A masterpiece of Old English literature, the alliterative epic poem ‘Beowulf’ was written between the 8th and 11th century and narrates the eponymous hero’s battles against the monster Grendel, Grendel’s avenging mother and finally a terrifying dragon that threatens Beowulf’s homeland. Blending myth with history, ‘Beowulf’ celebrates the endurance of the human spirit in the perilous world of the Dark Ages. The Delphi Poets Series offers readers the works of literature's finest poets, with superior formatting. This volume presents multiple translations, the original Old English text, special Dual Text feature and beautiful illustrations. (Version 1) * Beautifully illustrated with images relating to ‘Beowulf’ and the Beowulf Poet’s times * Concise introduction to the epic poem * Images of how the poem was first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original text * Features Francis Barton Gummere's celebrated translation in imitative metre, widely acknowledged as capturing the alliterative pattern of the original Old English text * Includes Gummere's original footnotes to aid comprehension of difficult phrases and sections * Also features William Morris’ well-regarded translation * A translation and the original text of the contemporary fragment THE ATTACK ON FINNSBURG * Excellent formatting of the poetry texts * Easily locate the sections you want to read * Includes the original Old English text * Provides a special dual modern English and Old English text, allowing readers to compare small sections of five lines each – ideal for students * Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles CONTENTS: The Translations BEOWULF: BRIEF INTRODUCTION FRANCIS BARTON GUMMERE’S TRANSLATION WILLIAM MORRIS’ TRANSLATION The Old English Text THE OLD ENGLISH TEXT The Dual Text CONTENTS OF THE DUAL TEXT Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles
Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In 1731, the manuscript was badly damaged by a fire that swept through a building housing a collection of Medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The poem's existence for its first seven centuries or so made no impression on writers and scholars, and besides a brief mention in a 1705 catalogue by Humfrey Wanley it was not studied until the end of the eighteenth century, and not published in its entirety until the 1815 edition prepared by the Icelandic-Danish scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland. The numerous different translations and interpretations of Beowulf turn this monumental work into a challenge for the reader.
Beowulf is the oldest and most complete epic poem in any non-Classical European language. Our only manuscript, written in Old English, dates from close to the year 1000. However, the poem remained effectively unknown even to scholars until the year 1815, when it was first published in Copenhagen. This impressive volume selects over one hundred works of critical commentary from the vast body of scholarship on Beowulf - including English translations from German, Danish, Latin and Spanish - from the poem's first mention in 1705 to the Anglophone scholarship of the early twentieth century. Tom Shippey provides both a contextual introduction and a guide to the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholarship which generated these Beowulf commentaries. The book is a vital document for the study of one of the major texts of 'the Northern renaissance', in which completely unknown poems and even languages were brought to the attention first of the learned world and then of popular culture. It also acts as a valuable guide to the development of nationalist and racist sentiment, beginning romantically and ending with World War and attempted genocide.
Combining literary analysis and theoretical linguistics, Tiffany Beechy's timely and engaging study provides a critical reassessment of Old English texts that challenges the distinction between Anglo-Saxon prose and verse, ultimately recognizing an inherent poetic nature present in all Old English texts. While the poetic nature of Beowulf, due to the regular meter and heroic story, is recognized, this study demonstrates that poetry is a more widespread phenomenon than previously thought; poetic patterning can be found across the Old English corpus, both in verse and in so-called prose. Informed by Jakobsonian linguistics and oral theory, Beechy's analysis focuses on the text itself to identify unique poetic strategies. This demonstration includes a comparison between King Alfred's Old English version of Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae and the Latin original; the poetic quality of prose homilies; poetic epistemology in law codes, riddles, and charms; and unconventional poetics even in traditional verse texts, such as the short lyric 'Deor' and the long poem Christ I. The Poetics of Old English brings interrelated developments in linguistics and literary theory to the study of Anglo-Saxon language and culture, showing that Old English texts, when considered at the level of language, are surprisingly sophisticated.
'Beowulf: A Pagan Hero' takes the poem back to its pre-Christian roots, revealing a warrior-society that valued duty, honor, bravery, and swift vengeance. Removing the Christian insertions shows us what is expected of heroes, of men who do not shrink before the hard decisions of life or death, and a society that valued fame above all other rewards. Remaining true to the Anglo Saxon language without hewing too closely to the rhythm of the ancient poetry shows us the power and beauty of that language that has been called 'more masonry than poetry', a burly language full of swift and beautiful metaphors and descriptions of ordinary life made ethereal.In preparing her translation, Ms. Boyden studied some 50 versions of 'Beowulf' for accuracy of meaning, tone and temperament. In "A Note on Pronunciation" she explains how Old English-Anglo Saxon names are read; and the "Principal Characters" are introduced so that we can trace their relationships of trust and obligation, and the power of their personalities. The "Introduction" provides a quick look at Anglo Saxon society, the people's values, beliefs, customs and activities, placing Beowulf in a cultural context to round out the reading experience.
Why is there such a striking difference between English spelling and English pronunciation? How did our seemingly relatively simple grammar rules develop? What are the origins of regional dialect, literary language, and everyday speech, and what do they have to do with you? Seth Lerer's Inventing English is a masterful, engaging history of the English language from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem. Many have written about the evolution of our grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Lerer situates these developments in the larger history of English, America, and literature. Lerer begins in the seventh century with the poet Caedmon learning to sing what would become the earliest poem in English. He then looks at the medieval scribes and poets who gave shape to Middle English. He finds the traces of the Great Vowel Shift in the spelling choices of letter writers of the fifteenth century and explores the achievements of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of 1755 and The Oxford English Dictionary of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He describes the differences between English and American usage and, through the example of Mark Twain, the link between regional dialect and race, class, and gender. Finally, he muses on the ways in which contact with foreign languages, popular culture, advertising, the Internet, and e-mail continue to shape English for future generations. Each concise chapter illuminates a moment of invention-a time when people discovered a new form of expression or changed the way they spoke or wrote. In conclusion, Lerer wonders whether globalization and technology have turned English into a world language and reflects on what has been preserved and what has been lost. A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.