Recent years have witnessed renewed emphasis on historicism in medieval studies. This timely introduction responds to that trend, focusing on the production and reception of Old English texts, and on their relation to Anglo-Saxon history and culture.The book presents a wider range of material than is usual in English literary histories. It not only covers an intriguing range of genres, from riddles and cryptograms to allegory and romance, but into this coverage it also integrates discussion of Anglo-Latin texts which are crucial to understanding the development of Old English literature. Its extensive bibliographical coverage of scholarship devotes special attention to studies of the past 15 years, while a retrospective section outlines the reception of the Anglo-Saxons and their literature in later periods. Throughout their narrative, the authors champion Anglo-Saxon studies, contending that it is uniquely placed to contribute to current debates about literature's relation to history and culture.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations. Preface. Introduction: Anglo-Saxon England and Its Literature: A Social History. 1. The Chronology and Varieties of Old English Literature. 2. Literature of the Alfredian Period. 3. Homilies. 4. Saints' Legends, by Rachel S. Anderson. 5. Biblical Literature. 6. Liturgical and Devotion Texts. 7. egal, Scientific, and Scholastic Works. 8. Wisdom Literature and Lyric Poetry. 9. Germanic Legend and Heroic Lay. Conclusion. Making Old English New: Anglo-Saxonism and the Cultural. Work of Old English Literature. Notes. Works Cited. Index.
R. D. Fulk is Class of 1964 Chancellor's Professor of English at Indiana University. He is the editor of Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology (1991), author of A History of Old English Meter (1992), co-editor of Eight Old English Poems (third edition, 2001), and co-editor of the fourth edition of F. Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg (forthcoming). Christopher M. Cain and Rachel S. Anderson are doctoral candidates completing their dissertations at Indiana University.