Annotated List of Beowulf Translations: The List
Department of English
University of California/Davis
Davis, CA 95616
† indicates a complete translation
* indicates a version that deviates entirely from the original poem, such as a novel or musical composition
Turner, Sharon. 1805. Selections in English verse-lines. In later editions Turner corrects and expands these early efforts; see Fry 2125. S-H print many passages, which they analyze.
Conybeare, J. J. 1814. "Finnsburg" in English paraphrase and Latin verse translation. Fry 355. G-R 1524.
†Thorkelin, Grímur Jónsson. 1815. Latin. The first complete, if often mistaken, translation of the poem into any language, by a translator who thought the poem was itself a translation made in the court of King Alfred. Kemble in 1835: "Not five lines of Thorkelin's edition can be found in succession in which some gross fault, either in the transcript or the translation, does not betray the editor's utter ignorance of the Anglo-Saxon language." (For Haarder's discussion of the Danish reviews, some of which follow, see G-R 3195 and S-H.) Fry 2080. G-R 1632. S-H.
Müller, P. E. (anonymous). 1815. Review of Thorkelin 1815 with an extensive summary in Danish of Thorkelin's Latin translation. G-R 1632. S-H.
Grundtvig, N. F. S. 1815. Review of Thorkelin 1815 (and Müller 1815) with translation of Scyld's Funeral into Danish ballad meter; the first recognition that these lines describe a funeral and the first attempt at a consciously aesthetic verse translation. See Shippey's account including Thorkelin's assessment of the passage: "What a translation! What lunacy!" S-H.
Taylor, William (of Norwich). 1816. Review of Thorkelin 1815 with brief passages in English, in Monthly Review 81: 516-23. This was expanded later in his Historic Survey of German Poetry, Interspersed with Various Translations. London, 1828-30; Vol. I, 78-90. First attempt at an English verse translation of passages meant to appeal to a wider audience. Fry 2067. G-R 1632, 1768. S-H.
Gumælius, Gustaf Wilhelm (anonymous). 1817. Review of Thorkelin 1815 in Iduna. First partial verse translation into Swedish. Fry 28. G-R 1632. S-H.
Henderson, Ebenezer. 1818. Iceland, or the Journal of a Residence in that Island (Edinburgh). Travel book with attempted English translations of the passages about harp-song (the creation song, etc.). G-R 1657. S-H.
Grundtvig, N. S. F. 1819. "Stykker af Skjöldung-Kvadet eller Bjovulfs Minde," Danne-Virke 4: 234-62. Free translation into rhymed Danish verse of selections through the coastguard episode. Fry 712. G-R 1658.
†Grundtvig, N. F. S. 1820. Bjowulfs Drape: Et Gothisk Helte-Digt fra forrige Aar-Tusinde af Angel-Saxisk paa Danske Riim. [A Gothic Hero-Poem of a Thousand Years ago from the Anglo-Saxon into Danish Rhyme] (Copenhagen). First complete translation (or paraphrase) into Danish, first complete verse translation. (S. A. J. Bradley 1982 summarizes and adopts Grundtvig's views on the poem's meaning and worth, 409-411.) Fry 707. G-R 1659. S-H.
Turner, Sharon. 1823. The History of the Manners, Landed Property, Government, Laws, Poetry Literature, Religion, and Language of the Anglo-Saxons. Vol. IV. The first considerable though still partial English prose translation (full of inaccuracies), corrected and extended in succeeding editions. G-R 1767. S-H for the 1820 edition.
Conybeare, J. J. 1826. Described as an "Anglo-Saxon poem Concerning the Exploits of Beowulf the Dane." Passages translated first into Latin and thence paraphrased in English blank verse. Fry 356. G-R 278. S-H.
Grimm, Wilhelm Karl. 1829. Partial translation in German, with summary. G-R 915. S-H.
Tennyson, Alfred Lord. Ca. 1830-31. Unpublished verse translation of ten lines (?259-268) in his Harvard Notebook 4. First attention by a famous English poet.
