Beowulf & Other Stories: A New Introduction to Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literatures

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9781405835725: Beowulf & Other Stories: A New Introduction to Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literatures
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Written with verve, panache and a deep understanding of its subject, 'Beowulf' & Other Stories puts the pleasure back into studying Old English.

 


· A new action film, Beowulf and Grendel, is out very soon and so is an animated version of the tale starring angelina Jolie and Ray Winston

· There is lots of general interest in stories inspired by old English – tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia

· The authors have a fantastic writing style – engaging, witty, insightful – this book will be a page-turner that focuses on what readers want to know, instead of what it is perceived they ought to know

· Gives the real low-down on the subject – translates lots of the original text, allows readers to have a go at translation themselves, and gives readers the chance to learn some old English and some old Icelandic

· Contains colour photographs – rare in this kind of book – that will visually help to bring old English back to life

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From the Back Cover:

Until now, Old English has been a phrase to strike fear into the hearts of students of English. A combination of remoteness, both of time and language, and a general sense of disconnectedness has meant that Old English has sometimes been remembered as a chore, a slog through the foothills of literature. 'Beowulf' & Other Stories has been conceived in the firm belief that Old English - and its close cousins, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman - should be seen as a genuine delight, a period as replete with wonder and creativity and magic as any other in literature.

The book forages with abandon through the literature of the period, turning up en route the fire and bloodlust of the great epic, Beowulf, and the sophistication and eroticism of the Exeter Riddles. Fresh interpretations give new life to the spiritual ecstasy of The Seafarer and to the imaginative dexterity of The Dream of the Rood. 'Beowulf' & Other Stories provides the student and general reader with all they might need to explore and enjoy this complex but rewarding field. The book sheds light, too, on the shadowy contexts of the period, with suggestive and highly readable essays on matters ranging from the dynamism of the Viking Age to Anglo-Saxon input into Lord of the Rings, from the great religious prose works to the transition from Old to Middle English. Beowulf & Other Stories also branches out into related traditions, with expert introductions to the Icelandic Sagas, Viking Religion and Norse Mythology. Peter S. Baker provides an outstanding guide to taking your first steps in the Old English language, while David Crystal provides a crisp linguistic overview of the entire period. Written throughout with verve, panache and a deep understanding of its subject, 'Beowulf' & Other Stories is set to be the standard introduction to the field for many years to come.

 

    

About the Author:

Richard North was made to read old English at oxford and now teaches it for a living in UCL. He would like to be known for writing fiction. Publications include Heathen Gods in old English Literature (1997), The Origins of ‘Beowulf’ (2006), and some poems and short stories in Undertow, the UCL English students’ literary magazine. Hobbies include piano, reading the sagas and collecting students.

Joe Allard discovered Iceland almost by chance in the mid-eighties and has never looked back. He translates and publishes (mares’ Nest Publishers, festival Books) contemporary Icelandic poetry and fiction. He also writes about and teaches medieval Icelandic prose and poetry. He eats shark, puffin and whale and enjoys 57% Icelandic spirits. Hobbies include piano and watching volcanoes.

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North, Richard, Allard, Joe
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North, Richard, Allard, Joe
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