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May 10 , 2008

New Readings in the Vercelli Book


The late tenth-century Vercelli Book (Vercelli, Biblioteca Capitolare CXVII) contains one of the earliest surviving collections of homilies and poetry in the English language. The manuscript's combination of poetry and homiletic prose has generated intense scholarly debate, and there is no consensus concerning the original purpose of the compiler.

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New Readings in the Vercelli Book addresses central questions concerning the manuscript's intended use, mode of compilation, and purpose, and offers a variety of approaches on such topics as orthography, style, genre, theme, and source-study. The contributors include some of the foremost Vercelli experts, as well as the two most recent editors of the homilies. The remarkable essays in this volume offer the first sustained literary analysis of both the poetry and prose texts of the Vercelli Book, providing important new perspectives on a dynamic and valuable historical document.

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