Grundtvig, N. F. S. 1832. Nordens Mythologi eller Sindbilled-Sprog (second edition, revised): 571-594. Paraphrase in Danish prose. (The first edition of Nordens Mythologi in 1808 merely mentioned Beowulf in passing.)
Pecchio, Giuseppi. 1833. First Italian summary, based on Turner 1820 (see Turner 1805 and 1823 above) and repeating his misunderstandings of the poem. Discussion diss, 141-146. G-R 2710.
Wright, Thomas (anonymous). 1835. "On Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Fraser's Magazine, 12: 76-92. Paraphrase in English prose to line 569, with close translation of lines 499-606, then summary of the rest. Expanded and reprinted in 1842. Fry 2258, 2255. G-R 537. S-H.
†Kemble, John, 1837. A Translation of the Anglo-Saxon Poem of "Beowulf" (London). Close, literalEnglish prose translation and a turning point in the understanding of Beowulf: "I was bound to give word for word the original in all its roughness … I might have made it smoother, but I purposely avoided doing so, because had the Saxon poet thought as we think and expressed his thoughts as we express our thoughts, I might have spared myself the trouble of editing or translating his poem." G-R 1660. S-H.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. 1838. Five passages in verse translation. Fry 1261. G-R 535. Example in S-H.
Leo, Heinrich. 1839. Béowulf, dasz älteste deutsche, in angelsächsischer mundart erhaltene, heldendicht, 64-120. Partial translation into German (based on Kemble) in columns parallel with the Anglo-Saxon text. Fry 1229. G-R 1771. S-H.
†Ettmüller, Ludwig. 1840. Beowulf. Heldengedicht des achten Jahrhunderts (Zürich). First complete translation into German, literal and in imitative meter. Fry 548. G-R 1661. S-H.
Grundtvig, N. F. S. 1844. Brage-Snak om Græske og Nordiske Myther (Copenhagen). Includes a prose version (i.e., paraphrase?) in Danish. G-R 1662.
†Schaldemose, Frederik. 1847. Alliterative prose translation in Danish, attempts to be literal. Second Danish translation, in columns parallel with Kemble's Old English text. Fry 1787. G-R 1634.
Klipstein, Louis F. 1849. Selections in English. Fry 1078. G-R 287.
†Wackerbarth, A. Diedrich. 1849. Beowulf: An Epic Poem. Translated from the Anglo-Saxon into English Verse (London). Ballad meter. Fry 2153. G-R 1663.
Bässler, Ferdinand. 1852. Beowulf, Wieland der Schmied, und die Ravennaschlacht: Für die Jugend und das Volk (Berlin). Paraphrase in German. Fry 67. G-R 1664.
†Thorpe, Benjamin. 1855. Close literal translation into English. Reprinted with introduction by Vincent F. Hopper in 1962 and still widely available, though not esteemed. Fry 2084. G-R 1635. S-H.
Bouterwek, Karl Wilhelm. 1856. Published lecture with interspersed paraphrase, in German. G-R 2713. S-H.
†Grein, Christian Wilhelm Michael. 1857. Dichtungen der Angelsachsen, 222-308. Second German translation, literal line-for-line in imitative meter. Revised and republished posthumously by Richard Paul Wülcker, "nach Greins Handexemplar," as Beowulf, stabreimend übersetzt (2nd ed. Kassel 1883). "Until the publication of this work every editor of the poem was also its translator" (Tinker 3). Fry 667. G-R 1638.
†Earle, John. [Or Henry Morley? The item is unsigned.] 1857. "A Primitive Old Epic," Household Words17: 459-64. Prose paraphrase in English. Fry 502. G-R 1665.
Uhland, Ludwig. 1857. "Finnsburg" in German prose. Fry 2127. G-R 1788.
Sandras, Etienne Gustave. 1859. De carminibus anglo-saxonicis Cædmoni adjudicatis Disquisitio. Extracts translated into Latin prose. "The only significance of this book is that it contained the first information about Beowulf given to the French public" (Tinker). Fry 1761. G-R 3209.
