Unique and beautiful, Beowulf brings to life a society of violence and honor, fierce warriors and bloody battles, deadly monsters and famous swords. Written by an unknown poet in about the eighth century, this masterpiece of Anglo-Saxton literature transforms legends, myth, history, and ancient songs into the richly colored tale of the hero Beowulf, the loathsome man-eater Grendel, his vengeful water-hag mother, and a treasure-hoarding dragon. The earliest surviving epic poem in any modern European language. Beowulf is a stirring portrait of a heroic world–somber, vast, and magnificent. From the Paperback edition.
Part of a new series Legends from the Ancient North, Beowulf is one of the classic books that influenced JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings 'So the company of men led a careless life, All was well with them: until One began To encompass evil, an enemy from hell. Grendel they called this cruel spirit...' J.R.R. Tolkien spent much of his life studying, translating and teaching the great epic stories of northern Europe, filled with heroes, dragons, trolls, dwarves and magic. He was hugely influential for his advocacy of Beowulf as a great work of literature and, even if he had never written The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, would be recognised today as a significant figure in the rediscovery of these extraordinary tales. Legends from the Ancient North brings together from Penguin Classics five of the key works behind Tolkien's fiction.They are startling, brutal, strange pieces of writing, with an elemental power brilliantly preserved in these translations.They plunge the reader into a world of treachery, quests, chivalry, trials of strength.They are the most ancient narratives that exist from northern Europe and bring us as near as we will ever get to the origins of the magical landscape of Middle-earth (Midgard) which Tolkien remade in the 20th century.
Author: Joe Allard
Release Date: 2014-04-23
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Beowulf & Other Stories was first conceived in the belief that the study of Old English – and its close cousins, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman – can be a genuine delight, covering a period as replete with wonder, creativity and magic as any other in literature. Now in a fully revised second edition, the collection of essays written by leading academics in the field is set to build upon its established reputation as the standard introduction to the literatures of the time. Beowulf & Other Stories captures the fire and bloodlust of the great epic, Beowulf, and the sophistication and eroticism of the Exeter Riddles. Fresh interpretations give new life to the spiritual ecstasy of The Seafarer and to the imaginative dexterity of The Dream of the Rood, andprovide the student and general reader with all they might need to explore and enjoy this complex but rewarding field. The book sheds light, too, on the shadowy contexts of the period, with suggestive and highly readable essays on matters ranging from the dynamism of the Viking Age to Anglo-Saxon input into The Lord of the Rings, from the great religious prose works to the transition from Old to Middle English. It also branches out into related traditions, with expert introductions to the Icelandic Sagas, Viking Religion and Norse Mythology. Peter S. Baker provides an outstanding guide to taking your first steps in the Old English language, while David Crystal provides a crisp linguistic overview of the entire period. With a new chapter by Mike Bintley on Anglo-Saxon archaeology and a revised chapter by Stewart Brookes on the prose writers of the English Benedictine Reform, this updated second edition will be essential reading for students of the period.
Author: Margaret E. Goldsmith
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2014-01-13
Genre: Literary Criticism
In this important contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies Dr Goldsmith presents a fully elaborated and documented interpretation of Beowulf based on the original theories which she has put forward in recent years and which have aroused considerable interest and controversy in scholarly circles. Her view of the poem as the product of a marriage of cultural traditions, a historical epic with allegorical significance, is developed in the context of a close analysis of the doctrinal and literary environment prevailing during the period A.D. 650-800, within which composition is placed. Dr Goldsmith seeks to show that the poem has a unified and coherent structure and in the process resolves many textual and interpretative problems of long standing. Beowulf is clearly seen as a serious work of art standing at the head of the vernacular tradition of allegorical poetry.
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic Beowulf, tells his own side of the story in this frequently banned book. This classic and much lauded retelling of Beowulf follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic. This is the book William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions."