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Old and Middle English C.890-c.1400: An Anthology (Blackwell Anthologies) Paperback – 16 Dec 2003

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"Monsters, erotic desire, spiritual Angst, the adventures of saints and knights, the harshness and joy of nature – Treharne′s anthology makes vivid and accessible early medieval literature in all its vitality and variety. The effect is to challenge notions of how modern literature constructs reality." Peter Brown, University of Kent at Canterbury <!––end––>

"Old and Middle English c.890–c.1400: An Anthology is a valuable seminar resource. It contains an imaginative selection of canonical and non–canonical material, and can be used both to facilitate group discussion and to encourage independent student research." Helen Moore, Oxford University

"The broad scope of this anthology, including its presentation of Old English texts with the original and translation on facing pages as well as its focus upon the manuscript contexts of the texts, is something that sets it apart from other such collections and makes it an ideal choice for survey courses in medieval English literature." Stephen R. Reimer, University of Alberta

From the Back Cover

Spanning almost seven centuries, this anthology of literary texts ranges from the earliest writings in English up to the time of Chaucer. It encapsulates the foundation and consolidation of literature written in English, culminating in some of the finest works produced in the high Middle Ages. For the second edition, the anthology has been extended to include newly edited versions of key late medieval texts, particularly ′Sir Gawain and the Green Knight′, substantial extracts from ′Piers Plowman′, and selections from the works of Chaucer. The texts are arranged by date of manuscript, foregrounding issues of dating, textual transmission, authorship and audience. Full translations are offered for all the Old and earlier Middle English material, along with marginal glosses for the later texts, making them accessible to those who are not language specialists. A general introduction gives an outline of the key works and the historical context in which they were written.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1b33d5c) out of 5 stars 1 review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa19e6390) out of 5 stars Much improved second edition 18 Feb. 2004
By Christopher M. Adderley - Published on
Format: Paperback
The new edition of this anthology is greatly superior to the old one. The previous edition covered Old English quite thoroughly, but only the first half of the Middle English period. Thus, it was difficult to assign it to students in my Middle English class, since I'd have to also choose a textbook to cover the later fourteenth century. That defeciency has been corrected. The new edition adds selections from Langland, Chaucer, and the Gawain-poet. There are a few losses, "King Alisauder" being the most grievous, but nothing really fatal.
Overall, the changes made for this new edition make it a more useful and usable anthology. The introductory material and the footnotes are helpful.
One criticism I have is that only the first and last fitts of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" are provided; I would prefer to see all of that poem. To me, that's pretty serious, and I'll have to find an additional text of GGK: the middle fitts, particularly Fitt 3, are vital to an understanding of the poem. Less serious are the omissions from the Chaucer section; perhaps alternate Canterbury Tales, or even "The Parliament of Fowls" or "The Book of the Duchess" could flesh this section out in a future edition.
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