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

  • David Damrosch
  • Kevin J. H. Dettmar
  • Christopher Baswell
  • Anne Schotter

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The Fourth Edition of The Longman Anthology of British Literature continues its tradition of presenting works in the historical context in which they were written.  This fresh approach includes writers from the British Isles, underrepresented female authors, Perspectivessectionsthatshed light on the period as a whole and link with immediately surrounding works to help illuminate a theme, “And Its Time” clusters that illuminate a specific cultural moment or a debate to which an author is responding, and “Responses” in which later authors respond to one or more texts from earlier works.  New to Volume 1A is the inclusion of new Penguin Classics translations of Beowulf by Michael Alexander and Sir Gawain and theGreen Knight by Brian Stone and the major classic work The Táin.  

Table of contents

*** 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)


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Published by Pearson (July 21st 2009) - Copyright © 2010