Texts for New Courses August/December 2014

 Text for Malory’s Morte D’Arthur

If you’re interested in this course and  want to get a jump on the reading, I suggest you acquire the following edition:

Le Morte D’Arthur: the Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998.  ISBN 9780199537341Unknown

This edition is lightly abridged but contains all the matter I’d like to discuss.  It also features modernized spellings:  all Malory’s vocabulary that survives to the present day is given its modern spelling, and the spelling of his archaic vocabulary is regularized, all of which makes the task of reading what he wrote much easier for non-specialists.  I’m going to be teaching from this edition myself, which is currently available from The Book Depository with quick free delivery.


Also available is

Le Morte D’Arthur, ed.  Janet Cowan.  London: Penguin Classics, 1977.  ISBN (vol. I) 9780140430431, (vol. II) 9780140430448

This is a two-volume modern-spelling edition of Caxton‘s version.  Differences between what Caxton printed and Winchester manuscript (the basis of Cooper’s edition) are minor, making this the most readily available unabridged modern edition.  

Malory: Complete Works, ed. Eugene Vinaver.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977.  ISBN 9780192812179.

The standard scholarly edition, in original spelling.  If you’re interested in the linguistic side of Malory, this is the one for you, though it is not as helpfully annotated as Cooper’s edition.  


Introduction to Old English

The text we will be using is

Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson.   A Guide to Old English, 8th ed.  London: Blackwell, 2012.  ISBN 978047067107851F2pwF9FUL

I’ll be referring to it as ‘Mitchell & Robinson’ or just ‘M&R’.  It’s readily available from The Book Depository and elsewhere.  If you acquire a copy early, don’t be daunted by the grammar sections, which can look forbidding to the uninitiated.  I’ve got a tried and trustworthy method of easing us into the technicalities.  If you do have a look and find yourself intrigued or puzzled by anything you see, feel free to pop any questions or observations my way.  I’m always up for some chat about Old English!

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