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A History of Old English Literature


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Table of Contents

List of IIIustrations vi

Preface to the First Edition (2003) vii

Preface to the Second Edition ix

Abbreviations x


Anglo-Saxon England and Its Literature: A Social History 1

1 The Chronology and Varieties of Old English Literature 42

2 Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts 58

3 Literature of the Alfredian Period 83

4 Homilies 112

5 Saints' Legends (Rachel S. Anderson) 133

6 Biblical Literature 157

7 Liturgical and Devotional Texts 177

8 Legal Texts 211

9 Scientific and Scholastic Texts 227

10 Wisdom Literature and Lyric Poetry 241

11 Germanic Legend and Heroic Lay 278

12 Additions, Annotations, and Marginalia 329

Conclusion Making Old English New: Anglo-Saxonism and the Cultural Work of Old English Literature 354

Works Cited 367

Index 481

About the Author

R. D. Fulk is Class of 1964 Chancellor's Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of, among others, The Beowulf Manuscript (2010) and An Introduction to Middle English (2012) and co-author or editor of Eight Old English Poems (2001), A Grammar of Old English, Vol. 2: Morphology (2011), Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg ( 4 th edition, 2008), and The Old English Canons of Theodore (2012). Christopher M. Cain is an associate professor of English at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. He has published on Old English and Anglo-Latin in Studies in Philology , JEGP , Review of English Studies , and Philological Quarterly , among others. He is the co-editor (with Geoffrey Russom) of Studies in the History of the English Language III--Managing Chaos: Strategies for Identifying Change in English (2007) and is a contributor to The Year's Work in Old English Studies . Rachel Anderson , is Associate Professor of English at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan


"A new generation of students and their professors will undoubtedly apprecite the currency of what has proven to be a widely respected, comprehensive historical treatment of Old English literature." ( Choice , 1 December 2013)

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