By Albert C. Baugh, Kemp Malone
The paperback version, in 4 volumes, of this normal paintings will make it available to scholars. The scope of the paintings makes it worthy as a piece of reference, connecting one interval with one other and putting every one writer truly within the environment of his time. Reviewing the 1st variation, the days Literary complement commented: ‘in inclusiveness and in judgment it has few opponents of its kind’. this primary quantity covers the center a long time (to 1500) in sections: The previous English interval (to 1100) by means of Kemp Malone (John Hopkins University), and the center English interval (1100-1500) through Albert C. Baugh (University of Pennsylvania).
Read or Download The Literary History of England: Vol 1: The Middle Ages (to 1500) PDF
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Extra info for The Literary History of England: Vol 1: The Middle Ages (to 1500)
The heiti differed from the kenning in that it was simplex, not composital or phrasal, but it resembled the kenning in that it arose as a variation. In their use of kenning and heiti the English poets showed a characteristic classical restraint. These stylistic features did not have in England the luxuriant growth that they had in Iceland (whence come their names). 16 Poetic adornment might also take attributive form. The adjective in such a phrase as fealu flod “fallow flood” is not without descriptive value and presumably came into use, as part of the phrase, because it had descriptive value, but it early became a standing or conventional poetic epithet by virtue of frequent use in such phrases.
Want of rime and alliteration in an Old English tag does not mean, of course, that the tag is unmetrical; it means that we cannot be sure of the tag’s metrical character unless the context points to metrical treatment. The stock of verse formulas varied more or less down the centuries; some old formulas went out, and others came in. Thus the tag ne sace ne socne in Hit Becwæð is late. Metrically speaking, nevertheless, it is of a piece with prehistoric English formulas, and its introduction cannot be looked upon as a metrical innovation.
And when the records are studied, this expectation is more than fulfilled; indeed, the student may seek long before he finds any speakings at all. The few that survive are our oldest literary heirlooms, for the literary art of the English (as of the other Germanic peoples) before their conversion to Christianity found expression in speakings only. The English of heathen times knew how to write, it is true. They brought with them from the Continent a futhark or runic alphabet of twenty-four letters, and to this in the course of time they added several new signs of their own.