This Companion has been thoroughly revised to take account of recent scholarship and to provide a clear and accessible introduction for those encountering Old English literature for the first time. Including seventeen essays by distinguished scholars, this new edition provides a discussion of the literature of the period 600 to 1066 in the context of how Anglo-Saxon society functioned. New chapters cover topics including preaching and teaching, Beowulf and literacy, and a further five chapters have been revised and updated, including those on the Old English language, perceptions of eternity and Anglo-Saxon learning. An additional concluding chapter on Old English after 1066 offers an overview of the study and cultural influences of Old English literature to the present day. Finally, the further reading list has been overhauled to incorporate the most up-to-date scholarship in the field and the latest electronic resources for students.
About the Author
Michael Lapidge is Elrington and Bosworth Professor Emeritus of Anglo-Saxon, University of Cambridge and Notre Dame Professor of English Emeritus, University of Notre Dame.
Table of Contents1. The social and political background Nicholas Brooks; 2. The Old English language Helmut Gneuss; 3. The nature of Old English verse Donald Scragg; 4. The Anglo-Saxon world view Daniel Anlezark; 5. Germanic legend in Old English literature Roberta Frank; 6. Heroic values and Christian ethics Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe; 7. Pagan survivals and popular belief John D. Niles; 8. Beowulf Andy Orchard; 9. Preaching and teaching Mary Clayton; 10. Perceptions of transience Christine Fell; 11. Perceptions of eternity Milton McC. Gatch; 12. Biblical literature: the Old Testament Malcolm Godden; 13. Biblical literature: the New Testament Richard Marsden; 14. The saintly life in Anglo-Saxon England Michael Lapidge; 15. Literacy and the uses of the vernacular Mechthild Gretsch; 16. The world of Anglo-Saxon learning Patrizia Lendinara; 17. Old English after 1066 Christopher Jones; Further reading; Index.