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Guide to Old English

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  245 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A Guide to Old English is now the standard and most popular introduction to Old English language and literature. The fifth edition has been revised and corrected to take into account suggestions from teachers and students. The two most important new features are a substantial introduction to Old English metre (Appendix C of Part One) and the addition of &AEliglfric's a ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 15th 1992 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published 1964)
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Jan 01, 2008 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students who are forced to learn this
Haha look - this is on Goodreads!

I mean.. ahem. It is my view that the linguistic nuances of Old English poetry are lost completely in translation. Every lover of literature should get this book and learn Old English. For how can the opening "Hwaet" of Beowulf possibly be rendered in our sloppy modern attempts at expression? How can the suffering of the Seafarer bite at the soul of a reader when the original meter is compromised? What craft have you? Where has gone the horse? Where the rider? Wh
May 21, 2013 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really fond memories of this book and can remember buying it many years ago. At that period Mitchell and Robinson's books were all the rage. I remember picking up a pristine hardcover edition from a bookshop and have treasured it ever since.

The book itself is a pretty good introduction and teach yourself guide to the Old English Language with a selection of Old English texts and a glossary. The first section contains really useful sections on everything from pronunciation to syntax, while
Dec 05, 2013 Lesliemae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six weeks after I began I'm reading Old English thanks to the wonderful guidance of a good professor and this perceptive book. Mitchell & Robinson think of all the grammatical conundrums and explain them with simplicity so that in 4-6 weeks you to can read Anglo-Saxon poetry, and let there be no question - it's entirely worth the effort to translate the poems.
Mar 05, 2008 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best language primers I've used. I really hate the phrase "makes history come ALIVE" but...well...the book goes out of its way to explain how culture affects language, and how Old English affects the language we speak today. Some of the poems (The Wanderer comes to mind) are unspeakably sad and beautiful.
Steve Luttrell
Mar 19, 2009 Steve Luttrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aimed at autodidacts as well as traditional students. The author *loves* OE, and you can tell.
Nov 23, 2015 Kyle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a backwards way to learn a language. I taught myself by just reading the sample texts in the back with a glossary. You pick up declensions as you go. It would be better if the text started you reading OE right away and explained the grammar as it came up and as was necessary rather than dumping 100 pages of OE grammar on you to memorize with no context.
Brent Barnard
I love Old English, and this is an old textbook that I keep trying to read again, but can't seem to find the time! One day! I'm putting it in the "read" category because I don't know when I'll ever have time to master it.
Mar 02, 2015 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
Of all the texts I used to teach myself Old English, this one was the most useful. It's accessible (sometimes a little too pedantic) and provides the necessary information in a clear format.
Feb 06, 2013 Gwan rated it really liked it
Can't really comment on it as a guide for the autodidact, since we just used it for the OE texts at university, but a good introduction to some of the OE greats.
Oct 15, 2013 Desclian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather confusing in its explanation of the grammar, but a really good collection of graduated things to translate (and with a good glossary to boot).
Feb 08, 2012 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a description of Anglo Saxon, many examples to learn, and an impressive bibliography of sources to launch one's studies.
Sam Johnsson
A very strong grammar and methodical reference, with texts. Not necessarily the most accessible, as it assumes some linguistic theory.
Dec 15, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college
A very good introduction to Old English, both in terms of grammar and literature.
Dec 29, 2012 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good resource and one that will need to be read again.
Stephanie Fysh
Guide to Old English by Bruce Mitchell (1965)
Keith Miller
A Guide to Old English by Bruce Mitchell (2006)
Absolutely excellent
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