The Origins of Beowulf: and the Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia

Overview

'A thoroughly plausible scenario for the poet's interest in affairs long ago and far away.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Persuasive ... exciting. MICHAEL WOOD Where did Beowulf, unique and thrilling example of an Old English epic poem come from? In whose hall did the poem's maker first tell the tale? The poem exists now in just one manuscript, but careful study of the literary and historical associations reveals striking details which lead Dr Newton to claim, as he pieces together the various clues, a specific origin for the poem. Dr Newton suggests ...
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Overview

'A thoroughly plausible scenario for the poet's interest in affairs long ago and far away.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Persuasive ... exciting. MICHAEL WOOD Where did Beowulf, unique and thrilling example of an Old English epic poem come from? In whose hall did the poem's maker first tell the tale? The poem exists now in just one manuscript, but careful study of the literary and historical associations reveals striking details which lead Dr Newton to claim, as he pieces together the various clues, a specific origin for the poem. Dr Newton suggests that references in Beowulf to the heroes whose names are listed in Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies indicate that such Northern dynastic concerns are most likely to have been fostered in the kingdom of East Anglia. He supports his thesis with evidence drawn from East Anglian archaeology, hagiography and folklore. His argument, detailed and passionate, offers the exciting possibility that he has discovered the lost origins of the poem in the pre-Viking kingdom of 8th-century East Anglia.SAM NEWTON was awarded his Ph.D. for work on Beowulf.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Cogent and fascinating attempt to place the composition of Beowulf in an eighth-century East Anglian context, through a careful survey of an impressive array of supporting palaeographical, genealogical, archaeological, and literary-historical evidence... An important book, and deserves serious attention... Dr Newton has now shifted the burden of proof onto those who would detract from his thesis. In such a deeply-entrenched field as modern Beowulf-studies, this is of itself a considerable achievement. ANDREW ORCHARD, DEPT OF ANGLO-SAXON, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGEA useful survey of work on the manuscript, language, metrics, archaeology (Especially East Anglian ship burials), and, in particular, the connections of Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies with named figures in the poem... an informed and well-balanced study of the state of the argument. EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPEA thoroughly plausible scenario for the poet's interest in affairs long ago and far away. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT (Tom Shippey)This up-to-date and shrewd book must be regarded as a major contribution in its field. ANTIQUARIES JOURNAL (Rupert Bruce-Mitford)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859914727
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 0.43 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Preface
The Genealogies of the Dynasties of Beowulf
The Genealogy of the Kings of East Anglia
1 The Beowulf Manuscript 1
2 The Question of the Poem's Origin 18
3 Beowulf and the Old English Royal Pedigrees 54
4 The Royal Name Hroomund 77
5 Wuffings and Wulfings 105
6 East Anglia and the Making of Beowulf 132
Bibliography 147
Index of Lines 165
General Index 169
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