A Companion to Old and Middle English Literature

By Laura Cooner Lambdin; Robert Thomas Lambdin | Go to book overview

Due to the variety of alliterative verse and the number of centuries over which English poets developed and exploited the form, it is considerably simpler to define it than it is to describe its complex position in the history of medieval English literary form and social movement. Alliterative verse is so varied in its forms, contents, and applications that in this space may be offered only the briefest introduction. But perhaps the major factor in the lively and ongoing critical interest in alliterative meter has to do with its variety and durability. Scholarly debates centering on issues of meter and the continuity between Old and Middle English alliteration are currently being supplemented by new investigations into the social and political importance of alliteration and the relationship of alliterative verse to the dominant French rhyming conventions of Middle English. Controversies will continue to abound in the field, making it one of the most vital areas of inquiry for medievalists interested in the verse production of England during the first thousand years of insular literacy.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Borroff, Marie, trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. New York: Norton, 1967.

Brehe, S.K. “ ‘Rhythmical Alliteration–: Ælfric–s Prose and the Origin of Laʓamon–s Metre.” Ed. Francçoise Le Saux. The Text and Tradition of Laʓamon–s Brut. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1994. 65–87.

Brewer, Derek, and Jonathan Gibson, eds. A Companion to the Gawain-Poet. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1997.

Cable, Thomas M. The English Alliterative Tradition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.

Chickering, Howell D., Jr., trans. Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition. Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1977.

Donaldson, E. Talbot, trans. Will–s Vision of Piers Plowman. Ed. Elizabeth D. Kirk and Judith H. Anderson. New York: Norton, 1990.

Duggan, Hoyt N. “Meter, Stanza, Vocabulary, Dialect.” A Companion to the GawainPoet. Ed. Derek Brewer and Jonathan Gibson. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1997.

Duggan, Hoyt N., and Thorlac Turville-Petre. The Wars of Alexander. Oxford: Published for the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1989.

Duncan, Edwin. “The Middle English Bestiary: Missing Link in the Evolution of the Alliterative Long Line?” Studia Neophilologica 64 (1992):25–33.

Frantzen, Allen. “The Diverse Nature of Old English Poetry.” Companion to Old English Poetry. Ed. Henk Aertsen and Rolf H. Bremmer, Jr. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 1994. 1–17.

Fulk, R.D. A History of Old English Meter. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

Gaylord, Alan T. The Poetics of Alliteration: Readings of Medieval English Alliterative Verse. Supplement to Medieval Perspectives, vol. 14. Chaucer Studio Occasional Readings, no. 26. [Provo, UT]: Chaucer Studio; [Richmond, KY]: Southeastern Medieval Association, 1999.

Gollancz, Israel. Introduction. Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain, Reproduced in Facsimile from the Unique Manuscript Cotton Nero A.x. in the British Museum. Early English Text Society, Original Ser. 162. London: EETS, 1923.

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A Companion to Old and Middle English Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - Old English and Anglo-Norman Literature 1
  • Selected Bibliography 23
  • 2 - Religious and Allegorical Verse 26
  • 3 - Alliterative Poetry in Old and Middle English 37
  • Selected Bibliography 48
  • 4 - Balladry 50
  • Selected Bibliography 66
  • 5 - The Beast Fable 69
  • Selected Bibliography 84
  • 6 - Breton Lay 86
  • 7 - Chronicle 98
  • 8 - Debate Poetry 118
  • Selected Bibliography 152
  • 9 - Medieval English Drama 154
  • 10 - Dream Vision 178
  • Selected Bibliography 196
  • 11 - Epic and Heroic Poetry 210
  • 12 - The Epic Genre and Medieval Epics 230
  • Selected Bibliography 253
  • 13 - The Fabliau 255
  • 14 - Hagiographic, Homiletic, and Didactic Literature 277
  • Selected Bibliography 294
  • 15 - Lyric Poetry 299
  • 16 - The Middle English Parody/ Burlesque 315
  • Selected Bibliography 333
  • 17 - Riddles 336
  • 18 - Romance 352
  • Selected Bibliography 373
  • 19 - Visions of the Afterlife 376
  • Selected Bibliography 394
  • Selected Bibliography 399
  • Index 425
  • About the Editors and Contributors 431
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