A Companion to Ælfric

Series:

Editors: Hugh Magennis and Mary Swan
This collection provides a new, authoritative and challenging study of the life and works of Ælfric of Eynsham, the most important vernacular religious writer in the history of Anglo-Saxon England. The contributors include almost all of the key Ælfric scholars working today and some important newer voices. Each of the chapters is a cutting-edge piece of work which addresses one aspect of Ælfric’s works or career. The chapters are organised topically, rather than by chronology, genre or biography, and between them cover the entire Ælfrician corpus and the major contextual issues; consideration of Ælfric’s Latin writings is carefully integrated with that of his Old English works. Ælfric studies are currently a central element of Anglo-Saxon studies, but while to date there has been a great deal of detailed work on some aspects of Ælfric, this collection provides the first overview.

Contributors: Hugh Magennis, Joyce Hill, Christopher A. Jones, Mechthild Gretsch, M. R. Godden, Catherine Cubitt, Thomas N. Hall, Robert K. Upchurch, Mary Swan, Clare A. Lees, Gabriella Corona, Kathleen Davis, Jonathan Wilcox, Aaron J Kleist and Elaine Treharne.
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Biographical Note

Hugh Magennis is Professor of Old English Literature at Queen’s University Belfast and Director of the University’s Institute of Theology. He has published widely on Old English and related literature, with particular reference to hagiography and Old English poetry.

Mary Swan is Director of Studies and Senior Lecturer in Medieval Studies in the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds. She has published on late Anglo-Saxon prose texts and their transmission through to the early thirteenth century.

Review Quotes

"On the rear cover of the present work, the publishers claim, ‘‘This collection provides a new, authoritative and challenging study of the life and works of Ælfric of Eynsham, the most important vernacular religious writer in
the history of Anglo-Saxon England’’, and in every particular the claim is justified.
This is a work that should be in the library of every university where Old English is on the curriculum, and it will be on the wish-list of every scholar and postgraduate student of Old English."

Paul Cavill (2010), English Studies, 91:7, 790-791 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2010.517060)

Table of contents

Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors
Introduction, Hugh Magennis and Mary Swan

1. Ælfric Scholarship, Hugh Magennis

2. Ælfric: His Life and Works, Joyce Hill

3. Ælfric and the Limits of ‘Benedictine Reform’, Christopher A. Jones

4. Ælfric, Language and Winchester, Mechthild Gretsch

5. Ælfric and the Alfredian Precedents, Malcolm R. Godden

6. Ælfric’s Lay Patrons, Catherine Cubitt

7. Ælfric as Pedagogue, Thomas N. Hall

8. Catechetic Homiletics: Ælfric’s Preaching and Teaching During Lent, Robert K. Upchurch

9. Identity and Ideology in Ælfric’s Prefaces, Mary Swan

10. In Ælfric’s Words: Conversion, Vigilance and the Nation in Ælfric’s Life of Gregory the Great, Clare A. Lees

11. Ælfric’s Schemes and Tropes: Amplificatio and the Portrayal of Persecutors, Gabriella Corona

12. Boredom, Brevity and Last Things: Ælfric’s Style and the Politics of Time, Kathleen Davis

13. The Use of Ælfric’s Homilies: MSS Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 85 and 86 in the Field, Jonathan Wilcox

14. Assembling Ælfric: Reconstructing the Rationale behind Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Compilations, Aaron J Kleist
15. Making their Presence Felt: Readers of Ælfric, c. 1050-1350, Elaine Treharne

Bibliography
Index

Readership

All those interested in the wide field of Anglo-Saxon studies, including literary studies, history, intellectual and church history, Old English and Anglo-Latin, and manuscript transmission.