Wednesday, August 31, 2011


New book announcement: THE OLD ENGLISH VERSION OF BEDE’S HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA SHARON M. ROWLEY The Old English version of Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis anglorum is one of the earliest and most substantial surviving works of Old English prose. Translated anonymously around the end of the ninth or beginning of the tenth century, the text, which is substantially shorter than Bede’s original, was well known and actively used in medieval England, and was highly influential. However, despite its importance, it has been little studied. In this first book on the subject, the author places the work in its manuscript context, arguing that the text was an independent, ecclesiastical translation, thoughtfully revised for its new audience. Rather than looking back on the age of Bede from the perspective of a king centralizing power and building a community by recalling a glorious English past, the Old English version of Bede’s Historia transforms its source to focus on local history, key Anglo-Saxon saints, and their miracles. The author argues that its reading reflects an ecclesiastical setting more than a political one, with uses more hagiographical than royal; and that rather than being used as a class-book or crib, it functioned as a resource for vernacular preaching, as a corpus of vernacular saints’ lives, for oral performance, and episcopal authority. UK: Boydell & Brewer, PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF. Tel. 01394 610 600 Fax. 01394 610 316 Email When ordering please quote this reference: 11283 US: Boydell & Brewer Inc, 668 Mount Hope Ave., Rochester, NY 14620. USA Tel. 558 275 0419 Fax. 585 571 8778 Email When ordering, please remember to mention this promotion code: $11201 List Price: £60.00/$99.00 September 2011 ISBN: 9781843842736 7 b/w & 2 line illustrations; 272 pp., cloth Anglo-Saxon Studies Series

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