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Publications about
Historical English


General & Collective

  • Bolton, W. F., ed. (1994); The Middle Ages; Penguin History of Literature, vol. 1; Reprint Edition, Penguin USA; ISBN 0-140-17751-5.

  • Cable, T. (1991); The English Alliterative Tradition; Middle Ages Series; USA: University of Pennsylvania Press; ISBN 0-812-23063-9.

  • Clark, J. W. (1959); Early English; London: André Deutsch. (Deals with Old and Middle English in some detail.)

  • Diekstra, Frans (1981); Early and Middle English Literature; ISBN 9-062-03933-2.

  • Fichte, Jörg O., and Fritz Kemmler (1994); Alt- und mittelenglische Literatur: Eine Einführung; ISBN 3-87808-926-0; DM 36,80. (Introduction to Old and Middle English Literature; in German.)

  • Fernández, Francisco (1982/1993); Historia de la lengua inglesa; Madrid: Gredos.  (History of the English language; in Spanish.)

  • Fisher, John H. (1996); The Emergence of Standard English; USA: University Press of Kentucky; ISBN 0-813-10852-7.

  • Freeborn, D. (1992); From Old English to Standard English; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-53768-8. (Useful book charting the development of English from 500s to the 1990's. Includes representative texts and exercises.)

  • Gneuß, Helmut (1990); Die Wissenschaft von der englischen Sprache: Ihre Entwicklung bis zum Ausgang des 19. Jahrhunderts. Munich. (English history until the 19th century; in German.)

  • Gruber, Loren C., and Dean Loganbill (1977); In Geardagum II: Essays on Old and Middle English Language; Society for New Language Study; ISBN 0-936-07203-2.

  • Kiesby, Torben (1992); A Short History of the English Language; Aarhus (Denmark): Aarhus University Press; ISBN 87-7288-406-1; 180 pp.; paperback; DKK 198

  • McCrum, Robert, William Cran, and Robert McNeil (1986); The Story of English; New York: Viking; 384 pp., illustrated.

  • Partridge, A. C. (1982); A Companion to Old and Middle English Studies; The Language Library; USA: Barnes & Noble; ISBN 0-389-20287-8. (Useful for students.)

  • Wakelin, M. (1988); The Archaeology of English; London: Batsford; ISBN 0-7134-5556-X. (All periods of English are discussed with reference to historical documents.)

  • Zesmer, David M. (1982); Guide to English Literature from Beowulf through Chaucer and Medieval Drama; Reprint Edition, Greenwood Pub Group; ISBN 0-313-23619-4.

Old English (Anglo-Saxon)


  • Biddulph, J. (1985); A Handbook of Mercian: Remarks on the Midland dialect of Late Anglo-Saxon; Pontypridd (Wales); ISBN 0-948565-01-2. (Highly unusual in being a grammar and guide to an Old English dialect. An easy-to-understand survey.)

  • Blakeley, L. (?); Teach Yourself Old English; London: English Universities Press; ISBN 0-340-05810-2. (Standard Teach Youself type book with grammar, texts and full glossary. A useful beginning book clearly set out.)

  • Brook, G.L. (1945); Notes on Some English Sound-Changes; Leeds: University of Leeds Press.

  • Brook, G.L. (1955); An Introduction to Old English; Manchester: Manchester University Press; ISBN 0-7190-0569-8. (A good primer of Old English with ample grammar and sample texts for practice. The layout is also clear.)

  • Campbell, A. (1987); Old English Grammar; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-811943-7. (This is the standard scholarly reference work in English. It goes into great detail and is not recommended for the beginner.)

  • Diamond, Robert E. (1973); Old English Grammar and Reader; Wayne State University Press; ISBN 0-814-31510-0. US $16.95. (Adequate grammar and a good, well glossed selection of reading texts.)

  • Dürmüller, Urs, and Hanz Utz (1977); Altenglisch: Eine Einführung; Anglistische Arb.-H., 00012); Tübingen: Max Niemeyer; ISBN 3-484-40048-X. DM 19,80. (Introduction to Old English; in German.)

  • Ellis, A.J., ed. (1973 reprint); On Early English Pronunciation; Parts 1-4; EETS; Oxford.

  • Girvan, Ritchie (12931); Angelsaksisch handboek; Haarlem (Netherlands). (Old English manual; in Dutch.)

  • Hamer, A.J., and J. Bazire (1984); Language Laboratory Course in Old English; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; ISBN 0-85323-085-4. (To be used with the accompanying cassettes. Very methodical.)

  • Kemble, J.M. (1991); Anglo-Saxon Runes; Anglo-Saxon Books; Norfolk: Hockwold-cum-Wilton.

  • Kispert, Robert J. (1971); Old English: An introduction; Holt Rinehart & Winston; ISBN 0-030-83256-X.

  • Lass, Roger (1994); Old English: A historical linguistic companion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0-521-45848-X. (For linguists; covers phonology, in particular, in great detail.)

  • Lehnert, Martin (1990); Altenglisches Elementarbuch: Einführung, Grammatik, Texte mit Übersetzung und Wörterbuch; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter; 10th revised edition; ISBN 3-110-12471-8. DM 19,80 DM. (Introduction to Old English; in German.)

