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A Guide to Old English (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. Oktober 2011

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"This is still the most comprehensive introduction to Old English available, providing detailed analysis of the language, literature, history, and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. This new edition expands on the changes in languages, and provides additional material on Beowulf."
--Stuart Lee, Oxford University
"Mitchell and Robinson's A Guide to Old English, now available in its eighth edition, is an invaluable resource for teaching and delighting students of Old English. It is unsurpassed in its combination of a meticulously scholarly approach with a wide-ranging selection of Old English texts. The authors' enthusiasm for the subject is evident on every page and carries the reader with it."
--Susan Irvine, University College London


"This is still the most comprehensive introduction to Old English available, providing detailed analysis of the language, literature, history, and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. This new edition expands on the changes in languages, and provides additional material on Beowulf."
Stuart Lee, Oxford University

"Mitchell and Robinson's A Guide to Old English, now available in its eighth edition, is an invaluable resource for teaching and delighting students of Old English. It is unsurpassed in its combination of a meticulously scholarly approach with a wide-ranging selection of Old English texts. The authors' enthusiasm for the subject is evident on every page and carries the reader with it."
Susan Irvine, University College London

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19 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A beginner's guide that will be a permanent companion 8. Dezember 2011
Von Simon Esposito - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you have the previous edition and are wondering whether to upgrade, this eighth edition is not a radical overhaul, but does take the book a definite further step towards being comprehensive. There has been a general tidying, including some clarifications to the grammar, but the biggest change is the addition of the opening 25 lines of 'Beowulf' - now giving a pretty well rounded selection from the original for those who want to read most of it in translation. It has very full contextual annotation, so that it is also an excellent place to begin a complete reading of the poem. Despite the expansion the book is actually thinner in the new edition, thanks to finer paper - very thoughtful of the publisher!

If you're choosing a book as a new learner of Old English, there are now other learner's guides around that use different methods to get over the initial hump (e.g. Pollington, First Steps in Old English; Atherton, Complete Old English (Anglo-Saxon): A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself Language); or Baker, Introduction to Old English), but the value of this one is that it will remain highly useful long after this beginning stage.

The arrangement is traditional, with a Grammar and a Reader as separate sections. This can be a little daunting for the beginner, and if you are working without a teacher you may want to start off with Pollington's or Atherton's book. But the arrangement does mean that the grammar can be laid out clearly and accessibly for permanent reference use. And it IS written in a fairly informal style, with quite full explanations; and there IS a detailed study plan giving the best order in which to take the grammar sections. There's also a glossary of linguistic terms, and a lot of handy summary charts. It is primarily a practical grammar to help READERS, although historical linguistic points are introduced where they help clarify the grammar, or explain major features of modern English (with more added to this edition). There's also an abundance of supplementary material, including a guide to further study which ends up being a characterful introduction to the whole field of Anglo-Saxon culture. The long section on syntax is masterly, and is a fundamental reference for even advanced scholars. But only a few basic sections are set for early study and practical reference, and these could be easily marked off with a highlighter pen: the rest of it is there to provide illumination to your reading over the years.

The Reader now has enough depth of coverage to be like a self-contained anthology, taking in many of the best and most representative texts. So the comprehensive glossary now also represents a complete basic working vocabulary - which you can slowly absorb out of the corner of your eye as you continually look up words when reading!

It is 'practically perfect' now, but for a dream ninth edition of the book (in hard covers!) I would make four changes, the first three in the Reader:-

(1) A moderate expansion, particularly of the prose (now a little thin compared to the verse), just to round out its completeness as a representative anthology. Some suggestions (or at least good texts to try when you've finished working through this book):- a few more passages from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (especially eleventh-century); the poem 'Deor' to represent bardic ('scop') poetry; a homily; selections from the Old English Orosius; extracts from the Old English verse translations of Genesis; the poignant Codex Aureus inscription; and a few charters and wills to represent official literature (and dialect).

(2) For each text a super-concise bibliography, giving at most four to six references to the most valuable pieces of criticism and analysis.

(3) A rearrangement of the Exeter Book riddles so that the solutions are given on a different page (back of the book?), and only notes that help with literal comprehension are placed on the same page. Or at the very least I would add one or two riddles for which there is no solution (or none agreed), such as Exeter 39. The riddles are usually read at an early stage of study, but tackling them without knowing the solutions makes for a brain-expanding challenge in advanced reading skills!

(4) A little more use of typographical tricks in the Grammar to aid clarity and ease of learning (e.g. bold font for key paradigms).

