Essentials of Early English: Old, Middle and Early Modern English

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A practical and accessible introduction to the early stages of the English language: Old English, Middle English and Early Modern English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A godsend to anyone who wants to read and understand texts in more than just one older period of English. This is a highly readable, improved and enlarged second edition.' - Olga Fischer, University of Amsterdam

'It's engaging approach, its unpretentious scholarship, and its lucid exposition of a broad and complex subject, recommend it as a fine textbook for anyone seeking to understand, both the history of the language, and how the linguistic and the literary interconnect in Early English writing.' - Catherine Batt, University of Leeds, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415187428
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 15.60 (w) x 23.40 (h) x 2.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Descriptive Material 1
1 Introduction 3
2 Describing language 17
3 Old English 45
4 Middle English 91
5 Early Modern English 125
Pt. II Illustrative Texts 157
Sect. A Old English Texts 159
1 The Man Who Built His House on Sand 160
2 Abraham and Isaac 161
3 From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 162
4 Daniel 163
5 Caedmon's Hymn 164
6 From The Dream of the Rood 165
7 From AElfric's Life of King Oswald 167
8 From Beowulf 169
Sect. B Middle English texts 175
1 From The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales 176
2 From The Pardoner's Tale 178
3 From The Parson's Tale 181
4 From The Peterborough Chronicle 184
5 From Sir Orfeo 186
6 From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 188
7 From William Caxton's Preface to his edition of the Morte Darthure 190
8 From Sir Thomas Malory, The Morte Darthur 192
9 A letter from Margaret Paston 193
Sect. C Early Modern English texts 199
1 From Loues labour's lost 201
2 From As you like it 203
3 From The Tragedie of King Lear 204
4 From The Tragedie of Julius Caesar 207
5 From The Tragedie of Hamlet 208
6 From The Tragedie of Richard the Third 210
7 From the Authorized Version of the Bible (1611) 212
8 From E.K.'s Preface to Spenser's Shepheardes Calender (1579) 213
9 From John Milton's Areopagitica (1644) 215
10 From John Dryden, All for Love or, the World Well Lost (1677/1678) 216
11 From The Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley (1642) 218
Annotated Bibliography 223
Old English Glossary 229
Thematic Index 247
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