Tag Archives: Old English

The earliest English poetry

[English 390, offered Spring 2018] In English, as in other languages, poetry was at first an oral form: it was passed down in recitation, not writing. The Anglo-Saxons (that is, the English-speaking inhabitants of early medieval Britain) learned to write … Continue reading

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Lawmen and Plowmen

From my review of Stephen M. Yeager, From Lawmen to Plowmen: Anglo-Saxon Legal Tradition and the School of Langland (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014): What did Old English literature contribute to the literary cultures of post-Conquest England? The question has … Continue reading

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Reconstructing Alliterative Verse

Alliterative poetry is first recorded in English from the late seventh century, which makes it the oldest poetry in this language. Surviving poems include Cædmon’s Hymn, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Piers Plowman, several of the most admired works … Continue reading

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Boethius in Medieval England

I have contributed a chapter on Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy to the forthcoming Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 1: The Middle Ages. Written in 524-25, on the cusp of antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Consolation … Continue reading

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The Accentual Paradigm

An excerpt from my article “The Accentual Paradigm in Early English Metrics,” which has now appeared in JEGP. I seek to show how Old English poetry first came to be regarded as “accentual” or “strong stress” in nineteenth-century scholarship, and … Continue reading

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Boethius at MLA

[I thank the panelists for their paper proposals and interest in this session. Eleanor Johnson and Linda Shenk are authors of recent books bearing on the session topic: respectively, Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages: Ethics and the Mixed … Continue reading

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