Select Bibliography: Anglo-Saxon Studies

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Select Bibliography: Anglo-Saxon Studies

The following bibliography is meant to serve the needs of persons currently undertaking research, particularly at the beginning or intermediate level, in any subfield of Anglo-Saxon studies, with an emphasis on literary studies. No attempt is made to offer comprehensive coverage. Older publications as well as specialized titles are left unlisted here, for the most past, although notice may be taken of such works in the bibliographies that are appended to previous chapters.

Items thought to be of particular importance or usefulness are marked with an asterisk (*).

The bibliography is organized into eight main parts, as follows. The closing emphasis on Beowulf reflects the large place occupied by that poem in the modern reception of Old English literature, as well as the place that poem occupies in the curriculum.


I. Encyclopedias

II. Specialized Journals

III. Bibliographies

IV. Anglo-Saxon History

V. Manuscripts, Facsimiles, Script

VI. Electronic Resources

VII. The Old English Language

A. Dictionaries, Concordances, Thesauri, Lexical Studies

B. The History of English

C. Old English Grammar

D. Verse Form and Metre

E. Introductory Grammars and/or Readers

VIII. Literature

A. General

B. Collective Editions

D. Anthologies of Critical Essays

D. Old English Literature in Translation

F. Individual Works (other than Beowulf)

G. Beowulf

a. Current Editions

b. Bibliographies

c. Anthologies of Critical Essays

d. Book-Length Studies

e. Translations

I. Encyclopedias

The two items listed here should be used in conjunction with standard encyclopedias and dictionaries of the Middle Ages.

* Lapidge, Michael, gen. ed. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.

Szarmach, Paul E., gen. ed. Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1998. While spanning the whole medieval period, the book devotes close attention to Anglo-Saxon topics.

II. Specialized Journals

Anglo-Saxon England. Published annually since 1972 by Cambridge University Press.

Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History. Published annually since 1979 by Oxford University School of Archaeology.

Old English Newsletter. Published since 1967 through several different academic sponsors; presently edited by R.M. Liuzza at the University of Tennessee. Includes news, conference reports, abstracts of papers, short articles, etc. Also see under Electronic Resources below.

III. Bibliographies

Bowden, Betsy. Listeners' Guide to Medieval English: A Discography. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 912. New York: Garland, 1990. Lists audio recordings of modern scholars reading Old English texts. In need of updating.

Deshman, Robert. Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian Art: An Annotated Bibliography. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1984.

* Greenfield, Stanley B., and Fred C. Robinson. A Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature to the End of 1972. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1980. Comprehensive listings up to 1972; encompasses far more than literary studies.

Hollis, Stephanie. Old English Prose of Secular Learning. Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 1992. An annotated bibliography.

Keynes, Simon. Anglo-Saxon History: A Select Bibliography. Old English Newsletter Subsidia, 13. Third revised edition, 1998. A current edition is available on-line; see Electronic Resources below.

Pulsiano, Phillip. An Annotated Bibliography of North American Doctoral Dissertations on Old English Language and Literature. Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1988.

* Annual bibliographies published in Anglo-Saxon England and the Old English Newsletter. These journals supplement the Greenfield/Robinson bibliography by listing books and articles published since 1972. The OEN also publishes an invaluable annual annotated bibliography. It maintains an on-line searchable bibliography of works of which it has taken notice since the start of its publication history; see under Electronic Resources below.

IV. Anglo-Saxon History

Blair, John. The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005.

Campbell, James, ed. The Anglo-Saxons. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, l982. With copious illustrations. Chapters contributed by specialists offer a thoughtful review of the history of different periods.

* Douglas, David C., gen. ed. English Historical Documents, I: c. 500-1042, 2nd ed., ed. by Dorothy Whitelock, and II: 1042-1189, ed. by David C. Douglas. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. All documents are provided in modern English translation.

Gransden, Antonia. Historical Writing in England, I: c. 550 to c. 1307. London: Routledge, 1974. An expert review of the primary historical works dating from the earlier Middle Ages in England.

Hill, David. An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1981. Each map or chart encapsulates historical or economic information.

Hodgkin, R.H. A History of the Anglo-Saxons, 3rd ed. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1952.

Hunter Blair, Peter. An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England. 1956, rpt. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003 with a new preface by Simon Keynes. An expert historical overview of the period and one that remains useful, although outdated in some respects.

Keynes, Simon, and Michael Lapidge, trans. and ed. Alfred the Great. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983. A useful compendium of sources relating to King Alfred and his influence, with all items presented in translation.

Loyn, H.L. Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest, 2nd ed. London: Longman, 1981. Emphasis on social and economic history.

——. The Governance of Anglo-Saxon England 500-1087. London: Arnold, 1984. Treats government in the localities as well as the institutions of kingship, with special attention to King Alfred as a pivotal figure in the development of centralized kingship.

