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Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition [Paperback]

Howell D. Chickering

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Book Description

Feb. 14 2006
The first major poem in English literature, Beowulf tells the story of the life and death of the legendary hero Beowulf in his three great battles with supernatural monsters. The ideal Anglo-Saxon warrior-aristocrat, Beowulf is an example of the heroic spirit at its finest.

Leading Beowulf scholar Howell D. Chickering, Jr.’s, fresh and lively translation, featuring the Old English on facing pages, allows the reader to encounter Beowulf as poetry. This edition incorporates recent scholarship and provides historical and literary context for the modern reader. It includes the following:

an introduction
a guide to reading aloud
a chart of royal genealogies
notes on the background of the poem
critical commentary
glosses on the eight most famous passages, for the student who wishes to translate from the original
an extensive bibliography

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Bilingual edition (Feb. 14 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400096227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400096220
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #418,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“It is everywhere vigorous. . . . Chickering enjoys the poem immensely, and this attractive attitude shines everywhere. . . . This book is valuable for its extended literary appreciations and its facing text.” –Library Journal

“A fine book. . . . The essays on poetics, social history, and structure and the notes to specific passages survey the important scholarship.” –Choice

About the Author

Howell D. Chickering, Jr., is the G. Armour Craig Professor of Language and Literature at Amherst College. His critical essays, chiefly on medieval English poetry, have appeared in such journals as The Chaucer Review, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Kenyon Review, Philological Quarterly, PMLA, Speculum, and Viator.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this version were the accepted standard. . . April 19 2007
By a writing teacher - Published on Amazon.com
This edition is widely accepted as closer to the original than Heaney's, even by people who prefer the Heaney edition.

I am not one of those people. I have read Beowulf in several translations as well as in the original Old English, and this is the version I would recommend. I find it to be faithful, clear, and elegant.

The Heaney Beowulf is a great book for fans of Heaney (I enjoyed it myself in that capacity). The Chickering Beowulf is a great book for fans of Old English literature.
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best edition and translation of Beowulf around April 7 2006
By Wanda B. Red - Published on Amazon.com
Chickering's translation is the most responsible and accurate translation of Beowulf available. It's also the closest to the energetic poetic line of the original verse. Also, Chickering provides a remarkable sets of notes and comments about culture, history, and criticism at the back of the book. All in all, this is the text for anyone seriously interested in this poem. It beats the Seamus Heaney translation hands down.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The scholar's version Jan. 7 2007
By Jane Steen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For someone like me who's fascinated by language, this is a great scholar's edition of Beowulf. The translation is easy to read and well synchronized with the original text. The preface and supplemental material are copious and thorough. This will be on my bookshelf for a long time.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Jan. 13 2007
By John Doe - Published on Amazon.com
A professional and scholarly translation. Having the Old English on one side and the modern English translation on the other is great. The notes about the style of ancient Germanic poetry, as well as notes about Old English are fascinating. The book is clear enough for beginners, but the extensive commentary (after the poem, and nearly half of the book) means that it is also a great read for experts as well. Altogether, an excellent book.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chickering's translation Jan. 3 2007
By J. Burkle - Published on Amazon.com
For those who wish to experience a faithful modern translation that retains all the beauty and poetic quality of the Old English text, this is the one. This updated version of Chickering's translation of Beowulf is even better than the original, which still remains vastly superior to all the rest. Seamus Heaney and Burton Raffel's versions aren't even close.

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