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J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf Translation Coming Soon! Prepare Thyself For Epicness

Mar 19 2014 - 10:37am

We may know him best for giving us the world of Middle-earth, but J.R.R. Tolkien was a man of many talents. As an esteemed scholastic linguist, he gave an influential lecture at Oxford about the 11th-century poem Beowulf and even translated the epic story from its Old English origin into modern verse. Until now, this translation hasn't been available to his many devoted fans, but as Tolkien's son Christopher announced this week, HarperCollins will release Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary [1] on May 22, including transcripts from the Oxford lecture series!

Completed by the writer in 1926, the translation, his son told The Guardian [2], is as if you were "standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark," preparing to battle Grendel and the dragon. Tolkien believed Beowulf was addressing human destiny in general and that the monsters, not just the tribal politics, were essential to the poem.

Source: Facebook user J.R.R. Tolkien [3]

With Tolkien back in the news today, we're toasting one of the most gifted, geekiest authors in history, so catch up below with more facts about the man, the myth, and the legend behind Middle-earth.


Source: JRR Tolkien, the Tolkien estate [5]

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