The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English: Volume 1: To 1550

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General Editors: Peter France and Stuart Gillespie

This groundbreaking five-volume history runs from the Middle Ages to the year 2000. It is a critical history, treating translations wherever appropriate as literary works in their own right, and reveals the vital part played by translators and translation in shaping the literary culture of the English-speaking world, both for writers and readers. It thus offers new and often challenging perspectives on the history of literature in English. As well as examining the translations and their wider impact, it explores the processes by which they came into being and were disseminated, and provides extensive bibliographical and biographical reference material.

Volume 1 of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English originates with what medievalists have long known, that virtually everything written in the Middle Ages in English can be regarded, one way or another, as a translation, and that medieval understandings of what constitutes literature were significantly more generous than many modern ones. It uses modern as well as medieval understandings of translation to inform its discussions (the two understandings have a great deal in common), and it aims to situate medieval translation in English as fully as possible in its various cultural contexts: this includes, in particular, the complicated inter-relations of translation throughout the period into Latin, and (for the Middle English period) of translation in French. Since it also understands the Middle Ages of its title as including the first half of the sixteenth century, it studies what has survived of nearly a thousand years of translation activity in England.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The collection...achieves an admirable coherence and repays reading from cover to cover." —Speculum

"For anyone who has ever had to defend the legitimacy of studying, making, or reading translations, this publication undoubtedly counts as a major event. For anyone who has not considered translation relevant to their own primary interests, the OHLTE testifies weightily to the contrary." —Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"This series is a major milestone in translation studies and Volume 1 maintains the high quality, detail and breadth of coverage. I...simply urge readers working within translation studies to make use of what is a key resource." —The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

"Provides a fully readable history of a fascinating phenomenon in English literature This survey will certainly have a lasting impact." —Anglia

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Roger Ellis was formerly Senior Lecturer at the University of Cardiff. He has organized five international conferences on medieval translation and is general editor, with René Tixier and Catherine Batt, of the series The Medieval Translator, now published by Brepols and including scholarly monographs as well as conference proceedings.

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Table of Contents

General Editors' Foreword
List of Contributors
1. Contexts of Translation
1.1. The Languages of Medieval England, John Burrow
1.2. Manuscript Culture, Tim William Machan
1.3. Nation, Region, Class, and Gender, Helen Phillips
2. Theories of Translation Nicholas Watson
3. The Translator
3.1. Patronage and Sponsorship of Translation, Roger Ellis
3.2. King Alfred, Robert Stanton
3.3. Robert Grosseteste, Philipp Rosemann
3.4. Geoffrey Chaucer, Barry Windeatt
3.5. William Langland, Traugott Lawler
4. The Developing Corpus of Literary Translation Edward Wheatley
5. Subjects of Translation
5.1. The Bible, David Lawton
5.2. Religious Writing, Vincent Gillespie
5.3. Religious Writing and Women Translators, Alexandra Barratt
5.4. Romance, Rosalind Field
5.5. Chronicle and History, Thea Summerfield, assisted by Rosamund Allen
5.6. Classical Authors, Stephen Medcalf
5.7. Writers of the Italian Renaissance, Karla Taylor
5.8. Scientific and Medical Writing, Paul Acker
6. The Translators: Biographical Sketches

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