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Informed by multi-cultural, multidisciplinary perspectives, The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature offers a new exploration of the earliest writing in Britain and Ireland, from the end of the Roman Empire to the mid-twelfth century. Beginning with an account of writing itself, as well as of scripts and manuscript art, subsequent chapters examine the earliest texts from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the tremendous breadth of Anglo-Latin literature. Chapters on English learning and literature in the ninth century and the later formation of English poetry and prose also convey the profound cultural confidence of the period. Providing a discussion of essential texts, including Beowulf and the writings of Bede, this History captures the sheer inventiveness and vitality of early medieval literary culture through topics as diverse as the literature of English law, liturgical and devotional writing, the workings of science and the history of women’s writing.