Humour is rarely seen to raise its indecorous head in the surviving corpus of Old English literature, yet the value of reading that literature with an eye to humour proves considerable when the right questions are asked. Humour in Anglo-Saxon Literature provides the first book-length treatment of the subject. In all new essays, eight scholars employ different approaches to explore humor in such works as Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon, the riddles of the Exeter Book, and Old English saints' lives. An introductory essay provides a survey of the field, while individual essays push towards a distinctive theory of Anglo-Saxon humour. Through its unusual focus, this collection will provide an appealing introduction to both famous and lesser-known works for those new to Old English literature, while those familiar with the usual contours of Old English literary criticism will find here the value of a fresh approach
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