  • McLaughlin, J. (1983); Old English Syntax: A handbook; Tübingen: Max Niemeyer; ISBN 3-484-65004-4.

  • Mitchell, B. (1985); Old English Syntax; Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2 vols. (The standard work in English and highly detailed. Designed for scholars.)

  • Mitchell, B., and Basil Blackwell (1995); An Invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England; Oxford; ISBN 0-631-17436-2. (This is a fine beginner's book, designed to make the learning of Old English as painless as possible. As the title suggests, it also deals with Anglo-Saxon history and culture. For straight language-learning A Guide to Old English - on which this book is based - is betterrr.)

  • Mitchell, B., F. C. Robinson (1986-); A Guide to Old English; Oxford; ISBN 0-631-13625-8. (This is by far the best beginner's book of Old English. It explains grammar in great detail but at a level the beginner will understand. There are numerous examples of usage, a large bibliography split into categories, and the book even has a substantial reading section with some of the finest Old English literature with a complete glossary at the back.)

  • Nielsen, Hans Frede (1998); The Continental Backgrounds of English and its Insular Development until 1154; Odense (Denmark): Odense University Press; ISBN 87-7838-420-6; 234 pp.; paperback; DKK 220 DKK

  • Norman Davis, rev. (1953-); Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer; ISBN 0-19-811178-9. (Useful, but best used in conjunction with other books, as the lack of detail makes it a less than ideal beginner's book. It includes adequate grammar, with some sample texts and a glossary.)

  • Pollington, S. (1994); An Introduction to the Old English language and its literature; Anglo-Saxon Books; Norfolk; ISBN 1-898-28106-8. (Not a grammar but a guide to the general characteristics of Old English and its literature.)

  • Pollington, S. (1996); First Steps in Old English; Anglo-Saxon Books; Norfolk: Hockwold-cum-Wilton. (Cassette course with all texts read on the tape. This will also probably become a correspondance course.)

  • Quirk, R., and C. L. Wrenn (1955); An Old English Grammar; London: Methuen's Old English Library; ISBN 0-416-77240-4. (This is a handy and good beginner's book. It goes into considerable detail in the footnotes. It deals with Late West Saxon rather than Early West Saxon with which most primers deal.)

  • Rask, Rasmus (1817); Angelsaksisk Sproglære; Stockholm. (Old English textbook; in Danish.)

  • Ross, A.S.C. (?); The Essentials of Anglo-Saxon Grammar; Cambridge: Heffer & Sons. (Gives the very basics only.)

  • Sievers, Eduard von (1899); A Grammar of Old English; Boston: Ginn. (Now old-fashioned in design but still of use.)

  • Sievers, Eduard von, and Karl Brunner (1965); Altenglische Grammatik nach der angelsächsischen Grammatik; Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. (This is the most detailed grammar of Old English written in any language. Only for the advanced user; in German.)

  • Sievers, Eduard von, revised by Karl Brunner (1963); Abriss der altenglischen (angelsächsischen) Grammatik; Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 16th revised edition; ISBN 3-484-40010-2; 12.00 DM. (Introductory grammar; in German.)

  • Smith, J.J. (?); Introduction to Old English; (software); Glasgow (Scotland): University of Glasgow.

  • Weimann, Klaus (1995); Einführung ins Altenglische; UTB/BRO, 3rd revised edition; ISBN 3-825-21210-6; DM 29.80. (Introduction to Old English; in German.)

  • Wright, J. (1925); Old English Grammar; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Solid, no-nonsense grammar with generous use of examples, especially as regards inflection and word-formation.)

Dictionaries, Lexicons & Thesauri

  • Barney, S. A. (1985); Word-Hoard: An introduction to Old English vocabulary; New Haven: Yale University Press; ISBN 0-300-03506-3. (A novel way of learning Old English poetic vocabulary with word elements grouped into families for easier recall. The groups are frequency-based.)

  • Bosworth, Joseph, T. Toller, and T. Northcote (1972); Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (This is a standard large dictionary of Old English. It is designed for advanced users and scholars and it is remarkable for its wealth of detail.)

  • Bouterwek, Karl W. (1849, 1968); Ein angelsächsisches Glossar: Caedmon's des Angelsachsen biblische Dichtungen, II; Sändig Reprint Verlag; ISBN 3-253-01998-5. (Glossary based on Caedmon's works; in German.)

  • Clark-Hall, J. R. (1960); A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; Toronto: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 0-802-06548-1. (The best hand-dictionary. This covers all the student's needs.)

  • Grein, C. W. M., et al. (1974); Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter: Carl Winter Verlag; reprint; ISBN 3-8253-2324-2. DM 180.00. (Vocabulary of Old English poets; in German.)

  • Holthausen, Ferdinand (1974); Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch; Carl Winter; ISBN 3-825-30508-2; DM 48.00. (Etymological dictionary. Great for comparison across old Germanic languages; in German.)

