Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England

Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England

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Description

Combining historical, literary and linguistic evidence from Old English and Latin, Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England creates a new, more complete picture of who and what pre-Conquest English poets really were. It includes a study of Anglo-Saxon words for 'poet' and the first list of named poets in Anglo-Saxon England. Its survey of known poets identifies four social roles that poets often held - teachers, scribes, musicians and courtiers - and explores the kinds of poetry created by these individuals. The book also offers a new model for understanding the role of social groups in poets' experience: it argues that the presence or absence of a poetic community affected the work of Anglo-Saxon poets at all levels, from minute technical detail to the portrayal of character. This focus on poetic communities provides a new way to understand the intersection of history and literature in the Middle Ages.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 10 b/w illus. 1 map
  • 1139699350
  • 9781139699358

Table of contents

Introduction: how can we know about Anglo-Saxon poets?; 1. What was a poet?; 2. Who became poets?; 3. The poet in the community; 4. The poet alone; 5. Spectral communities; Afterword: a way of happening; Appendix I. A handlist of named authors of Old English or Latin verse in Anglo-Saxon England; Appendix II. Skalds working in Anglo-Saxon England; Bibliography.show more

Review quote

'A new generation of scholars is shaking up the work of the previous generation, and the best of them to date is Berkeley's Emily Thornbury ... [A] thoughtful and well-written book.' A. M. Juster, First Things '... Thornbury's book is excellent and should be mandatory reading for all scholars and students of Anglo-Saxon literature. Her analysis of individual poetic creations is always precise, innovative, and fascinating.' Samantha Zacher, Journal of English and Germanic Philologyshow more

About Emily Victoria Thornbury

Emily V. Thornbury is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley.show more