——. The Vikings in Britain. London: Batsford, 1977. A rewritten and compressed version was published by Oxford Univ. Press in 1994. Treats centrally a subject that had tended to remain peripheral in the earlier historiography of this period.

Page, R.I. Life in Anglo-Saxon England. London, Batsford, 1970. A personal favourite of the present author, well researched and stylishly written.

Sawyer, P.H. Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography. London: Royal Historical Society, 1968. See the related entry (‘Kemble,’ with a reference to ‘The Electronic Sawyer’) under Electronic Resources, below.

* Stenton, Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1971. The standard history of the period. Although admirable in scope and detail, it does not necessarily reflect recent advances in Anglo-Saxon historiography.

Whitelock, Dorothy. The Beginnings of English Society. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1952. A succinct, well-written social history of the Anglo-Saxons.

V. Manuscripts, Facsimiles, Script

Brown, Michelle P. 1991. Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts. London: British Library. Brief but well illustrated, in colour and black and white, with short chapters on book production, materials and techniques, script, and illustration and ornament.

——. Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2007. With numerous colour plates drawn from a variety of illuminated manuscripts.

Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2007. Covers the whole field of medieval manuscript studies, with examples drawn from the Anglo-Saxon period, among others.

Clemoes, Peter, gen. ed. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile. Copenhagen, 1951--. Twenty-nine volumes published through 2001. A superb set of facsimiles of manuscripts deemed essential for Old English studies. A list of individual volumes published in this series is given in the Appendix to the present bibliography.

Doane, A.N., gen. ed. Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile. Binghamton: State University of New York Press. Seventeen volumes published through 2010. The series is intended to include facsimiles of all manuscripts containing Old English, with an expert description of each manuscript offered by a specialist. A list of individual volumes is given in the Appendix to the present bibliography.

Gneuss, Helmut. Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001.

* Ker, Neil R. Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon. 2nd ed. with a supplement. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, DATE. A long-standing ‘bible’ for all scholars engaged in research into the manuscript records of Old English. Ker's introduction (pp. 000–00) includes a capsule account of Old English paleography.

Roberts, Jane. Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500. London: British Library, 2005. Includes reproductions and transcriptions of manuscripts written in both Latin and Old English.

VI. Electronic Resources

These are subject to change. The Old English Newsletter (on-line edition) provides details about electronic resources currently available on the web.
Old English Corpus. The whole corpus of texts containing Old English, produced in machine-readable form for use in the preparation of the Dictionary of Old English. Available for on-line searching at licensed sites.
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies, Georgetown University. A gateway providing links to vast resources for Medieval Studies in general and for Old English/Anglo-Saxon studies in particular. These include a subject guide to Anglo-Saxon culture, as well as a text archive that includes all the texts in the collective edition The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, in addition to selected prose texts.
The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University: gives access to the Old English Newsletter homepage, the Rawlinson Center homepage, several on-line bibliographies, and other useful resources.

Simon Keynes's Anglo-Saxon History: A Select Bibliography: this useful bibliography is made available through the Medieval Institute homepage but is worth citing separately.
Modern English to OE Vocabulary: a website maintained by William Schipper; a tool for translating into OE and building up one's vocabulary. wordlist.html
Individual web sites maintained by individual Anglo-Saxonists such as Simon Keynes (Cambridge), Carl Berkhout (University of Arizona), and Peter S. Baker (University of Virginia). These serve as gateways to various resources, including (a) British projects such as Fontes Anglo-Saxonici (Keynes), (b) publicly available manuscript facsimiles and a bibliography charting the history of Anglo-Saxon scholarship (Berkhout), and (c) on-line instructional exercises for learning the Old English language (Baker): (Keynes) (Berkhout)

http// (Baker)
Oxford Text Archive: includes texts recorded in Old English as part of a vast electronic library.
Iter: an on-line bibliography for Medieval and Renaissance studies, updated frequently. In two parts: (1) journals and (2) monographs.
Kemble. Home page of the British Academy / Royal Historical Society Joint Committee on Anglo-Saxon Charters. With a link to The Electronic Sawyer: an online (revised, augmented, and updated) version of P. H. Sawyer's Anglo-Saxon Charters: an Annotated List and Bibliography.

VII. The Old English Language

A. Dictionaries, Concordances, Thesauri, Word Studies

Barney, Stephen A. Word-Hoard: An Introduction to Old English Vocabulary. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1985. A grouped frequency word-list; includes a brief etymological essay on each lexical cluster.

Bessinger, Jess, ed. A Concordance to the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records. Programmed by Philip H. Smith Jr. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1978. Includes an index of poetic compounds.

