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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Beginning Old English

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9780230301405
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

This basic introduction to Old English is an essential guide for students with little or no linguistic knowledge. Unlike other textbooks on the subject, Beginning Old English focuses on the explanation and demonstration of how the language works, using accessible illustrations from simplified Old English texts and showing how many features of present-day English have their roots in this stage of the language.

Beginning Old English
- builds up reading skills by using simple texts to support the acquisition of key vocabulary and to develop awareness of language structure
- offers an introduction to the conventions of Old English poetry and how they are realised across different genres: religious verse, riddles, elegies and heroic poetry
- explores issues in the translation of Old English verse
- guides the reader through four major texts: Cynewulf and Cyneheard, Beowulf (extract), The Battle of Maldon and The Dream of the Rood
- features activities, glossaries, illustrations and a Further Reading section.

Concise and approachable, this invaluable text will appeal to anyone with an interest in the early history of English language and literature.

Carole Hough is Professor of Onomastics at the University of Glasgow, UK. She has published extensively on Old English and related subjects, and is Vice-President of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.
John Corbett is Professor of English at the University of Macau. He has written widely on English and Scottish language and literature, and is Vice-President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

List of Illustrations
Recognising Old English Words
People and Things
Place, Time, Manner and Reason
Actions and Events
Introducing Old English Poetry
Translating Old English Poetry: Beowulf
Introducing Old English Prose
Text A: Cynewulf and Cyneheard
Text B: Beowulf, lines 710-836
Text C: The Battle of Maldon
Text D: The Dream of the Rood
Text E: The Ruin
Text F: Ælfric's Life of St Æthelthryth
Concluding Remarks
Glossary of Technical Terms
Appendix: Old English Paradigms
Further Reading


"I wish I'd had Hough and Corbett's Beginning Old English as a first-year undergraduate myself." - Rachel Wicaksono, Times Higher Education Textbook Guide"This accessible and comprehensive book is certain to become a staple of Old English teaching for years to come." - Francis Leneghan, University of Oxford, UK"This book is a wonderful introduction to the story of Old English, together with its culture, history and influence. The lucid and friendly explanations of how Old English works are helpfully exemplified by illustrations and many texts along the way, so that the reader gains a real understanding of the richness of the corpus and the pleasure to be had in learning about the Anglo-Saxons' language and literature." -Elaine Treharne, Stanford University, USA
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