Preaching the Converted: The Style and Rhetoric of the Vercelli Book Homilies
The Vercelli Book is one of the oldest surviving collections of Old English homilies and poems, compiled in England in the tenth century. Preaching the Converted provides a sustained literary analysis of the book's prose homilies and demonstrates that they employ rhetorical techniques commonly associated with vernacular verse. The study argues that the dazzling textual complexity of these homilies rivals the most accomplished examples of Old English poetry.
Highlighting the use of word play, verbal and structural repetition, elaborate catalogues, and figurative language, Samantha Zacher's study of the Vercelli Book fills a gap in the history of English preaching by foregrounding the significance of these prose homilies as an intermediary form. Also analyzing the Latin and vernacular sources behind the Vercelli texts to reveal the theological and formal interests informing the collection as a whole, Preaching the Converted is a rigorous examination of Old English homiletic rhetoric and poetics.
- Series: Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series
- World Rights
- Page Count: 320 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.4in
Reviews'Preaching the Converted is immensely interesting and well-informed. An original and substantial work, it engages closely with the Vercelli Homilies themselves, balancing detailed analysis of individual words, phrases, and passages, with exploration of their wider implications. Preaching the Converted should be read and cited by a broad range of scholars, will be indispensable for Old English course reading lists, and will have wide student appeal.'
Susan Irvine, Department of English, University College London
Samantha Zacher is a professor of English and medieval studies at Cornell University.
Subjects and Courses