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Wealtheow: Her Telling of Beowulf by Ashley…

Wealtheow: Her Telling of Beowulf (edition 2008)

by Ashley Crownover

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Title:Wealtheow: Her Telling of Beowulf
Authors:Ashley Crownover
Info:Turner (2008), Hardcover, 195 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:beowulf, medieval, middle ages, mythology, fairy tales and folklore, fairy tales folklore and mythology, fairy tales retold, retellings, re-interpretations, bedroom library

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Wealtheow: Her Telling of Beowulf by Ashley Crownover



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This is a first-person account from the point of view of Wealtheow, wife of Hrothgar. It begins when she comes to the meadhall called Heorot. She was a teen-aged bride to the much older King of the Danes. She knew the rituals and things that were needful for a queen. She became comfortable in this new, married life. Among other things, she helped the women in the weaving shed, and started a tapestry of her own, she gathered herbs in the forest, and she visited the mere not far away and made offerings to Freya. She and her husband had children.

But then the troubles began. A monster invaded Heorot, killing their warriors, sending terror to their people.

In like manner, the storyteller follows Grendel and his mother as outcasts from his very birth onwards, until they settle in that mere, and the monstrous son ravages Heorot. Beowulf does show up eventually, but he appears in the context of her life, not his - he is not the protagonist of this story. The familiar events happen, but again focused on Wealtheow's experience, as a woman of the time, not the hero's story.

The author has done a good job weaving her tale, and using the tapestry and loom images through the story. The cadence of the language is reminiscent of the Burton Raffel translation, echoing the elegant prose. It is a fast read of a simple but powerful story. I enjoyed it. ( )
  EowynA | Mar 9, 2011 |
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