The Idea of Anglo Saxon England, 1066-1901 presents thefirst systematic review of the ways in which Anglo-Saxon studieshave evolved from their beginnings to the twentieth century Tells the story of how the idea of Anglo-Saxon Englandevolved from the Anglo-Saxons themselves to the Victorians, servingas a myth of origins for the English people, their language, andsome of their most cherished institutions Combines original research with established scholarship toreveal how current conceptions of English identity might be verydifferent if it were not for the discovery – and invention– of the Anglo-Saxon past Reveals how documents dating from the Anglo-Saxon era havegreatly influenced modern attitudes toward nationhood, race,religious practice, and constitutional liberties Includes more than fifty images of manuscripts, early printedbooks, paintings, sculptures, and major historians of the era
This review of the critical reception of Old English literature from 1900 to the present moves beyond a focus on individual literary texts so as to survey the different schools, methods, and assumptions that have shaped the discipline. Examines the notable works and authors from the period, including Beowulf, the Venerable Bede, heroic poems, and devotional literature Reinforces key perspectives with excerpts from ten critical studies Addresses questions of medieval literacy, textuality, and orality, as well as style, gender, genre, and theme Embraces the interdisciplinary nature of the field with reference to historical studies, religious studies, anthropology, art history, and more
In 1859, the historian Lord John Acton asserted: 'two great principles divide the world, and contend for the mastery, antiquity and the middle ages'. The influence on Victorian culture of the 'Middle Ages' (broadly understood then as the centuries between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance) was both pervasive and multi-faceted. This 'medievalism' led, for instance, to the rituals and ornament of the Medieval Catholic church being reintroduced to Anglicanism. It led to the Saxon Witan being celebrated as a prototypical representative parliament. It resulted in Viking raiders being acclaimed as the forefathers of the British navy. And it encouraged innumerable nineteenth-century men to cultivate the superlative beards we now think of as typically 'Victorian'—in an attempt to emulate their Anglo-Saxon forefathers. Different facets of medieval life, and different periods before the Renaissance, were utilized in nineteenth-century Britain for divergent political and cultural agendas. Medievalism also became a dominant mode in Victorian art and architecture, with 75 per cent of churches in England built on a Gothic rather than a classical model. And it was pervasive in a wide variety of literary forms, from translated sagas to pseudo-medieval devotional verse to triple-decker novels. Medievalism even transformed nineteenth-century domesticity: while only a minority added moats and portcullises to their homes, the medieval-style textiles produced by Morris and Co. decorated many affluent drawing rooms. The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Medievalism is the first work to examine in full the fascinating phenomenon of 'medievalism' in Victorian Britain. Covering art, architecture, religion, literature, politics, music, and social reform, the Handbook also surveys earlier forms of antiquarianism that established the groundwork for Victorian movements. In addition, this collection addresses the international context, by mapping the spread of medievalism across Europe, South America, and India, amongst other places.
More than fifty specialists have contributed to this new edition of volume 1 of The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. The design of the original work has established itself so firmly as a workable solution to the immense problems of analysis, articulation and coordination that it has been retained in all its essentials for the new edition. The task of the new contributors has been to revise and integrate the lists of 1940 and 1957, to add materials of the following decade, to correct and refine the bibliographical details already available, and to re-shape the whole according to a new series of conventions devised to give greater clarity and consistency to the entries.