Aelfric: Preface to Genesis

(969 words)
  • Hugh Magennis (Queen's University Belfast)

The Preface to Genesis is a work in Old English prose, of about 1400 words, by the Anglo-Saxon monk and leading churchman Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955-c. 1010), in which the writer reflects on the problems and dangers of translating the Bible, specifically the Book of Genesis, into English. Ælfric, is celebrated as the most prolific Old English writer, producing homilies, saints' lives, letters, and other works, as well as biblical translations, all forming part of his concerted project of providing sound Christian teaching for the English people, based on Latin scholarship and in line with the principles of the “Benedictine reform” of which he was a product and a leading light. The Preface, along with the …

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Magennis, Hugh. "Preface to Genesis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 April 2005
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]