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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  446 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies thorough and helpful introductory matter, judicious annotation, complete texts wherever possible The Norton Anthology of English Literature has been revitalized in this Eighth Edition through the collaboration between six new editors and six seasoned ones. Under the direction of Stephen Greenblatt, General ...more
Paperback, Eighth, 543 pages
Published December 22nd 2006 by W. W. Norton (first published December 1999)
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This was one of three volumes (A,B,C) in a bundle-pack required for my first English Lit. survey course. The course was entitled, English Literature: Beginnings Through 1865 (or something along those lines). Of the three, I found volume A to be most enjoyable for several reasons: the morality play "Everyman" (Anonymous), the Anglo-Saxon/Old English Poetry and parts of "The Canterbury Tales". Specific poems I enjoyed: "The Dream of the Rood" (allusion to the crucifix, the lord and savior Jesus Ch ...more
I love the Norton Anthologies of Literature. I have been a Norton fan since my undergrad days when we used them in my survey classes, and now that I'm teaching lit surveys I'm passing these wonderful collections along to my students (by which I mean forcing my students to buy them).

The Norton editors are really good about providing background for such a wide variety of texts, including general introductory material about the medieval period--social organization, religious developments, changes i
This was the first volume in a set of 3.

It is a comprehensive history and survey of English literature up to Middle English.

I personally adore all Norton editions as I find their translations to be the best out there and the footnotes are not insane to read. Some anthologies over due the footnotes and annotations so much that there are more of those than actual text.

In all, this anthology gives a rather good summary and example of what English literature looked like, and includes most, if not
Feb 13, 2013 Liz added it
How do you rate English history? I won't. I loved this though.
I didn't read it cover to cover, just read the introduction and some selections from it. Enjoyed it overall
Ghazal Baradari-Ghiami
Selections read:
- "The Dream of the Rood"
- Beowulf
Heather Adkins
I read this book for my English literature before 1600 class. We didn't read the whole thing, which is damn good because some of this stuff is significantly hard to read. To be honest, the class made the book amazing. The discussions we had on the use of religion in the works and everybody's conflicting opinions on characters such as Sir Gawain, Beowulf, and pietous ladies Kempe and Julian were a great way to appreciate literature. These works were the beginning, the famous pieces that were the ...more
I like this series of textbooks. Each section has a clear, concise introduction to different aspects of that theme. It provides brief, informative biographies on each author. It includes a wide variety of authors and poets to choose from. There is no way you could cover everything in this book in one semester. It has wonderful footnotes to help clarify archaic words and phrases as well. All this is presented without any kind of opinion or critique, leaving the passages open for debate or persona ...more
So, I have to say this--literature from the Middle Ages does not resonate with me. But, because of the Norton contexts and the professor I had for this particular class, I have new-found appreciation for The Canterbury Tales ("The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale"), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Beowolf (liked it better as an adult than when I was 17 y.o.).
Barnaby Thieme
A fine collection, admirably edited and smoothly presented with unobtrusive but usable footnotes and helpful introductory essays. I'm pleased by the inclusion of Seamus Heaney's rendering of Beowulf, and was delighted by the modern English translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Night.

Someday I'm going to pony up the resolve to plow through the Canterbury Tales, I just know it ....
The essentials of English Literature in easy to handle volumes!. Not really a book (or series) to read for sheer pleasure, unless you're a medievalist/classics enthusiast, but certainly worth the read. Unfortunately, some of the longer pieces in this collection are truncated, or appear only in a excerpted form. Beowulf and Gawain, though, seem to be complete.
Peter E.  Frangel
'Beowulf', 'The Canterbury Tales', 'Dream of the Rood', 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' and more. What else could you ask for? This is a wonderful introduction to Middle Age British literature, if you fancy such things or even just want to learn more about the period, and the foundation of how we write today.
I loved the compilation of all the major works in this book! We finished this book by reading "The Book of Margery Kempe" and "Everyman". Everyman is such an interesting character. I felt most sympathetic for Good Deeds and envied the help of his sister, Knowledge.
The older the story, the less I like it. Ha. I said it. And I'm an English major. Sorry dudes.

I will never be a big fan of story in verse--I don't think it makes it more concise, I think it just makes it flowery and difficult. Sorry Professor Gambera.
Cherstin Holtzman
A great anthology not only because of the selections, but also because of the included historical references. An excellent lesson in English history that helps put many of the texts into perspective.
“Read: Dream of the Rood, Beowulf, Le Morte D'arthur, The Prologue to Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath's Prologue, The Wife of Bath's Tale, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Caidmon's Hymn, and The Second Shepherd's Play
Just to have another point of view form the Broadview Middle Ages book. And I prefer the Broadview - although I usually LOVE the Norton books.
Still a very informative book sharing the most important things about the period.
This is the third time I have read this book and I must say I loved it this time! I don't know if it's because I've matured as a reader or I'm letting myself enjoy the little things now.

The Dream of the Rood: It was ok. I liked how short it was however, since I read it for school. So 2 stars

Review will be continued as I read.
Sannie Hald
What a lovely collections of literature.
It sure made me want to read more, not just the extracts.

Well done, Norton, well done!
Becky Hoffman
Also another book I had to read for my British Literature class. Covered early works like Beowulf, King Edwins Council, etc.
Pro: Great write ups for the main works of the period. Con: The works are in translation with only snippets of original content.
Includes a wide variety of prose, poetry, and history. An excellent introduction to English literature.
Please see my review for Volumes B & C, because the same opinion holds true for this volume as well.
well its a texttbook for a class Im obligated to take soo....
i really liked sir gawain and the green knight
My Brit Lit book, part of a 3-pack.
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Meyer Howard Abrams is an American literary critic, known for works on Romanticism, in particular his book The Mirror and the Lamp. In a powerful contrast, Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer's inner soul spilled out to i ...more
More about M.H. Abrams...
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1: The Middle Ages through the Restoration & the Eighteenth Century The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2: The Romantic Period through the Twentieth Century The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. B: The Sixteenth Century & The Early Seventeenth Century A Glossary of Literary Terms The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition

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