“Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archaeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking–age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives.... The author’s in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels.”—Choice
“Informative...Short has done an excellent job...most interesting...I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era...faultless...tells a coherent story...this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended”—Armed and Dangerous
“A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book...chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life.... You don’t need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand...illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps...enjoyed it very much. You’ve got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books”—Green Man Review
“A perfect companion or an introduction to reading the sagas...very easy to read, and covers many topics in the life of the people in Iceland during those times...covers religion, laws, feuds, home life, and the settlement, among other topics...truly gives you an overview of what everyday life was like...[Short’s] research is flawless, and his sources are well-documented...bibliography is impressive...very well-indexed...entertaining, easy-to-read and very educational”—Lögberg-Heimskringla
“Well-structured, easily understandable and practical...digs deep into a wide range of archaeological and literary sources...presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age...excellent...thorough and accurate...interesting...especially helpful”—Iceland Review
“Riveting exploration...a solid addition”—Midwest Book Review
“Comprehensive but accessible history.... All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short’s book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas”—Reference and Research Book News
The poems themselves tell the story of his love for Beatrice, from their first meeting at a May Day party in her father's house, through Dante's sufferings and his attempts to conceal the true object of his devotion by the use of 'screen-loves', to his overwhelming grief ather death, ending with the transformative vision of her in heaven. These are some of the richest love poems in literature and the movement from self-pitying lament to praise for the beloved's beauty and virtue, illustrate the elevating power of love.
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
Ben Jonson famously accused Shakespeare of having “small Latin and less Greek.” But he was exaggerating. Shakespeare was steeped in the classics. Shaped by his grammar school education in Roman literature, history, and rhetoric, he moved to London, a city that modeled itself on ancient Rome. He worked in a theatrical profession that had inherited the conventions and forms of classical drama, and he read deeply in Ovid, Virgil, and Seneca. In a book of extraordinary range, acclaimed literary critic and biographer Jonathan Bate, one of the world’s leading authorities on Shakespeare, offers groundbreaking insights into how, perhaps more than any other influence, the classics made Shakespeare the writer he became.
Revealing in new depth the influence of Cicero and Horace on Shakespeare and finding new links between him and classical traditions, ranging from myths and magic to monuments and politics, Bate offers striking new readings of a wide array of the plays and poems. At the heart of the book is an argument that Shakespeare’s supreme valuation of the force of imagination was honed by the classical tradition and designed as a defense of poetry and theater in a hostile world of emergent Puritanism.
Rounded off with a fascinating account of how Shakespeare became our modern classic and has ended up playing much the same role for us as the Greek and Roman classics did for him, How the Classics Made Shakespeare combines stylistic brilliance, accessibility, and scholarship, demonstrating why Jonathan Bate is one of our most eminent and readable literary critics.
The 366 poems of Petrarch’s Canzoniere represent one of the most influential works in Western literature. Varied in form, style, and subject matter, these "scattered rhymes" contain metaphors and conceits that have been absorbed into the literature and language of love. In this bilingual edition, Mark Musa provides verse translations, annotations, and an introduction co-authored with Barbara Manfredi.
This book represents both individual and concerted attempts to deal with this important question, and presents one of the most important inconclusions in the study of Old English. The contributors raise so many doubts, turn up so much new and disturbing information, dismantle so many long-accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same: henceforth every discussion of the poem and its period will begin with reference to this volume.
The immediate manuscript context of the monsters in Beowulf is analysed, shedding light on the poet's treatment of the theme of the monstrous and its integration into his work, and a series of parallel discussions consider a range of medieval treatments of the same theme in a variety of analogous texts (all provided with translation), in Latin, Old English, Middle Irish, and Old Icelandic.
The twin themes of pride and prodigies are suggested by tracing changing attitudes towards the concept of pride and establishing a close link between the proud pagan warriors depicted in Christian tradition and the monsters they fight, and with whom they become increasingly identified.
An appendix contains new editions and translations (some for the first time in English) of the Liber Monstrorum, The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle, and The Wonders of the East.
Originally published in 1995 by Boydell & Brewer.
This is the second title in a series called Rethinking the Middle Ages, which is committed to re-examining the Middle Ages, its themes, institutions, people, and events with short studies that will provoke discussion among students and medievalists, and invite them to think about the middle ages in new and unusual ways. The series editor, Paul Edward Dutton, invites suggestions and submissions.
A revised Introduction and Commentary incorporates the vast store of scholarship on Beowulf that has appeared since 1950. It brings readers up to date on areas of scholarship that have been controversial since the last edition, including the construction of the unique manuscript and views on the poem's date and unity of composition. The lightly revised text incorporates the best textual criticism of the intervening years, and the expanded Commentary furnishes detailed bibliographic guidance to discussion of textual cruces, as well as to modern and contemporary critical concerns. Aids to pronunciation have been added to the text, and advances in the study of the poem's language are addressed throughout. Readers will find that the book remains recognizably Klaeber's work, but with altered and added features designed to render it as useful today as it has ever been.
Focusing on England and France during the Hundred Years War, Crane draws on wardrobe accounts, manuscript illuminations, chronicles, archaeological evidence, and literature to recover the material as well as the verbal constructions of identity. She seeks intersections between theories of practice and performance that explain how appearances and language connect when courtiers dress as wild men to interrupt a wedding feast, when knights choose crests and badges to supplement their coats of arms, and when Joan of Arc cross-dresses for the court of inquisition after her capture.
