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Beowulf: Text and Translation Paperback – 7 May 1991

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 May 1991
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books; New edition edition (7 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0951620924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0951620922
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant and is particularly useful for anyone endeavouring to study the Anglo-Saxon/Old English tongue itself. The Old English language text is presented on the left-hand page, with the modern English rendering placed on the right-hand page, as you progress through the book. Rather than finding pretty ways to render the old text into modern text, such as that wonderful popularised translation by Seamus Heaney, this tome is particularly excellent in that it provides a running word-for-word literal translation throughout, of great assistance to anyone looking to get their teeth into the mechanics and workings of the Old English language.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly what I needed
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8b572ce4) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b5d0444) out of 5 stars For Anglo-Saxon language students. 6 Jan. 2005
By B. Weaves - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an exact word for word translation of the original Anglo-Saxon Old English. It's a facing page translation (Old English on the left and New English on the right). This is a good translation if you are studying the Old English as a language. Because the grammar of Old English is much different from New English, it's not a good translation if you just want to read the Beowulf story like it was Lord of the Rings. If you just want a good read, try Seamus Heany's translation or Howell Chickering's translation. Both have good facing page versions, and it's fun to see the original Old English as you read the translation. Then, if you get into wanting to learn Old English, then buy John Porter's version.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b848c48) out of 5 stars Literal Translation of Beowulf 23 Aug. 2009
By E. A. Kinzel - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a dual-language edition of Beowulf, with Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, on the left-hand page, and a literal, word-for-word translation on the right. This is an excellent, and I would even say indispensable, resource for students of Old English; since the translation is literal, one can read along pretty briskly, with only slight pauses when an unfamiliar word or phrase is encountered. A level of comfort and familiarity with Old English syntax is desired, to make the text more easily understandable; as the previous reader noted, this is not an edition you would purchase to read the Modern English Beowulf; it would be too awkward. There are other dual-language editions which have a more flowing Modern English translation side-by-side with the beauty of the original text.

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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