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The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature
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Book description

Informed by multicultural, multidisciplinary perspectives, The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature offers a new exploration of the earliest writing in Britain and Ireland, from the end of the Roman Empire to the mid-twelfth century. Beginning with an account of writing itself, as well as of scripts and manuscript art, subsequent chapters examine the earliest texts from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the tremendous breadth of Anglo-Latin literature. Chapters on English learning and literature in the ninth century and the later formation of English poetry and prose also convey the profound cultural confidence of the period. Providing a discussion of essential texts, including Beowulf and the writings of Bede, this History captures the sheer inventiveness and vitality of early medieval literary culture through topics as diverse as the literature of English law, liturgical and devotional writing, the workings of science and the history of women's writing.

Reviews

'This wide-ranging collection of essays surveys British and Irish literature of the early Middle Ages in all its linguistic variety and complexity … The value of this volume lies not just in its inclusion of the expected viewed in new ways but also in giving space to what is too often left out … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty.'

D. W. Hayes Source: Choice

'The intention of The New Cambridge History of English Literature [series] is to offer 'a broad synthesis and contextual survey of the history of English literature' that couples 'fresh perspectives' and 'essential exposition' in an 'accessible narrative'. This volume succeeds admirably in combining those goals … [It] offers a vision of an exciting and expansive literary culture of endless interpenetration, interlingual inventiveness, and ideological appropriation.'

E. J. Christie Source: Speculum

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