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Beowulf (Legends from the Ancient North)by Michael Alexander
Synopses & Reviews
Legends from the Ancient North: Five classics of Norse literature that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien's epic vision in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Legendary fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien spent much of his life studying, translating, and teaching the ancient tales of northern Europe at Oxford and drew on them for his own writing. These epic stories, with their wizards and knights, dragons and trolls, cursed rings and magic swords, are as fascinating today as they were thousands of year ago. Reading them brings us as close as we will ever get to the magical worlds of the Vikings and the origins of their twentieth-century counterpart: Tolkiens Middle Earth.
Beowulf tells the epic story of the heroic Beowulf and his battles, first against the monster Grendel, who laid waste to the castle of the Danish king Hrothgar, then with Grendel's avenging mother, and finally with a dragon that threatens to devastate his homeland.
Beowulf is the earliest extant poem in a modern European language reflecting a feudal, newly Christian world of heroes and monsters, blood and victory, life and death. Its beauty, power, and artistry have kept it alive for more than thirteen centuries.
Beowulf stands at the head of English literature; a poem of historical interest and epic scope. Although the first manuscript of Beowulf dates from around the year 1000 CE, it is thought that the poem existed in its present form from the year 850. Beowulf's adventures themselves stand in front of the wide historical canvas of 5th and 6th century Scandinavia. Against this heroic background of feuding and feasting, Beowulf first kills the monster Grendel and her mother, and later defends his people against a dragon in a battle that leaves them both mortally wounded.
@Eazy-B Uh oh. Grendel’s mom showed up. She is really pissed. Wait. Monsters have feelings?
From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less
About the Author
MICHAEL ALEXANDER (translator) is Berry Professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews. He has translated The Earliest English Poems, The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment, and Beowulf for Penguin.
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