Ecclesiatical History', romances such as 'Ywain and Gawain', 'Sor Orfeo' and 'Kyng Alisaunder', and political poems such as 'Wynnour and Wastoure') as well as extracts from other chronicles, and religious and secular lyrics. The editing is meticulous, and the commentary is lively and well-informed, making the collection both easy to read and informative. If you buy only one anthology of Old and Middle English literature, this is the one to go for!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Monumental work 24 Nov 2003
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Paperback
This will surely become THE definitive anthology of Old and Middle English literature. Editor Elaine Treharne includes generous extracts of almost every major work of Old and Middle English.
Her parallel translations are an outstanding feature. As you read, you can improve your understanding of both Old and Middle English. Good whether you're new to this, or returning "rusty" after a lapse.
So many milestones are offered, as to provide a supreme monument to early English Lit. Treharne fulfils her aim, "to provide an extensive selection of literary texts that effectively covers the earliest writings in the vernacular up to the time of Chaucer."
The organisation is unorthodox. Since many medieval texts were passed on orally, and are "not securely dated", Treharne organises them by "extant manuscript date". She departs from usual critical/editorial practice by NOT imposing a date of composition. This method enables the reader to learn about such documents as the four main Old English codices, and, e.g., the Harley MS for medieval English Lyrics.
There's plenty here to inspire or to help with college papers .... The impressive, readable introduction contextualizes the works by surveying national, religious, social and literary history. Other sections deal with manuscript culture, forms of poetry, and language, including a grammatical overview.
A great book for, say, a college readings course, but there's a lifetime's reading here!
Very great book 10 Jun 2009
By Brain Buff - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who wish to become more familiar with Old and Middle English, I reccomend buying this or the new edition (either one is just fine). Whether you just want to see what older english looked like, and read the translations , or to use it as a study tool for learning Old and/or Middle English I reccomend it for both.

It begins with a thorough introduction that tells of the origins of english, a bit about their culture and times, tells about the forms of poetry used in old times, as well as a brief grammatical overview of Old and middle English that compares it to modern English too. However, this is not a grammar book and the few pages dedicated to it are just to give an idea how it works.

For those who are aspiring students of the Old English language, it helps a lot if you are at least familiar with either German, Dutch, Frisian, or Icelandic as those languages have much in common with modern english and even more with the old varieties of english that were not subject to the greeko-latin influence of today's english.

For the old english portions, I reccomend purchasing the Teach Yourself Old English book and 2 CD set. It is a nice set as well and will help you for studying this book.


With all of these resources, as well as various ones you find on the internet for free in combination with this book, learning at least some Old English will be a very possible task.
Great Anthology 1 Feb 2009
By M. Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first edition of the book, but the newer edition(s) don't add too much more. The nice thing is that this includes en face translations of each work. The translations are very true to the originals, as Prof. Treharne is trying to provide an example of the text, not just the idea of the text. Each text also includes a brief introduction with just enough history to whet your appetite.
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