Book Series Studies in Old English Literature, vol. 3

The Age of Alfred

Rethinking English Literary Culture c. 850–950

Amy Faulkner, Francis Leneghan (eds)

  • Pages: approx. 625 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:18 b/w, 2 col., 5 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024


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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60665-1
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Explores recent developments and debates, and showcases new directions in research, in relation to a key figure in English literary history: Alfred the Great.

BIO

Amy Faulkner is Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at UCL. She has published on Old English poetry and prose and is the author of Wealth and the Material World in the Old English Alfredian Corpus (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2023).

Francis Leneghan is Professor of Old English at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of The Dynastic Drama of ‘Beowulf’ (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2020).

Summary

King Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) remains a key figure in English literary history. Although his reputation as a scholar who was personally responsible for the translation of a number of Latin works is no longer secure, the figure of the wise king nevertheless casts a long shadow over vernacular writing from the late ninth century through to the twelfth. This volume takes stock of recent developments and debates in the field of Alfredian scholarship and showcases new directions in research. Individual chapters consider how English authors before, during, and after Alfred’s reign translated and adapted Latin works, often in innovative and imaginative ways. Other contributions provide new contexts and connections for Alfredian writing, highlighting the work of Mercian scholars and expanding the corpus beyond the works traditionally attributed to the king himself. Together, these essays force us to rethink what we mean by ‘Alfredian’ and to revise the literary history of the ‘long ninth century’.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction: Rethinking English Literary Culture c. 850–950
Amy FAULKNER and Francis LENEGHAN

I. CONTEXTS

Old English Literature Before Alfred: The Mercian Dimension
Christine RAUER

Writing Latin in the Age of Alfred
Robert GALLAGHER

The 'Thing Power' of the Fabulous Alfred Jewel
Georgina PITT

Alfredian Geographies
Nicole Guenther DISCENZA

II. TEXTUAL CRITICISM, SOURCE STUDY, AND STYLE

The Origins of the Old English Bede
Greg WAITE

The Idea of Decorum in the Old English Dialogues
Susan IRVINE

The Old English Pastoral Care: Who wrote it, When, Why and for Whom? A Review of the Evidence
Daniel ANLEZARK

Refrains and Whole Verse Repetitions: Patterns in Sung Verse in the De consolatione philosophiae and the Old English Boethius
Karmen LENZ

The Singularity of the Old English Boethius
Adrian PAPAHAGI

Latin Commentary on Boethius’s De consolatione Philosophiae as a Source of Added Material in the Old English Soliloquies
Leslie LOCKETT

III. VERNACULAR PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

Bending Minds in the Old English Boethius
Erica WEAVER

Easing Unease in the Old English Boethius and Soliloquies: A Mystical Turn
Michael TRESCHOW

The Ninth-Century Psalter in England
M. J. TOSWELL

Examining Dualities in the Old English Prose Psalms
Emily BUTLER

King Alfred as the Skipper in Andreas
Richard NORTH

IV. ROYAL AUTHORITY AND LEGISLATION

Ælfred se casere: Kingship and Imperial Legitimation in the Old English Orosius
Omar KHALAF

The Winchester Scribes and Alfredian Prose in the Tenth Century
Emily KESLING

Chronicle Compilation and West-Saxon Succession
Courtnay KONSHUH

The Domboc in the Laws of Edward the Elder
Stefan JURASINKSI

The Wayward Tongue of Folcleasung in Alfred 32: Oaths, Bodies, and Communal Truth
Katherine O’BRIEN O’KEEFFE

V. AFTERWORD

Why did the Anglo-Saxons switch from Verse to Prose?
Malcolm GODDEN

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Index