Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition

Front Cover
Seamus Heaney, John D. Niles
W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 260 pages
12 Reviews

More than one hundred glorious images, many of objects dating from the time of the story, enhance Seamus Heaney's masterful best-selling translation.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. Drawn to its immense emotional credibility, Seamus Heaney gives the great epic convincing reality for the reader.

But how to visualize the poet's story has always been a challenge for modern-day readers. In Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, John D. Niles, a scholar of old English, brings Heaney's remarkable, best-selling translation to life. More than one hundred full-page illustrations -- Viking warships, chain mail, lyres, spearheads, even a reconstruction of the Great Hall -- make visible Beowulf's world and the elemental themes of his story: death, divine power, horror, heroism, disgrace, devotion, and fame. Now this mysterious world is transformed into one that only becomes more amazing after viewing its elegant goblets, dragon images, finely crafted gold jewelry, and the Danish landscape of its origins.



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Review: Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #3)

User Review  - Jenna Leigh - Goodreads

I absolutely LOVED this version of Beowulf. I had never read Beowulf before, but had wanted to for a very long time. I was finally given this book as a gift, and I was more than pleased with it. I ... Read full review

Review: Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #3)

User Review  - Lydia - Goodreads

I've read Heaney's Beowulf before and it was great. This was the version I chose to use for my re-read and it was once again, awesome. This edition, however, deserves a lot of credit for adding to the ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Seamus Heaney was born in Mossbawn, Ireland on April 13, 1939. He received a degree in English from Queen's College in Belfast in 1961. After earning his teacher's certificate in English from St. Joseph's College in Belfast the following year, he took a position at the school as an English teacher. During his time as a teacher at St. Joseph's, he wrote and published work in the university magazine under the pen name Incertus. In 1966, he became an English literature lecturer at Queen's College in Belfast. His first volume of poems, Death of a Naturalist, went on to receive the E.C. Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. After the death of his parents, Heaney published the poetry volumes The Haw Lantern, which includes a sonnet sequence memorializing his mother, and Seeing Things, a collection containing numerous poems for his father. His other works included Field Work, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, and Human Chain. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 and the PEN Translation Prize in 1985 for his translation of Sweeney Astray from Irish into English. He died following a short illness on August 30, 2013 at the age of 74.

John D. Niles is the Nancy C. Hoefs Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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