P.S. The 'Guide' (through several editions) has been my amiable companion in Old English studies for twenty and more years now, so it is sad to read that one of the authors, Bruce Mitchell, died in 2010. This is the first edition to which he has not contributed.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Review of Kindle version: OK but needs better formatting 26. November 2012
Von SaraM - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
My review is of the Kindle version, since other reviewers have given good information regarding the paperback version. I have purchased both the paperback version and the Kindle version of this textbook for use in a university level course in Old English. If the publisher will provide some essential additional formatting to enhance navigation and random access to material, I believe this E-text successfully could be used in a classroom setting. Having a truly functional E-text would be a great benefit, especially to students who want to save money or who have any visual accuity problems (as I do). Without a formatting upgrade, however, I would recommend the paperback version of the text for classroom use, even though the book is rather heavy to carry and the print is quite small.

E-text PROS: The Kindle E-text has an interactive TOC, and the footnotes are linked to the text. I have successfully used the TOC to locate different major sections in the text and to read notes and then return to the text using the Back function. The text looks great on my Kindle Fire HD, and it is even crisper on my Kindle Paperwhite. I have successfully highlighed the text on both my Fire and my Paperwhite (since I discovered the Fire tends to lose highlighting and notes if Wi-Fi service is not continuously available, however, I'm now doing most of my initial reading and highlighting on my Paperwhite because Amazon's Whispernet service is more reliable). Because I ride the bus to work/school/home, I like having the E-text to read on the go whenever I have a few moments to study, and I appreciate being able to enlarge the text using my Kindles' text enhancement functions.

E-text CONS: For this E-text to be usable in a classroom setting where the instructor and other students have the paperback version, the following formatting upgrades (at no additional cost) are essential:

(1) Paging that matches the paperback book so that, if the instructor says "go to page xxx," the E-text user can quickly and easily use the Go-To-Page function and everyone will be 'on the same page' together. (Note: the fact that Go-To-Page only takes one to the beginning of a specific page is not a problem; Kindle users know that a 'page' may equal 2-3 screens, and the next screen is just a touch away.) By adding the Go-to-Page access function, the Index (currently useless) can then be made useful again by simply adding appropriate page numbers (linking is not necessary) so the user can use the Go-To-Page function to move from the Index to the listed page number.

(2) Interactive links to the beginning of each different letter-section in the Glossary. Currently, the TOC entry takes you to the beginning of the Glossary. You can't skip to specific letters (say from 'a' to 'ae' or to 'th') and you can't use the search function because the Kindle software doesn't recognize special letters used in Old English (like 'asc' and 'thorn'). If the TOC entry for the Glossary was followed by a set of links to the first headword of each section in the Glossary (like the links in E-Bibles which can take one to any given chapter and verse), then the Glossary--which is quite good--would be accessable and useable. Currently one must guess at locations to move through the Glossary-such a pain!

Of course, a reader can create highlights or bookmarks to navigate to different sub-sections of the text or Glossary, but this sort of formatting really should be considered essential basic formatting for any E-text that has a glossary and index if the text is going to be useful in a classroom environment. Students and instructors need quick, random access to material in a textbook, and printed books still beat E-texts when it comes to random access. With the right formatting, however, E-texts like this one can be used in the classroom to the benefit of both students and instructors. If enough E-book users (teachers and students) ask for better formatting of E-texts, publishers will respond.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Font Issues 15. Oktober 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I don't have a lot of time to comment on the book itself (kindle ed.), but I will say that it is decent. It isn't structured like Wheelock's Latin, so some may be disappointed about that.

What this post is about is the font issues that I'm having. The long ash and long high front (rounded) vowels are simply showing up as squares. If anyone knows where I can go to fix this, it would be much appreciated! This makes the kindle edition worth about a dollar, whereas they're selling it for almost thirty.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Great Grammar/Reader 30. Oktober 2011
Von ksiezycowy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I can't add much more then what has already been said as far as the layout of the book and how to use it. However I will say that it is a great introduction to Old English.

The readings make up about half of the book, and are the most important part of the book. And the readings are very interesting and entertaining. The grammar in the beginning of the book is meant to be there for reference when you start reading for the most part.
The glossary is thick and very helpful for translating the texts.

For those of you that found the layout horrible, you either didn't read the "How to use this guide" section in the beginning or don't find this style of learning suitable. The layout reminds me of a lot of the grammars you can find from the 1800's and early 1900's, such as Wrights Gothic Grammar. As long as you use the text the way it was meant to be used you'll find this a great text. If you don't know what I'm talking about search google for Wrights Gothic Grammar and you'll get an idea. Though this textbook is a bit more modern, and also has some historical information.

I find this text to be a very enjoyable introduction to Old English.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent! 9. März 2014
Von Jason nack - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The walkthrough provided at the beginning of the book as the best way to use the text for learning Old English, is extremely helpful. Because of the organization of the material, simply trying to read through will not be very effective for a first foray into the language. While the method is certainly intended for those with some linguistic training or understanding, even a novice as myself can manage fairly easily.
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