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.
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of both the poetry and prose texts of the Vercelli Book, providing important new perspectives on a dynamic and valuable historical document.
‘It is no less than a mandatory reading for serious scholars studying any aspect of the manuscript, whilst also seeming likely to serve as a great source of inspiration to those engaged with Anglo-Saxon prose and poetry of all kinds for some time to come.’
‘This collection as a whole does a fair job of reflecting the nature of current Anglo-Saxon studies, particularly homilies… At its best, such work can deliver new insights into an unfamiliar aesthetics and into the nature of Anglo-Saxon society.’