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For more than thirty years, A Guide to Old English has been the standard introduction to Old English language and literature. This updated sixth edition retains the structure and style of the popular previous editions, and includes two new, much-requested texts: Wulf and Eadwacer and Judith.
The book consists of two parts. Part One comprises an introduction to the Old English language, including orthography and pronunciation, inflexions, word formation, an authoritative section on syntax. This is followed by an introduction to Anglo-Saxon studies, which discusses language, literature, history, archaeology, and ways of life. Sound changes are treated as they become relevant in understanding apparent irregularities in inflexion. Part Two contains prose and literature verse texts, most of them complete, which fully reveal the range that Old English offers in mood, intensity, humour, and natural observation. Full explanatory notes accompany all the texts, and a detailed glossary is provided.
The new edition of this highly-acclaimed Guide will be welcomed by teachers and by anyone wanting to gain a greater understanding and enjoyment of the language and literature of the Anglo-Saxons.
Bruce Mitchell is Fellow Emeritus at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
Fred C. Robinson is Douglas Tracy Smith Emeritus Professor of English at Yale University.