Beowulf: Text and Translation Paperback – 7 May 1991
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|Paperback, 7 May 1991||
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From the Back Cover
The greatest and most attractive of the Old English poems is Beowulf. It tells how Beowulf clears King Hrothgar's land of the fearsome monster Grendel, then seeks out and overcomes a second monster in a classic combat at the bottom of a lake - the 'haunted mere'. Finally, in old age, Beowulf again takes up arms, to protect his own people from the attacks of a recklessly roused dragon. Huge, cunning, fierce and fiery, the beast seems all but invincible, and the poem ends with both Beowulf and the dragon dead after terrible combat. The verse in which this story unfolds is, by common consent, the finest writing surviving in Old English, a text that all students of the language and many general readers will want to tackle in the original form. To aid understanding of the Old English, a literal word-by-word translation by John Porter is printed opposite an edited text and provides a practical key to this Anglo-Saxon masterpiece.
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There is a brief introductory section about "Time and Place in Beowulf", a short but useful guide to pronunciation, and, as an appendix, genealogies of the Scyldings, Scylfings, and Geats. There is also a short bibliography for further study.
The edition is beautifully and solidly bound, and a must-have for the student of Old English. This makes Beowulf, perhaps the Holy Grail of Old English students, accessible as no other dual-language edition of Beowulf I have seen.
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