Longman Anthology of British Literature, The: The Middle Ages, Volume 1A, 4th edition

Published by Pearson (July 21, 2009) © 2010

  • David Damrosch Columbia University
  • Kevin J. H. Dettmar Pomona College
  • Christopher Baswell University of California, Los Angeles
  • Anne Schotter Wagner College

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The Longman Anthology of British Literature is the most comprehensive and thoughtfully arranged text in the field, offering a rich selection of compelling British authors through the ages.

With its first edition, The Longman Anthology of British Literature created a new paradigm for anthologies. Responding to major shifts in literary studies over the past thirty years, it was the first collection to pay sustained attention to the contexts within which literature is produced, even as it broadened the scope of that literature to embrace the full cultural diversity of the British Isles. Within its pages, canonical authors mingle with newly visible writers; English accents are heard next to Anglo-Norman, Welsh, Gaelic, and Scottish ones; female and male voices are set in dialogue; literature from the British Isles is integrated with post-colonial writing; and major works are illuminated by clusters of shorter texts that bring literary, social, and historical issues vividly to life.

Fresh and up-to-date introductions and notes are written by an editorial team whose members are all actively engaged in teaching and in current scholarship, and 150 illustrations show both artistic and cultural developments from the medieval period to the present.

The Fourth Edition builds on the pioneering features of the previous three editions, expanding the strong core of frequently taught works while continuing to lead the way in responding to the shifting interests of the discipline.

·   Generous coverage of fiction, drama, and poetry alike. Major prose works are included in their entirety, together with a wealth of poetry and drama, from a collection of Middle English lyrics to Penguin Classics’ highly esteemed translations of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight–and beyond.

·   Cultural breadth. Regional as well as metropolitan perspectives, religious as well as secular writing, popular as well as elite productions, classic works, newly recovered texts, and Irish, Welsh, and Scottish writers all combine to represent the full scope of the British literary tradition.

·   Women's writing. Extensive selections from a wide range of writers, fully integrated in each period, include such writers as Margery Kempe, Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, and Christine de Pizan.

·   “Perspectives” sections. These groupings shed light on the period as a whole and link with immediately surrounding works to help illuminate a theme.

·   “…and Its Time” sections. These shorter groupings show major works in the context of their own era. For example, "Piers Plowman and Its Time: The Rising of 1381."

·   Rich illustration program. An unrivalled collection of both black-and-white and color illustrations include portraits of major authors as well as images to illustrate artistic and cultural developments.

·   Complete Longer Works.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature contains a wide variety of complete longer works from all periods including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Second Play of the Shepherds, The York Play of the Crucifixion, Mankind, and many more. 

·         New Fact Sheet. An informative fact sheet opens the volume, providing an easily digestible glimpse of daily life during the medieval period. 


·         New Penguin Classics translations of Beowulf by Michael Alexander and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Brian Stone.  Trusted throughout the world for their dedication to producing editions of classics texts that are both riveting and scholarly, The Longman Anthology of British Literature now includes Penguin Classics authoritative translations. 


·         New major, classic texts.  In response to instructor's requests, major additions of important works that are taught frequently in the British Literature course have been added, including The Táin and new translations of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

·         Easier Navigation.  Revised indexes in the frontmatter and endmatter of the book link the Website, Audio CD, Longman Cultural Editions, and main text to make the complete range of resources better integrated and easier to use.

·         New Media Supplement.  A new Web site includes an archive of valuable texts that we were not able to include in the most recent edition, detailed bibliographies, an interactive timeline, and multiple choice comprehension quizzes, discussion questions, and web resources for major selections and authors.  These resources may be accessed by going to www.myliteraturekit.com

·     ·         New Longman Cultural Editions.  This series of supplemental texts presents key works from every era of the British literary tradition, introduced, annotated, and framed with contextual readings and illustrations by major scholars in the field.  Recent new additions to the series include Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Forster's Howards End, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and collections of writings by Dorothy Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

*** denotes selection is new to this edition.


THE MIDDLE AGES                                             

                                Before the Norman Conquest                               




John Gardner: from Grendel  




EARLY IRISH VERSE                                                                            

To Crinog  

Pangur the Cat  

Writing in the Wood  

The Viking Terror  

The Old Woman of Beare  

Findabair Remembers Fróech  

A Grave Marked with Ogam  

from The Voyage of Máel Dúin  




THE DREAM OF THE ROOD                                                                 




from An Ecclesiastical History of the English People  

Bishop asser  

from The Life of King Alfred  

King alfred  

Preface to Saint Gregory’s Pastoral Care  

Ohthere’s journeys  

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle  

Stamford Bridge and Hastings  



Urien Yrechwydd  

The Battle of Argoed Llwyfain  

The War-Band’s Return  

Lament for Owain Son of Urien  


THE WANDERER                                                                                   


WULF AND EADWACER AND THE WIFE’S LAMENT                         



Three Anglo-Latin Riddles by Aldhelm  

Five Old English Riddles  


                                 After the Norman Conquest                                



Geoffrey of Monmouth  

from History of the Kings of Britain  

Gerald of Wales  

from The Instruction of Princes  

Edward I  

Letter sent to the Papal Court of Rome  


A Report to Edward I  


                                        Arthurian Romance                                       


MARIE DE FRANCE                                                                              




        Chevrefoil (The Honeysuckle)  


SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT***                                     


SIR THOMAS MALORY                                                                        

Morte Darthur  

from Caxton’s Prologue  

The Miracle of Galahad  

The Poisoned Apple  

The Day of Destiny  


Marion Zimmer Bradley: from The Mists of Avalon  

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin: scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail  