Before the twelfth century, fiction had completely disappeared in Europe. In this important and provocative book, Laura Ashe shows how English writers brought it back, composing new tales about King Arthur, his knights and other heroes and heroines in Latin, French and English. Why did fiction disappear, and why did it come to life again to establish itself the dominant form of literature ever since? And what do we even mean by the term 'fiction'? Gathering extracts from the most important texts of the period by Wace, Marie de France, Chaucer and others, this volume offers an absorbing and surprising introduction to the earliest fiction in England.
The anthology includes a general introduction by Laura Ashe, introductions to each extract, explanatory notes and other useful editorial materials. All French and Latin texts have been newly translated, while Middle English texts include helpful glosses.
Laura Ashe is a University Lecturer in English and Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. Her first book Fiction and History in England, 1066-1200 (Cambridge University Press, 2007) has been followed by numerous articles and edited collections; she is now writing the newOxford English Literary History vol. 1: 1000-1350 (Oxford University Press).
Menocal reviews the Arabic cultural presence in a variety of key settings, including the courts of William of Aquitaine and Frederick II, the universities in London, Paris, and Bologna, and Cluny under Peter the Venerable, and she examines how our perception of specific texts including the courtly love lyric and the works of Dante and Boccaccio would be altered by an acknowledgment of the Arabic cultural component.
The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials.
This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.
After a survey on the genre of allegory and an overview of medieval optical theories, Akbari delves into more detailed studies of several medieval literary works, including the Roman de la Rose, Dante's Vita Nuova, Convivio, and Commedia, and Chaucer's dream visions and Canterbury Tales. The final chapter, 'Division and Darkness,' centres on the legacy of allegory in the fifteenth century. Offering a new interdisciplinary, synthetic approach to late medieval intellectual history and to major works within the medieval literary canon, Seeing through the Veil will be an essential resource to the study of medieval literature and culture, as well as philosophy, history of art, and history of science.
CliffsNotes on St. Augustine’s Confessions takes you on a story of conversion – actually several conversions: to Manichaeism; to the pursuit of truth; to an intellectual acceptance of Christianity; and finally to an emotional acceptance of Christian faith. The Confessions is in one sense Augustine’s personal story, but it is also a mythological work about humanity’s quest to discover true peace and satisfaction.
Examine the many layers of this masterpiece with help from a study guide you can trust. You'll also gain insight into the background and influences of the author. Other features that help you study includeChapter by chapter summaries and commentariesCritical essaysA review section that tests your knowledgeA Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
This book also charts the complex mechanisms by which English writing acquired this power in a series of linked close readings of both canonical and more obscure texts. It encloses those readings in five compelling accounts of much broader cultural areas, describing, in particular, the productive relationship of Middle English writing to medieval technology, insurgency, statecraft and cultural place, concluding with an in depth account of the particular arguments, emphases and techniques English writers used to claim a wholly new jurisdiction for their work.
Both this history and its readings are everywhere informed by the most exciting developments in recent Middle English scholarship as well as literary and cultural theory. It serves as an introduction to all these areas as well as a contribution, in its own right, to each of them.
The first full commentary on Piers Plowman since the late nineteenth century is inaugurated with the publication of the first two of its five projected volumes.
The detailed and wide-ranging Penn Commentary places the allegorical dream-vision of Piers Plowman within the literary, historical, social, and intellectual contexts of late medieval England, and within the long history of critical interpretation of the poem, assessing past scholarship while offering original materials and insights throughout. The authors' line-by-line, section by section, and passus by passus commentary on all three versions of the poem and on the stages of its multiple revisions reveals new aspects of the poem's meaning while assessing and summarizing a complex and often divisive scholarly tradition. The volumes offer an up-to-date, original, and open-ended guide to a poem whose engagement in its social world is unrivaled in English literature, and whose literary, religious, and intellectual accomplishments are uniquely powerful.
The Penn Commentary is designed to be equally useful to readers of the A, B, or C texts of the poem. It is geared to readers eager to have detailed experience of Piers Plowman and other medieval literature, possessing some basic knowledge of Middle English language and literature, and interested in pondering further the particularly difficult relationships to both that this poem possesses. Others, with interest in poetry of all periods, will find the extended and detailed commentary useful precisely because it does not seek to avoid the poem's challenges but seeks instead to provoke thought about its intricacy and poetic achievements.
Andrew Galloway's Volume 1 treats the poem's first vision, from the Prologue through Passus 4, in all three versions, accepting the C text as the poet's final word but excavating downward through the earlier B and A texts. Stephen Barney's volume completes the framework for the commentary, dealing with the final three passûs of the poem, extant only in the B and C versions. Subsequent volumes will be the work of Ralph Hanna, Traugott Lawler, and Anne Middleton.
Overall, The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman marks a new stage of concentrated yet wide-ranging attention to a text whose repeated revisions and literary and intellectual complexity make it both an elusive object of inquiry and a literary work whose richness has long deserved the capacious and minutely detailed treatment that only a full commentary can allow. Perhaps no poem in English appeals more than Piers Plowman to those readers who understand Yeats's "fascination with things difficult," yet The Penn Commentary will enable generations of readers to share in the pleasures and challenges of experiencing, engaging with, and trying to elucidate the difficulties of one of the towering achievements of English literature.
Andrew Galloway is Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Cornell University.