Introduction to Old English

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9781405152723: Introduction to Old English

Introduction to Old English is the leading text available designed to help students engage with Old English literary and historical texts for the first time. This new edition builds on the success of the original and includes an expanded anthology and new, easy-to-use glossary.


  • Assumes no expertise in other languages or in traditional grammar
  • Includes basic grammar reviews at the beginning of each major chapter
  • Features 'Minitexts' to give students practice reading Old English
  • Includes two chapters on syntax and three on reading poetry
  • Provides a collection of key Old English texts, including 'The Wanderer', 'The Dream of the Rood' and 'Judith'
  • Accompanied by the author's Old English Aerobics website featuring additional readings and exercises

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Book Description:

Introduction to Old English is the leading text available designed to help students engage with Old English literary and historical texts for the first time. This new edition builds on the success of the original and includes an expanded anthology and new, easy-to-use glossary. The book's rich pedagogy includes basic grammar reviews at the beginning of each major chapter, covering the foundations of Old English. Other features include "minitexts" for practice in reading the language, and a detailed introduction to meter and style that eases the transition from prose to poetry. The original anthology of 14 readings has also been expanded to include four new texts: Ælfric's Sermon on the Book of Job; The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry (1087) on William the Conqueror; The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan from the Old English Orosius; and The Battle of Maldon. Introduction to Old English is an essential text for all students encountering the field for the first time.

About the Author:

Peter S. Baker is Professor of Medieval Literature at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. His previous publications include Byrhtferth’s Enchiridion (co-edited with Michael Lapidge, 1995), Beowulf: Basic Readings (1995), The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition (F), and the website www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/

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