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The Most Learned Man in Europe

Tom Shippey: Anglo-Saxon Libraries, 8 June 2006

The Anglo-Saxon Library 
by Michael Lapidge.
Oxford, 407 pp., £65, January 2006, 0 19 926722 7
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... Very few Anglo-Saxons had access to enough books to warrant even a bookshelf. As Michael Lapidge tells us, they kept their ‘libraries’ in boxes, and when an Anglo-Saxon scholar ‘wished to consult a book, he got down on his hands and knees and rummaged round in the chest until he came upon the book he required’. Neither the boxes ...

Grendel gongan

Richard North, 10 October 1991

The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature 
by Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £30, June 1991, 0 521 37438 3
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... Not long ago it was a thousand years to the day that the Battle of Maldon was fought against the Danes. On 10 August 991, an English levy, somewhat hastily assembled and placed behind a smaller unit of professional soldiers, faced an army of Viking thugs across a causeway in Essex. That afternoon the English general, Earl Byrhtnoth, made a miscalculation that led to his death and the defeat of his force ...
The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe 
edited by George Holmes.
Oxford, 398 pp., £17.50, March 1988, 0 19 820073 0
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A History of 12th-century Western Philosophy 
edited by Peter Dronke.
Cambridge, 495 pp., £37.50, April 1988, 0 521 25896 0
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The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought c.350-c.1450 
edited by J.H. Burns.
Cambridge, 808 pp., £60, May 1988, 0 521 24324 6
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Medieval Popular Culture: Problem of Belief and Perception 
by Aron Gurevich, translated by Janos Bak and Paul Hollingsworth.
Cambridge, 275 pp., £27.50, May 1988, 0 521 30369 9
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A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World 
edited by George Duby, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 650 pp., £24.95, April 1988, 0 674 39976 5
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... now trying to do. The results are extremely impressive, especially with those contributors (like Michael Lapidge on ‘The Stoic Inheritance’) who are prepared to go right back to the beginning and to explain not only what the Middle Ages did inherit, but also what they (and we) have lost. Yet a doubt hangs over the whole exercise, voiced by Dronke ...

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