Books+ Search Results

Humour in old English literature : communities of laughter in early medieval England

Humour in old English literature : communities of laughter in early medieval England / Jonathan Wilcox.
Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, [2023]
Physical Description
xiii, 343 pages ; 24 cm
"Humour in Old English Literature deploys modern theories of humour to explore the style and content of surviving writing from early medieval England. The book analyses Old English riddles, wisdom literature, runic writing, the deployment of rhymes, and humour in heroic poetry, hagiography, and romance. Drawing on a fine-tuned understanding of literary technique, Jonathan Wilcox engages the large body of didactic literature, pinpointing humour in two anonymous homilies along with extensive use in saints' lives. The book presents a revisionist view of Old English literature, partly by reclaiming often-neglected texts and partly by uncovering ironies and embarrassments within well-established works, including Beowulf. Each chapter ends by revealing a different audience that would have shared in the laughter. Wilcox suggests that the humour of Old English literature has been scantily covered in past scholarship because modern readers expect a dour and serious corpus. Humour in Old English Literature aims to break that cycle by highlighting works and moments that are as entertaining now as they were then."-- Provided by publisher.
Variant and related titles
Humor in old English literature
Communities of laughter in early medieval England
Other formats
Issued also in electronic format.
Online version: Wilcox, Jonathan, 1960- Humour in old English literature. Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, 2023
Added to Catalog
May 31, 2024
Includes bibliographical references (pages [307]-336) and index.
Risible riddles and witty wisdom : the appeal of playful puzzles
Laughing at letters : Runic riddles and riddling Runes
Metrical mirth : sonorous sounds and rambunctious rhymes
Heroic humour : comic insouciance and embarrassments of etiquette
Playing with parody to comic effect
Homiletic humour : Christian laughter and clerical satire
Hagiographic humour : decorous delight and full-throated funniness
Relishing romance : horror and happiness in Apollonius of Tyre.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.

Available from:

Loading holdings.
Unable to load. Retry?
Loading holdings...
Unable to load. Retry?