From the Back Cover
Alexander's A History of Old English Literature is an outstanding introduction to a difficult period of literary history. It provides a simple historical and cultural context for the study of the Anglo-Saxons, and offers a history, illustrated by many passages in translation, of the whole of the literature that survives. While it contains solid, insightful and sensible criticism of individual literary works, its overall historical organization suggests that Old English literature was created in a cultural context that changed from one century to another. Although its intentions are scholarly, this history of Old English literature is also an introduction, assuming little knowledge of this period or its surviving products, and none of its language. This edition has been revised and rewritten throughout, and offers a new preface as well as an updated bibliography.