In the ten years since its launch, the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML) has proved itself a stalwart, unhoped-for champion of quality print editions accessible to all. If anyone still thinks of the Old English texts in the series as classroom adaptations rather than leading editions, these three volumes may well change their minds. They constitute both the first complete edition and the first complete translation of the Lives of Saints in 120 years, and the editors show themselves cognizant of their responsibility against this background. Mary Clayton and Juliet Mullins offer a full collation in the Notes to the Text in the back of each volume, the Notes to the Translation identify sources and offer translation notes as well as basic information on each text more squarely aimed at students, and the Introduction has its share of endnotes pointing to key scholarship. Indeed, Clayton and Mullins cover an impressive amount of ground in the brief series format for introductions, rendering it an excellent place to make one’s first acquaintance with Ælfric.
This new edition and translation of Ælfric’s Lives of Saints is an outstanding work in every respect. The text is accurate and well considered, and the translation is a joy to read. The volumes are not only well suited to classroom use but indeed constitute the new and definitive leading edition.
P. S. Langeslag