GEOFFREY CHAUCER                                                                          

The Canterbury Tales  

The General Prologue (Middle English and modern translation)  

The Miller’s Tale  

The Introduction  

The Tale  

The Wife of Bath’s Prologue  

The Wife of Bath’s Tale  

The Prologue  

The Tale  

The Pardoner’s Prologue  

The Pardoner’s Tale  

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale  

The Parson’s Tale  

The Introduction  

[The Remedy for the Sin of Lechery]  

Chaucer’s Retraction  

To His Scribe Adam  

Complaint to His Purse  


WILLIAM LANGLAND                                                                          

Piers Plowman


Passus 2  

from Passus 6  

Passus 8  

Passus 20  

“Piers Plowman” and Its Time

The Rising of 1381  

from The Anonimalle Chronicle [Wat Tyler’s Demands to Richard II, and His Death]  

Three Poems on the Rising of 1381: John Ball’s First Letter  • John Ball’s Second Letter  • The Course of Revolt  

John Gower: from The Voice of One Crying  


                                         Mystical Writings                                        


JULIAN OF NORWICH                                                                          

A Book of Showings  

[Three Graces. Illness. The First Revelation]  

[Laughing at the Devil]  

[Christ Draws Julian in through His Wound]  

[The Necessity of Sin, and of Hating Sin]  

[God as Father, Mother, Husband]  

[The Soul as Christ’s Citadel]  

[The Meaning of the Visions Is Love]  

 Companion Readings

Richard Rolle: from The Fire of Love  

from The Cloud of Unknowing  


Rebecca Jackson: The Dream of Washing Quilts  


                                   Medieval Biblical Drama                                  


THE SECOND PLAY OF THE SHEPHERDS                                          


THE YORK PLAY OF THE CRUCIFIXION                                           


MARGERY KEMPE                                                                                

The Book of Margery Kempe  

The Preface  

[Early Life and Temptations, Revelation, Desire for Foreign Pilgrimage]  

[Meeting with Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of Canterbury]  

[Visit with Julian of Norwich]  

[Pilgrimage to Jerusalem]  

[Arrest by Duke of Bedford’s Men; Meeting with Archbishop of York]  


MIDDLE ENGLISH LYRICS                                                                  

The Cuckoo Song (“Sumer is icumen in”)  

Spring (“Lenten is come with love to toune”)  

Alisoun (“Bitwene Mersh and Averil”)  

I Have a Noble Cock  

My Lefe Is Faren in a Lond  

Fowls in the Frith  

Abuse of Women (“In every place ye may well see”)  

The Irish Dancer (“Gode sire, pray ich thee”)  

A Forsaken Maiden’s Lament (“I lovede a child of this cuntree”)  

The Wily Clerk (“This enther day I mete a clerke”)  

Jolly Jankin (“As I went on YoI Day in our procession”)  

Adam Lay Ibounden  

I Sing of a Maiden  

In Praise of Mary (“Edi be thu, Hevene Quene”)  

Mary Is with Child (“Under a tree”)  

Sweet Jesus, King of Bliss  

Now Goeth Sun under Wood  

Jesus, My Sweet Lover (“Jesu Christ, my lemmon swete”)  

Contempt of the World (“Where beth they biforen us weren?”)  


DAFYDD AP GWILYM                                                                          


One Saving Place  

Tale of a Wayside Inn  

The Winter  

The Ruin  


                                         Middle Scots Poets                                        

WILLIAM DUNBAR                                                                               

Lament for the Makars  

Done Is a Battell  

In Secreit Place This Hyndir Nycht  


ROBERT HENRYSON                                                                            

Robene and Makyne  


                                        Late Medieval Allegory

CHARLES D’ORLEANS                                                                         

Ballade 26  

Ballade 61  

Roundel 94  



(acting edition by Peter Meredith)           


CHRISTINE DE PIZAN                                                                           

from Book of the City of Ladies  

(trans. by Earl Jeffrey Richards)


David Damrosch is Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is a past president of the American Comparative Literature Association, and has written widely on world literature from antiquity to the present. His books include What Is World Literature? (2003), The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh (2007), and How to Read World Literature (2009). He is the founding general editor of the six-volume Longman Anthology of World Literature, 2/e (2009) and the editor of Teaching World Literature (2009).

Kevin J. H. Dettmar is W. M. Keck Professor and Chair, Department of English, at Pomona College, and Past President of the Modernist Studies Association.  He is the author of The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism and Is Rock Dead?, and the editor of Rereading the New: A Backward Glance at Modernism; Marketing Modernisms: Self-Promotion, Canonization, and Rereading; Reading Rock & Roll: Authenticity, Appropriation, Aesthetics; the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners; and The Blackwell Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture, and co-general editor of The Longman Anthology of British Literature.  


Christopher Baswell isA. W. Olin Chair of English at Barnard College, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  His interests include classical literature and culture, medieval literature and culture, and contemporary poetry.  He is author of Virgil in Medieval England: Figuring the "Aeneid" from the Twelfth Century to Chaucer, which won the 1998 Beatrice White Prize of the English Association.  He has held fellowships from the NEH, the National Humanities Center, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Anne Howland Schotter is Professor and Chair of English and Associate Dean of the Faculty at Wagner College.  She is the co-editor of Ineffability: Naming the Unnamable from Dante to Beckett and author of articles on Middle English poetry, Dante, and Medieval Latin poetry.  Her current interests include the medieval reception of classical literature, particularly the work of Ovid.  She has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson and Andrew W. Mellon foundations.

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