†Simrock, Karl. 1859. Beowulf: Das älteste deutsche Epos (Stuttgart). Third German translation, imitative meter. Fry 1952. G-R 1666. S-H.
Haigh, Daniel H. 1861. Prose translation of "Finnsburg" and passages from Beowulf. Fry 737. G-R 917.
Holtzmann, Adolf. 1863. Lines 3157-73 in German. Fry 889. G-R 2359. S-H.
†Heyne, Moritz. 1863, 2nd 1898. Beowulf. Ags Heldengedicht (Paderborn). Fourth German translation, free and aimed at readability, in unrhymed iambic meter. Fry 814. G-R 1667.
Taine, Hippolyte. 1863. "Rousing paraphrases" (Shippey) in French. G-R 543. S-H.
Anon. 1864. "Beowulf Redivivus," Reader 3 (25 June 1864), 799-800. Paraphrase. G-R 1668.
Morley, Henry. 1864-67. Partial translation into English verse, remainder summarized. Fry 1477. G-R 544. S-H.
Arnheim, Josef. 1867-71. Inhalt des Beowulfliedes (Hanover). Paraphrase in German for schoolchildren. Fry 35. G-R 1669.
Jones, Eustace H. 1871. "Beowulf," Canadian Monthly and National Review 2: 83-91. Paraphrase of passages for general readers. Fry 656, 657. G-R 1670.
Sweet, Henry. 1871. Paraphrase with passages translated into English prose. (See also Sweet 1897.) Fry 2041. G-R 878. S-H.
†von Wolzogen, Hans. 1872. Beovulf (Bärwelf). Das älteste deutsche Heldengedicht (Leipzig). Fifth German translation, inaccurate, in imitative meter. Fry 2230. G-R 1671.
†Ettmüller, Ludwig. 1875. Carmen de Beovulfi Gautarum regis. His 1840
translation with "interpolated" Christian passages omitted. Fry 549. (Diss 125).
†Arnold, Thomas. 1876. Fourth English translation, literal prose. Fry 36. G-R 1640. S-H.
†Botkine, L. 1877. Beowulf, épopée anglo-saxonne (Le Havre). First French (extensive though partial) translation, prose. Fry 174. G-R 1672.
Ten Brink, Bernhard. 1877. Summary with translated passages, in German. (See Kennedy, 1883.) Fry 225. G-R 546. S-H.
Gibb, John. 1881. Gudrun and Other Stories from the Epics of the Middle Ages (London); 2nd ed 1883 with new title. Paraphrase in English prose. Fry 632. G-R 1674.
†Lumsden, Henry W. 1881. Beowulf: An Old English Poem (London). Fifth English translation (partial), in ballad meter. Fry 1278. G-R 1675.
Morley, Henry. 1881. Sketches of Longer Works in English Verse and Prose (London). Extensive summary and many passages in English verse. G-R 1673.
Schalk, Gustav. 1881. Nordische-Germanische Götter- und Heldensagen: Für jung und alt(Oldenburg). Paraphrase in German. G-R 1676.
Smith, Charles Sprague. 1881. "Beowulf Gretti": lines 711-838 and 1493-1652 in English verse. Fry 1972. G-R 1814.
Wägner, Wilhelm. 1881. "Beowulf" in his Deutsche Heldensage für Schule und Haus (Leipzig). German prose paraphrase for children. Fry 2159. G-R 1677.
Macdowall, M. W. 1881. English prose paraphrase for children (translation of Wägner 1881); many editions. G-R 1677.
Zinsser, Gustav. 1881. Der "Kampf Beowulfs mit Grendel" als Probe einer metrischen Übersetzung des ags Epos Beo-vulf (Saarbrücken). Lines 1-836 freely paraphrased in German iambic pentameter. Fry 2277. G-R 1678.
