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The Dating of Beowulf
     

The Dating of Beowulf

by Colin Chase (Editor)
 

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The date of Beowulf, debated for almost a century, is a small question with large consequences. Does the poem provide us with an accurate if idealized view of early Germanic culture? Or is it rather a creature of nostalgia and imagination, born of the desire of a later age to create for itself a glorious past? If we cannot decide when, between the 5th and

Overview

The date of Beowulf, debated for almost a century, is a small question with large consequences. Does the poem provide us with an accurate if idealized view of early Germanic culture? Or is it rather a creature of nostalgia and imagination, born of the desire of a later age to create for itself a glorious past? If we cannot decide when, between the 5th and 11th centuries, the poem was composed, we cannot distinguish what elements in Beowulf belong properly to the history of material culture, to the history of myth and legend, to political history, or to the development of the English literary imagination.

This book represents both individual and concerted attempts to deal with this important question, and presents one of the most important inconclusions in the study of Old English. The contributors raise so many doubts, turn up so much new and disturbing information, dismantle so many long-accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same: henceforth every discussion of the poem and its period will begin with reference to this volume.

Editorial Reviews

University of Toronto Quarterly - Theodore M. Andersson
'It is rare to have so much information on a crucial issue in medieval literature concentrated in one place, and there is no doubt that these proceedings will become a standard reference work for several decades.'
Theodore M. Anderson, University of Toronto Quarterly
The Year's Work in English Studies
'The book as a whole sacrifices a few sacred cows, and it forces its readers to think again.'
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
'A challenge to so many long accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same again.'
From the Publisher
'It is rare to have so much information on a crucial issue in medieval literature concentrated in one place, and there is no doubt that these proceedings will become a standard reference work for several decades.'

Theodore M. Anderson, University of Toronto Quarterly

'A challenge to so many long accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same again.'

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

'The book as a whole sacrifices a few sacred cows, and it forces its readers to think again.'

The Year's Work in English Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802078797
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press
Publication date:
05/28/1997
Series:
Toronto Old English Studies
Edition description:
REVISED
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.51(d)

Meet the Author

The late Colin Chase (1935-1984) was a member of the Department of English and of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.

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