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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Anglais) Broché – 18 août 1998

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The first continuous national history of any western people in their own language, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle traces the history of early England from the migration of the Saxon war-lords, through Roman Britain, the onslaught of the Vikings, the Norman Conquest and on through the reign of Stephen.

Michael Swanton's translation is the most complete and faithful reading ever published. Extensive notes draw on the latest evidence of paleographers, archaeologists and textual and social historians to place these annals in the context of current knowledge. Fully indexed and complemented by maps and genealogical tables, this edition allows ready access to one of the prime sources of English national culture. The introduction provides all the information a first-time reader could need, cutting an easy route through often complicated matters. Also includes nine maps.

Biographie de l'auteur

Michael J. Swanton is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter. His extensive publications include translations of the epic poem Beowulf (1978) and a selection of Anglo Saxon Prose (1993).

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 400 pages
  • Editeur : Routledge (18 août 1998)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0415921295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415921299
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,6 x 2,4 x 23,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 48.293 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Première phrase
In the year when 494 years had passed since Christ's birth, Cerdic and Cynric his son landed at Cerdic's Shore with 5 ships. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Broché
If you are interested in the early history of England, this book is a must. Although not really qualified to judge the details of the translation
It is 'easy' reading. For the historians the text is fully commented, both linguistically and historically. Why 'only' 4 stars? Because the different manuscripts are not presented in an "easy to compare" format. I have no suggestions as to how to otherwise!
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76 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Ian Myles Slater on: A Great Replacement 5 février 2004
Par Ian M. Slater - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
"The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" is the collective name for a whole set of chronicles, originally scattered across England. Arranged mainly year-by-year, they contain contemporary, or purportedly contemporary, accounts of important events: wars, the deaths of kings, bishops, and popes, and some interesting poems about such events.

They are clearly derived from a single original form, but show considerable variation, due to different scribal practices and where and when they were copied and continued. Information in one copy can often be supplemented or corrected from another, allowing a better glimpse of "Dark Age" England. They are mainly in Old English, but some have Latin entries, and there are medieval translations into Latin. (The fact that chronicles were *not* kept in Latin was unusual, and suggests that King Alfred was right about the poor state of learning in Viking-assaulted England.) It has been recognized since Elizabethan times as an important work, and one or another manuscript served as the basis of series of translations into English since the nineteenth century. Eventually, efforts were made to present two or more manuscripts together, producing a new round of translations.

This translation was originally published by J.M. Dent in 1996, and intended as a replacement for that publisher's Everyman's Library "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" translation of 1953, the highly-regarded, and often disliked, work of Norman Garmonsway. Highly regarded, because it was very accurate and followed the layout of a standard text edition of 1892, which displayed the considerable variety among the manuscripts. This layout allowed the student referring to a copy of Earle and Plummer's edition to find the appropriate passage in the original language with little effort. Disliked, because the same arrangement is very hard to follow, and the small print in the notes and index was annoyingly hard to read. The 1953 edition was revised in 1954, and issued in paperback in the 1970s with a few bibliographic updates. It was a state-of-knowledge treasure at the time, but an explosion in historical and archeological work in the following decades made it ever more creaky with age. My copy of the paperback is falling apart from use, some of that use a matter of getting used to the layout -- I share both views about it. [2012: I've reviewed a digital incarnation -- Kindle and iBook that I know of -- of Garmonsway.]

Well, those who disliked the layout will have to try reading a single-text or composite translation, instead of this one. Michael Swanton has preserved the 1892 placement of the text. Fortunately, his translation seems as precise as Garmonsway's -- a statement I feel qualified to make, having worked through the Chronicle texts in "Bright's Old English Reader" and several other student's editions. On the whole, it is, I think, more readable (although I miss the old phrasing in a few passages). The pages are physically larger, and so is the type, (although the notes are still just below my comfort level), and the genealogical tables and maps are both easy to read and detailed enough to be useful.

[2012 update: The composite translation I had in mind, and somehow failed to mention, is that edited by Dorothy Whitelock, in the revised edition of 1961. Since it gives major variants in parallel columns, and minor ones in footnotes, it is really no easier to follow, and not as convenient for use with a standard text edition -- on which see below.]

Sooner or later, of course, Swanton's annotations will begin to show their age too, although the technology of the next fifty years may allow more frequent and more radical improvements in published works than was possible in the twentieth century. Meanwhile, a collaborative edition of all the texts is in the process of publication, and a new understanding of the growth of the Chronicle may emerge, suggesting new ways of arranging and presenting the material. For now, however, Michael Swanton has provided an essential tool -- and buried in it is a lot of good reading.

