English Poetry Before Chaucer

BookEnglish Poetry Before Chaucer

English Poetry Before Chaucer

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

2002

July 2nd, 2002

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A new and completely revised edition of this authoritative work, intended to encourage personal appreciation and independent appraisal by students of English. This is a stimulating introduction to the poetry composed in an age that witnessed fundamental cultural developments: the emergence of the English from among the warring tribes of Europe, their conversion to Christianity, the development of feudalism and the chivalric myth, the military adventure of the Crusades, and the growth of a vigorous citizen class in the burgeoning towns of England.

Michael Swanton is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter

This is a new, revised and substantially rewritten edition of this authoritative work, previously published by Longman as English Literature Before Chaucer, and intended to encourage personal appreciation and independent appraisal by students of English.

English Poetry Before Chaucer is interesting and thought-provoking. It is a fine guide to re-reading – not so much a handbook to early English literature as a true ‘companion’, one who enjoys showing you all his favourite haunts. […] Learned, insightful, sometimes eclectic, Swanton’s English Poetry Before Chaucer offers a wealth of specific reading on some important, and often-taught, poems.
Susan Yager, The Medieval Review Online

(English Poetry Before Chaucer, The Medieval Review Online

These strategies of pedagogy are as important as the scholarship and Swanton has written that rare hybrid, the textbook that can surprise the teacher, the monograph that the student can read without constant recourse to a dictionary of literary terms.
Chris Jones, TOEBI Newsletter

TOEBI Newsletter

A particular strength of Swanton’s book is that he has trained as a historian and archaeologist and brings this expertise to bear on his literary pursuits. Consequently, his writings are characterised by solid historical commentary, wtinessed in this volume by his annotations to each chapter, his chronological charts and summaries, and the section “Writers, their works and the sources”.

Michael Swanton’s book was welcomed in 1987 for several reasons: its lively independent engagement with critical issues, its determination to discuss particular texts in some detail rather than indulge in a uniform survey, and its refusal to treat the Norman Conquest as if it were some kind of insurmountable divide. Its value has not diminished . . . The chronology, bibliographies and notes on writers, works and sources are also particularly valuable, providing basic information which the student cannot readily find elsewhere.
Joyce M. Hill

English Poetry Before Chaucer is interesting and thought-provoking. It is a fine guide to re-reading – not so much a handbook to early English literature as a true ‘companion’, one who enjoys showing you all his favourite haunts. […] Learned, insightful, sometimes eclectic, Swanton’s English Poetry Before Chaucer offers a wealth of specific reading on some important, and often-taught, poems.
Susan Yager, The Medieval Review Online

English Poetry Before Chaucer, The Medieval Review Online

A particular strength of Swanton’s book is that he has trained as a historian and archaeologist and brings this expertise to bear on his literary pursuits. Consequently, his writings are characterised by solid historical commentary, wtinessed in this volume by his annotations to each chapter, his chronological charts and summaries, and the section “Writers, their works and the sources”.

Michael Swanton’s book was welcomed in 1987 for several reasons: its lively independent engagement with critical issues, its determination to discuss particular texts in some detail rather than indulge in a uniform survey, and its refusal to treat the Norman Conquest as if it were some kind of insurmountable divide. Its value has not diminished . . . The chronology, bibliographies and notes on writers, works and sources are also particularly valuable, providing basic information which the student cannot readily find elsewhere.
Joyce M. Hill

Author Information

Michael Swanton is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Contents6
Preface8
1 Introduction: Anxiety and Assertion12
2 Until the Dragon Cornes44
3 Verbum de Verbo86
4 The Ruin of Time123
5 A Certain Heroism161
6 Things That Falleth to Ribaudrie220
7 Song and Singer264
Epilogue: The Equal Hour315
Appendix: Early English Prosody320
Chronology325
Further Reading335
Writers, their Works and Sources349
(i) Writers and writings in English349
(ii) Writers and writings in languages other than English363
Index379