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The Battle of Maldon: War and Peace in Tenth-Century England

The Battle of Maldon: War and Peace in Tenth-Century England

Authors
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Year 24/12/2020
Pages 256
Version hardback
Readership level Professional and scholarly
ISBN 9781784537913
Categories Poetry by individual poets, Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, History of ideas, Others
$104.44 (with VAT)
384.00 PLN / €85.63 / £73.56
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Book description

The Battle of Maldon is an Old English poem depicting a bloody skirmish along the banks of the tidal river Blackwater in 991 and poignantly conjures the lore and language of a nation with its collective back to the wall when faced by the depredations of a ruthless and relentless enemy. But, as Mark Atherton reveals, this poem is more than a heroic tale designed to inspire courage and valour: rather, it was a pioneering event which determined wider culture and polity in England. Using his own vivid translations from Old English, The Battle of Maldon: War and Peace in Tenth Century England evokes the chaotic ebb and flow of the battle while also placing Maldon in the context of its age. Seeking to reconstruct the culture and worldview of the original audience, Atherton examines how and why the poem encouraged readers to relive and experience the battle - from its brutal hand-to-hand fighting to the slaying of Byrthnoth - for themselves in order to impact the destiny of England. With this study, Mark Atherton provides the authoritative treatment of this iconic text, its history and its legacy. As such, this book will be a vital resource for all scholars of Old English literature, the Anglo-Saxons and early medieval history more generally.

The Battle of Maldon: War and Peace in Tenth-Century England

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Part I. Approaches to The Battle of Maldon
1. The Grounds of Maldon
2. Horse and Hawk
3. Hearth and Home
4. 'Here stands an earl'
5. 'Blessed is the man': Byrhtnoth's Prayer
6. 'From a great kindred in Mercia'
7. Feud and Friendship
8. The Battle of the Holme
9. Beowulf and Maldon
Part II. After the Battle
10. 'And so to Maldon': The Account of the Battle in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
11. Byrhtferth of Ramsey's Life of St Oswald
12. Memories of a Golden Age: 'Maldon' in The Book of Ely
Appendix 1. The Battle of Maldon: Text and Translation
Appendix 2. 'The Battle of the Holme': Text and Translation
Appendix 3. The Case of AEthelric of Bocking: Text and Translation
Appendix 4. The Will of Leofwine: Text and Translation
Select Bibliography
Index

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