†Garnett, James M. 1882. Beowulf: an Anglo-Saxon Poem, and the Fight at Finnsburg (Boston). Sixth English translation, literal, imitative meter. G-R 1679.
†Schuhmann, Giuseppe. 1882. "Beovulf: Antichissimo poema epico de' popoli germanici," Giornale Napoletano di Filosofia e Lettere, Scienze morali e politiche 7: 25-36. First Italian translation (story condensed in prose with interspersed remarks). Fry 1864. G-R 1680.
Dahn, Therese. 1883. "Beowulf" in Walhall: Germanische Götter- und Heldensagen. eds. Felix L. S. Dahn and Therese Dahn (Kreuznach). German prose paraphrase. Fry 430. G-R 1681.
†Grion, Giusto. 1883. "Beowulf: Poema epico Anglosassone del VII secolo," Atti della Real Accademia lucchese di science, lettere ed arti 22 (Lucca), 197-379. First complete Italian translation (see Schuhmann 1882), literal, imitative meter. G-R 1683.
Kennedy, Horace M. 1883. Translation of Ten Brink, 1877, with passages in English verse.
†Möller, Hermann. 1883. Das altenglische volksepos in der ursprünglichen strophischen form (Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer). Reported by Peter Baker on ANSAX-L (n.d. recorded).
Robinson, W. Clarke. 1885. Passages in verse (lines 87-98) and prose (lines 1-52). Fry 1726. G-R 554.
Gummere, Francis B. 1886. Argues for imitative meter with lines 1-52 as a sample. Fry 723. G-R 1390.
Lange, Adolf. 1887. "Beowulf" in his Deutche Gotter- und Heldensagen: Für Haus und Schule(Leipzig), 376-96. Partial translation into German prose (2nd ed. 1903). G-R 1684.
Tolman, Albert H. 1887. Passages in English prose. Fry 2099. G-R 1141.
†Wickberg, Rudolf. 1889. Beowulf, en fornengelsk hjältedikt (Westervik). First complete Swedishtranslation; aspires to be "readable and modern," avoiding alliteration but otherwise in imitative meter. Fry 2210. G-R 1685.
Brown, Anna Robertson. 1890. "The Passing of Scyld" and "The Battle with the Water-Sprite," Poet-Lore 2: 133-4 and 185-87. Verse translation of lines 26-53 and 1493-1571. Poet-Lore was a major American poetry journal of the period. Fry 241, 242. G-R 1686.
Brooke, Stopford A. 1892. Digest with many passages in interestingly innovative "imitative" meter (version condensed in 1898). Fry 239, 238. G-R 883. S-H.
†Earle, John, 1892. The Deeds of Beowulf: An English Epic of the Eighth Century (Oxford). Seventh English translation, archaic literary prose. Fry 501. G-R 1687. S-H.
†Hall, John Lesslie, 1892. Beowulf: An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem, Translated from the Heyne-Socin Text(Boston). Eighth English translation, faithful, imitative meter (based on the Heyne-Socin edition of Beowulf). Fry 738. G-R 1688.
Schalk, Gustav. 1892(?). "Beowulf" in his Deutsche Heldensagen für Jungend und Volk (Dusseldorf). German paraphrase. G-R 1689.
†Hoffmann, P. 1893. Beowulf: Aeltestes deutsches Heldengedicht (Zullichau). Sixth German translation, unscholarly, Nibelungen meter (2nd ed. 1900). Fry 831. G-R 1690.
Turner, F. A. 1894. Prose paraphrase. Fry 2124.
†Morris, William, and Alfred J. Wyatt. 1895. The Tale of Beowulf, Sometime King of the Weder Geats(Hammersmith). Ninth English translation, imitative meter, liberal use of archaisms. G-R 1691.
†Simons, L. 1896. Beowulf. Angelsaksisch Volksepos vertaald in stafrijm en met inleiding en aanteekeningen (Ghent). First Dutch translation, aiming at accuracy, in iambic pentameter. G-R 1692.
