Old English Medievalism
Reception and Recreation in the 20th and 21st Centuries
An exploration across thirteen essays by critics, translators and creative writers on the modern-day afterlives of Old English, delving into how it has been transplanted and recreated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Old English language and literary style have long been a source of artistic inspiration and fascination, providing modern writers and scholars with the opportunity not only to explore the past but, in doing so, to find new perspectives on the present. This volume brings together thirteen essays on the modern-day afterlives of Old English, exploring how it has been transplanted and recreated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by translators, novelists, poets and teachers. These afterlives include the composition of neo-Old English, the evocation in a modern literary context of elements of early medieval English language and style, the fictional depiction of Old English-speaking worlds and world views, and the adaptation and recontextualisation of works of early medieval English literature. The sources covered include W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Seamus Heaney, alongside more recent writers such as Christopher Patton, Hamish Clayton and Paul Kingsnorth, as well as other media, from museum displays to television. The volume also features the first-hand perspectives of those who are authors and translators themselves in the field of Old English medievalism.