The Grinnell Beowulf: A Translation with Notes

The Grinnell Beowulf: A Translation with Notes

By Timothy D. Arner and Eva Dawson et al.
2013 | 204 + xxii pp. | 10 ills. | 9780866988124 | Paperback 5.5 x 8.5 in
$14.95 |

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The Grinnell Beowulf is a translation and teaching edition of the Old English poem. Six students at Grinnell College—Eva Dawson, Emily Johnson, Jeanette Miller, Logan Shearer, Aniela Wendt, and Kate Whitman, all ’14—worked with Tim Arner, Associate Professor of English, to translate Beowulf into readable and poetic modern English. What started as a Mentored Advanced Project became an extended collaboration that resulted in the production of an edition designed for both first-time readers and advanced students. The Grinnell Beowulf includes over 165 annotations that accompany the text, as well as introductions to the poem and the translation process.

Beowulf is the most celebrated poem of the Anglo-Saxon era. It tells the story of a mighty warrior who defends his friends and homeland from lethal threats both human and monstrous. Beowulf’s battles with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and an angry dragon are interwoven with scenes of feasts and feuds that provide a view of Scandinavian cultural practices and historical traditions. Though the poem had been absent from the English literary tradition for centuries, Beowulf has become a canonical text in high school and college English courses, thanks in part to J.R.R. Tolkien’s study of the poem and his use of it as a source for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.