Sweet, Henry. 1897. Paraphrase of part one (Grendel) in Old English prose (!). Fry 2039. G-R 318.
Church, Alfred John. 1898. "Beowulf" in his Heroes of Chivalry and Romance (London). Partial paraphrase in English prose (cp. Steineck 1898). Fry 326. G-R 1693.
Palmer, Berthe. 1898. Partial paraphrase in English prose (Grendel), based on Hall 1892. Fry 1615.
Ragozin, Zenaïde. 1898. Tales of the Heroic Age: Siegfried, the Hero of the North, and Beowulf, the Hero of the Anglo-Saxons (London). English prose paraphrase for school children. Fry 1681. G-R 1694.
†Steineck. J. 1898. Seventh German translation, literal line for line prose. Fry 2004. G-R 375.
Furst, Clyde. 1899. "The Oldest English Poem: The Beowulf" in A Group of Old Authors (Philadelphia). English paraphrase. Fry 596. G-R 1695.
*MacKaye, Percy. 1899. Beowulf: an Epical Drama of Anglo-Saxon Times. Original play based on the poem. Fry 1285.
Rørdan, Valdemar. 1899. Bjovulv: Et digt. An original poem in Danish inspired by Beowulf, mentioned by Andreas Haarder in Beowulf: The Appeal of a Poem (Viborg: Akademisk Forlag), 98.
*Thomson, Clara L. 1899. The Adventures of Beowulf (London). Paraphrase in English prose for children. (The best to date, according to Tinker.) Fry 2078. G-R 1696.
Church, Samuel Harden. 1901. Original poem using Beowulf material. Fry 327. G-R 1697.
†Hall, John R. Clark. 1901. Tenth English translation, accurate literal prose. Fry 740. G-R 1698.
Shahan, Thomas J. 1901. English prose paraphrase. Fry 1912. G-R 1699.
Björkman, Erik. 1902. Lines 2207-3182 in Swedish prose. Fry 112. G-R 1700.
Lanier, Sidney. 1902. Sample lines by a famous American poet. G-R 891.
†Tinker, Chauncey Brewster. 1902. Eleventh English translation, simple, literal prose. Fry 2091. G-R 1701.
†Kralik, Richard. 1903. German verse (alexandrines). Fry 1133. G-R 1702.
Trautmann, Moritz. 1903. Literal translation of Finnsburg materials into German prose. Fry 2109. G-R 1525.
†Child, Clarence Griffin. 1904. English prose. Fry 322. G-R 1703.
Hansen, Adolf. 1904. Lines 491-924 in Danish verse. Fry 748. G-R 1704.
Petersen, Georg Paysen. 1904. In German. G-R 1705.
Sandbach, Francis E. 1904. Lines 875-900 in English. Fry 1758.
†Trautmann, Moritz. 1904. Literal German prose. Fry 2106.
*Vogt, Paul. 1905. German verse; adapted, "dissected," and rearranged, based on Müllenhoff's ideas. Fry 2145. G-R 1706.
†Gering, Hugo. 1906. German verse. Fry 626. G-R 1707.
Hadow, G. E. and W.H. 1906. Passages as examples. G-R 378.
Mabie, Hamilton W. 1906. Reprint of Shahan 1901; cp. G-R 1699.
Warren, Kate M. 1906. Partial English prose translation. Fry 2171. G-R 379.
Wilmot-Buxton, E. M. 1906. "The Story of Beowulf" in his Britain Long Ago (London), 6-24; paraphrase for children.
†Huyshe, Wentworth. 1907. Beowulf: An Old English Epic (The Earliest Epic of the Germanic Race). (London.) English prose; interesting notes and engravings. Fry 931. G-R 1708.
Marshall, H. E. 1908. English prose paraphrase for children. Fry 1417. G-R 1710.
Cartwright, Thomas. 1908. English prose paraphrase for children. Fry 293. G-R 1709.
Guerber¸ Hélène Adeline. 1909. English prose paraphrase. Fry 715. G-R 1957 (for 1913 edition).
