Includes bibliographical references (p. -423) and index.
Introduction-- Old English and Anglo-Norman Literature-- Religious and Allegorical Verse-- Alliterative Poetry in Old and Middle English-- Balladry-- The Beast Fable-- Breton Lai-- Chronicle-- Debate Poetry-- Medieval English Drama-- Dream Vision-- Epic and Heroic-- The Epic Genre and Medieval Epics-- The Fabliau-- Hagiographic, Homiletic, and Didactic Literature-- Lyric-- The Middle English Parody/Burlesque-- Riddles-- Romance-- Visions of the Afterlife-- Selected Bibliography-- Index.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Defines, classifies, and critically studies Old and Middle English literature according to genres. Old and Middle English literature can be obscure and challenging and has elicited a large body of criticism. Readers confronting medieval literature soon note that writers of the era were masters of literary form. Indeed, many works draw on similar texts, since imitation was admired. Recent scholarship, too, has given much attention to the importance of genre, since the genre in which a work is written often conveys knowledge of the author's intentions and thus helps illuminate the meaning of the text. And when read in light of the standards of a genre, a given work stands in relation to other works falling within the same category. This reference comprehensively overviews Old and Middle English literature according to the genres in which it was written. The volume includes chapters on particular genres, such as religious and allegorical verse, the beast fable, and debate poetry. Within each chapter, an expert contributor defines the primary characteristics of the genre and discusses literary works that fit within its parameters. Each chapter also provides an extensive review of scholarship and closes with a detailed bibliography. The book similarly concludes with a lengthy bibliography of major scholarly studies. (source: Nielsen Book Data)