English Literature from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest

English Literature from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest

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English Literature from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest

English Literature from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest

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Excerpt

This book is necessarily, as far as the chapter on King Ælfred, a recast of my previous book on Early English Literature up to the Days of Alfred. That book, in two volumes, was too expensive and too long for students in schools. I chose to write it at that length, and I am glad I did so. I was enabled to introduce a great deal of correlative matters which I thought were needed to bring the literature into touch with the history of the country; and in order to give life, colour, and reality to a time so far away, and in which so little interest is taken by the English public. But having tried to do this, I have now left out these correlative matters; shortened the whole of the history up to Ælfred; rewritten it, and rearranged it. Of course, some of the older book remains mixed up with the new; -- those parts of it especially which give an account of the poems. The translations, though carefully revised, are the same; but many of them have been omitted. I have written about King Ælfred at a length somewhat out of proportion with the rest of the book, but the freshly awakened interest of the public in his life and character induced me to give a full account of all that was personal in his literary work. The chapters from "Ælfred" to the end of the book carry the history of Anglo-Saxon or Old English Literature up to the Conquest. A concluding chapter sketches the tale of Old English as far as the beginning of the thirteenth century. The Appendix consists of translations of some remarkable Anglo-Saxon poems; and I have . . .

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