11th Century

The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry

The Exeter book of Old English poetry . London, Printed and Pub. for the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral by P. Lund, Humphries & Co., ltd., 1933. Limited to twelve copies, unnumbered and not for sale and two hundred and fifty copies numbered and for sale of which this is no. 182 PR 1490 .A1 1933 Special Coll Oversize 

Old English poetry is preserved in primarily four manuscripts, one is the Exeter Book, copied about 940 and given by Bishop Leofric to Exeter Cathedral where it still remains. It is an anthology of religious and secular poetry, of various dates of composition. Also known as the Codex Exoniensis, it is believed to have contained 131 leaves of which 8 or 9 pages are lost. There are no illustrations, unless one considers a number of drypoint etchings as such. It is debated whether the scribe was merely copying an earlier collection (or collections), or compiling one of his own. It includes various types of poems, Christ poems, riddles, bestiary poems, elegies, and “wisdom poems”, plus a few that are harder to classify. 

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