  • Jember, G. K., and F. Kemmler (1981); A Basic Vocabulary of Old English Prose: Grundwortschatz altenglische Prosa; Tübingen: F. Max Niemeyer; ISBN 3-484-40087-0. (The only book that aims to help the student learn the vocabulary of prose, rather than poetry; in English and German.)

  • Jember, Gregory K. (1984); English-Old English, Old English-English Dictionary; reissue edition paperback; Westview Press; ISBN 0-891-58006-9. (Useful for writing Old English.)

  • Madden, J. F., and F. P. Magoun (1967); A Grouped Frequency Word-List of Anglo-Saxon Poetry; Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-36400-7. (Designed to help the student learn the poetic language. Words are put into groups according to frequency.)

  • Pollington, S. (1993); Wordcraft: Concise dictionary and thesaurus Modern English-Old English; Anglo-Saxon Books; Norfolk; ISBN 1-898281-02-5. (Essential if one wants to write Old English. It also helps one learn the vocabulary as synonyms are grouped together under subject headings in the thesarus section.)

  • Roberts, Jane, Christian Kay, and Lynne Grundy (1995); A Thesaurus of Old English; King's College London Medieval Studies X; in 2 vols., xxxv + 1555 pp.; hardback. (This has become the standard book of Old English synonyms.)

  • Skeat's English-Anglo-Saxon Vocabulary 1879; Reprint Languages Information Centre, Pontypridd (Wales) 1990; ISBN 0-948-56568-3. (Handlist of words Modern English to Old English.)

  • Sweet, H. (1989); The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-198-63107-3. (Quite good at the poetic lexicon and word compounding.)

Readers & Anthologies

  • Diamond, Robert E. (1973); Old English Grammar and Reader: Wayne State University Press; ISBN 0814315100; US $16.95.

  • Griffiths, Bill (1990); An Anglo-Saxon Subject Reader - Part 1: The Natural World; London.

  • Hamer, R. (1970); A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse: Selected with an introduction and a parallel verse translation; London: Faber & Faber; ISBN 0-571-08765-5. (The Old English poetic texts alongside a parallel Modern English translation. Useful.)

  • Hill, J. (1983); Old English Minor Heroic Poems; Durham University Press.

  • Hulbert; James R. (1957); Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader; New York: Henry Holt. (Unusual in also containing quite a full grammar. There is a good selection of texts which are glossed at the back.)

  • Magennis, H., and I. Herbison (1990); Discovering Old English: Guided readings; Belfast (Northern Ireland): Ultonian Press; ISBN 0-9576597-0-7. (A practical book which helps the reader translate by way of glossaries and a commentary. It has a small grammar and a glossary at the back.)

  • Muir, Bernard James (1988); A Pre-Conquest English Prayer-Book; Henry Bradshaw Society Publications, No. 103; Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer; ISBN 0-950-10095-1.

  • O'Brien, Katherine (1997); Reading Old English Texts; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; paperback ISBN 0-521-46970-8. (Forthcoming)

  • Quinn, Karen J., and Kenneth P. Quinn (1990); Manual of Old English Prose; Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, vol. 453; Garland; ISBN 0-824-09032-2.

  • Quirk, R., et al. (1975); Old English Literature: A practical introduction; London (England; ISBN 0-7131-5808-5. (Takes a practical view to reading Old English. The reader is given a minimal grammar and then the texts, with a running gloss to aid translation.)

  • Sweet, H., and T. Hoad (1978); A Second Anglo-Saxon Reader: Archaic and dialectual; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (A good source for non-West Saxon texts. Much of the material consists of Mercian glosses or Kentish psalms.)

  • Whitelock, D., ed. (1967-); Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Verse and Prose; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-811169-X. (The standard reader of OE. It includes all the standard reading texts, notes, and a number of examples of dialects. All texts are fully glossed.)

  • Wyatt, A.J. (1901); An Elementary Old English Reader (Early West Saxon); Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Well-suited for the beginner. Much material is taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.)

  • Wyatt, A.J. (1947); An Anglo-Saxon Reader; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (A solid reader with a full glossary. The selection of texts may be better suited to the beginner than to most readers.)


  • Biddulph, J. (1985); A Handbook of Mercian: Remarks on the Midland dialect of Late Anglo-Saxon; Pontypridd (Wales); ISBN 0-948565-01-2.

  • Biddulph, J. (1995); Northumbrian and Other Languages of the Old North; Pontypridd (Wales); ISBN 1-897999-01-1.

  • Bryan, W.F. (1915); Studies in the Dialects of the Kentish Charters of the Old English Period; Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Skeat, W.W. (1912); English Dialects from the Eighth Century until the Present Day; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (A very important work which laid the foundation for later studies.)

  • Sweet, H., and T. Hoad (1978); A Second Anglo-Saxon Reader: Archaic and dialectual; Oxford (English): Oxford University Press.

Individual Texts

  • Dickins, B., and A. S. C. Ross (1951); The Dream of the Rood; Methuen's Old English Library; London: Methuen. (Includes notes and a glossary to this popular religious poem.)

