The Dream of the Rood is a poem that has entranced generations of scholars. It is one of the greatest religious poems in English literature, the work of a nameless poet of superb genius. This edition presents a conservative text with variant reading described in the notes. In his introduction Professor Swanton describes the Vercelli Book, in which the full text of The Dream of the Rood is found, and gives an account of the Ruthwell Cross, the sources for which are scattered and not normally familiar to students of Old English. The relationship between the two texts, the doctrine behind the poem and its style and structure are also discussed. The edition includes extensive notes and glossary.
Michael Swanton is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter.
Swanton provides a helpful description of the poem’s text and of its manuscript context, the Vercelli Book. A discussion of the doctrinal and iconographic backgrounds of the poem, and a comprehensive overview of its structural, thematic and stylistic concerns.
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