Childhood & Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture by Susan Irvine
Childhood and Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture counters the generally received wisdom that early medieval childhood and adolescence were an unremittingly bleak experience. The contributors analyse representations of children and their education in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin writings, including hagiography, heroic poetry, riddles, legal documents, philosophical prose and elegies. Within and across these linguistic and generic boundaries some key themes emerge: the habits and expectations of name-giving, expressions of childhood nostalgia, the role of uneducated parents, and the religious zeal and rebelliousness of youth. After decades of study dominated by adult gender studies, Childhood and Adolescence in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture rebalances our understanding of family life in the Anglo-Saxon era by reconstructing the lives of medieval children and adolescents through their literary representation.