Bessinger, Jess B., ed. A Concordance to Beowulf, programmed by Philip H. Smith, Jr. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1969. More complete than the preceding item for this one poem, since it cites each simplex of compound words.

* Bosworth, Joseph, and T. Northcote Toller. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford. In three parts: main volume 1898; supplement by Toller, 1921; enlarged addenda and corrigenda by A. Campbell, 1972. Although obsolete in many respects, this remains a great achievement that is the standard guide to that part of the OE lexicon not yet published by the DOE. An electronic copy is available free on line.

Cameron, Angus. Old English Word Studies: A Preliminary Author and Word Index. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1983. Includes, on microfiche, a bibliography of particular lexical studies published up to the early 1980s.

* Cameron, Angus, et al. Dictionary of Old English. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1986– . Entries for the letters A, Æ, B, C, D, E, F, and G are currently available by on-line subscription, as well as on microfiche and on CD-ROM. See also the associated Dictionary of Old English Corpus, listed above under Electronic Resources.

Holthausen, Ferdinand. Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd ed. with additions by H.C. Matthes. Heidelberg: Winter, 1934. For tracing the Indo-European and Germanic roots of Old English words.

Roberts, Jane, and Christian Kay. A Thesaurus of Old English. 2 vols. London: King's College, 1995. Groups the vocabulary of OE topically, e.g. under "outlawry," "sensual pleasure," and so on through all areas of experience. An invaluable resource for studies linking language and thought.

B. The History of English

Hogg, Richard M., ed. The Cambridge History of the English Language, I: Beginnings to 1066. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008.

Hogg, Richard, and David Dennison. A History of the English Language. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006.

Robinson, Orrin W. Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1992. Aimed at students just setting out to study comparative Germanic philology, or wanting a succinct overview of that field. With chapters on Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic, and other dialects.

C. Old English Grammar

Brunner, Karl. Altenglische Grammatik. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1965. Based on Eduard Sievers’s Angelsächsische grammatik (1898).

Campbell, A. Old English Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon, 1959. A standard reference volume in English-speaking lands.

Mitchell, Bruce. Old English Syntax, 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985. The definitive study of syntax.

Sievers, Eduard. An Old English Grammar, ed. and trans. by Albert S. Cook. 3rd ed. Boston: Ginn, 1903. Based on Sievers’s Angelsächsische grammatik (1898).

D. Verse Form and Metre

Fulk, R.D. A History of Old English Meter. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1992. More than a metrical history, the book represents an attempt to develop a system of dating OE poetry on metrical grounds.

Lehmann, Winfred P. The Development of Germanic Verse Form. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1956. Sets the study of OE meter into a wider Germanic context.

Pope, John Collins. The Rhythm of Beowulf, 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1966. Develops a theory of metre based on the use of the lyre to mark time; the results are meant to apply to OE poetry across the board.

Russom, Geoffrey. Old English Meter and Linguistic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987. Seeks to ground a theory of metre on the general linguistic features of the OE language.

——. Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998. Carries Russom’s metrical investigations into the ground of comparative Germanic philology.

E. Introductory Grammars and/or Readers

Baker, Peter S.  Introduction to Old English.  Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.  An introductory grammar and reader accommodating the needs of students with little training in language studies. Also available via the internet.

Cassidy, Frederic G., and Richard N. Ringler. Bright's Old English Grammar and Reader, 3rd ed. New York: Holt, 1971. Step-by-step lessons in the grammar, with easy readings, are followed by an ample selection of expertly annotated readings in both prose and poetry. Texts are not normalized, and some are meant to be challenging. Be sure to consult the second corrected printing.

Marsden, Richard. The Cambridge Old English Reader. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004. Includes fifty-six individual texts, glossed on the page and presented together with a reference grammar of OE.

Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson. A Guide to Old English, 7th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007. A step-by-step guide offering both grammatical lessons and a wide variety of readings in verse and prose.

Pope, John C. Eight Old English Poems, 3rd edition, rev. by R.D. Fulk.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.  An exemplary edition of some of the leading poems in the Old English literary canon.

Whitelock, Dorothy, ed. Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse, 15th ed. Oxford, 1967. For many years a standard teaching text in Great Britain, and still useful.

VIII. Old English Literature

A. General

Donoghue, Daniel. Old English Literature: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Organized around five themes: the vow, the hall, the miracle, the pulpit, and the scholar.

Fulk, R.D., and Christopher Cain. A History of Old English Literature. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. An authoritative survey of OE literature approached for the most part topically, with an initial chapter on ‘The Chronology and Varieties of Old English Literature’.

Gatch, Milton McC. Loyalties and Traditions: Man and His World in Old English Literature. New York: Pegasus, 1971. An urbane analysis of OE literature and the Anglo-Saxon worldview.

