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By R. D. Fulk

This revised version of A background of previous English Literature attracts broadly at the newest scholarship to have developed over the past decade. The textual content accommodates extra fabric all through, together with new chapters on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and incidental and marginal texts.

  • This revised variation responds to the renewed historicism in medieval studies
  • Provides wide-ranging assurance, together with Anglo-Latin literature in addition to non-canonical writings
  • Includes new chapters on manuscripts and on marginal and incidental texts
  • Incorporates improved assurance of criminal texts and clinical and scholastic texts, now handled in separate chapters
  • Demonstrates that the sphere of Anglo-Saxon reviews is uniquely put to give a contribution to present literary debates

Chapter none advent (pages 1–41):
Chapter 1 The Chronology and kinds of outdated English Literature (pages 42–57):
Chapter 2 Anglo?Saxon Manuscripts (pages 58–82):
Chapter three Literature of the Alfredian interval (pages 83–111):
Chapter four Homilies (pages 112–132):
Chapter five Saints’ Legends (pages 133–156): Rachel S. Anderson
Chapter 6 Biblical Literature (pages 157–176):
Chapter 7 Liturgical and Devotional Texts (pages 177–210):
Chapter eight criminal Texts (pages 211–226):
Chapter nine medical and Scholastic Texts (pages 227–240):
Chapter 10 knowledge Literature and Lyric Poetry (pages 241–277):
Chapter eleven Germanic Legend and Heroic Lay (pages 278–328):
Chapter 12 Additions, Annotations, and Marginalia (pages 329–353):

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Yet all but a small portion of Old English verse is in fact translated from Latin sources, and it finds analogues of varying proximity in the Latin curriculum. This conclusion explains a number of peculiar facts about the corpus of Old English poetry. 42 28 Introduction This is the only function that Tacitus ascribes to such songs, and given the way that heroic vocabulary permeates all Old English poetic genres, including such unheroic compositions as riddles, prayers, allegories, and homiletic pieces, heroic verse must at least have dominated the poetic repertoire in the days before the Conversion.

The best introductions to Wulfstan’s life and writings are Bethurum 1957: 24–101 and 1966, Whitelock 1967a, and the essays in Townend 2004. Wulfstan held the episcopacy of Worcester as well as of York because the latter was to a great extent a nominal position during the reigns of the viking kings of York. He is not to be confused with Wulfstan I, archbishop of York 931–56, nor with Wulfstan II, bishop of Worcester (St. Wulfstan), the last of the Anglo-Saxon bishops, who died in 1095. The best concise account of Byrhtferth’s life, times, and oeuvre is to be found in Baker and Lapidge 1995: xv–xxxiv; see also, much more briefly, McGowan 2001b: 41–2.

Cain. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The Chronology of Old English Literature 43 The problems are more severe in regard to the poetry. Although there may be reason to doubt whether Old English was much used for substantial prose compositions before Alfred’s day (see n. 1), the case is plainly otherwise in regard to verse.

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