This book introduces students to the literature of Anglo-Saxon England, the period from 600-1066, in a collection of fifteen specially commissioned essays. The chapters are written by experts, but designed to be accessible to students who may be unfamiliar with Old English. The emphasis throughout is on placing texts in their contemporary context and suggesting ways in which they relate to each other and to the important events and issues of the time. With the help of maps and a chronological table of events the first chapters describe briefly the political, social and ecclesiastical history of the period and how poetry and prose in Latin and in the vernacular developed and flourished. A succinct account of Old English provides beginners with a handy guide to the rules of spelling, grammar and syntax. Subsequent chapters explore the range of Anglo-Saxon writing under different thematic headings. A final bibliography gives guidance on further reading.
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