Godden, Malcolm, and Michael Lapidge, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Old English Studies. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991. With fifteen chapters, written by specialists, covering most topics of interest relating to the literature.

Greenfield, Stanley B. The Interpretation of Old English Poems. London, Routledge, 1972. Practical essays in criticism by a master of that art.

Greenfield, Stanley G., and Daniel G. Calder. A New Critical History of Old English Literature. New York: NYU Press, 1986. A judicious review of OE literature as it has been received by modern scholars, with a chapter by Michael Lapidge on Anglo-Latin literature.

O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine, ed. Reading Old English Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997. Includes nine chapters, written by individual specialists, on such topics as source study, historicist approaches, oral tradition, and feminist criticism.

Pulsiano, Phillip, and Elaine Treharne, eds.  A Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature.  Oxford: Blackwell, 2001. Includes entries by specialists on numerous topics of interest, including authorship, audience, genres, sources, debates, and the history of the field.

Quinn, Karen J. and Kenneth P. A Manual of Old English Prose. New York: Garland, 1990. A finder’s guide (now in need of updating) to manuscripts, editions, and critical studies of OE prose.

Shippey, Thomas A. Old English Verse. London: Hutchinson, 1972. An excellent survey, full of sharp insights.

Stanley, Eric Gerald, ed. Continuations and Beginnings: Studies in Old English Literature. London: Thomas Nelson, 1966. Includes analyses of the prose of Alfred's reign, the works of Ælfric and Wulfstan, and other topics.

Wrenn, Charles L. A Study of Old English Literature. New York: Norton, 1967.

B. Collective Editions

‘Anglo-Saxon Charters.’ A continuing series of editions published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press. Nine volumes have appeared in print as of 2001.

Dumville, David and Simon Keynes, gen. eds. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition. Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer. Ten volumes currently in print:

vol. 1. Facsimile of MS F, the Domitian Bilingual

vol. 3. MS A, ed. by Janet M. Bately
vol. 4. MS B, ed. by Simon Taylor
vol. 5. MS C,ed. by Katherine O’BrienO’Keeffe
vol. 6.  MS D, ed. by G.P. Cubbin
vol. 7.  MS E, ed. by Susan Irvine

vol. 8. MS F, ed. by Peter S. Baker

vol. 10. The Abingdon Chronicle, AD 956-1066, ed. by Patrick W. Conner

vol. 11: The Northern Recension, ed. by David Dumville

vol. 17. The Annals of St. Neots, with Vita Prima Sancti Neoti, ed. by David Dumville and Michael Lapidge

Grein, Christian W. M. and Richard P. Wulker, gen. eds. Bibliothek der angelsachischen Prosa. 13 vols. Kassel and Hamburg, 1872-1933. Most of these volumes were reprinted, some with new matter, by Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1964–74. More recent editions are available for many of the items included in this series.

* Krapp, George P., and Elliott V. K. Dobbie, eds. The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records. 6 vols. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1931-53. The standard scholarly edition of OE verse. The volumes are as follows:

I. The Junius MS

II. The Vercelli Book
III. The Exeter Book
IV. Beowulf and Judith
V. Paris Psalter and Meters of Boethius
VI. The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems

C. Anthologies of Critical Essays

Bessinger, Jess B., and Stanley J. Kahrl, eds. Essential Articles for the Study of Old English Poetry. Hamden (Conn.): Archon, 1968. Twenty-six previously published essays.

Bjork, Robert E., ed. Cynewulf: Basic Readings. New York: Garland, 1996. Sixteen previously published essays and two new ones.

Calder, Daniel G, ed. Old English Poetry: Essays on Style. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1979. Six contributions based on lectures presented at a conference at UCLA.

Creed, Robert P., ed. Old English Poetry: Fifteen Essays. Providence: Brown Univ. Press, 1967. The essays are new to this volume.

Karkov, Catherine E., ed. The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England: Basic Readings. New York: Garland, 1999.

Karkov, Katherine E., and George Hardin Brown, eds.  Anglo-Saxon Styles.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.  Fourteen essays, new to this volume, on topics in literature and art history.

Kleist, Aaron J., ed. The Old English Homily: Precedent, Practice, Appropriation. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007. Sixteen new essays.

Liuzza, R.M.  Old English Literature: Critical Essays.  New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2002.  Twenty-one previously published essays, chosen out for their seminal character.

Niles, John D., ed. Old English Literature in Context: Ten Essays. Ipswich: D.S. Brewer, 1980. The essays, new to this volume, explore various contexts within which works of OE literature can be understood.

O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine, ed. Old English Shorter Poems: Basic Readings. New York: Garland, 1994. Nineteen representative essays, including one valuable survey new to this volume, Roy M. Liuzza’s ‘The Return of the Repressed: Old and New Theories in Old English Literary Criticism’.

