A Middle English Reader

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Courier Corporation, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 450 pages
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Scholarly and highly informative, this anthology represents a distinctive contribution to the understanding and enjoyment of Middle English literature. Kenneth Sisam's well-chosen extracts from writings of the 14th century illustrate a rising new spirit in vernacular works. Selections include excerpts from such tales as Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight and the Gest Hystoriale of the destruction of Troy, the immortal Piers Plowman, John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible, political commentaries, and poetry. In addition to notes on each selection and an informative appendix, this volume features an extensive glossary by J. R. R. Tolkien. Best known as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien was an Oxford University professor of linguistics whose "vocabulary" offers an effective and practical complement to this outstanding anthology.
 

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About the author (2005)

A writer of fantasies, Tolkien, a professor of language and literature at Oxford University, was always intrigued by early English and the imaginative use of language. In his greatest story, the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954--56), Tolkien invented a language with vocabulary, grammar, syntax, even poetry of its own. Though readers have created various possible allegorical interpretations, Tolkien has said: "It is not about anything but itself. (Certainly it has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.)" In The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien tells the story of the "master of wood, water, and hill," a jolly teller of tales and singer of songs, one of the multitude of characters in his romance, saga, epic, or fairy tales about his country of the Hobbits. Tolkien was also a formidable medieval scholar, as evidenced by his work, Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics (1936) and his edition of Anciene Wisse: English Text of the Anciene Riwle. Among his works published posthumously, are The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur, which was edited by his son, Christopher. In 2013, his title, The Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) made The New York Times Best Seller List.

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