Review of Lenz, Karmen. Ræd and Frofer: Christian Poetics in the Old English "Froferboc" Meters. Costerus New Series Academic Article uri icon


  • Karmen Lenz's Ræd and Frofer might be understood as a complement to Nicole Discenza's 2005 book The King's English, the most recent holistic reading of the Old English Boethius before Lenz's. Discenza had focused on the first, all-prose Old English adaptation of Boethius's prosimetrical Latin De consolatione Philosophiae. Lenz now offers a similarly holistic treatment of the later, prosimetrical Old English version, whose alternation of verse and prose chapters loosely imitates the form of Boethius's Latin original. When Malcolm Godden and Susan Irvine's critical edition of the Old English Boethius appeared in 2009, Lenz's work was already well advanced, and the difficulty of her project at the time she began it should be noted: all previous editions had extracted the poetic passages and presented them as a separate sequence rather than intercalating them with the prose chapters, making it nearly impossible in practice to keep sight of the prosimetrical Boethius as a single continuous work and to read it according to its manuscript arrangement in London, British Library, MS Cotton Otho The publication of the Godden and Irvine edition, which restores the textual sequence of the Cotton version, was a boon to Lenz's project in its late phases, of course, and is the edition from which she cites. (She refers to the Boethius throughout with the Old English title Froferboc; here I retain the conventional editorial title.)

author list (cited authors)

  • Mize, B. A.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM