Anglosaxon Literature and Prose - Beaming Notes
The Germanic forefathers of the English brought with them their own poetry but there is no evidence of them bringing any prose writings. The development of English prose wholly took place in England and was greatly facilitated by the introduction of Christianity. The early prose was utilitarian and we find its first traces in the collection of Laws such as the Laws of Ine and the opening pages of the chronicle which were kept in various monasteries such as Canterbury, Abingdon, Winchester, Worchester and Peterborough. The prose that we find in these earliest writings does not have a proper form. Literary prose started developing from the 9th century under King Alfred who attempted to revive learning in his kingdom and it later flourished under prolific Anglo-Saxon writers such as Aelfric and Wulfstan. Alfred has been called the “Father of English prose” and with good reasons. Aelfric has been called the greatest English prose writer till the Elizabethan time.