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The Cambridge Old English Reader


  • 1 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 614 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.97 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 429/.86421
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: PE137 .M46 2015
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English language--Old English, ca. 450-1100--Readers
    • Anglo-Saxons--Literary collections
    • Anglo-Saxons--Sources
    • LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh.--bisacsh

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9781107055308)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$129.00 (X)

This reader remains the only major new reader of Old English prose and verse in the past forty years. The second edition is extensively revised throughout, with the addition of a new 'Beginning Old English' section for newcomers to the Old English language, along with a new extract from Beowulf. The fifty-seven individual texts include established favourites such as The Battle of Maldon and Wulfstan's Sermon of the Wolf, as well as others not otherwise readily available, such as an extract from Apollonius of Tyre. Modern English glosses for every prose-passage and poem are provided on the same page as the text, along with extensive notes. A succinct reference grammar is appended, along with guides to pronunciation and to grammatical terminology. A comprehensive glossary lists and analyses all the Old English words that occur in the book. Headnotes to each of the six text sections, and to every individual text, establish their literary and historical contexts, and illustrate the rich cultural variety of Anglo-Saxon England. This second edition is an accessible and scholarly introduction to Old English.


Preface to the second edition; Preface to the first edition; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Beginning Old English; 1. Getting started; 2. Practice sentences; 3. Practice texts; 4. Keys to test sentences and texts; 5. Beginning poetry; The Texts: Part I. Teaching and Learning: 1. In the Schoolroom (from Ælfric's Colloquy); 2. A Personal Miscellany (from Ælfwine's Prayerbook); 3. Medicinal Remedies (from Bald's Leechbook); 4. Learning Latin (from Ælfric's Excerptiones de arte grammatica anglice); 5. A New Beginning (Alfred's 'preface' to his translation of Gregory's Cura pastoralis); 6. The Wagonwheel of Fate (from Alfred's translation of Boethius's De consolatione Philosophiae); Part II. Keeping a Record: 7. Laws of the Anglo-Saxon Kings; 8. England under Attack (from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: annals for 981–93, 995–8 and 1002–3); 9. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People; 10. The Battle of Brunanburh; 11. The Will of Ælfgifu; 12. The Fonthill Letter; Part III. Spreading the Word: 13. After the Flood (from the Old English Hexateuch: Gen 8.6–18 and 9.8–13); 14. The Crucifixion (from the Old English Gospels: Mt 27.11–54); 15. King Alfred's Psalms; 16. A Translator's Problems (Ælfric's preface to his translation of Genesis); 17. Satan's Challenge (Genesis B, lines 338–441); 18. The Drowning of Pharaoh's Army (Exodus, lines 447–564); 19. Judith; Part IV. Example and Exhortation: 20. Bede's Death Song; 21. Two Holy Women; 22. A Homily for Easter Sunday (from Ælfric's Sermones catholicae); 23. The Dream of the Rood; 24. On False Gods (Wulfstan's De falsis deis); 25. The Sermon of the Wolf (Wulfstan's Sermo Lupi); 26. The Seafarer; Part V. Telling Tales: 27. Falling in Love (from Apollonius of Tyre); 28. The Trees of the Sun and the Moon (from The Letter of Alexander); 29. Cynewulf and Cyneheard (from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: annal for 755); 30. The Battle of Maldon; 31. Beowulf; 32. The Fight at Finnsburh; Part VI. Reflection and Lament: 33. Truth is Trickiest (Maxims II); 34. The Durham Proverbs; 35. Five Anglo-Saxon Riddles; 36. Deor; 37. The Ruin; 38. The Wanderer; 39. Wulf and Eadwacer; 40. The Wife's Lament; Manuscripts and textual emendations; The writing and pronunciation of Old English; Reference grammar of Old English; Glossary; Guide to terms; Index.


"… this remains an invaluable reader …"
A. P. Church, Choice

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