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The King's English
Strategies of Translation in the Old English Boethius
The King's English
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Nicole Guenther Discenza - Author
SUNY series in Medieval Studies
Price: $60.00 
Hardcover - 232 pages
Release Date: May 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6447-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6447-2

Quantity:  
Price: $26.95 
Paperback - 232 pages
Release Date: June 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6448-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6448-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Shows how Alfred the Great's translations of Latin works exposed Anglo-Saxon elites to classical learning and Christian thought while bringing prestige to the king and his West Saxon dialect.

In the late ninth century, while England was fighting off Viking incursions, Alfred the Great devoted time and resources not only to military campaigns but also to a campaign of translation and education unprecedented in early medieval Europe. The King's English explores how Alfred's translation of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy from Latin into Old English exposed Anglo-Saxon elites to classical literature, history, science, and Christian thought. More radically, the Boethius, as it became known, told its audiences how a leader should think and what he should be, providing models for leadership and wisdom that live on in England to this day. It also brought prestige to its kingly translator and enshrined his dialect, West Saxon, as the literary language of the English people.

Nicole Guenther Discenza looks at the sources Alfred used in his translation and demonstrates his selectivity in choosing what to retain, what to borrow, and how to represent it to his Anglo-Saxon audience. Alfred's appeals to Latin prestige, spiritual authority, Old English poetry, and everyday experience in England combine to make the Old English Boethius a powerful text and a rich source for our understanding of Anglo-Saxon literature, culture, and society.

“…there is much of interest and much of value in Nicole Discenza’s enterprising study.” — Journal of English and Germanic Philology

“In a field with no shortage of books on Alfred as warrior and ruler, The King’s English is a truly groundbreaking study, the first sustained investigation (in English at any rate) of Alfred as a translator … The writing, translations, and research are lucid, perceptive, and meticulously presented throughout, and the author is to be congratulated for her smart deployment of secondary and theoretical material, which is smoothly integrated into the discussion of primary texts and consistently elucidates rather than overwhelms or obscures them.” — Speculum

"This is a pioneering book. One of its most appealing aspects is the author's unwavering control over both the primary texts (in Latin and Old English) and the always-growing secondary bibliography." — Christopher A. Jones, author of Ælfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham

Nicole Guenther Discenza is Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Florida.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Treasures from the Latin Hoard

2. A Christian Art of Reading

3. The Making of an English Dialogue

4. The Translator's Cræft

Conclusion

Appendix: The Commentary Problem

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliography

Index of Manuscripts

Index of Scriptural Citations

General Index



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