Learn Live: Old English for Beginners

Two-week course starting -
Old English for Beginners course

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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk

An introduction to the study of Old English.

Read the course outline (PDF)

Old English literature encompasses the very earliest prose and poetry in what would become the English language. Centuries before Shakespeare – or even Chaucer – Anglo-Saxon poets, scholars, teachers and scribes were producing a rich and storied body of elegies, riddles, charms, translations, letters, treatises and more. 

This two-week online course provides an introduction to the study of this literature for complete beginners. Working with a single poem – a medical charm – we will get to grips with the basics of the Old English language, the nuts and bolts of Old English poetry, and the manuscripts in which these works survive. 

No previous experience or particular affinity with languages is required. You will be provided with a pre-course reading pack and signposted to online resources, both here at the British Library and beyond, for further study of this ancient literature.

Please note if you have previously taken the Old English for Beginners course, we recommend you take the next available Intermediate Old English online course.

This course takes place on Zoom and we will email you a joining link the day before. There will be an opportunity to ask the tutor Victoria Symons questions during a Q&A, and have conversations with your fellow participants in virtual breakout rooms. 

This course will run across the following dates:

  • Tuesday 11 October 2022, 17.30 – 19.00
  • Tuesday 18 October 2022, 17.30 – 19.00

If you require live-captioning please email adultlearning@bl.uk as soon as you have booked your ticket.

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Name: Learn Live: Old English for Beginners
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

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