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Home > Catalogue > Ælfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham
Ælfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham


  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.4 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521030731)

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US $57.99
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Though best known today for his Old English homilies, the Anglo-Saxon scholar Ælfric also composed a Latin 'letter' to his fellow monks at Eynsham (Oxfordshire) containing a detailed outline of their daily and seasonal round of prayer and other duties. The document offers a rare glimpse of what ordinary monks in Anglo-Saxon England were expected to know and do. This 1999 book contains an edition of the Latin letters a textual commentary, and a complete English translation of the work. Dr Jones also provides substantial introductory chapters which establish the exceptional importance of the Eynsham letter for our understanding of late Anglo-Saxon monasticism and liturgy. The book will interest students of early medieval culture, monasticism and Church history.

• This book contains a complete translation of a text vital to the study of early English monasticism • It provides a re-edition with apparatus, commentary and a detailed introduction to an important work by a major medieval English author • It makes the difficult subject of medieval liturgy more accessible to a general audience


Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; 1. The Eynsham 'letter' and the study of Ælfric; 2. Structure and sources; 3. The manuscript; 4. Critical and editorial history; Editorial principles; Ælfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham: text and translation; Commentary; Appendix; Bibliography; Index of liturgical formae; General index.


'This edition constitutes a spirited challenge to such neglect. Jones, with scholarly rigour, makes the Letter accessible and comprehensible to readers whose liturgical expertise may not have reached the level Ælfric's text assumes.' Review of English Studies

'Jones provides a lucid and rather accurate English translation of Ælfric's letter, which is the first complete English translation of this work, and his textual commentary is full of illuminating liturgical and historical information. In short, Christopher A. Jones' Ælfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham will undoubtedly become an indispensable tool for any student of the mastic liturgy of Anglo-Saxon England, and it deserves a very warm welcome indeed.' Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire

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