Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dating Beowulf: a scholarly treat

This is not about "dating" in the usual sense, or Nekkid Beowulf or Nekkid Grendel's mother, but about the debate over the date that the Old English epic Beowulf was written. (A five hundred year range has been suggested, and none of the possibilities are completely without merit!)

Some years ago, Michael Drout, an eminent expert on Old English literature and J.R.R. Tolkien, found that even high school kids with only the vaguest notion of the story could get excited about this issue. (I think that this says something about Drout's style.) So, in what should probably be called the "Year of Beowulf," he is blogging at Wormtalk and Slugspeak about the various possibilities. Part one of Dating Beowulf is here.

And it is a scholarly treat. I hope it amuses others as well.

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