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A. D. Jorgensen (Trinity College, Dublin)

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Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse
Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse
by Henry Sweet
Edition: Paperback
Price: 24.45

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent teaching tool, 14 Jun 2011
This reader is rather more advanced than the readers accompanying the standard introductory textbooks (Mitchell and Robinson, Baker), with slightly less hand-holding provided in the glossary and notes. It is thus an excellent way of stretching students and getting them to translate more thoughtfully and independently, and I use it for a second-year course with students who have already done a beginners' course in Old English. The selection of texts strikes a good balance between curriculum favourites (there are complete texts of Judith and of Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, for example, and good selections from the Alfredian texts including the OE Boethius and Orosius) and more unusual items (the third section is dedicated to non-West Saxon dialects). The reader can be used to support literary/historical approaches but is also very handy for more linguistically-focused work. It has also been tested through many editions and is less prone to errors than some newer readers.

This is a specialized publication, not for the general reader, but in the context of university teaching and study it is the only book I can think of in its particular niche, and it fills it well.

The Time of the Ghost
The Time of the Ghost
by Diana Wynne Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.10

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her very best, 18 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Time of the Ghost (Paperback)
I'm a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and this book is one of her strongest and strangest. She writes for several different age groups (all her books are entertaining for adults): this one is probably for teens and up, because it is among her more complex and emotionally demanding works. My favourite Diana Wynne Jones books have a trick of picking themselves up and shaking themselves so that matters turn out to be wholly different from how you first thought they were. Hexwood, Archer's Goon, and Fire and Hemlock, as well as The Time of the Ghost, all do this supremely well. There is a tremendous pleasure in tracing such bravura plotting and in the imaginative detective work needed to work out the rules of each fictional world, but a particular view of character and moral development also emerges: DWJ's characters find out startling things about themselves and about each other, suddenly perceiving new viewpoints and sometimes changing as suddenly. The Time of the Ghost juxtaposes members of a disfunctional family with their older selves, showing how immensely they have changed but also showing how bad early choices - choices about personal relationships as much as about the supernatural side of things - have continued to hurt them. The book offers a wonderfully complicated plot and a powerful, dark atmosphere but also emotional truth. Highly recommended.

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