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Beowulf (Manchester Medieval Texts) [Paperback]

M. J. Swanton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

8 May 1997 Manchester Medieval Texts
New, up-to-date bibliography which should give this edition another twenty years of life. Excellent, scholarly introduction which focusses on the values and social relevance of the poem. Explanatory notes drawing on archaeological sources. Prose translation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (8 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719051460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719051463
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 13.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Swanton is Reader in English Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 26 Jun 2014
I read this book in the Old English when I was at university and loved the tale of human fear and courage. Now I wanted to revisit and see different aspects, relating to Grendel, the beast threatening the human community. This is a perfect edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 26 Mar 2014
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Brilliant book, a comprehensive and really easy to use guide, could not do without it! Really worth investing in! :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good Beowulf edition. Suitable for all. 1 Dec 2005
By BrownFoote - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
There is no point (or space) for any explanation of Beowulf without being highly redundant. Rather I would like to say that this is by far the best Beowulf edition I have ever come across. The original Anglo-Saxon (Old English) runs along side the translated version of Modern English, page by page. The Old English however is in plain form (no long marks over certain vowels).

With a fantastic 32 page introduction (map and all), Explanatory Notes, Peoples and Genealogies Table of the Royal Houses (Danes, Geats and Swedes) and a glossary of proper names...this is a must for any one who is seriously interested in studying Beowulf at level of scholarship.

On the other hand, it is also a fantastic edition for the beginner, because of all of the explanation that the book provides. It does not however, simplify the text (like Cliffnotes for Beowulf).

Here is the first paragraph of the introduction:

-------------------------------

Introduction

Beowulf is to English what the Odyssey and the Iliad are to Greek language and literature. The oldest piece of vernacular literature of any substance not only in England but the whole of Europe, it breathes the true spirit of the northern Heroic Age. We cannot tell how it might have compared with similar epics composed at this time, since not others have survived. The various vicissitudes through which the medieval libraries passed meant that the preservation of the Beowulf-manuscript itself was a matter of mere chance. Because of changes in language, spelling and handwriting conventions, it would probably have ceased to be intelligible, or even legible, a mere two hundred years after it was written. But the poem was already several centuries old when this sole surviving copy was made, and close examination of the text suggests that it had a complex history of transmission, being copied several times in different parts of the country . Beowulf may have been very popular; certainly it was familiar enough for the name `Grendel's pit' or `pool' to have been used, presumably for fun, to describe boggy places in several parts of the country. And that the poem was highly regarded in literary circles is suggested by the fact that it seems to have been imitated in parts by certain writers of both poetry and prose.

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I hope this is of some worth. This is a good book by Michael Swanton.

Enjoy!
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Beowulf 22 Jan 2000
By James Haley - Published on Amazon.com
Beowulf is the greatest surviving Old English poem; a poem predominantly based upon Nordic-Germanic folklore, heroic legends, historical traditions and biblical sources all united. Laced throughout the entirety of Beowulf one can find many elements of Christianity and Christian philosophy - whether it be superficial metaphor, inter-textuality or allegory - man lives only through the grace of God, all earthly things stem from God, or Mans bearing is to be humble and unselfish. Nevertheless intertwined into these Christian elements there is also a strong sense of heroic pride redolent of pagan influence. Thus, Beowulf presents one with a dichotomous relationship between Christian and pagan values.Beowulf is a mix of two ideals; the heroic warrior of the Pagans and the humble selfless servant of the Christians. It is a poem written in a time when Christianity and Paganism existed simultaneously, where many of the newer moral values of the Christians were consistent with Pagan values. Therefore any assessment of Beowulf must deal with both Pagan and Christian themes. Together, the Christian and the Pagan, form an integral part of the poem, in both the social content of the era and in the digressions. They are all a part of the poem, in which no part can be ignored without compromising the poet's desired effect
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