Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture

Edited by Susan Irvine and Winfried Rudolf

© 2018

Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture counters the generally received wisdom that early medieval childhood and adolescence were an unremittingly bleak experience. The contributors analyse representations of children and their education in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin writings, including hagiography, heroic poetry, riddles, legal documents, philosophical prose and elegies. Within and across these linguistic and generic boundaries some key themes emerge: the habits and expectations of name-giving, expressions of childhood nostalgia, the role of uneducated parents, and the religious zeal and rebelliousness of youth. After decades of study dominated by adult gender studies, Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture rebalances our understanding of family life in the Anglo-Saxon era by reconstructing the lives of medieval children and adolescents through their literary representation.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP004746

  • PUBLISHED APR 2018

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

    ISBN 9781487502027
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2018

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

Quick Overview

After decades of study dominated by adult gender studies, Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture rebalances our understanding of family life in the Anglo-Saxon era by reconstructing the lives of medieval children and adolescents through their literary representation.

Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture

Edited by Susan Irvine and Winfried Rudolf

© 2018

Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture counters the generally received wisdom that early medieval childhood and adolescence were an unremittingly bleak experience. The contributors analyse representations of children and their education in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin writings, including hagiography, heroic poetry, riddles, legal documents, philosophical prose and elegies. Within and across these linguistic and generic boundaries some key themes emerge: the habits and expectations of name-giving, expressions of childhood nostalgia, the role of uneducated parents, and the religious zeal and rebelliousness of youth. After decades of study dominated by adult gender studies, Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture rebalances our understanding of family life in the Anglo-Saxon era by reconstructing the lives of medieval children and adolescents through their literary representation.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Childhood and Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture is a valuable collection of essays that will be extremely useful for advanced scholars of Anglo-Saxon literature and history, not only those who specialize in social history or portrayals of children, but all who read major canonical works such as Beowulf and the writings of Bede and Ælfric. I also urge young scholars working on related subjects to consult it as soon as possible."


    Leslie Lockett, Department of English, Ohio State University
  • Author Information

    Susan Irvine is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at University College London.


    Winfried Rudolf is a professor of Medieval English language and literature at the University of Göttingen.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction – Susan Irvine and Winfried Rudolf

    1. Childhood and Adolescence: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Archaeological and Documentary Evidence – Sally Crawford

    2. Naming Children in Anglo-Saxon England: Ethnic Identity and Cultural Change – Leonard Neidorf

    3. Anglo-Saxon Preaching on Children – Winfried Rudolf

    4. Tender Beginnings in the Exeter Book Riddles – Shu-han Luo

    5. Parenting and Childhood in The Fortunes of Men – Stacy S. Klein

    6. Children and the Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum – Andreas Lemke

    7. Childhood in the Lives of Anglo-Saxon Saints – Joyce Hill

    8. Alcuin’s Educational Dispute: the Riddle of Teaching and the Teaching of Riddles – Andy Orchard

    9. Foster-Relationships in the Old English Boethius – Susan Irvine

    10. Hrothulf’s Childhood and Beowulf’s: a Comparison – Richard North

    11. Of Boys and Men: Anglo-Saxon Literary Adaptations of the Book of Daniel – Daniel Anlezark

    12. “Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth”: Parent-Child Litigation in Anglo-Saxon England – Andrew Rabin

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