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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Swan, Mary. "Post-conquest Old English Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 May 2003
[, accessed 24 November 2015.]