Post-conquest Old English Literature

(1050 words)
  • Mary Swan (University of Leeds)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Despite the political and cultural changes brought about in England by the Norman Conquest, English remained the spoken language of the great majority of the population. Anglo-Norman and Latin were used after the Conquest for many written texts, especially more formal ones, but Old English continued to be used and to develop as a written language through from 1066 until the early thirteenth century. Earlier histories of the English language, and surveys of English literature, tended to obscure this continuing production of English texts, or to identify it as merely the mechanical reproduction of pre-Conquest texts by a few, scattered, elderly scribes with antiquarian interest. New work on this topic, such as that in Rewriting Old …

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Swan, Mary. "Post-conquest Old English Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 May 2003
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]