Early English Poetry in a Worcester Manuscript

Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive Blog

The monk with the tremulous hand made many small entries in the Cathedral’s Anglo-Saxon manuscripts so they would be easier to understand. He also copied out one manuscript himself, using any odd pieces of parchment he could find. It contained an Anglo-Saxon and Latin wordlist, and two Anglo-Saxon poems translated into the English of the thirteenth-century West Midlands. This is the manuscript that we wrote about in January, that had been cut up and pasted together to strengthen the covers of a large book in the Worcester Cathedral Library collection. The famous Victorian book collector, Sir Thomas Phillipps of Broadway found it, restored it and published an edition to make it known to the entire world.

In this blog I want to look closely at the first poem. It takes up only fifteen manuscript lines, and sadly the right-hand side of the page has been trimmed so that words on…

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