Benjamin Thorpe (1781/2–1870) was a scholar of Old English and Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Munich. Through his work, he sought to promote the study of the old vernacular, against the trend of scholarly apathy towards Anglo-Saxon literature. One of his greatest contributions was this two-volume edition, published as part of the Rolls Series in 1861, of the oldest and most important chronological accounts of Anglo-Saxon affairs. Covering the period from Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain to around the accession of Henry II in 1154, this volume brings together seven manuscripts in their entirety, arranged in columns to illustrate variation, and given in the original Old English with notes. As none are the original, the authorship is unknown, although Thorpe argues that several elements indicate the influence of King Alfred (848/9–899) upon the chronicle's compilation. The text provides rich insights into Old English language, dialect and history.
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Preface; The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.