The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival.

XV. Scholars, Antiquaries and Bibliographers

§ 5. English Scholars

The dictionary of Anglo-Saxon, begun by Edward Lye, was completed by Owen Manning in 1776. The next landmark in the literature of the subject was the publication of Sharon Turner’s History of the Anglo-Saxons, in 1799–1805. Benjamin Thorpe, who studied at Copenhagen under Rask, published Rask’s Anglo-Saxon Grammar in English in 1830, translated Caedmon in 1832 and Beowulf in 1855, and edited The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1861; while John Mitchell Kemble, of Trinity college, Cambridge, a friend and pupil of Jacob Grimm, edited Beowulf in 1833, and the Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici, in six volumes, in 1839–48, founding on this great collection of charters his important work entitled The Saxons in England (1849). Richard Morris, in his Specimens of Early English (1867), distinguished the chief characteristics of the three main dialects of middle English, the northern, midland and southern. Joseph Bosworth, of Trinity college, Cambridge, after publishing his elementary grammar in 1823 and his larger dictionary in 1838, filled the chair of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1858 to 1876, and, by a gift dating from 1867, brought about the foundation of the Elrington and Bosworth professorship at Cambridge eleven years later. The professorship was held from 1878 to 1912 by Walter William Skeat, fellow of Christ’s college, the unwearied editor of many English classics, including Piers Plowman, Barbour’s Bruce and Chaucer, and author of An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. The publications of the Early English Text society and the Scottish Text society concern language rather than literature; and in this connection we may also mention those of the Philological society and the English Dialect society. Celtic studies have made much progress, not only in Ireland, but also in Scotland and in Wales.