English Literature: Medieval

English Literature: Medieval

English Literature: Medieval

English Literature: Medieval

Excerpt

Readers are drawn to medieval literature in many different ways, and it is hardly possible to describe all the attractions and all the approaches by which they enter on this ground. Students of history have to learn the languages of the nations with whose history they are concerned, and to read the chief books in those languages, if they wish to understand rightly the ideas, purposes and temper of the past ages. Sometimes the study of early literature has been instigated by religious or controversial motives, as when the Anglo-Saxon homilies were taken up and edited and interpreted in support of the Reformation. Sometimes it is mere curiosity that leads to investigation of old literature--a wish to find out the meaning of what looks at . . .

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