Pelteret, David A.E., ed. Anglo-Saxon History: Basic Readings. New York: Garland, 2000. Sixteen previously published essays relating to political and social history and related fields.

Pulsiano, Phillip, and Elaine M. Treharne, eds.  Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Their Heritage.  Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998. Eleven essays new to this volume.

Richards, Mary P.  Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: Basic Readings New York: Garland, 1994.  Fifteen contributions, twelve of which are reprinted, sometimes with revisions, while three are new to this volume.

Scragg, Donald, ed. Textual and Material Culture in Anglo-Saxon England: Thomas Northcote Toller and the Toller Memorial Lectures. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2003. Fourteen contributions, ten of which are based on lectures presented at the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies.

Stanley, E.G., ed. British Academy Papers on Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990. Ten substantial essays are included, each of which was first published in Proceedings of the British Academy.

Stevens, Martin, and Jerome Mandel, eds. Old English Literature: Twenty-Two Analytical Essays, rev. ed. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1976. Key reprinted essays.

Szarmach, Paul E., ed. The Old English Homily and Its Background. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1978.

Szarmach, Paul E., ed. Studies in Earlier Old English Prose. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986. Sixteen essays.

Szarmach, Paul E., ed. Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints’ Lives and Their Contexts. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996. Sixteen essays, new to this volume, on various aspects of OE hagiography.

Szarmach, Paul E., ed. Basic Readings in Old English Prose. New York: Garland, 1999. Fourteen reprinted contributions are supplemented by new bibliographies of scholarship on Alfred the Great, by Nicole Guenther Discenza, and on Ælfric, by Aaron J. Kleist.

Wilcox, Jonathan, ed. Humour in Anglo-Saxon Literature. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2000. Eight essays, new to this volume.

D. Old English Literature in Translation

* Bradley, S.A.J. Anglo-Saxon Poetry. London: Dent, 1982. Includes reliable prose translations of almost all the extant OE verse, together a with brief informed introduction to each work.

Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984. A lively set of renditions of both prose and poetry, including Beowulf, but not reliable in regard to all details of translation.

Raffel, Burton. Poems and Prose from the Old English. With introductions by Alexandra H. Olsen. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1998. The translations are done with style, rather than striving to be literal.

Swanton, Michael. Anglo-Saxon Prose. London: Dent, 1975. Straightforward translations of miscellaneous prose texts.

E. Individual Works (excluding Beowulf)

Editions of individual works of Old English literature are cited here only very selectively. Researchers can readily find their way to the relevant scholarly editions and critical studies by making use of items cited in the Bibliographies section, above, or through normal library searches.

Bethurum, Dorothy, ed. The Homilies of Wulfstan. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1957.

Clemoes, Peter, ed. Ælfric's Catholic Homilies, the First Series: Text. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997.

Godden, Malcolm, ed. Ælfric's Catholic Homilies, the Second Series: Text. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1979.

Godden, Malcolm.  Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies: Introduction, Commentary, and Glossary.  Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2000.  The long-awaited capstone of Clemoes’ and Godden’s edition of the major works of the major writer of Old English prose.

Klinck, Anne L. The Old English Elegies: A Critical Edition and Genre Study. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univ. Press, 1992.

Muir, Bernard J., ed. The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry: An Edition of Exeter Dean and Chapter MS 3501. Exeter: Univ. of Exeter Press, 1994.  2nd edition, 2000.   (A CD-Rom version of this edition is in preparation; it will include a facsimile of the MS.)

Plummer, Charles, ed. Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1892-99. A still-valuable edition that includes all of the A text (the Parker MS) and all of the E text (the Laud MS), plus substantial extracts from other versions of the Chronicle.

Pope, John Collins, ed. Homilies of Ælfric: A Supplementary Collection. 2 vols. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967- .

Scragg, Donald, ed. The Battle of Maldon A.D. 991. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. A volume produced to coincide with the millennium of the battle, with numerous contributions by historians, literary scholars, and others.

5. Beowulf

a. Current Editions

Chickering, Howell D., Jr., ed. Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition, 3nd ed. New York: Random House, 2006. Includes the OE text and Chickering's translation on facing pages, with an introduction, commentary, and other study aids. First published in 1977.

* Fulk, R.D., Robert E. Bjork, and John D. Niles, eds. Klaeber’s Beowulf, 4th ed. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2008. A revision and updating of Frederick Klaeber’s highly regarded scholarly edition of the poem, first published in 1928. Of particular value for its glossary.

Jack, George, ed. Beowulf: A Student Edition. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994. With copious glosses on each page.

Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson, eds. Beowulf: An Edition. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. A classroom edition, with introduction, glossary, and notes.

b. Bibliographies

Fry, Donald, K. Beowulf and the Fight and Finnsburh: A Bibliography. Charlottesville: Univ. of Virginia, 1969. Exhaustive up to its date of its publication.

Hasenfratz, Robert J. Beowulf Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography, 1979-1990. New York: Garland, 1993. Supplements the following entry. Excellent annotations.

Short, Douglas D. Beowulf Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1980. Selective; concentrates on the more recent criticism through the year 1978, with brief annotations.)

c. Anthologies of Critical Essays

Baker, Peter S., ed. Beowulf: Basic Readings. New York: Garland, 1995. Ten reprinted essays and three new ones. Reissued in 2000 with the title The Beowulf Reader.

Chase, Colin, ed. The Dating of Beowulf. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1981; rpt. in 1997 with a new afterword by Nicholas Howe. Presents a controversy of conflicting theories, some of them challenging an earlier consensus dating the poem to the seventh or eighth century.

Donoghue, Daniel, ed.   Beowulf: A Verse Translation: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism.  New York: Norton, 2002.  A Norton Critical Edition. Includes a translation of the poem (by Seamus Heaney) plus a number of ancillary items, including eight reprinted critical essays.

Fry, Donald K. ed. The Beowulf Poet: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968. Nine reprinted studies.

Fulk, R.D., ed. Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1991. Seventeen reprinted studies.

Howe, Nicholas, ed. Beowulf: A Prose Translation.  New York: Norton, 2002.  A Norton Critical Editions (cf. the edition by Donoghue cited above). Includes a literal prose translation (by E. Talbot Donaldson) plus a number of ancillary items, including seven reprinted critical essays.

Joy, Eileen A., and Mary K.Ramsay, eds. The Postmodern Beowulf: A Critical Casebook. Morgantown: West Virginia Univ. Press, 2006. Reprints of twenty studies, including works by such critics as Michel Foucault and Edward Said as well as leading Anglo-Saxonists, with additional materials.

Nicholson, Lewis E., ed. An Anthology of Beowulf Criticism. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1963. Eighteen reprinted selections, with an emphasis on the poem’s religious dimension.

d. Book-Length Critical Studies

Bjork, Robert E., and John D. Niles, eds. A Beowulf Handbook. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1997. With eighteen chapters written by specialists, each chapter including a chronology of work related to that topic. A comprehensive guide to the state of scholarship on the poem.

Brodeur, Arthur G. The Art of Beowulf. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1959. Particularly good on poetic diction.

* Chambers, Raymond W. Beowulf: An Introduction to the Study of the Poem, 3rd ed. with a supplement by C.L. Wrenn. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1959. Very useful for the study of analogues; some of the commentary is outdated.

Clark, George. Beowulf. Boston: Twayne, 1990. A brief and pointed review of leading aspects of the poem; chapter 1 covers its critical reception.

Earl, James W. Thinking about Beowulf. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1994. Thought-provoking, psychoanalytically-oriented chapters.

Goldsmith, Margaret E. The Mode and Meaning of Beowulf. London:Athlone, 1970. A valuable study of medieval modes of exegesis, with particular (though perhaps somewhat problematic) application to the understanding of Beowulf.

Haarder, Andreas. Beowulf: The Appeal of a Poem. Viborg: Akademisk Forlag, 1975. On the poem's critical reception since the early nineteenth century. The contributions of the Danish scholar Svend Grundtvig are featured.

Hill, John M. The Cultural World in Beowulf. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1995. Includes anthropologically-oriented studies of the feud, gift-giving, and other themes.

Huppé, Bernard F. The Hero in the Earthly City: A Reading of Beowulf. Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1984. A reading of the poem in consistently Augustinian terms. Includes a translation.

Irving, Edward B., Jr. A Reading of Beowulf. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968. A nuanced ‘New Critical’ reading.

Irving, Edward B., Jr. Rereading Beowulf. Philadephia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, l989. New thoughts and second thoughts on the poem, based in part on the author’s acceptance of the poem's oral-traditional character.

Kiernan, Kevin S. Beowulf and the Beowulf Manuscript. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1981. A reexamination of the physical manuscript in conjunction with a theory of the poem's eleventh-century date of composition. Of independent usefulness is Kiernan's Electronic Beowulf, available on CD-ROM through the Univ. of Michigan Press; this includes a digitized facisimile of the manuscript and of its eighteenth-century transcriptions.

Niles, John D. Beowulf: The Poem and Its Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1983. In three sections: (1) context, (2) style and structure, and (3) interpretation. Reads the poem as an expression of a native, secular tradition — one that was, however, transformed through its contacts with Christianity.

Orchard, Andy.  A Critical Companion to Beowulf.  Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2003. Treats virtually all aspects of the poem, including its formulaic language and its Latinate affinities.

