The breadth of learning and insight he brings to bear on the poem, and his balanced approach to numerous points of controversy, will make this book an indispensable tool for beginner and advanced scholar alike. MEDIUM AEVUM Beowulf is the best known and most closely studied literary work surviving from Anglo-Saxon England, and the modern reader is faced with a bewildering number and variety of interpretations about such basic matters as the date, provenance, and significance of the poem. A Critical Companion to Beowulf addresses these and other issues, reviewing and synthesising previous scholarship, as well as offering fresh perspectives. After an initial introduction to the poem, attention is focused on such matters as the manuscript context and approaches to dating the poem; the particular style, diction, and structure of this most idiosyncratic of Old English texts; the background to the poem (considered not simply with respect to historical and legendary material, but also in the context of myth and fable); the specific roles of selected individual characters, both major and minor; and the original intended audience and perceived purpose of the poem. A final chapter describes the range of critical approaches which have been applied to the poem in the past, and points towards directions for future study. Professor ANDY ORCHARD is Provost of Trinity College, University of Toronto.
This long-awaited book helps the reader to gain a clear grasp of the state of Beowulf scholarship. The breadth of learning and insight...will make this book an indispensable tool for beginner and advanced scholar alike. MEDIUM AEVUM
It is hard to imagine a more thorough introduction. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
Earns a place among the indispensable works ofBeowulf scholarship. Sensibly organised, elegantly written, and thoroughly referenced, it is both learned and accessible, inviting for students...but insightful enough to engage experienced readers.... Any reader of Beowulf will find much pleasure in this book, and it is a worthy companion indeed. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
Clearly the product of deep and thoughtful scholarship, it applies its critical approach with confidence and flair. This authoritative book is full of ideas and insights. ENGLISH STUDIES
Could have been twice as long without losing its interest. It outlines, usually in terms that will be accessible to students, a wide range of critical issues. [...] A landmark study.and likely to be the reference one turns to for succinct and intelligent treatment of many issues in the poem. TOEBI NEWSLETTER