  • Eaton, Trevor (1997); Beowulf: Unabridged, read in Anglo-Saxon by Trevor Eaton; Pavillion Records (Pavillion Records Limited, Sparrows Green, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 6SJ England); SHE CDS 9642 2 CD set; approx. 144 minutes. (Unique being a complete recording of the poem.)

  • Gordon, I. L. (1960); The Seafarer; Methuen's Old English Library; London: Methuen. (The standard edition of this Old English "elegy." It includes notes and a glossary.)

  • Griffiths, B. (1993); The Battle of Maldon: Text and translation; Norfolk: Anglo-Saxon Books. (Provides a reproduction of the Old English manuscript, with transliteration and translation.)

  • Jack, G. (1994); Beowulf: A student edition; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-871044-5. (Clearly laid out, with parallel glosses and notes. This is the best available student edition.)

  • Klaeber, F. D.C. (1950); Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg; Lexington: Heath. (This is by far the most detailed edition. It is also the most reliable and is the standard text used by scholars.)

  • Leslie, R.F., ed. (1966); The Wanderer. Manchester: Manchester University Press. (The standard edition of this Old English "elegy." It includes notes and a glossary.)

  • Lucas, P., ed. (1994); Exodus; Exeter: Exeter University Press. (Standard edition of this often studied biblically inspired work. It includes copious notes, glossary and a helpful introduction.)

  • Plummer, and Earle (1972); Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel with Supplementary Extracts from the Others; 2 vols; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (This is the standard edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Notes and gloss are included.)

  • Scragg, D.G. (1981); The Battle of Maldon; Manchester: Manchester University Press. (The standard edition of this heroic poem.)

  • Smith, A.H., ed. (1080); The Parker Chronicle 832-900; Exeter: Exeter University Press; ISBN 0-85989-099-6. (An extract from one of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles. Suitable for translation practice.)

  • Swanton, M. J., transl. (1995); An Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Exeter: University of Exeter Press; ISBN 0-85989-353-7. (Extracts from one of the Chronicles. Useful for beginners.)

  • Wrenn, C. L., ed. (1973); Beowulf; London: Harrap; ISBN 0-245-51008-7. (A student edition.)

Texts in Translation

  • Alexander, M., transl., ed. (1977); The Earliest English Poems; Penguin Books; ISBN 0-14-044172-7. (Selection of Old English poetry in translation. A good introductory book to Old English poems.)

  • Ashdown, M. (1930); English and Norse Documents relating to the Reign of Ethelred the Unready; Cambridge: Cambridge. (Translation and text of the major documents of this period.)

  • Bradley, S. A. J., transl. (1982); Anglo-Saxon Poetry; Everyman's Library; London: Dent. (A good and varied overall anthology of poems in translation.)

  • Clark-Hall, J. R., transl. (1950): Beowulf and the Finnesburg Fragment; George Allen & Unwin. (This is by far the best translation of the poem. It retains the flavor of the Old English without being archaic or unnatural.)

  • Crossley-Holland, K., transl., ed. (1984); The Anglo-Saxon World: An anthology including the complete Beowulf; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-281632-2. (A well-selected mixture of poems and prose in translation.)

  • Garmonsway, G. N., transl., ed. (1972); The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles; Everyman’s Library; London: Dent; ISBN 0-460-8703-6. (The standard edition of the Chronicles in translation.)

  • Gordon, R. K., transl. (1950); Anglo-Saxon Poetry; Everyman's Library; London: Dent. (Includes the complete Beowulf.)

  • Savage, A., transl. (1982); The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-4881-4. (This is a very attractive illustrated edition.)

  • Swanton, M., transl. (1993); Anglo-Saxon Prose; Everyman's Library; London: Everyman; ISBN 0-460-87341-5. (Includes translations of some of the lesser known works.)

Linguistic Studies

  • Clark, J.W. (1959); Early English; London: Andre Deutsch.

  • Frantzen, Allen J. (1990); Desire for Origins: New Language, Old English, and Teaching the Tradition; New Brunswick and London.

  • Hans Frede Nielsen Institut, eds. (?); Old English and the Continental Germanic Languages: A survey of morphological and phonological interrelations. Innsbruck (Austria): Hans Frede Nielsen Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck; ISBN 3-851-24558-X.

  • Hetherington, M. Sue (1982); "The Recovery of the Anglo-Saxon Lexicon;" in Carl T. Berkhout and Milton McC. Gatch, eds., Anglo-Saxon Scholarship; Boston , pp. 79-89.

  • Jordan, R. (1906); Eigentümlichkeiten des anglischen Wortschatzes; Heidelberg. (Lexical features of Old English; in German.)

  • Lester, G.A. (1996); The Language of Old and Middle English Poetry; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-48847-4. (An attractive study which also clearly shows the change in language from Old to Middle English poetry.)

  • Meritt, Dean Herbert (1967); Fact and Lore about Old English Words; New York.

  • Murphy, Michael (1982); "Scholars at Play: A short history of composing in Old English"; Old English Newsletter 15.2, pp. 26-36.

  • Philips, Andrew (1996); The Rebirth of England and English: The vision of William Barnes; Anglo-Saxon Books; Hockwold-cum-Wilton. (Biography of Barnes and his attempts to revive Old English words back into English.)

