Winner of the Whitbread Prize, Seamus Heaney's translation "accomplishes what before now had seemed impossible: a faithful rendering that is simultaneously an original and gripping poem in its own right" (New York Times Book Review
). The translation that "rides boldly through the reefs of scholarship" (The Observer
) is combined with first-rate annotation. No reading knowledge of Old English is assumed. Heaney's clear and insightful introduction to Beowulf
provides students with an understanding of both the poem's history in the canon and Heaney's own translation process. "Contexts" provides a rich selection of material on Anglo-Saxon and early Northern culture. "Criticism" features eight essays carefully chosen for their relevance to undergraduate readers, including a full discussion of the Old English poem that lies behind Heaney's translation. Contributors include J.R.R. Tolkien, John Leyerle, Jane Chance, Roberta Frank, Fred C. Robinson, Thomas Hill, Leslie Webster, and Daniel Donoghue. A Glossary of Proper Names and a Selected Bibliography are included.
About the series: No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehensive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. Careful editing, first-rate translation, and thorough explanatory annotations allow each text to meet the highest literary standards while remaining accessible to students. Each edition is printed on acid-free paper and every text in the series remains in print. Norton Critical Editions are the choice for excellence in scholarship for students at more than 2,000 universities worldwide.