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Medieval English Literature

Medieval English Literature - 2nd edition

ISBN13: 978-0195134926

Cover of Medieval English Literature 2ND 02 (ISBN 978-0195134926)
ISBN13: 978-0195134926
ISBN10: 0195134923
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 2ND 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2002
International: No

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Medieval English Literature - 2ND 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195134926

J. B. Trapp, Douglas Gray and Julia Eds. Boffey

ISBN13: 978-0195134926
ISBN10: 0195134923
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 2ND 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 2002
International: No

Medieval English Literature is the first volume of the comprehensive Oxford Anthology of English Literature to be published in a second, expanded, and fully revised edition. It provides an authoritative and representative selection from the vast riches of Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature of the period between A.D. 700 and A.D. 1500. The texts appear either in full or in ample selections, fully glossed and annotated according to the most recent scholarship. Introductions to sections and texts and carefully chosen illustrations help to situate the works in their cultural context. In addition to a thoroughly revised and updated bibliography, this edition provides a full glossary of literary and historical terms.

In this second edition:

  • Anglo-Saxon poetry appears in modern verse translation. In addition to the whole of Beowulf (Edwin Morgan's translation), elegies, The Dream of the Rood, and The Battle of Maldon, there is a sampling of wisdom literature and of biblical epic made with particular reference to the situation of women in Anglo-Saxon society.

  • The generous choice of Chaucer's poetry, in a lightly modernized, glossed text, now includes, as well as the General Prologue and the tales of the Miller, the Nun's Priest, the Wife of Bath, the Franklin, and the Pardoner, an extract from The Legend of Good Women, and others from the Scottish Chaucerians Henryson and Dunbar.

  • For romance, the whole of the third book of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and the entire text of Sir Orfeo, both glossed, have been added to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (revised translation by Keith Harrison). The selections from Malory's Morte Darthur have been augmented, as have the translated extracts from The Visions of Piers Plowman (with the account of the Harrowing of Hell).

  • Modernized versions of the Chester Play of Noah and the Seven Deadly Sins episode from The Castle of Perseverance join the Second Shepherds' Play and Everyman in the section on theater.

  • The lyrics section, which formerly contained only fourteenth-century works, now includes thirteenth-century poems that extend its representation of genre, its poetic range, and its emotional scope. The expansion enables this section to link with a notable innovation:

  • A new section entitled Women's Writing and Women's Experience, an introduction to Middle English prose written by and for women

Includes the complete texts of Beowolf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Sir Orfeo

  • Provides a generous selection of Chaucer's work
  • Features a new section on women's writing and experience
  • Presents a greatly improved selection of Anglo-Saxon poetry (including Anglo-Saxon Old Testament poetry)
  • Adds selections from Anglo-Saxon wisdom literature (such as riddles and gnomic verses)
  • Incorporates 57 illustrations to complement the texts and a map of medieval England on the inside cover
  • Includes many newly edited and annotated texts

Author Bio

Trapp, J. B. (Ed.) : University of London

Gray, Douglas (Ed.) : Oxford University

Boffey, Julia (Ed.) : Queen Mary, University of London

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface
Introduction: Medieval English Literature


Caedmon's Hymn
from The Death of Holofernes
The Wanderer
The Wife's Complaint
The Husband's Message
Wulf and Eadwacer
Engimas and Wisdom
The Queen and the Frisian Wife
Genesis B
from The Temptation of Eve
The Dream of the Rood
The Battle of Maldon

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, c. 1343-1400

The Canterbury Tales
General Prologue
The Miller's Prologue and Tale
The Nun's Priest's Prologue and Tale
Two Other Fox Stories
from The Bestiary
from Robert Henryson, Fables
The Fox and the Wolf
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
William Dunbar
from The Two Married Women and the Widow
The Franklin's Prologue and Tale
The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale
from The Legend of Good Women
The Legend of Thisbe of Babylon
Troilus and Criseyde
Robert Henryson
The Complaint of Cresseid
Chaucer's Words unto Adam, His Own Scribe
Chaucer's Retractions


Sir Orfeo
Thomas the Rhymer
The Land of Cokaygne
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Thomas Malory
from Morte Darthur
[The Birth of Arthur and the Sword in the Stone]
[The Fair Maid of Astolat]
[The Death of Arthur]


from the Prologue
from Passus I
from Passus XVIII
The Wakefield Second Shepherds' Play
The Chester Play of Noah
from The Castle of Perseverance: The Seven Deadly Sins


Ancrene Wisse (A Guide for Anchoresses)
Holy Maidenhood (A Letter on Virginity)
Saint Scholastica
The Book of Margery Kempe
What So Men Sayn


Now Springs the Spray
Sumer is Ycomen In
The Thrush and the Nightingale
Separated Lovers
Western Wind
He Is Far
I Have a Young Sister
The Maid of the Moor
The Agincourt Carol
Bring Us In Good Ale
I Have Set My Heart So High
All Too Late
A Woman Sat Weeping
Divine Love
I Sing of a Maiden
Of One That Is So Fair and Bright
Adam Lay Ybounden
Corpus Christi Carol


The Cherry-Tree Carol
The Two Magicians
The Carpenter's Wife [The Demon Lover]
The Wife of Usher's Well
The Unquiet Grave
Lord Randel
The Three Ravens
The Birth of Robin Hood
Sir Patrick Spence

WILLIAM DUNBAR, c. 1460-c. 1514

Lament for the Makers

WILLIAM CAXTON, 1415/24-1492

The Proem to The Canterbury Tales
from the Preface to The Aeneid
, Glossary
, Suggestions for Further Reading
, Author and Title Index
, First-Line Index

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