  • Robinson, Fred C., (1993); "The Afterlife of Old English: A brief history of composition in Old English after the close of the Anglo-Saxon eriod"; in The Tomb of Beowulf and Other Essays on Old English; Oxford and Cambridge , pp. 275-303.

  • Robinson, Orrin W. (1992); Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A survey of the earliest Germanic languages; Stanford: Stanford University Press; ISBN 0-8047-1454-1 (cloth), 0-8047-2221-8 (paperback). (Unique work. Invaluable for comparison between Old English and other Old Germanic languages.)

  • Simmons, Clare A. (1992); "'Iron-Worded Proof': Victorian identity and the Old English language", Studies in Medievalism 4, pp. 202-14.

  • Stanley, E. G. (1990); "Bosworth's Interest in 'Friesic' for His Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language (1838): 'The Friesic Is Far the Most Important Language for My Purpose'"; Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik 31-32, pp. 428-52.

  • Wrenn, C. L. (1933); "Standard Old English"; in Transactions of the Philological Society, pp. 65-88. (Discussion of dialect and standard.)

  • Wyld, H.C. (1925); "Diction and Imagery in Anglo-Saxon Poetry"; in Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, pp. 49-91.

  • Yorke, B.A.E (1981); "The Vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon overlordship"; in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaelogy and History 2.

Literary Criticism

  • Berkhout, Carl T., and Milton McC. Gatch, eds. (1982); Anglo-Saxon Scholarship: The first three centuries; Boston; US $26.00. (Very interesting articles about the early scholars of Old English.)

  • Bessinger, J. B., and S. J. Kahrl (1968); Essential Articles for the Study of Old English Poetry; Hamden.

  • Brodeur, A. G. (1959); The Art of Beowulf; Berkeley.

  • Brunner, Karl (1954); "Why was Beowulf preserved?"; in Etudes anglaises 7, pp 1-5.

  • Busse, Wilhelm G. (1987); Altenglische Literatur und ihre Geschichte: Zur Geschichte des gegenwärtigen Deutungssystems; Droste; ISBN 3-7700-0808-1; DM 78.00.

  • Chadwick, H. M. (1955); The Study of Anglo-Saxon; 2nd ed.; Cambridge. (A classic. Chadwick discusses the importance of the study of Old English and Anglo-Saxon institutions.)

  • Chambers, R. W., and C. L. Wrenn (1959); Beowulf: An introduction to the study of the poem; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Detailed discussion of the background and historicity of Beowulf.)

  • Fulk, R. D., ed. (1991); Interpretations of Beowulf: A critical anthology; Bloomington: Indiana University Press; ISBN 0-253-20639-1. (The best anthology of Beowulf criticism. Includes some seminal articles.)

  • Godden, M., and M. Lapidge, eds. (1991); The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0-521-37794-3. (Designed for students. It covers most major aspects of poetry and prose and gives a good grounding in the culture of the time.)

  • Greenfield, S. B. (1965); A Critical History of Old English Literature; New York: New York University Press; ISBN 0-8147-2950-9. (A well-esteemed critical overview of Old English literature.)

  • Greenfield, S. B. (1972); The Interpretation of Old English Poems; London: Routledge. (Some thought-provoking views on how Old English literature could be read.)

  • Greenfield, S. B. (1989); Hero and Exile: The art of Old English poetry; London.

  • Irving, E. (1968); A Reading of Beowulf; New Haven. ( A well-regarded critical reading of the poem, designed for students.)

  • Malone, Kemp (1960); "Grundtvigs oversættelse af Beowulf"; Grundtvig Studier, pp. 7-25. (Grundtvig's translation of Beowulf; in Danish.)

  • McGatch, M. C. (1971); Loyalties and Traditions: Man and his world in Old English literature; New York.

  • Ogilvy, J. D. A., and D. C. Baker (1983); Reading Beowulf: University of Oklahoma Press, Norman; ISBN 0-8061-2019-3. (Gives a good orientation and background for students.)

  • Payne, Richard C. (1982); "The rediscovery of Old English poetry in the English literary tradition", in Carl T. Berkhout and Milton McC. Gatch, eds., Anglo-Saxon Scholarship; Boston; pp. 149-166.

  • Raw, B. C. (1978); The Art and Background of Old English Poetry; London. (A highly regarded study.)

  • Robinson, Fred C. (1993); Tomb of Beowulf: and other essays; Oxford: Basil Blackwell. (A fascinating collection of essays, with a strong emphasis on English antiquarianism.)

  • Shippey, T.A. (1972); Old English Verse; London: Hutchinson University Library; ISBN 0-091-11031-9. (One of the best guidebooks to Old English poetry available. Of great use to the student.)

  • Sisam, K. (1953); Studies in the History of Old English Literature; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Historicity of Old English texts and manuscripts.)

  • Sisam, K. (1965); The Structure of Beowulf; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Stanley, E. G. (1966); Continuations and Beginnings; Nelson. (Fine study of Old English literature.)

