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Winters in the World

A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year

Interweaving literature, history, and religion, an exquisite meditation on the turning of the seasons in medieval England.
Winters in the World is a beautifully observed journey through the cycle of the year in Anglo-Saxon England, exploring the festivals, customs, and traditions linked to the different seasons. Drawing on a wide variety of source material, including poetry, histories, and religious literature, Eleanor Parker investigates how Anglo-Saxons felt about the annual passing of the seasons and the profound relationship they saw between human life and the rhythms of nature. Many of the festivals celebrated in the United Kingdom today have their roots in the Anglo-Saxon period, and this book traces their surprising history while unearthing traditions now long forgotten. It celebrates some of the finest treasures of medieval literature and provides an imaginative connection to the Anglo-Saxon world.

240 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

History: British and Irish History, General History

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"In this wonderfully poetic journey through the Anglo-Saxon year, Parker offers a profound meditation on time and the world, nature and its seasons. Plunging the reader into the glorious cadences of Old English poetry with her supple translations, Parker brings to vivid life the terrors of winter, spring’s promise, the joyful warmth of summer , and the melancholy of autumn, powerfully connecting us with a rich and vital past that we have not quite lost."

Carolyne Larrington, professor of Medieval European literature, University of Oxford

"A fascinating, informative, and hauntingly authentic account of the Anglo-Saxon experience of time; Parker shows that understanding the early English calendar is a crucial point of access to Anglo-Saxon spirituality, learning, science, poetry, and much more besides."

Francis Young, author of "Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain"

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