A Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

This stimulating Companion brings together leading scholars from America, the Antipodes, and Europe to point the way ahead for Anglo-Saxon studies. The scope of the volume is unparalleled, embracing not only the literature of the period, but also the cultural background and the discipline of Anglo-Saxon studies, past, present and future.

The chapters are linked into five sections covering contexts, readings, genres, intertextualities and debates. The combination of the discussion of primary material and manuscript sources with critical analysis and readings breaks new ground: fresh approaches are offered, genres of writing not normally studied are opened up, and readers are shown how texts can be read in their particular cultural milieu.

The complete volume is essential reading for upper-level students or faculty who want a current and challenging overview of the field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The latest addition to Blackwell's comprehensive surveys of literature and culture, this volume offers an impressive array of essays by reputable scholars ... This Companion will be a valuable introduction for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students and useful resource for faculty."
Choice

"A Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature is an impressive anthology of erudite essays written by scholars around the world on the topic of Anglo-Saxon literature, particularly that of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Prose, poetry, religious, and secular literature are all discussed at length in this college-level analysis and presentation, which is very highly recommended for academic literary studies in general, and medieval studies in reference collections in particular."
The Midwest Book Review

"Many of the world's leading Anglo-Saxonists have contributed to this volume which provides a very useful overview of current preoccupations of those who study and teach Old English literature."
Literature and History

"Stimulating introductions that bring out the wider potential of their topics for understanding the Anglo-Saxon past ... much to offer the more experienced reader as well as the novice."
Literature and History

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Phillip Pulsiano is late Professor of English at Villanova University. He authored numerous articles on Old and Middle English poetry and prose, and co-edited the Garland Encyclopaedia of Medieval Scandinavia (with Paul Acker and Kirsten Wolf). He had completed the first volume of The Old English Psalters (for Toronto University Press), and had undertaken significant research on Latin female saints' lives from the medieval period, and (with Joseph P. McGowan) the prose texts in the Beowulf-manuscript: work that will be published posthumously.

Elaine M. Treharne is Professor of Early English at Florida State University. She is author of The Old English Life of St Nicholas with the Old English Life of St Giles (1997), co-editor of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and their Heritage (with Philip Pulsiano), Rewriting Old English in the Twelfth Century (with Mary Swan), and Readings in Medieval Texts (with David Johnson). She is the author of Old and Middle English: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2003) and an editor for Review of English Studies and Literature Compass. She currently works on the ideology of early English texts and their physical contexts.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Map 1 Late Anglo-Saxon England
Pt. I Contexts and Perspectives 1
1 An Introduction to the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Vernacular Literature 3
2 An Introduction to the Corpus of Anglo-Latin Literature 11
3 Transmission of Literature and Learning: Anglo-Saxon Scribal Culture 50
4 Authorship and Anonymity 71
5 Audience(s), Reception, Literacy 84
6 Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Production: Issues of Making and Using 102
Pt. II Readings: Cultural Framework and Heritage 119
7 The Germanic Background 121
8 Religious Context: Pre-Benedictine Reform Period 135
9 The Benedictine Reform and Beyond 151
10 Legal and Documentary Writings 170
11 Scientific and Medical Writings 188
12 Prayers, Glosses and Glossaries 209
Pt. III Genres and Modes 231
13 Religious Prose 233
14 Religious Poetry 251
15 Secular Prose 268
16 Secular Poetry 281
17 Anglo-Latin Prose 296
Pt. IV Intertextualities: Sources and Influences 325
18 Biblical and Patristic Learning 327
19 The Irish Tradition 345
20 Continental Germanic Influences 375
21 Scandinavian Relations 388
Pt. V Debates and Issues 401
22 English in the Post-Conquest Period 403
23 Anglo-Saxon Studies: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries 415
24 Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Nineteenth Century England, Denmark, America 434
25 Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Nineteenth Century: Germany, Austria, Switzerland 455
26 By the Numbers: Anglo-Saxon Scholarship at the Century's End 472
27 The New Millennium 496
Selected Further Reading 506
Index 511
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