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Title: Review of Fulk, R.D., ed. and trans., The 'Beowulf' Manuscript: Complete Texts and 'The Fight at Finnsburg' (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library), Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2010: hardback; pp. 400; R.R.P. US$29.95, £19.95, €21.00; ISBN 9780674052956
Contributor(s): Denison, Jane-Anne (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: There are many translations of 'Beowulf' currently available, but translations of the other texts within this manuscript are uncommon. Professor Fulk's book stands out because it contains the Nowell Codex in its entirety, with the original Old English text alongside a modern English translation. The extant works of the manuscript are all included, with readers now easily able to access the texts of 'The Passion of Saint Christopher', 'The Wonders of the East', 'The Letter of Alexander the Great to Aristotle', 'Judith', and the remnants of 'The Fight at Finnsburg'. Naturally, as the largest and most famous section of the manuscript, 'Beowulf' remains a focus of the book, but Fulk has also covered the religious poem 'Judith' particularly well. Fulk's Introduction provides an excellent summary of the texts and describes the life of the manuscript. The reasoning behind the use of such a diverse collection of texts to form a single volume is a current topic of debate. While Fulk acknowledges the recent suggestion that the connection between the different texts may be their references to monsters, he does not delve into much detail. However, considering the main purpose of the book is to provide the texts rather than a discussion, this is not an issue. For those readers wanting to investigate the texts further, Fulk has provided a sound bibliography with relevant and recent research articles.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Parergon, 29(1), p. 262-263
Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Place of Publication: Perth, Australia
ISSN: 1832-8334
Field of Research (FOR): 210305 British History
200503 British and Irish Literature
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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