Old English literature encompasses the very earliest prose and poetry in what would become the English language. Centuries before Shakespeare – or even Chaucer – Anglo-Saxon poets, scholars, teachers and scribes were producing a rich and storied body of elegies, riddles, charms, translations, letters, treatises and more.
This online course provides an introduction to the study of this literature for complete beginners. Working with a single poem – a medical charm – we will get to grips with the basics of the Old English language, the nuts and bolts of Old English poetry, and the manuscripts in which these works survive.
No previous experience or particular affinity with languages is required. You will be provided with a pre-course reading pack and signposted to online resources, both here at the British Library and beyond, for further study of this ancient literature.
Have experience of Old English? You might like our Intermediate Old English online course on 17 March.
This course takes place on Zoom and we will email you a joining link the day before. There will be an opportunity to ask the tutor Victoria Symons questions during a Q&A, and have conversations with your fellow participants in virtual breakout rooms.
Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:00am