The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Volume 1: Medieval English Literature / Edition 2

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Medieval English Literature is the first volume of the comprehensive Oxford Anthology of English Literature to be published in a second, expanded, and fully revised edition. It provides an authoritative and representative selection from the vast riches of Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature of the period between AD 700 and AD 1500. The texts are presented either in full or in ample selections, helpfully and fully glossed and annotated according to the most recent scholarship. They are situated in their cultural context through general and particular introductions and through the carefully chosen illustrations, many of them new. Texts, annotations, introductions, and the bibliography have been thoroughly revised and brought up to date, and there is a full glossary of literary and historical terms.
Anglo-Saxon poetry appears in modern verse translation. In addition to the whole of Beowulf (Edwin Morgan's translation), elegies, The Dream of the Rood, and The Battle of Maldon, there is a sampling of wisdom literature and of biblical epic made with particular reference to the situation of women in Anglo-Saxon society. The generous choice of Chaucer's poetry, in a lightly modernized, glossed text, now includes, as well as the General Prologue and the tales of the Miller, the Nun's Priest, the Wife of Bath (with her Prologue), the Franklin, and the Pardoner, an extract from The Legend of Good Women, and others from the Scottish Chaucerians Henryson and Dunbar. For romance, the whole of the third book of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and the entire text of Sir Orfeo, both glossed, have been added to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (revised translation by Keith Harrison). The selections from Malory's Morte Darthur have been augmented, as have the translated extracts from The Visions of Piers Plowman (with the account of the Harrowing of Hell). Modernized versions of the Chester Play of Noah and the Seven Deadly Sins episode from The Castle of Perseverance join the Second Shepherds' Play and Everyman in the Theater section. Ballads and lyric poetry have also been changed and amplified to link with a notable innovation: the section entitled Women's Writing and Women's Experience, an introduction to Middle English prose written by and for women.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195134926
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/21/2002
  • Series: Oxford Anthology of English Literature S
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 650
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

University of London

Oxford University

Queen Mary, University of London

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Table of Contents

Editors' Preface
Introduction: Medieval English Literature
Caedmon's Hymn
from The Death of Holofernes
The Wanderer
The Wife's Complaint
The Husband's Message
Wulf and Eadwacer
Engimas and Wisdom
The Queen and the Frisian Wife
Genesis B
from The Temptation of Eve
The Dream of the Rood
The Battle of Maldon
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, c. 1343-1400
The Canterbury Tales
General Prologue
The Miller's Prologue and Tale
The Nun's Priest's Prologue and Tale
Two Other Fox Stories
from The Bestiary from Robert Henryson, Fables
The Fox and the Wolf
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
William Dunbar
from The Two Married Women and the Widow
The Franklin's Prologue and Tale
The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale
from The Legend of Good Women
The Legend of Thisbe of Babylon
Troilus and Criseyde
Robert Henryson
The Complaint of Cresseid
Chaucer's Words unto Adam, His Own Scribe
Chaucer's Retractions
Sir Orfeo
Thomas the Rhymer
The Land of Cokaygne
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Thomas Malory
from Morte Darthur
[The Birth of Arthur and the Sword in the Stone]
[The Fair Maid of Astolat]
[The Death of Arthur]
from the Prologue
from Passus I
from Passus XVIII
The Wakefield Second Shepherds' Play
The Chester Play of Noah
from The Castle of Perseverance: The Seven Deadly Sins
Ancrene Wisse (A Guide for Anchoresses)
Holy Maidenhood (A Letter on Virginity)
Saint Scholastica
The Book of Margery Kempe
What So Men Sayn
Now Springs the Spray
Sumer is Ycomen In
The Thrush and the Nightingale
Separated Lovers
Western Wind
He Is Far
I Have a Young Sister
The Maid of the Moor
The Agincourt Carol
Bring Us In Good Ale
I Have Set My Heart So High
All Too Late
A Woman Sat Weeping
Divine Love
I Sing of a Maiden
Of One That Is So Fair and Bright
Adam Lay Ybounden
Corpus Christi Carol
The Cherry-Tree Carol
The Two Magicians
The Carpenter's Wife [The Demon Lover]
The Wife of Usher's Well
The Unquiet Grave
Lord Randel
The Three Ravens
The Birth of Robin Hood
Sir Patrick Spence
WILLIAM DUNBAR, c. 1460-c. 1514
Lament for the Makers
WILLIAM CAXTON, 1415/24-1492
The Proem to The Canterbury Tales
from the Preface to The Aeneid
Suggestions for Further Reading
Author and Title Index
First-Line Index

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