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Beowulf

by Beowulf Poet

Other authors: W. F. Bolton (Editor), C.L. Wrenn (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,960277138 (3.81)2 / 791
Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters, then returns to rule his people for 50 years, ultimately losing his life in a battle to defend the Geats from a dragon's rampage.
Recently added byugcCyTGLrPCgMkWbiyV, reneeg, Macgyver51, Chunkasaurus, sadcathours, private library, hbrachel
Legacy LibrariesGillian Rose, T. E. Lawrence
  1. 224
    Grendel by John Gardner (lyzadanger, sweetandsyko, sturlington)
    lyzadanger: Stunning prose from the point of view of the monster.
    sturlington: Grendel is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster's pov.
  2. 150
    The Iliad by Homer (benmartin79)
  3. 142
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Gawain Poet (OwenGriffiths, chrisharpe)
    OwenGriffiths: If you like Old/Middle English texts translated by great poets...
  4. 144
    The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (benmartin79)
  5. 101
    The Nibelungenlied: Prose Translation (Penguin Classics) by Anonymous (Weasel524)
    Weasel524: Embodies and champions the same spirit/ideals commonly shared by norse mythology, scandanavian sagas, and northern germanic folklore. Significantly longer and different in structure, should that be of concern
  6. 101
    The Icelandic Sagas by Magnus Magnusson (BGP)
  7. 102
    Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (PaulRackleff)
    PaulRackleff: Michael Crichton had written "Eaters of the Dead" as a means to show Beowulf's story value. The character names and plot line are very similar. Though Crichton changed some elements to make it more interesting than just a copy of Beowulf.
  8. 71
    The Táin by Táin author (BGP)
  9. 82
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Pearl / Cleanness / Patience by A. C. Cawley (OwenGriffiths)
  10. 61
    The Sagas of Icelanders by Örnólfur Thorsson (chrisharpe)
  11. 74
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
    moonstormer: the short story in Fragile Things - Monarch of the Glen - is very related to Beowulf and could be seen as an interesting commentary.
  12. 31
    The Mere Wife: A Novel by Maria Dahvana Headley (Cecrow)
  13. 14
    Opened Ground: Poems 1966–1996 by Seamus Heaney (JessamyJane)
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» See also 791 mentions

English (264)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (273)
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
A warrior fights monsters.

2.5/4 (Okay).

For a short work about hunting and fighting three different monsters, everyone sure spends a lot of time giving speeches and exchanging gifts. ( )
  comfypants | Mar 13, 2021 |
Very fun telling. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
This was my first introduction to the story of Beowulf. There were a lot of characters and it seemed there were many ways of referring to certain characters. So, there were times I wasn't 100% sure how the characters were connected to each other and what precisely was happening.

That being said, I loved the language and style of writing. Headley beautifully intertwined modern slang into this old story, making it feel fully accessible to modern readers without feeling like the original story was simply thrown out.

While I think on subsequent reads (because I do plan to reread this) I may raise my rating on this book, for now I'm going to give it 3.5 stars because there was a decent bit I had a hard time following and on a single read it's hard to judge if that's because it's a story that really needs readers to sit with it and spend time with it, or because there are areas which Headley could have improved clarity. ( )
  Sara_Cat | Mar 6, 2021 |
This was really a delight--Headley makes the work so accessible, even if I don't know that all the insertion of more modern language works (or that it appears so frequently, outside of the "bro" that became kind of the selling point of the translation.)