  • Swanton, M. (1987); English Literature before Chaucer; London: Longman; ISBN 0-582-49242-4.

  • Tuso, J. F. ,ed. (1975); Beowulf: A Norton critical edition; New York: W. W. Norton; ISBN 0-393-09225-0. (The Donaldson translation of Beowulf and much thoughtful critcism from a variety of sources.)

  • Wilson, R. M. (1972); The Lost Literature of Medieval England; London. (Discusses what has been lost to us through the ages.)

  • Wrenn, C. L. (1967); A Study of Old English Literature; London: Harrap. (Good overview of Old English literature, with numerous examples.)


  • Björkman, Erik (1973); Nordische Personennamen in England in alt - und frühmittel-englischer Zeit>>; Tübingen: Niemeyer; ISBN 3-500-27880-9. (Nordic personal names in the Old and Early Middle English periods; in German.)

  • Cameron, Kenneth, and Margareth Gelling, eds. (1976); Place-Name Evidence for the Anglo-Saxon Invasion and Scandinavian Settlements; Nottingham: English Place-name Society, Nottingham University.

  • Feilitzen, O. (1937); The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of the Domesday Book; Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell.

  • Förster, Th. (1916); The Continental Germanic Personal Names in England in Old and Middle English Times; Uppsala.

  • Gelling, M. (1988); Signposts to the Past: Place-names and the history of England; Phillimore.

  • Kousgård-Sørensen, J. (1982); Patronymics in Denmark and England; London: Viking Society for Northern Research.

  • Searle, W. G. (1969); Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum; reprint; Hildesheim: Georg Olms. (The best collection of Old English personal names available.)

  • Seltén, Bo (1972); The Anglo-Saxon Heritage in Middle English Personal Names: East Anglia 1100-1399; Lund.

Transition from Old English to Middle English

  • Allen, Cynthia L. (1995); Case Marking and Reanalysis: Grammatical relations from Old to Early Modern English; Oxford: Clarendon Press; ISBN 0-198-24096-1.

  • Brook, G.L. (1945); Notes on some English sound-changes; Leeds: University of Leeds Press.

  • Chambers, R.W. (1990); On the Continuity of English Prose from Alfred to More and His School; Oxford: Early English Text Society. (A useful study highlighting the essential continuity of the Old English prose tradition into Middle English times, despite the Norman Conquest.)

  • Ellis, A. J., ed. (1973 reprint); On Early English Pronunciation, Parts 1-4; Oxford: EETS.

  • Freeborn, D. (1992); From Old English to Standard English; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-53768-8.

  • Godden, M., ed. (1994); From Anglo-Saxon to Early Middle English: Studies presented to E.G.Stanley; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Lester, G. A. (1996); The Language of Old and Middle English Poetry; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-4884-7.

  • Malone, Kemp (1930); "When did Middle English Begin?", in Curme Volume of Linguistic Studies, pp. 110-117.

  • Swanton, Michael (1987); English Literature Before Chaucer; Longman Literature in English Series; London: Longman; ISBN 0-582-49242-4.

  • Wakelin, M. (1988); The Archaeology of English; London: Batsford; ISBN 0-7134-5556-X.

Middle English


  • Bähr, Dieter (1993); Einführung ins Mittelenglische; UTB /BRO; ISBN 3-8252-0361-1; DM 24.80. (Introduction to Middle English; in German.)

  • Bennett, J. A. W., and E. V. Smithers (1968); Early Middle English Verse and Prose; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-871101-8. (Includes a grammar. The best such book dealing with early Middle English, including many reading texts and full glossary.)

  • Brunner, Karl (1967); Abriß der mittelenglischen Grammatik; Tübingen: Max Niemeyer; ISBN 3-484-40011-0; DM 12.00. (Outline of Middle English grammar; in German.)

  • Brunner, Karl (1974); An Outline of Middle English Grammar; Textbook Binding; Folcroft Library Editions; ISBN 0-841-41371-1.

  • Burrow, J. A., and T. Turville-Petre (1992); A Book of Middle English; Oxford , Cambridge: Blackwell; ISBN 0-631-16726-9. (A very useful book which includes full grammar, many reading texts of different genres, and a glossary.)

  • Dürmüller, Urs, and Hans Utz (1974); Mittelenglisch: Eine Einführung; Tübingen: Max Niemeyer; ISBN 3-484-40040-4; DM 17.80. (Introduction to Middle English; in German.)

  • Jones, Charles (1972); Introduction to Middle English; Irvington; ISBN 0-891-97800-3.

  • Jordan, Richard (1968); Handbuch der mittelenglischen Grammatik: Lautlehre; Klaus Carl Winter; ISBN 3-8253-0494-9. DM 55.00. (Manual of Middle English grammar; in German.)

  • Jordan, Richard (1974); Handbook of Middle English Grammar: Phonology; Janua Linguarum Series Practica No. 208; Berlin: Walter De Gruyter; ISBN 9-027-93302-2.

  • Mosse, Fernand (1969); Handbook of Middle English; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. (Designed for students. Includes all areas of grammar, as well as texts for reading and a glossary.)

