Essentials of Early English

By Jeremy J. Smith | Go to book overview

Annotated Bibliography

This is a list of full-length books which may be used to accompany or to follow on from the materials presented here. No claims of special fullness are made; these works are simply some of those I have found useful in teaching Early English. I have classified each book on a scale of difficulty/sophistication, rising from (1) (Basic) to (3) (Advanced).

Some of the works referred to here have also been discussed in an earlier, more advanced Annotated Bibliography in Smith 1996.

C.L. Barber, Early Modern English (London: Deutsch, 1976) (2). An outstanding survey, which complements and is not replaced by Görlach 1991. Full of textual data, with many quotations from, in particular, the works of Shakespeare; the material is presented extremely clearly without being in any way simplistic. The best kind of philological work; I have graded it as (2) because its expression is so clear, but it is full of suggestions for advanced work.
C.L. Barber, The English Language: a Historical Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) (1). An updated and considerably rewritten version of the author’s The Story of Language (1964). A clear and useful single-volume account, perhaps the best now available for the beginning student.
A.C. Baugh and T. Cable, A History of the English Language (London: Routledge, 1993) (1). Probably the most widely used single-volume history, this book contains a mass of useful material. Particularly good on ‘external history’ issues; less strong on those requiring theoretical orientation.

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