Overing, Gillian R. Language, Sign, and Gender in Beowulf. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1990. Through semiotics and feminist criticism, approaches the poem as a text that evades interpretation.

Robinson, Fred C. Beowulf and the Appositive Style. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1985. A deft study of the poem’s theme approached via a key aspect of its style, the device of grammatical apposition.

Shippey, T.A. Beowulf. London: Arnold, 1978. Short and incisive.

Shippey, T.A., and Andreas Haarder, eds. Beowulf: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge, 1998. Includes extensive quotations, expertly translated, drawn from early writings on Beowulf by scholars of different European nationalities.

Sisam, Kenneth. The Structure of Beowulf. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965. A short rejoinder to favoured modes of aesthetic and exegetical criticism. Sisam prefers to read the poem in terms of the conditions of storytelling before a secular, aristocratic audience.

Whitelock, Dorothy. The Audience of Beowulf. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1951. An eminent historian's view of the poem's possible date and audience. Whitelock emphasizes its role in a Christian society, where it probably pertained to a monastic milieu.

e. Current Translations

Alexander, Michael. Beowulf: A Verse Translation, rev. ed. London: Penguin, 2003. A freely poetic rendering into alliterative verse. First published in 1973.

Crossley-Holland, Kevin. Beowulf. London: Macmillan, 1968. A readable version in loosely alliterative four-stress lines. Reprinted in his The Anglo-Saxon World. Reissued by Oxford University Press in 1999, with an introduction and notes by Heather O’Donoghue.

Donaldson, E. Talbot. Beowulf: A New Prose Translation. New York: Norton, 1966. Previously reprinted in Beowulf: The Donaldson translation, backgrounds and sources, criticism, ed. by Joseph F. Tuso (New York: Norton, 1975). More recently reprinted in Beowulf: A Prose Translation, a new Norton Critical Edition ed. by Nicholas Howe (2002).  See section (c) above.

Greenfield. Stanley B., trans. A Readable Beowulf. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1982. A rendering into nine-syllable syllabic meter; an often successful merging of scholarly exactitude and poetic freedom. With a lively introduction by Alain Renoir.

* Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. London: Faber, 1999. Also New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000 (in a handsome dual-language edition). Widely regarded as the most accomplished modern translation of the poem; though controversial in some regards, it has strong poetic authority.  An audio version is available on cassette and CD-ROM. Reprinted in Beowulf: A Verse Translation: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism, ed. by Daniel Donoghue (cited above), as well as in Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, ed. by John D. Niles (New York: Norton, 2008), featuring facing-page colour photos of material artefacts and other related materials.

* Liuzza, R.M.  Beowulf: A New Verse Translation.  Toronto: Broadview, 2000.  A faithful semi-poetic version of the poem in a form loosely reminiscent of the original. Includes a useful introduction and appendices.

Ringler, Dick. Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2007. A translation into verse that — like Ringler’s prior translations from Icelandic — is meticulously crafted so as to be metrically equivalent to that of the original poem. Unlike other such experiments, it is also eminently readable. An audio version is available at


Facsimiles of Early English Manuscripts

I. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger. Twenty-eight volumes published to date.

1. The Thorkelin Transcripts of Beowulf. Ed. by Kemp Malone. 1951.

2. The Leningrad Bede. Ed. by O. Arngart. 1952.

3. The Tollemache Orosius. Ed. by Alistair Campbell. 1953.

4. The Peterborough Chronicle. Ed. by D. Whitelock. 1954.

5. Bald's Leechbook. Ed. C.E. Wright. 1955.

6. The Pastoral Care (3 MSS). Ed. by N.R. Ker. 1956.

7. Textus Roffensis, part 1 (Rochester Cathedral Library MS A.3.5). Ed. C.E. Wright. 1955.

8. The Paris Psalter. Ed. B. Colgrave. 1958.

9. The Moore Bede. Ed. Peter Hunter Blair. 1962.

10. Blickling Homilies. Ed. R. Willard. 1960.

11. Textus Roffensis, Part 2. Ed. Peter Sawyer. 1962.

12. The Nowell Codex. Ed. Kemp Malone. 1963.

13. Ælfric's First Series of Catholic Homilies. Ed. Norman Eliason and Peter Clemoes. 1966.

