This Companion has been thoroughly revised to take account of recent scholarship and to provide a clear and accessible introduction for those encountering Old English literature for the first time. Including seventeen essays by distinguished scholars, this new edition provides a discussion of the literature of the period 600 to 1066 in the context of how Anglo-Saxon society functioned. New chapters cover topics including preaching and teaching, Beowulf and literacy, and a further five chapters have been revised and updated, including those on the Old English language, perceptions of eternity and Anglo-Saxon learning. An additional concluding chapter on Old English after 1066 offers an overview of the study and cultural influences of Old English literature to the present day. Finally, the further reading list has been overhauled to incorporate the most up-to-date scholarship in the field and the latest electronic resources for students.