[2012 update. The three volumes of Earle-revised-by-Plummer "Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel" are available for downloading from archive.org. Of the several formats offered, pdf is probably the most reliable -- no OCR problems with a text with strange characters and made up of obsolete words and forms.]
44 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Work Of Incalculable Historical Importance 29 décembre 2005
Par Dai-keag-ity - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Yes, this is an admittedly taxing read with its streams of tri-numbered dates and peculiar `olde English' names and its raw fact after raw fact, but if it begins to overwhelm you, stop to reacquaint your mind with exactly what it is you have the privilege of holding in your twenty-first century hands. This once rare book is no less than a thirteen-hundred-year-old historic record, compiled century by century across the entirety of the Anglo-Saxon period and into the first decades of Norman domination of England in the time commonly termed "the Dark Ages." Without this compilation, patiently and dutifully reported by Benedictine monks who passed the project on generation to generation, our knowledge of an entire millennium in British history would be far reduced. Here in this monumental work events mighty and minor are recorded. Such as:

"A.D. 920. This year, before midsummer, went King Edward to Maldon, and repaired and fortified the town, ere he departed thence. And the same year went Jarl Thurkytel over sea to Frankland with the men who would adhere to him, under the protection and assistance of King Edward. This year Ethelfleda got into her power, with God's assistance, in the early part of the year, without loss, the town of Leicester; and the greater part of the army that belonged thereto submitted to her. And the Yorkists had also promised and confirmed, some by agreement and some with oaths, that they would be in her interest. But very soon after they had done this, she departed, twelve nights before midsummer, at Tamworth, the eighth year that she was holding the government of the Mercians with right dominion; and her body lieth at Glocester, in the east porch of St. Peter's church. This year also was the daughter of Ethered, lord of the Mercians, deprived of all authority over the Mercians, and led into Wessex, three weeks before midwinter. Her name was Healfwina."

Think you can handle that?

In The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle lies news of battles, coronations, the marriages and bloodlines of ephemeral sword-wielding dynasties who braced against the Danelaw, gossipy remarks on yearly Viking onslaughts, plagues, rumors, meteorological milestones, agricultural information, obituaries, and much more. All of these matters were ponderously detailed for posterity by diligent monks who safeguarded history itself during Europe's most perilous epoch. No one can be truly well-versed in the lore and happenings on the island of Britain until she's read the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and this version, edited by historian Michael Swanton, is as good as any I've seen and better than most. Considering that this amazing work of western civilization is available for about the same price you'd pay for a ticket the latest mind-slurping Hollywood summer blockbuster, it should make you glad you live in the information age, as you do. People died to keep this chronicle safe, after all, it's the least we can do to give it a respectful perusal.

Best of luck. It's worth the effort.
32 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating material 27 février 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
With all due respect to the previous reviewer, this is a fine place to start with this fascinating work. Following the story of the Anglo-Saxons from their rather shadowy beginnings (the early parts of the book aren't precisely historical, as is explained in the introduction) through their battles with the Vikings and their conquest by the Normans, as told in their own words, one also gets to see the chronicle's authors grow in sophistication. Anyone interested in this period should have a copy of this book.
This particular edition is more readable than the Garmonsway, if only because it isn't printed in eye-demolishingly tiny print. It also has better footnotes. (The translation itself is just as good; it's a matter of taste if anything.) It shares a characteristic I wasn't all that enthralled with in Garmonsway, however: the multiple-text format. By trying to put all of the material into one volume, it scatters about various alternate readings from different manuscripts. Scholarly, perhaps, but it makes it harder to actually read as literature. But that's quibbling.
All told, this is a fine edition of a crucial primary source. Quite enjoyable.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great source, not for casual readers. 23 octobre 2004
Par Matt Fellows - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys exploring the Anglo-Saxons and is keen on studying History. This edition uses all of the manuscripts, and gives the same annals from seperate sources. This setup gives the reader a very thorough look into Anglo-Saxon writen history. This edition is also very beautiful and contains many helpful Appendices, such as pictures and maps. The price isn't too high, I would highly recommend it. Although the Translator and editor Michael Swanton states that this edition is for reference, and not a steady read strait through, I still found it enjoyable to sit down and read it in order page by page.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good edition of an important work 12 octobre 2008
Par Jordan M. Poss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Michael Swanton's edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a good, handy reference in modern English. A group of manuscripts (eight in all) rather than a single unified book, the Chronicle is the first continuously-maintained vernacular national historical work in Western history. Swanton has here translated and edited the manuscripts to form a continuous whole, and included extensive notes.

I bought this edition in college and have used it for a lot of classwork and independent research since then. The translation is clear and simple and the notes are certainly helpful.

The only thing I dislike about this book is the way in which the text is presented. Rather than each manuscript being presented as-is, they are divided up and rearranged so that all of the manuscripts form a piecemeal chronology from Creation to the final entry in 1154. If you're trying to follow the account of a particular manuscript it can be frustrating, as you have to flip back and forth quite a bit, but this is really a small complaint.

Swanton has included a lengthy introduction that details the various manuscripts of the Chronicle, and extensive back matter including family trees, bibliography, maps, photos, and a detailed index of names and places.

Highly recommended.
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