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FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE
A HANDBOOK FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
MAX KALUZA, Ph.D.
GEHEIMER REGIERUNGSRAT, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND
LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF KONI SBERG
ENGLISCHEN SPRACHE," "DER ALTENGLISCHE VERS," LTC.
(CHAUCER SOC.), ETC.
NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
English readers will no doubt welcome a translation of the work of a well-known German scholar, in which a strictly scientific account is given of the development of English prosody from the earliest times, and the extent to which it has been influenced by foreign models is shown. Although no attempt has been made at completeness in the section on Modern English prosody, and the author had no wish to enter into competition with Schipper's pioneer work: Englische Metrik as far as Modern English prosody is concerned, yet it is hoped that nothing essential has been omitted. By the side of Schipper's Englische Metrik and Grundriss the book justifies its existence, "since the mass of detail in Schipper is confusing for the beginner, and his presentation of Old and Middle English prosody needs correction in many important points." (Author's preface.)
In the section on Modern English prosody the author is chiefly indebted to the works of Schipper, Alden, Johnson, Lewis, Omond and Parsons, which are frequently quoted and referred to (see § 10).
The sections on Old and Middle English prosody have been treated fully. All the hypotheses with regard to the structure of the alliterative line, hitherto put forward, have been summarized, and, in many cases, shortly criticised. Sievers' hypothesis has, of course, received most attention. "Sievers was the first to point out the way to a right understanding of alliterative verse, but he has not spoken the last word on the subject; on the contrary his system requires extension in many points and a better foundation.” (Author's preface.)
The book is entended for students and teachers, and is both a hand-book and a guide. A glance at Index II will show that no pains have been spared to put the student in a position to pursue further his study of any special detail. The book contains a classified bibliography of all that has been done in the field of English prosody. The reader will find that English prosody provides plenty of scope for research, and many suggestions as to suitable subjects for students' dissertations are made in the course of the work.
The German original - Englische Metrik in historischer Entwicklung dargestellt – was comparatively recently published. This book contains, therefore, the results of the latest researches on the subject. The English translation is a fairly close rendering of the German text. Little has been added or omitted. At the suggestion of a
friendly critic, Professor Sonnenschein, I have expanded § 224 by including M. Arnold's remarks on the hexameter, and an index to the book has been prepared.
I have to thank Professor Kaluza for much help and advice in preparing the book for English readers. In spite of his very onerous duties as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, he has kindly read the MS. and proof sheets.
Finally I have to express my thanks to the printers and publishers for the care they have taken and the patience they have shown in the production of a book, which presented so many typographical difficulties.
Königsberg University, 20 February 1911.
A. C. Dunstan.