Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell

3.41 avg rating
( 175,028 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780008116583: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell

The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication.

This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.

From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf ‘snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup’; but he rebuts the notion that this is ‘a mere treasure story’, ‘just another dragon tale’. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is ‘the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history’ that raises it to another level. ‘The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The “treasure” is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.’

Sellic Spell, a ‘marvellous tale’, is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the ‘historical legends’ of the Northern kingdoms.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

“This is long-awaited, and hugely exciting for Tolkien readers” The Guardian

“If he had never written The Lord of the Rings he would have been famous in academic circles for writing one published lecture on Beowulf called The Monsters and the Critics. It turned things upside down. Beowulf was probably the medieval text that influenced him the most and the commentary and lectures are ‘nuggets of gold’”
The Independent

“A tantalising prospect. Tolkien’s translation of Sir Gawain is a master class in linguistic chicanery – Middle English meets Middle Earth… it will be interesting to see if it gives Heaney's Beowulf a run for its money”
Simon Armitage, The Guardian

About the Author:

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.



Christopher Tolkien, born on 21st November 1924, is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself since his father's death in 1973 to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and the collections entitled Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Since 1975 he has lived in France with his wife Baillie.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800081165830000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 155mm x 234mm x. Paperback. The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.584. Bookseller Inventory # 9780008116583

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
20.07
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
Published by HarperCollins (2015)
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Soft cover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
BURWAY BOOKS
(Church Stretton, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins, 2015. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1480694486915

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9.90
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
CitiRetail
(Lowfield Heath, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 155mm x 234mm x. Paperback. The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered.Shipping may be from our UK, US or Australian warehouse depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.584. Bookseller Inventory # 9780008116583

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
20.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 13
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (2015)
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Media Mall
(Fyshwick, ACT, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. TV tie-in edition. 15.5 x 23.4 cm. The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this [Url removed] his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel's terrible hand set under the roof of [Url removed] the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf ?snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup'; but he rebuts the notion that this is ?a mere treasure story', ?just another dragon tale'. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is ?the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history' that raises it to another level. ?The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ?treasure? is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.'Sellic Spell, a ?marvellous tale', is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the ?historical legends' of the Northern kingdoms. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-41034284

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
29.39
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9.65
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AussieBookSeller
(SILVERWATER, NSW, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 155mm x 234mm x. Paperback. The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems n.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.584. Bookseller Inventory # 9780008116583

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
16.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 22.70
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2015)
ISBN 10: 000811658X ISBN 13: 9780008116583
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11000811658X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
62.91
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.42
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds