Beowulf and the Critics

Beowulf and the Critics by J.R.R. Tolkien

Author:J.R.R. Tolkien; edited by Michael D.C. Drout
Title:Beowulf and the Critics; (Medieval and Renaissance Texts & Studies Vol. 248)
Published:2002 by Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Arizona State University


The most important essay in the history of Beowulf scholarship, J. R. R. Tolkien's "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" has, rightly, been much studied and discussed. But scholars of both Beowulf and Tolkien have to this point been unaware that Tolkien's essay was a redaction of a much longer and more substantial work, Beowulf and the Critics, which Tolkien wrote in the 1930s and probably delivered as a series of Oxford lectures. This critical edition of Beowulf and the Critics presents both unpublished versions of Tolkien's lecture ('A' and 'B'), each substantially different from the other and from the final, published essay. The edition includes a description of the manuscript, complete textual and explanatory notes, and a detailed critical introduction that explains the place of Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon scholarship both in the history of Beowulf scholarship and in literary history. Beowulf and the Critics will be of interest not only to Anglo-Saxonists, but also to scholars of Tolkien's works and general readers.

description from the cover of the book

"The publication of Beowulf and the Critics, Tolkien's extended lecture series out of which emerged his shorter, landmark essay "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics", is a very welcome event. Michael D. C. Drout's meticulous edition, filled with thorough and illuminating notes, provides the historical context needed to appreciate Tolkien's special position in the history of Beowulf criticism while at the same time illuminating innumerable aspects of Tolkien's thought. Essential for anyone interested in Tolkien's literary background, or desiring further details of Tolkien's penetrating scholarship on the Anglo-Saxon poem."

Douglas A. Anderson (Editor, The Annotated Hobbit)



FolderBooks FolderTolkienBooks

(C) The Tolkien Wiki Community Page last changed: June 26, 2003