Beowulf & Beyond

Beowulf & Beyond

By Dan Veach



Beowulf & Beyond is the first and only collection of translations into modern English to include not only Beowulf but all of the best-known works of Anglo-Saxon literature in one convenient volume. The texts translated here are taken chiefly from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, The Exeter Book and the Anglo-Saxon Genesis, as well of course as Beowulf itself. Previously, students have had to buy a separate book to read essential works like "The Seafarer", required reading in all courses of early English literature. And even these may miss some of the greatest delights of this period: the wonderful stories from Bede, the charms, sayings, spells and riddles that inspire students to dig deeper into this strange and magical world. Dan Veach provides a brief introduction to each text, giving just enough background to allow the modern reader with no specialist knowledge to understand the historical context of the work and its author. There is a longer introduction to Beowulf, discussing the poem in some detail; its opening paragraph tells us: "Those returning [to Beowulf] with distant memories from school will be shocked to discover just how fantastic it really is-how chilling the drama, how delicious the scene-setting, how engaging the characters. These translations are, in the words of A.E. Stalling writing in the book's Preface, the work of a "deeply learned translator who, at the same time, wears his learning so lightly, locating each work with a brief introduction and letting its humanity gleam through." Dan Veach's translations, which derive their power from cleaving "close to the bone" of the original Anglo-Saxon, capture the power and punch of the original in a supple verse that sweeps the reader irresistibly onward.

ISBN: 9781948488617


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