But really it's amazing how easy it was to read, especially given just now old the poem is, and the introduction does I think an incredible job of setting you up to read the book--just enough context to help you understand what is going on, orient yourself, and clearly see where Headley sees her translation intervening on previous translations, without like drowning you in information on previous translations or broader history. I think maybe the highest praise of this I could give is that it made me immediately want to go out and read other translations of the text, not because I wanted something more from this text that I felt was lacking, but because reading this made me feel emboldened to go out and reencounter this formidable text in different forms. ( )
  aijmiller | Feb 25, 2021 |
I absolutely loved reading Seamus Heaney's (at the time new) translation of Beowulf for my seond year undergrad history class on Medieval Europe, so I thought that an illustrated version of the text would be an even bigger improvement. Unfortunately the added content didn't really do much for me but provide a distraction from the story. I think that it was a good choice of the editor to use artifacts that are archaeologically relevent to the story rather than to commission a graphic artist to depict imagines scenes from the story, but I feel like most scholars reading Beowulf will already be well-versed in Anglo-Saxon and Danish artifacts or more than capable of finding their own examples. I'm sure casual readers of the poem who are less historically inclined will find more to inspire their reading and imagination, though, so the book may have a stronger market there. The fact that the image editor only provides minor context for the artifacts he has chosen also bolsters this argument, as well as the conspicuous lack of footnotes and commentary throughout. I don't think my original copy of the book has much in the way of scholarly commentary either, but it is stronger for its inclusion of the Old English text alongside Heaney's new translation. At least this copy of the book can find a good home with my mother, since I think I'll stick to my undergrad copy. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
At the beginning of the new millennium, one of the surprise successes of the publishing season is a 1,000-year-old masterpiece. The book is ''Beowulf,'' Seamus Heaney's modern English translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic, which was created sometime between the 7th and the 10th centuries.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Mel Gussow (Mar 29, 2000)
 
Translation is not mainly the work of preserving the hearth -- a necessary task performed by scholarship -- but of letting a fire burn in it.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Richard Eder (Feb 2, 2000)
 

» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beowulf Poetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolton, W. F.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wrenn, C.L.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Michael J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Sarah M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baskin, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botkine, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brunetti, GiuseppeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chickering, Howell D.Translation and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark-Hall, John RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collinder, BjörnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley Holland, KevinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donaldson, E. T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Earle, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ettmüller, Ernst Moritz LudwigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flynn, BenedictTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, Robert KayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grein, Christian Wilhelm MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grion, GiustoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grundtvig, Nicolas Frederic SeverinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gummere, Francis BartonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, John LesslieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Headley, Maria DahvanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffmann, P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hube, Hans-JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kemble, John M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirtlan, Ernest J. B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, FredericIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, Ruth P. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehnert, MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonard, William ElleryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lumsden, H. W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magnusson, MagnusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNamara, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekonen, OsmoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonTranslation and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, SueProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaldemose, FrederikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simons, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simrock, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steineck, H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swanton, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, BeccaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tinker, Chauncey BrewsterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wackerbarth, A. DiedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wickberg, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
William Ellery LeonardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolpe, BertholdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolzogen, Hans vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of Ted Hughes

Seamus Heaney (1999)
For Brian and Blake

Burton Raffel (1963)
In memory of Joseph and Winifred Alexander

Michael Alexander (1973)
For Grimoire William Gwenllian Headley,
who gestated alongside this book,
changing the way I thought about love, bloodfeuds,
woman-warriors, and wyrd.

Maria Dahvana Headley (2020)
First words
Hwæt we gardena in geardagum þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Bro! Tell me we still know how to speak of kings! In the old days,
everyone knew what men were: brave, bold, glory-bound.

(translated by Maria Dahvana Headley, 2020)
Of the strength of the Spear-Danes in days gone by we have heard, and of their hero-kings: the prodigious deeds those princes perfomed!

(translated by Stephen Mitchell, 2017)
So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes' heroic campaigns.

(translated by Seamus Heaney, 1999)
Hear me! We've heard of Danish heroes,
Ancient kings and the glory they cut
For themselves, swinging mighty swords!

(translated by Burton Raffel, 1963)
Quotations
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This work is any complete, unabridged translation of Beowulf. The Seamus Heaney translation is not a separate work from the other complete, unabridged translations. To quote the FAQ on combining - "A work brings together all different copies of a book, regardless of edition, title variation, or language."

Based on currently accepted LibraryThing convention, the Norton Critical Edition is treated as a separate work, ostensibly due to the extensive additional, original material included.
Reserve this for dual-language texts (Anglo-Saxon and modern English) regardless of translator.
This is an unabridged translation of Beowulf, and should NOT be combined with abridged editions, regardless of translator.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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Canonical DDC/MDS
Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters, then returns to rule his people for 50 years, ultimately losing his life in a battle to defend the Geats from a dragon's rampage.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Fear falls on the hall:
monster meets match in hero;
mother waits at home.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393320979, 0393330109

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140449310, 0451530969, 0141194871

University of Texas Press

An edition of this book was published by University of Texas Press.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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