†Gummere, Francis B. 1909. English imitative meter (sections published earlier). Reprinted in Harvard Classics, Vol 49, 1910. Fry 720. G-R 381.
Bronson, Walter C. 1910. Passages in English prose. Fry 235. G-R 382.
Cox, John Harrington. 1910. Paraphrase adapted to school use. Fry 398. G-R 1711 and 1712.
Ebbutt, Maud Isabel. 1910. Paraphrase (rpt. 1986). G-R 1713.
†Hansen, Adolf. 1910. Danish imitative meter (completed by Viggo J. von Holstein Rathlou). Fry 747. G-R 1714.
Muhe, Theodor. 1910. A simplified version in English "for beginners." G-R 1715.
†Newcomer, A. G., and A. E. Andrews. 1910. English prose ("improved" from Thorpe 1855). Fry 1559. G-R 1716 (repr., see G-R 387, 393).
Spaeth, John Duncan. 1911. 2807 lines in English alliterative verse. Fry 1986. G-R 1716 (cp. 383, 387, and 393).
Dixon, W. MacNeile. 1912. Beowulf summarized pp. 57-66; "Finnsburg" translated in both verse and prose (see Girvan 1912). Fry 479.
Girvan, Richie. 1912. "Finnsburg" translated in Dixon 1912, 84-85.
Lang, Andrew. 1912. History of English Literature from "Beowulf" to Swinburne (2nd ed. London), 8-11. Prose summary by a famous British teller of fairytales.
†Pierquin, Hubert. 1912. French prose. Fry 1650. G-R 1717.
Kirtlan, Ernest, J. B. 1913. English prose. Fry 1008. G-R 1718.
Thomas, Walter. 1913. French prose passages; see Thomas 1919 and Caillois 1958 below. G-R 1722.
†Hall, John R. Clark. 1914. English imitative meter (cp. Hall 1901 and 1940, both in prose). Fry 739. G-R 1719.
†Constantin-Hansen, Thora. 1914. Bjovulf: Et angelsaksisk Heltedigt, frit gengivet for Børn. Freely translated into Danish. G-R (Konstantin-Hansen) 1720.
Webster, A. Blyth. 1914. Experimental translations of lines 4-52. Fry 2181. G-R 1398.
Benedetti, Anna. 1915. Italian (prose?) paraphrase. Fry 85. G-R 1721.
Dickins, Bruce. 1915. Translation of "Finnsburg." Fry 475. G-R 324.
Olivero, Federico. 1915. Translation of around 1100 lines into Italian prose (see also Olivero 1934). Fry 1581.
Faust, Colette, and Stith Thompson, 1918. Finnsburg in imitative meter. Fry 560.
[Keibard 1918? Does not respond to LC search.]
Leonard, William Ellery. 1918. Lines 559-661 in Nibelungen couplets. See also Leonard 1923. Fry 1231.
†Thomas, W. 1919. Literal French prose translation (omits lines 491-709; numerous passages published earlier). Fry 2077. G-R 1722.
Wyatt, Alfred J. 1919. An Anglo-Saxon Reader, edited passages interspersed with summaries in English by William Morris. Fry 2266. G-R 326.
†Rytter, Henrik. 1921. Norwegian landsmaal alliterative verse, repr. 1929. G-R 1723.
†Scott-Moncrieff, Charles K. 1921. English verse, attempts to be literal. Fry 1462. G-R 1724; see also 1725 ("Finnsburg" added).
†Gordon, Robert K. 1923. English prose. Currently available as Beowulf Unabridged in Dover Thrift Editions, 1992. Fry 653. G-R 1726.
†Leonard, William Ellery. 1923. English "Nibelungen" couplets (see Leonard 1918); reissued in 1932 with Rockwell Kent illustrations, in 1939 with Lynd Ward illustrations. Fry 1230. G-R 1727.
Spencer, R. A. 1923. Paraphrase of lines 1-1250. G-R 1728.
