These chapters on Old English Literature are intended to fill the gap between Professor Thomas’s valuable, but all too brief account in his English Literature before Chaucer, and longer works, such as those of Stopford Brooke and the Chapters in the first volume of the Cambridge History of English Literature. My primary object has, of course, been to make the works themselves known to my readers, but I have also tried to trace the development of prose and poetry during the period, showing in the poetry the modifications of the original Germanic character brought about by later influences of all kinds, and noting those forms or features which lead on to Middle English. In dealing with the many unsettled questions, I have given only the views which seem to me most important. Had I wished to do more, it would obviously have been impossible in the space which I have allowed myself; but references to other works are added for a student who may wish to make a more thorough investigation of such points for himself.

chapter I|21 pages

Old English Literature

chapter III|16 pages

Lyrical Poems (continued)

chapter IV|26 pages

The Early Epic: Beowulf

chapter V|24 pages

Beowulf (continued)

chapter VI|38 pages

Cædmon: Andreas

chapter VII|27 pages


chapter VIII|33 pages

Poems Formerly Ascribed to Cynewulf