Beowulf

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ISBN 9780571230419 Format Paperback
9780571230419
Paperback
Published 01/03/2007 Length 256 pages
256

About Book

Beowulf, composed between the seventh and tenth century, is the elegaic narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel, and, later, from Grendel's mother. He returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid battle against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and living on in the exhausted aftermath.

Heaney's celebrated translation honours what is remote and intuits what is uncannily familiar, at the end of the twentieth century, in this founding masterpiece of English poetry. Now, for the first time, the Old English text - which survived only in a single scorched manuscript, now held in the British Museum - can be read in conjunction with the translation on facing pages.

Beowulf, composed between the seventh and tenth century, is the elegaic narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel, and, later, from Grendel's mother. He returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid battle against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and living on in the exhausted aftermath. Heaney's celebrated translation honours what is remote and intuits what is uncannily familiar, at the end of the twentieth century, in this founding masterpiece of English poetry. Now, for the first time, the Old English text - which survived only in a single scorched manuscript, now held in the British Museum - can be read in conjunction with the translation on facing pages.
  • About Seamus Heaney

    Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.

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