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Introduction to Old English
     

Introduction to Old English

by Peter S. Baker
 

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Featuring numerous updates and additional anthology selections, the 3rd edition of Introduction to Old English confirms its reputation as a leading text designed to help students engage with Old English literature for the first time.

  • A new edition of one of the most popular introductions to Old

Overview

Featuring numerous updates and additional anthology selections, the 3rd edition of Introduction to Old English confirms its reputation as a leading text designed to help students engage with Old English literature for the first time.

  • A new edition of one of the most popular introductions to Old English
  • Assumes no expertise in other languages or in traditional grammar
  • Includes basic grammar reviews at the beginning of each major chapter and a “minitext” feature to aid students in practicing reading Old English
  • Features updates and several new anthology readings, including King Alfred’s Preface to Gregory’s Pastoral Care

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Baker (medieval literature, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville; Beowulf: Basic Readings) here provides an excellent introduction to the study of Old English that assumes no knowledge of the traditional grammar. An initial chapter on the Anglo-Saxons and their language is followed by a chapter each on pronunciation and basic grammar; more detailed chapters then treat case, pronouns, nouns, verbs, adjectives, numerals, adverbs, poetic style, paleography, and more. Appendixes deal with spelling variants and phonetic symbols and terms. An anthology of 14 Old English pieces (e.g., The Wanderer, The Dream of the Rood, and Judith), a glossary, references, and suggestions for further reading complete the volume. Although textbookish in design, the book is surprisingly accessible and formatted for ease of use (e.g., most of the chapters begin with a "quick start" of basic principles, followed by more detailed information). In addition, the book is complemented by a practical web site (www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/OEA/), which provides a plethora of exercises and supplementary readings. Although intended mostly for graduate students with "literary or historical rather than linguistic" interests, the book is also accessible to the well-educated reader. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Excellent introduction designed to provide reading knowledge ... He [Baker] constructs the book to encourage beginning students to start translating almost immediately" (The Medieval Review, June 2008)

"In its references to web-sites and computer-links, An Introduction to Old English is very much a book of the twenty-first century; and many of its novel features - for example the chapter on the grammar of poetry, or the appendix on common spelling variants - will be extraordinarily helpful to teachers and students alike."
(Michael Lapidge, University of Notre Dame)

"Baker's Introduction is the kind of book that students of Old English - and their teachers - have been waiting for for a long time." (Hugh Magennis, Queen's University Belfast)

"This is a truly outstanding textbook for today's student of Old English. Written in lucid and friendly prose, Baker brings the language to life in a manner that will inspire students." (Elaine Treharne, University of Leicester)

"Peter Baker's Introduction to Old English offers an innovative combination of the traditional and the cutting edge. Beginning with the basics of the language, the chapters proceed through intelligently paced levels so that by the end the user is reading the most sophisticated literature in Old English." (Daniel G. Donoghue, Harvard University)

"The fruit of years of sensitive, thoughtful and student-responsive teaching. [...] this work is a huge step forward in imaginative course design. It is accessible in manner and genuinely tries to address the needs of the modern student and teacher, taking them through a course step by step. [...] by far the best attempt yet to introduce Old English, and I enthusiastically recommend it to members." (TOEBI Newsletter)

"Peter Baker's excellent new book, a combined grammar and reader, deserves to find a central place in the university teaching of Old English. It is unabashedly designed to be accessible to absolute beginners, but students who progress attentively through the whole book will in fact find themselves in command of a great deal of what makes Old English language and literature tick. […] These chapters [on ‘Metre’, Poetic Style’, ‘The Grammar of Poetry’, and ‘Reading Old English Manuscripts’] constitute the real novelty of the book in their lucid summation of some essential truths that have rarely if ever been to clearly set out for beginners; the sections on poetry in particular deserve to be read by all students beginning the translation of Old English for the first time.” (Notes and Queries)

“The new edition is a solid tool that both an independent student and a classroom full of students will find useful. The book's approach is balanced. It includes just the right amount of explanatory text … while also offering … grammar tools and exercises. The selection of readings is varied and exemplary. Much thought was put into the choice, quantity, and order of the other texts in the anthology. I would certainly recommend this book for an introductory course in Old English … .Baker's new edition is a pleasure to read and would be a pleasure to use in the classroom.” (Comitatus)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781444354201
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
803,852
File size:
3 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"In its references to web-sites and computer-links, An Introduction to Old English is very much a book of the twenty-first century; and many of its novel features - for example the chapter on the grammar of poetry, or the appendix on common spelling variants - will be extraordinarily helpful to teachers and students alike."
Michael Lapidge, University of Notre Dame

"Baker's Introduction is the kind of book that students of Old English - and their teachers - have been waiting for for a long time."
Hugh Magennis, Queen's University Belfast

"This is a truly outstanding textbook for today's student of Old English. Written in lucid and friendly prose, Baker brings the language to life in a manner that will inspire students."
Elaine Treharne, University of Leicester

"Peter Baker's Introduction to Old English offers an innovative combination of the traditional and the cutting edge. Beginning with the basics of the language, the chapters proceed through intelligently paced levels so that by the end the user is reading the most sophisticated literature in Old English."
Daniel G. Donoghue, Harvard University

Meet the Author

Peter S. Baker is Professor of English, specializing in medieval literature and the history of the English language, at the University of Virginia. His previous books include editions of Byrhthferth’s Enchiridion (with Michael Lapidge, 1995) and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition.

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