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English offers verbal expressions in two basic forms: simple verbs such as "walk" and "look," and periphrastic expressions such as "have"/"take a walk" and "have"/"take a look." Which do we use, why, and how do particular usages arise or disappear? This volume explores the historical development of two important periphrastic verbal constructions, composite predicates and phrasal verbs, as well as related expressions, from the viewpoint of English historical linguistics. The approach is descriptive and interpretive, encompassing rich and varied data from Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, Late Modern English, and Present Day English, from sources such as the Chadwyck-Healey electronic corpus databases. The history of English is characterized by the development from synthetic to analytic. The role of this tendency in the development of verbal expressions is of particular interest.
This seminal study addresses one of the most beautifully decorated 15th-century copies of the New Statutes of England, uncovering how the manuscript's unique interweaving of legal, religious, and literary discourses frames the reader's perception of the work. Taking internal and external evidence into account, Rosemarie McGerr suggests that the manuscript was made for Prince Edward of Lancaster, transforming a legal reference work into a book of instruction in kingship, as well as a means of celebrating the Lancastrians' rightful claim to the English throne during the Wars of the Roses. A Lancastrian Mirror for Princes also explores the role played by the manuscript as a commentary on royal justice and grace for its later owners and offers modern readers a fascinating example of the long-lasting influence of medieval manuscripts on subsequent readers.
First published in 1890.
The Imitation of Christ has appeared in more editions and in more languages than any other book except the Bible. Samuel Johnson once remarked to Bowell that it “must be a good book, as the world has opened its arms to receive it.” Others have praised it as well, including Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, Thomas De Quincey, and Matthew Arnold. Among the religious, St. Ignatius Loyola translated it, and Pope John Paul I was said to have been reading it the night that he died. It has been standard fare in religious training and personal devotion for centuries. Yet today, few people know the Imitation and those who do more often than not think it hopelessly out of date, a pre-Vatican II relic, full of contempt for the world and self-loathing. It is a curious state of affairs, and one that reveals more about a contemporary audience's response to the book than it does about the book itself. When a contemporary reader encounters a line such as “this is the highest wisdom: through contempt of the world to aspire to the kingdom of heaven,” his response is a very different one from that of a fifteenth- or nineteenth-century reader. For an “uninformed response” (as Stanley Fish would say) to the contemptus mundi theme, the reader must draw deeply on a vast complex of literary, linguistic, historical, and theological knowledge. Creasy's translation of the Imitation strives to recreate a text that provides an analogous experience to that of the fifteenth-century reader. Relying heavily on reader-response theory, he incorporates an “informed reader's” response into the text itself. Where possible, the text echoes both the deep structure and the surface structure of the Latin—even to the point of replicating sentence structures and rhetorical devices while avoiding any distortion of the reader's experience. Although the language and style of his translation has been crafted for modern readers, the fervor and power of the original text have not been lost. This translation will undoubtedly bring The Imitation of Christ a new generation of readers.

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