The Owl and the Nightingale

BookThe Owl and the Nightingale

The Owl and the Nightingale

Text and Translation

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


October 1st, 2001



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The Owl and the Nightingale is one of the first and greatest long comic poems in the English language and one of the best-known and most accomplished of all medieval literary texts. By turns both gleefully trivial and allusively serious, it has been described by literary critics as a "most miraculous piece of writing", "a marvel of literary art" and "a truly amazing phenomenon". There is no other edition currently in print and this is the first new English edition of the poem since 1960.The book contains a lively parallel-text translation in modern English, as well as a glossary, notes and Introduction. The edition has involved a complete reconsideration of the poem's complex textual history, its linguistic provenance and the practices of its scribes, as well as its possible sources.

Author Information

Neil Cartlidge is a Professor in the Department of English Studies at the University of Durham