The Dating of Beowulf by Colin ChaseThe Dating of Beowulf by Colin Chase

The Dating of Beowulf

EditorColin Chase

Paperback | May 31, 1997

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The date of Beowulf, debated for almost a century, is a small question with large consequences. Does the poem provide us with an accurate if idealized view of early Germanic culture? Or is it rather a creature of nostalgia and imagination, born of the desire of a later age to create for itself a glorious past? If we cannot decide when, between the 5th and 11th centuries, the poem was composed, we cannot distinguish what elements in Beowulf belong properly to the history of material culture, to the history of myth and legend, to political history, or to the development of the English literary imagination.

This book represents both individual and concerted attempts to deal with this important question, and presents one of the most important inconclusions in the study of Old English. The contributors raise so many doubts, turn up so much new and disturbing information, dismantle so many long-accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same: henceforth every discussion of the poem and its period will begin with reference to this volume.

COLIN CHASE (1935-1984), the editor of this volume, was a member of the department of English and of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.
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Title:The Dating of BeowulfFormat:PaperbackDimensions:230 pages, 9.75 × 6.75 × 0.65 inPublished:May 31, 1997Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802078796

ISBN - 13:9780802078797

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From Our Editors

The Dating of Beowulf represents both individual and concerted attempts to address the question of when Beowulf was composed. If we cannot decide when, between the 5th and 11th centuries, the poem was written, then we cannot distinguish which elements in it belong to the history of material culture; to the history of myth and legend; to political history; to the development of the English literary imagination. Contributors raise so many doubts, turn up so much new information and dismantle so many long-accepted scholarly constructs, that discussions on Beowulf will never be the same again.

Editorial Reviews

'A challenge to so many long accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same again.'