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An Introduction to the Old English Language
and its Literature

Sutton Hoo

with Dr Sam Newton

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, June 25th 2011

A beginner’s guide to the earliest surviving English literature. Participants will be encouraged to utter some short texts in the original tongue.

Hitherto will our sparkeful Youth laugh at their great grandfathers’ English, who had more care to do well, than to speak minion-like, and left more glory to us… than we shall do by our forging anew words, and uncuth phrases. Great verily was the glory of our tongue before the Norman Conquest…(William Camden [1551-1623], Remains Concerning Britain, ed. R.D.Dunn [Toronto 1984], p.27.)

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Old English Language - A starter session intended to acquaint participants with the old language using familiar texts such as place-names, the Lord’s Prayer, or Silent Night.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 The Word-Hoard of Verse - An introduction to the ancient genre of English poetic art using and passages of heroic and elegiac verse and a replica hearpe.  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 Poetry to Prose: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - An introduction to some of the earliest prose composition in English, especially that in the Old Testament of English history, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Lost Verse and Literature of Early England - An attempt to assess something of the wealth of lost tales.  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991 and is the author of The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (1993) and The Reckoning of King Rædwald, (2003). He has lectured widely around the country and has contributed to many radio and television programmes, including Michael Wood on Beowulf and Digging for Britain with Dr Alice Roberts. Sam is also a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., Old English Literature (Macmillan 1983)
Alexander, M. (tr.), Beowulf: A Glossed Text (Penguin Classics 1995, 2000)
Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Baugh, A.C., & T.Cable, A History of the English Language (3rd edition, London 1978)
Clark Hall, J.R., & H.D.Meritt, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Cambridge 1962)
Heaney, Seamus (tr.) Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, ed. J.Niles (Norton 2007)
Lee, S.D., & E.Solopova, The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan 2005)
Mitchell, B., & F.Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell 1986-2001)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993-2004)
Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird 2003)
Pollington, S., Wordcraft: a concise dictionary and thesaurus, modern English to Old English (Anglo-Saxon Books 1993)
Pollington, S., First Steps in Old English (Anglo-Saxon Books )
Shippey, T.A., The Road to Middle-earth (Allen and Unwin, 1982; rev. edn HarperCollins, 2003)
Webster, L., and J.Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991)
Wilson, R., The Lost Literature of Medieval England (Methuen 1952, 1970)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition.  Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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