The History of the English Language: A Sourcebook / Edition 2

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This second edition of The History of the English Language- A Sourcebook provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to the origins and development of the English language. First published in 1992, the book contains over fifty illustrative passages, drawn from the oldest English to the twentieth century. The passages are contextualised by individual introductions and grouped into the traditional periods of Old English, Early Middle English, Later Middle English, Early Modern English and Modern English. These periods are connected by brief essays explaining the major linguistic developments associated with each period, to produce a continuous outline history.
For this new edition Professor Burnley has expanded the outline of linguistic features at each of the main chronological divisions and included more selections and illustrations. A new section has also been included to illustrate the language of advertising from the 18th century to the present. The book will be of general interest to all those interested in the origins and development of the English language, and in particular to students and teachers of the history of the English language at A-level and university.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... he provides 50 or so texts, attractively presented, well edited and in the case of earlier texts helpfully translated...'
Times Literary Supplement
From the Publisher
'... he provides 50 or so texts, attractively presented, well edited and in the case of earlier texts helpfully translated...'
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582312630
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/8/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

David Burnley is Head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. His academic career has focused on the languages and literature of the medieval period, making a special point of the connections between language, literature and culture. His previous publications include the books- Chaucer's Language and the Philosopher's Tradition (1979), The Language of Chaucer (1989), An Annotated Bibliography of the Language of Middle English Literature (with Matsuji Tajima, 1994), Courtliness and Literature in Medieval England (1998).

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Table of Contents

List of Plates xi
Acknowledgements xii
Preface to the First Edition xiii
Preface to the Second Edition xv
Abbreviations xvii
Symbols xviii
Chronology xx
Old English (700-1100) 1
1 Dialect Texts 9
A The Vespasian Psalter gloss 9
B The Lindisfarne Gospel gloss 13
C A Kentish Charter 18
2 Alfred's Preface to the Pastoral Care 20
3 Caedmon 29
4 A Homily of AElfric 39
5 AElfric's Cosmology 45
6 The Battle of Brunanburh 51
7 The Battle of Maldon 57
Early Middle English (1100-1300) 65
8 The Peterborough Chronicle 70
A First Continuation (1127) 72
B Final Continuation (1154) 78
9 The Ormulum 82
10 Vices and Virtues 92
11 The Ancrene Wisse 101
12 A Kentish Sermon: The Marriage at Cana 111
13 A Proclamation of Henry III (1258) 116
14 The South English Legendary 121
15 Kyng Alisaunder 128
Later Middle English (1300-1500) 137
16 Robert Mannyng's Chronicle of England 145
17 The Pearl 151
18 Geoffrey Chaucer 159
A 'The Reeve's Tale' 162
B Troilus and Criseyde, Prologue to Book II 164
19 A Letter from the Corporation of London to Henry V (1417) 171
20 The Study of the Vernacular in Medieval England 175
A The Preface to a Wycliffite Biblical Concordance 175
B A Fifteenth-Century Text on Phonetics 181
21 Osbern Bokenham's Mappula Angliae 185
22 A Paston letter 191
23 Malory, 'The Giant of St Michael's Mount' 195
A The Winchester text 198
B Caxton's text 201
24 John Skelton, translation of the Bibliotheca Historica of Diodorus Siculus 205
Early Modern English (1500-1800) 211
25 Thomas Wilson, The Arte of Rhetorique 216
26 The Diary of Henry Machyn 222
27 John Lyly, Euphues or The Anatomy of Wit 226
28 Letters of Queen Elizabeth I and King James VI of Scotland 233
A Queen Elizabeth's letter 234
B King James's letter 235
29 George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie 238
30 Thomas Nashe 245
A From the Preface to Christs Teares over Jerusalem 245
B From The Unfortunate Traveller 247
31 Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, scene i 252
32 Thomas Dekker, The Guls Horne-booke 260
33 John Donne 266
A Seventeenth Meditation 267
B 'Song' 268
C 'The good-morrow' 269
34 The Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley 272
35 John Milton, from Paradise Lost, Book II 278
36 Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks 286
37 Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock 290
38 Daniel Defoe, A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain 298
39 From the Preface to Johnson's Dictionary 304
40 Fanny Burney, a letter from Bath, 8 September 1791 310
Modern English (1800-1920) 315
41 Thomas Carlyle, Signs of the Times 321
42 Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers 326
43 Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights 331
44 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man 337
45 From the General Explanations to the New English Dictionary 342
46 Henry Bradley, Review of the New English Dictionary 349
47 Henry Sweet, The Practical Study of Languages 356
48 Soldiers' letters home in World War I 361
A Two letters from Captain Talbot 362
B Excerpt from a letter by Private Sweeney 364
49 D. H. Lawrence, 'Fanny and Annie' 368
Appendix 375
51 The English Bible 388
A Mark 6: 18-30 389
B Matthew 7: 13-29 393
52 The Marriage Service in English 399
References and background reading 408
Index 415
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