Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Coedmon's Hymn: A Multi-Media Study, Edition and Archive

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Coedmon's Hymn: A Multi-Media Study, Edition and Archive

Article excerpt

Daniel Paul O'Donnell, Coedmon's Hymn: A Multi-media Study, Edition and Archive (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, in association with SEENET and The Medieval Academy, 1005). xxiii + 261 pp. (with CD-ROM). ISBN 1-84384-044-8. £50.00. Daniel Paul O'Donnell has produced a comprehensive multimedia (only the cover hyphenates) edition of Cadmon's Hymn, with an extensive introduction discussing aspects of the poem's cultural origins, linguistic features, and textual transmission. The included CD-ROM reproduces the full text of the monograph (usefully downloadable and searchable), as well as supplying digital facsimiles of the poem as found in its medieval manuscripts. His justification for a new edition is well grounded, not least of all in the fact that Cadmon's Hymn is the earliest datable poem in Old English. O'Donnell provides a list of 'Conventions, symbols and encoding', important for the student reader, especially when reaching the editorial section. Part A of the introduction discusses literary and historical aspects, with chapters on Bede's account of Czdmon, sources and analogues, and the Hymn against the background of Germanic poetic convention (including discussion of metre, formulae, and diction); part B describes manuscripts, transmission, and language, and provides editorial introductions. …

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