Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature

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Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature is a comprehensive guide to the literary works, writers, concepts, and terms of the era spanning the years 500 to 1500. This A-to-Z reference examines the literature not only of Europe but also of China, India, Japan, the Islamic world, and elsewhere. Some of literature's most influential writers flourished during the era. This wide-ranging encyclopedia includes approximately 700 entries.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this one-volume work, Ruud (English, Univ. of Central Arkansas) offers approximately 700 A-to-Z entries on the foremost texts and literary traditions of medieval literature. As he states in his introduction, the majority of entries focuses on the English-speaking (Old and Middle) languages spanning 500-1500 C.E. However, the book does an admirable job of including non-Western literary works, writers, genres, concepts, and terms as well, specifically those of Asia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. Many of the entries are signed, and all include a brief bibliography. They tend to be precise-most are no longer than a page or two-and generally fall into four main categories: genre (e.g., the ancient form of Japanese poetry known as tanka), author (e.g., Sanskrit poet and dramatist Kalidasa), specific works (e.g., Iceland's Njal's Saga), and themes (e.g., the Nine Worthies of the High Middle Ages). The entries for "Mystery Play," "Morality Play" (both types of vernacular dramas of the Middle Ages), and "Fenian cycle" (a form of Irish literature) are distinctly longer than companion entries found in the fourth edition of Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (Collins, 1996). The volume concludes with a selected bibliography and a fine index in which pagination for main entries is indicated in bold type. Bottom Line This is probably not a necessary purchase for libraries owning Robert and Laura Lambdin's work of the same title published by Greenwood in 2000. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Ruud's book includes a greater number of non-Western thematic entries. Recommended for high school and academic libraries.-Lura Sanborn, St. Paul's Sch. Lib., Concord, NH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816054978
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Series: Encyclopedia of World Literature Series
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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