Chambers, R. W. 1924. Translation of "Finnsburg." Fry 316.
†Baugh, Albert C. 1925. English prose (assisted by Klaeber). Fry 72. G-R 1729.
*Hanson, Howard. 1925. Opus 25, for chorus and orchestra: "Lament for Beowulf" (text based on Morris and Wyatt 1895). Available on compact disc. Fry 749.
†Munn, James B. 1925. English prose. Fry 1517. G-R 1730.
†Strong, Archibald; forward by R. W. Chambers. 1925. English verse. Fry 2031. G-R 1731.
*Wyld, Henry Cecil ("Mr. Beach"). 1925. Parody. Fry 2272.
†Crawford, D. H. 1926. English verse. Fry 403. G-R 1732.
Malone, Kemp. 1926. "Finnsburg." Fry 1326. (See also Malone 1941.)
Naumann, Hans. 1926. "Finnsburg" and selections from Beowulf in German alliterative verse. Fry 1541. G-R 338 and 391.
*Brüder, Otto. 1927. Beowulf: Ein heldisches Spiel (Munich: Chr. Kaiser). Nationalistic German youth group play in German blank verse. (Freely translated into English verse by M. Osborn; unpublished.) Possibly based on an interpretation of Beowulf by N. F. S. Grundtvig. Diss 233.
Dillström, R. 1927. "Beowulf," Laivastolehti 2. Finnish translation of lines 1-1472 and 2961-81. G-R 1733.
Lawrence, William Witherle. 1928. Lines 3150-55a in Beowulf and the Epic Tradition. G-R 2762.
Brandl, Alois. 1929. "Finnsburg" in German alliterative verse. Fry 196. G-R 1527.
McCallum, James D. 1929. Selections. G-R 393.
Gerould, Gordon Hall. 1929. English alliterative verse; repr. several times. Fry 629, 630. G-R 392 (partial) and 1734.
Wyld, Henry Cecil. 1929. Experiments in verse translations of lines 26-52, 611-38, 1345-76, 2794-2820. Fry 2271. G-R 420 and 1409.
Sjoerds, Foeke. ca. 1930. Helden der Menchheid (Utrecht 1930). Retells the story for children, apparently in German. Diss 118.
*†Kuriyagawa, Fumio. 1931-32. First Japanese translation, creatively into the "Middle Japanese" prose of a biwa romance. Kuriyagawa was a highly regarded scholar. G-R 1651.
*Ayers, Harry Morgan. 1933. Retold in English prose in the style of an Icelandic saga. Fry 47.
Riggs, Strafford. 1933. (New York: Appleton-Century Co.) English prose paraphrase. Fry 1714.
Iarkho, Boris I. 1934. Lines 868-901 (Sigemund) in alliterative Russian meter. First appearance in Russian, first attempt at Russian verse translation. G-R 1737.
†Olivero, Federico. 1934. Literal Italian prose (see Olivero 1915). Fry 1582. G-R 1652.
Schalk, Gustav, and Theodor Seidenfaden. 1934. Popular paraphrase in German. G-R 1738.
*Vallvé, Manuel. 1934. Beowulf (Barcelona: Araluce). The story retold in Spanish for children and modified to emphasize moral content. Diss 161 and 175.
†Green, A. Wigfall. 1935. English prose, literal. Fry 660. G-R 1739.
Ichikawa, Sanki. 1935. Lines 1345-83 in Japanese prose. G-R 340.
Kennedy, Charles W. 1936. Lines 2231-70 in English alliterative verse, based on Klaeber (see Kennedy 1940). Fry 999.
Taketomo, S. 1936. [History of English Literature, 600-1600], Kobe, 1936. Probable summary in Japanese; unconfirmed.
Zaum, Karl. 1936. Contains Kalma translation of "Finnsburg" into Frisian (Kalma 1937 [sic]). G-R 1740.
*Beaty, John O. 1937. Swords in the Dawn: A Story of the First Englishmen (New York: Longmans). Novel about Finnsburg. Fry 79.
