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A Book of Middle English Paperback – 16 Sep 2004

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3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3rd Revised edition edition (16 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405117095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405117098
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Classroom experience with this authoritative and accessible introduction to Middle English confirms that this is now our best available vademecum to the subject. The appearance of a third edition of Burrow and Turville–Petre′s Book of Middle English is good news to teachers and students of Middle English." Fred Robinson, Yale University

"Currently the most lucid and illuminating introduction to the language of Middle English, with an excellent selection of literary texts chosen and annotated to suggest the interest, sophistication, and variety of Middle English writing from the Peterborough Chronicle through the works of Chaucer and his contemporaries." Andrew Galloway, Cornell University

From the Back Cover

This authoritative textbook introduces readers to the wide range of literature written in England between 1150 and 1400.


The book opens with an introduction to the language of the time, designed to enable the reader to understand the representative pieces of Middle English literature that follow. The authors describe the language as it was used in different parts of the country, show how it evolved over this period, and offer guidance on pronunciation, grammar, metre and vocabulary.


Already a standard classroom text, A Book of Middle English has been extensively enhanced for the third edition. The authors have revised key works in light of new editions, updated bibliographic entries, and have added two substantial new extracts, from Pearl and from Chaucer′s Troilus and Criseyde.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By B. Tovey VINE VOICE on 2 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a good selection of texts, accessibly presented with introductions to each text, footnotes for difficult passages and a glossary. Not so much a book for straight reading as for learning the essentials of reading Middle English literature from early texts such as "Ancrene Wisse" to later ones by Chaucer and other writers. My only complaint is that the glossary is a bit arbitrary - it seems that if the editors consider a word in a text is similar to a Modern English word, they don't include it in the glossary, even if they do include a word with the same spelling but a different meaning - this can cause difficulties in translating and understanding some sections of the texts. On the whole though, a good buy.
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By Wyrm on 24 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In brief, this is a book that you cannot dip in and out of. It is very wordy and demands full attention, so it's really a study rather than something to read quickly or for fun. All the information is there and I'm not phased by it but I did think it'd be a little different. It could be a little more accessible for my liking but I'll stick with it. Also, if you're like me and just starting to learn middle English, then buy a middle English dictionary to accompany this book.
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Format: Paperback
This more of a text book than one to read for pleasure. It does give a good history of changes in the language from early to late, and explains how the grammer of the language simplified to where we are today. I bought it for amusement, having read progressively older and older books, and having got to Chaucer, I thought it would be interesting to get a book on "how to read" even older material. It serves this purpose very well. I haven't got as far as reading the middle English prose and poetry in this book. They range from early to late.

I was born and bred in Australia 65 years ago, and allowing for 'colonial lag', I remember hearing older people speak words for which this book gives translations into modern English. Like 'aks' (pronounced 'axe') for 'ask'; 'five and twenty'. and similar variations, for 'twentyfive' etc. The oldest person I can recall chatting to was born in 1870. I was 10 at the time.

I thus find it easy to read late middle English.

If you are interested in the history of the English language, and are interested in how it evolved (is evolving?) this is a good book to get.

Bill
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