This course is discontinued

Syllabus/achievement requirements

Editions of Beowulf


  • Bruce Mitchell & Fred C. Robinson, Beowulf: an edition with relevant shorter texts, including ‘Archaeology and Beowulf’, by Leslie Webster (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998). Designed for students, with much introductory material.
  • R. D. Fulk, Robert E. Bjork, & John D. Niles, Klaeber’s BEOWULF, 4th edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008). The standard edition.



  • Beowulf, translated and introduced by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1987. A volume in the series The Poetry of Legend: Classics of the Medieval World. Phoebe Phillips Editions). A line-by-line rendering in blank verse, and in many ways the best translation of the poem; it is accompanied by much useful illustration and introductory material). Apparently out of print, but numerous second-hand copies advertised online. Facsimiles of the manuscript



  • BEOWULF: facsimile of BM MS Cotton Vitellius A XV. Ed. Julius Zupitza, rev. Norman Davis. Early English Text Society, Original Series 245 (London: Oxford University Press, 1959). Monochrome, with transcription on facing pages.



  • Colour images of select folios, with valuable commentary, may be found online, at


Articles in journals, and contributions to collaborative works.

  • Charles Donaghue, ‘Beowulf, Ireland and the natural good’, Traditio 7 (1949-51), pp. 263-77. Available online.
  • David N. Dumville, ‘Beowulf come lately: some notes on the palaeography of the Nowell Codex’, Archiv fur das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 225 (1988), pp. 49-63.
  • David N. Dumville, ‘Beowulf and the Celtic world: the uses of evidence’, Traditio 37 (1981), pp. 109-60. Available online.
  • C.E. Fell, ‘Paganism in Beowulf: a semantic fairy-tale’. In T. Hofstra, L.A.J.R. Houwen & A.A. MacDonald, Pagans and Christians. Germania Latina II (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1995), pp. 9-34.
  • C. S. Lewis, ‘The alliterative metre’, in Rehabilitations and Other Essays (London: Oxford University Press, 1939), pp. 117-32.
  • Bruce Mitchell, ‘“Until the dragon comes ...”: some thoughts on Beowulf’, Neophilologus 47 (1963), pp. 126-38. Available online. Repr. in Bruce Mitchell, On Old English (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988).
  • R. I. Page, ‘The audience of Beowulf and the vikings’. In Colin Chase, ed. The Dating of BEOWULF (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981, rev. edn. 1997), pp. 113-22.
  • Gregory F. Rose, ‘Four minims and a quandary: Beowulf, 1382a’, Peritia 11 (1997), pp. 171-87.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Beowulf: the monster and the critics’, Proceedings of the British Academy 22 (1936), pp. 245-95.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, Introduction to metre, in BEOWULF and the Finnsburh Fragment. A translation into modern English prose, by John R. Clark Hall, rev. C.L. Wrenn (London: Allen & Unwin, 1940 & repr.).


*For further reading (note that the edition of Beowulf by Mitchell & Robinson contains a manageable and well-organised bibliography designed for the beginnner).*

  • A.J. Bliss, The Metre of Beowulf (Oxford: Blackwell, 1958 & repr.).
  • Colin Chase, ed. The Dating of BEOWULF (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981).
  • R. D. Fulk, A History of Old English Meter (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press.
  • Kevin Kiernan, BEOWULF and the BEOWULF Manuscript (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, rev. edn. 1996).
  • K. McKone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in early Irish literature. Maynooth Monographs 3 (Maynooth: Department of Old and Middle Irish, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 1990).
  • Fred C. Robinson, BEOWULF and the Appositive Style (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985).
  • Eric G. Stanley, The Search for Anglo-Saxon Paganism (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1975. Repr. as part of Imagining the Anglo-Saxon Past: The Search for Anglo-Saxon Paganism, and Anglo-Saxon Trial by Jury, 2000). The original articles are in the journal Notes & Queries 209-10 (1964-5), available online.
  • Dorothy Whitelock, The Audience of BEOWULF (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951 & repr.).


Published Nov. 16, 2011 8:44 AM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2018 1:49 PM