14. The Vespasian Psalter. Ed. David H. Wright. 1967.

15. The Rule of St. Benedict. Ed. D.H. Farmer.

16. The Durham Ritual. Ed. T.J. Brown. 1969.

17. A Wulfstan Manuscript Containing Institutes, Laws, and Homilies. Ed. H.R. Loyn. 1971.

18. The Old English Illustrated Hexateuch. Ed. C.R. Dodwell. 1974.

19. The Vercelli Book. Ed. Celia Sisam. 1976.

20. The Durham Gospels. Ed. Christopher D. Verey et al.

21. An Eleventh-Century Anglo-Saxon Illustrated Miscellany. Ed. P. McGurk. 1983.

22. The Epinal, Erfurt, Werden, and Corpus Glossaries. Ed. Geoffrey Harlow. 1988.

23. Old English Verse Texts from Many Sources. ED. BY WHO? 1991.

24. The Tanner Bede. Ed. D.H. Farmer. 1992.

25. The Copenhagen Wulfstan Collection. Ed. James E. Cross and Jennifer Morrish Turberg. 1993.

26. The Liber vitae of the New Minster and Hyde Abbey, Winchester. Ed. Simon Keynes. 1996.

27. The Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia. Ed. M. A. D'Aronco and M. L. Cameron. 1998.

28. The Codex Aureus: An Eighth-Century Gospel Book. Part 1. Ed. Richard Gameson. 2001.

II. Additional Published Facsimiles

The Benedictional of St. Æthelwold. London: Faber & Faber, 1959.

The Book of Durrow (Trinity College, Dublin). New York, 1960.

The Book of Kells (MS 58,Trinity College Library, Dublin).

The Cædmon MS of Anglo-Saxon Biblical Poetry (Bodleian MS Junius XI). 1974.

Lindisfarne Gospels (British Library Cotton Nero D.iv). Ed. T. D. Kendrick et al. 2 vols. Lausanne, 1956-60.

The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry. Ed. R.W. Chambers. Bradford, 1933.

Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon Charters. Ed. Simon Keynes. Oxford, 1991.

The Parker Chronicle and Laws (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 173). Ed. Robin Flower. EETS no. 208. Oxford, 1941.

Beowulf, ed. Julius Zupitza. 2nd ed., with an introductory note by Norman Davis and new photographs. Early English Text Society series no. 245. London, 1958. (With a facing-page diplomatic transcription of the MS.)

III. Facsimile Editions Currently Available on CD-ROM

The Exeter Book on CD-ROM. Ed. Bernard J. Muir. Exeter: Exeter Univ. Press, 2002.
A digital facsimile of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Junius 11. Ed. Bernard J. Muir. 1 CD-ROM. Oxford : Bodleian Library, c2004.
The Electronic Beowulf. Ed. Kevin Kiernan with Andrew Prescott. A 2 CD-ROM set. London and Ann Arbor, MI, 1999.

IV. Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile series. Gen. ed. A.N. Doane. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Seventeen volumes are currently in print out of a projected set of forty.

1. Books of Prayers and Healing, descriptions by A.N. Doane, 1994

2. Psalters I, descriptions by Phillip Pulsiano, 1994

3. Anglo-Saxon Gospels, descriptions by R.M. Liuzza and A.N. Doane, 1995

4. Glossed Texts, Aldhelmiana, Psalms, descriptions by Phillip Pulsiano, 1996

5. Latin Manuscripts with Anglo-Saxon Glosses, descriptions by Peter J. Lucas, A.N. Doane, and I. Cunningham, 1997

6. Worcester Manuscripts, descriptions by Christine Franzen, 1997

7. Anglo-Saxon Bibles and ‘The Book of Cerne’, descriptions by A.N. Doane, 2002

8. Wulfstan Texts and Other Homiletic Materials, descriptions by Jonathan Wilcox, 2000

9. Deluxe and Illuminated Manuscripts Containing Technical and Literary Texts, descriptions by A.N. Doane and Tiffany J. Grade, 2001

10. Manuscripts Containing Works by Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Other Texts, descriptions by Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, 2003

11. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge I: MSS 41, 57, 191, 302, 303, 367, 383, 422, descriptions by Timothy Graham, Raymond J.S. Grant, Peter J. Lucas, and Elaine M. Treharne, 2003

12. Manuscripts of Trinity College, Cambridge, descriptions by Michael Wright and Stephanie Hollis, 2004

13. Manuscripts in the Low Countries, descriptions by Rolf H. Bremmer, Jr., and Kees Dekker, 2006

14. Manuscripts of Durham, Ripon, and York, descriptions by A.N. Doane, Sarah Larrett Keefer, and David Rollason, 2007

15. Grammars and Handlist of Manuscripts, descriptions by A.N. Doane, 2007

16. Manuscripts Relating to Dunstan, Ælfric, and Wulfstan; the Eadwine Psalter Group, descriptions by Peter J. Lucas and Jonathan Wilcox, with A.N. Doane, Matthew T. Hussey, and Phillip Pulsiano, 2008

17. Homilies by Ælfric and other Homilies, descriptions by Jonathan Wilcox, 2008
Interim Index (Volumes 1–10), ed. by A.N. Doane and Matthew T. Hussey, 2005.
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