  • Mossé, Fernand (1986); Mittelenglische Kurzgrammatik: Lautlehre, Formenlehre, Syntax; Max Hueber; ISBN 3-19-002164-3; DM 33.80. (Concise grammar of Middle English: Phonology, morphology, syntax; in German.)

  • Roseborough, Margaret M. (1970); Outline of Middle English Grammar; Greenwood; ISBN 0-837-14324-1.

  • Sweet, H. (1948); First Middle English Primer; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Not as elementary as the title suggests, it covers mainly early Middle English.)

  • Wardale, Edith E. (1937); Introduction to Middle English; Ams Press; ISBN 0-404-14626-0.

  • Wright, J. (1973); An Elementary Middle English Grammar; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-811925-9. (A clear, well laid-out grammar of Middle English. Should be of primary help to students.)

Readers and Anthologies

  • Barron, W. R. J. (1987); English Medieval Romance; Longman Literature in English Series; London: Longman; ISBN 0-582-49220-3.

  • Bennett, J. A. W., and E. V. Smithers (1968); Early Middle English Verse and Prose; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-871101-8. (Includes a grammar. The best such book dealing with early Middle English, including many reading texts and full glossary.)

  • Davies, R.T., ed. (1963); Medieval English Lyrics: A critical anthology; London: Faber & Faber; ISBN 0-571-06571-6.

  • Dickens, B., and R. M. Bowes (1951); Early Middle English Texts; Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes.

  • Duncan, Thomas G., ed. (1996); Medieval English Lyrics: 1200-1400; Penguin Classics; Penguin USA; ISBN 0-140-43443-7.

  • Emerson, Oliver F. (1978); Middle English Reader; Ams Press; ISBN 0-404-14784-4.

  • Fellows, Jennifer, ed. (1993); Of Love and Chivalry: An anthology of Middle English romance; London: Everyman's Library; ISBN 0-460-87237-0.

  • Fernández, Francisco (1998); Middle English Texts: translation and philological commentary; Valencia: Albatros. 204 pp., paperback

  • Gardner, John (1973); The Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Owl and the Nightingale, and Five Other Middle English Poems in a Modernized Version; Arcturus Books, Ab 116: Southern Illinois University Press; ISBN 0-809-30648-4.

  • Haskell, Ann S., ed. (1985); A Middle English Anthology;Waynebook, 50; Reprint Edition Published by Wayne State University Press; ISBN 0-814-31798-7.

  • Luria, M. S., and R. L. Hoffman, eds. (1974); Middle English Lyrics: A Norton critical edition; New York: W. W. Norton; ISBN 0-393-09338-7. (Includes helpful notes for the student.)

  • Sands, B. (1986); Middle English Verse Romances; Exeter: University of Exeter Press. (A student edition, fully glossed including such genres as the Breton Lays.)

  • Sisam, K. (1921); Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted many times later.)

  • Turville-Petre, Thorlac (1989); Alliterative Poetry of the Later Middle Ages: An anthology; Routledge Medieval English Texts: Catholic University of America Press; ISBN 0-813-20674-X.

Geoffrey Chaucer's Work and Times

  • Andrew, Malcolm, ed. (1991); Critical Essays on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 0-802-05005-0.

  • Benson, L. D., ed. (1987); The Riverside Chaucer; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-282109-1. (This is the standard edition of Chaucer's works. Includes copious notes and full glosses.)

  • Brewer, Derek (1992); Chaucer and His World; Woobridge: Brewer; ISBN 0-859-91365-1.

  • Burnley, D. (1989); The Language of Chaucer; London: Macmillan.

  • Chaucer, Geoffrey; Canterbury Tales; Everyman Series; Reprint Edition 1991; London: Dent; ISBN 0-460-87027-0.

  • Davis, N. et al. (1979); A Chaucer Glossary; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-811171-1. (A helpful student supplement to Chaucer studies.)

  • Hussey, M., A. C. Spearing, and J. Winny (1965); An Introduction to Chaucer; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Introductory guide dealing with literary genres, influences, language and the culture and politics of the time.)

  • Kökeritz, Helge, ed. (1979); Guide to Chaucer's Pronunciation: University of Toronto Press.

  • Smith, Jeremy, ed. (1989); The English of Chaucer and His Contemporaries; Aberdeen (Scotland): Aberdeen University Press; ISBN 0-080-36403-9.

Other Authors and Their Works

  • Anderson, J. J., and A. Cawley (1991); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; London: Dent; ISBN 0-460-87101-3. (For students. A glossary is supplied for translation purposes.)

  • Barron, W. R. J., and S. C. Weinberg, transls., eds. (1989); Lagamon's Arthur: The Arthurian section of Lagamon's Brut; Essex: Longman; ISBN 0-582-03485-X. (Provides original text and translation of the Arthurian section of Lawman's famous alliterative poem. A solid student edition.)

  • Benson, Larry D. (1995); King Arthur's Death: The Middle English stanzaic Morte Arthur and alliterative Morte Arthure; Exeter Medieval English Texts and Studies; Reissue Edition; Exeter: University of Exeter Press; ISBN 0-859-89267-0.

