Norton Anthology Of English Literature Eighth Edition 01 Hardcover – Sep 1 2005
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For me, this was worth getting just for Seamus Heaney's wonderful translation of Beowulf. You can smell the ocean and hear the armor clank as this readable version places you right there in the sixth century. Along with the usual excerpts from such works as the Canterbury Tales, you get complete versions of King Lear, Twelfth Night, Utopia, and Paradise Lost. After looking over the excerpts from Gulliver's Travels, it appears that sections 1,2, and 4 are presented complete, with only some material edited from section 3, so you get almost all of that, too. The footnotes for this, and all the other works, are enormously useful.
I have a few gripes about the book, however these don't merit the subtraction of a star in the rating. First - this book is SO heavy. Obviously there was no way around this in publishing, because to put this many pages on good-quality paper the laws of physics are working against you. But I have literally suffered backache from bringing it around with me in my book bag, and have had to sorrowfully leave it at home at times because of this. Second, I wish it included a clear list of which major works are presented complete, for those of us who want to make sure to read the whole thing. My final beef is with the editorial introduction to The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale from the Canterbury Tales. Reading this rant about "antifeminist writings" was like stepping from the high halls of classic academia into the junior-college classroom of some washed-up 1970s holdover. I HATE agenda in my education, and in my opinion, applying 20th century (yes, 20th) sentiments to 14th century literature is anachronistic and inappropriate. But such is the state of education these days, and here is your evidence in a volume that should have known better. However, that has been the only thing I have come upon that irritated me.
Buying this book is a great way to get a bunch of classics all at once, and there is so much to it that you can enjoy a long read or a short read anytime you want, once you find a way to work around its mass. I look forward to the years of reading pleasure I'll get from my copy.
This is one of the books that helped foster my love of literature, and that of many others. It is a portal to any number of authors you wish to read in more detail. It's hard not to love a book that gives you introductions to the following authors and works - and many, many more!
Bede and Beowulf
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
Julian of Norwich
Thomas Mallory and the Arthurian Legends
Sir Thomas More and Utopia
William Tyndale, John Calvin, John Foxe
The Book of Common Prayer
Spencer's The Fairie Queene
Sir Walter Raleigh
Many of Shakespeare's sonnets and 2 of his plays
And John Bunyan
The Norton Anthology series does exactly what it does: introduces its readers to a smorgasbord of the best of English literature. Don't let the size or price daunt you. The size is worth it for the breadth and depth of content. As for price, there are many inexpensive used editions around, going back to many earlier editions.
This book should be on every bookshelf!
I would avoid Norton Anthologies with highlighting. Norton publishes on extremely thin paper and often the highlighting shows through the page. My experience comes from my own use of highlighters while studying, however, as I am the one inflicting the damage to my text, I cannot complain.
Overall, great, both for the student reading through it for a Humanities course to the Accomplished professional reading through on a quiet evening.