  • Hudson, Harriet, ed. (1996); Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour; Middle English Texts; Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University Press; ISBN 1-879-28863-X.

  • Langland, William, and A. V. C. Schmidt, eds. (1992); Piers Plowman: A new translation of the B-Text; The World's Classics; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-192-82587-9.

  • Lawman, Rosamund Allen, transl. (1993); Brut; Everyman's Library; London: Everymans Library; ISBN 0-460-87021-1.

  • Mills, Maldwyn, ed. (1993); Six Middle English Romances; Everyman's Library; Reissue Edition; London: Everyman's Library; ISBN 0-460-87225-7.

  • Rumble, Thomas (1965); Breton Lays in Middle English: Wayne State University Press; ISBN 0-814-31265-9.

  • Smithers, G. V., ed. (1987); Havelok; Oxford: Clarendon Press; ISBN 0-198-11939-9.

  • Tolkien, J. R. R., ed. (1988); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Reissue Edition, Ballantine Books; ISBN 0-345-27760-0. (The standard scholarly edition of this poem.)

  • Vantuono, William, transl. (1995); Pearl: An edition with verse translation: University of Notre Dame Press; ISBN 0-268-03810-4.

References, Linguistic Studies, and Dialectology

  • Biddulph, J. (1987); Early Kentish Dialect: An informal portrait; Pontypridd (Wales); ISBN 0-948565-31-4. (Unique look at the south-eastern dialect of medieval England.)

  • Björkman, Erik (1972); Scandinavian Loan-Words in Middle English; Scholarly Press; ISBN 0-403-00450-0. (Of prime interest to etymologists and local historians.)

  • Burnley, J. D., Matsuji Tajima, and David Burnley, eds. (1994); The Language of Middle English Literature; Annotated Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature, vol, 12;. University of Rochester Press; ISBN 0-859-91405-4.

  • Gillis, Kristensson (1987); Survey of Middle-English Dialects, 1290-1350: The West Midland Counties: Chartwell-Bratt.

  • Ker, W.P. (1962); Medieval English Literature; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (A classic work, with much emphasis on the romance genre in Middle English.)

  • Kurath, H., and S. M. Kuhn, eds. (1954-); Middle English Dictionary; Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor. (The work for this multi-volume dictionary is ongoing. Many volumes have now appeared.)

  • Lester, G.A. (1996); The Language of Old and Middle English Poetry; London: Macmillan; ISBN 0-333-48847-4.

  • Lindkvist, H. (1912); Middle English Place-Names of Scandinavian Origin; Uppsala.

  • Malone, Kemp (1930); "When did Middle English Begin?", in Curme Volume of Linguistic Studies, pp. 110-117.

  • McIntosh, Angus, M. L. Samuels, and Margaret Laing (1989); Middle English Dialectology: Essays on Some Principles and Problems; Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press; ISBN 0-080-36404-7.

  • Seltén, Bo (1972); The Anglo-Saxon Heritage in Middle English Personal Names: East Anglia 1100-1399; Lund.

Literary Criticism and Guidebooks

  • Bennett, J. A. W. (1990); Middle English Literature; Oxford History of English Literature, vol. 1; Reprint Edition; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-198-11970-4.

  • Brewer, Derek, Jonathan Gibson, eds. (1997); A Companion to the Gawain-Poet; Arthurian Studies; University of Rochester Press; ISBN 0-859-91433-X.

  • Burney Trapp, Joseph, ed. (1973); Medieval English Literature; The Oxford Anthology of English Literature; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-195-01624-6.

  • Burrow, John Anthony (1982); Medieval Writers and Their Work: Middle English literature and its background 1100-1500; Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-192-89122-7.

  • Duboulay, F. R. H. (1991); The England of 'Piers Plowman': William Langland and his vision of the fourteenth century; Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer; ISBN 0-859-91312-0.

  • Edwards A. S. G. (1984); Middle English Prose: A critical guide to major authors and genres; Rutgers University Press; ISBN 0-813-51001-5.

  • Hines, John (1993); The Fabliau in English; Longman Medieval and Renaissance Library; London: Longman; ISBN 0-582-03733-6.

  • MacHan, Tim (1994); Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts: University of Press of Virginia; ISBN 0-813-91508-2.

  • Putter, Ad (1997); An Introduction to the Gawain-Poet; Longman Medieval and Renaissance Library Series; London: Longman; ISBN 0-582-22574-4.

  • Stevens, Martin (1987); Four Middle English Mystery Cycles: Textual, contextual, and critical interpretations: Princeton University Press; ISBN 0-691-06714-7.

  • Trigg, Stephanie, ed. (1993); Medieval English Poetry; Longman Critical Readers; London; Longman; ISBN 0-582-08261-7.

  • Turville-Petre, Thorlac (1996); England the Nation: Language, literature, and national identity, 1290-1340; Oxford: Clarendon Press; ISBN 0-198-12279-9.

  • Veldhoen, N. H. G. E., and H. Aertsen, eds. (1995); Companion to Early Middle English Literature; Amsterdam (Netherlands): Vu University of Press; ISBN 9-053-83349-8.

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