Kalma, Douwe. 1937. Alliterative translation of the Finnsburg materials into Frisian. G-R 1528 (cp. G-R 1740).
†Monnet, Camille. 1937. Beowulf (Torino, 1937). A direct translation into French of Olivero's Italian translation of 1934. Fry 1582. G-R 1741.
Moran, D. 1937. Paraphrase. G-R 1742.
Rusev, R. 1937. In Bulgarian with English summary. (64 pages; probably a discussion of the poem with sample passages.) G-R 2782.
Lehnert, Martin. 1939. 1044 lines in German. Fry 1224. G-R 1653.
Whitelock, Dorothy. 1939. Translation of lines 2444-71. Fry 2206. G-R 2786.
†Hall, John R. Clark. 1940. Important revision of Hall 1901 (prose) by C. L. Wrenn; revised again in 1950. Fry 740. G-R 1698.
†Kennedy, Charles W., 1940. English alliterative meter (based on Klaeber). Fry 996, 998, 999. G-R 403, 1743.
Williams, Margaret. 1940. "Finnsburg" in English verse. Fry 2219. G-R 395.
*Basari, Enrico. 1941. "Beowulf: Leggenda cristiana dell' antica Danimarca" in Il Vittorioso, an Italian weekly comicstrip. Rome, 1940-41; copy in Biblioteca Nacionale in Florence. See also Anon. 1955. This "cineepopea eroica" fuses Beowulf with Arthurian romance. Magoun (cited by Fry 1299) offers a parodic description and discussion of the Brazilian copy and translation of this work (see Anon 1955 below), without, however, appreciating the original author's combination of wild fantasy with evidence of some learning. To offer just two intriguing examples, the illustrations in Basari's Italian text include readable runes, and the storyteller borrows from the story of Galahad the divinely assisted assumption to Heaven of the hero at his death.
Malone, Kemp, 1941. Translation of "Finnsburg." Fry 1329. G-R 396.
Sandys¸ E. V. 1941. Paraphrase. Fry 1762. G-R 1744.
Whiting, Bartlett J. 1942. Includes passages in a general discussion. G-R 397.
Kennedy, Charles W. 1943. Includes "Finnsburg" (cp. Kennedy 1940). G-R 901.
Bone, Gavin. 1945. Beowulf in Modern Verse. Fry 151. G-R 1745.
†Hosford, Dorothy G. 1947. Close, intelligent English prose paraphrase for children, accompanied by interesting drawings by Laszlo Matulay. Fry 907. G-R 1746.
†Manent, María. 1947. La poesía inglesa, de los primitivos a los neoclásicos (Paris and Barcelona, 1947), 20-25. First attempt to translate Beowulf into Spanish verse. Diss 175.
*Wilbur, Richard, 1948. "Notes on Heroes," Wake 6: 80-81. Translates lines 210-214a into alliterative verse, adds original poem. Fry 2212.
Anderson, George Kumler. 1949. Numerous passages in English prose. Fry 12. G-R 590.
†Waterhouse, Mary. 1949. English blank verse. Fry 2173. G-R 1747.
Borges, Jorge Luís. 1951. "La gesta de Beowulf," summarized in his Antiguas literaturas germánicas(Mexico: Fondo de la Cultura Económica), 18-25. Rpr. 1966.
Genzmer, Felix. 1951. German paraphrase. Fry 624. G-R 1748.
Smith, Charles Francis Bricknell. 1951. The Story of Beowulf Retold (Exeter). Prose, for children.
†Morgan, Edwin. 1952. English verse; one of the best, by a well-known Scottish poet. Fry 1475. G-R 1749.
*Morgan, Edwin. 1953. "Auld Man's Coronach" [The Father's Lament in Beowulf], Glasgow Herald, 8 August. Imitative verse in Scots dialect.
*Beach, Bruce C. 1954. Beowulf: A Symphonic Sketch for Band (New York: Remick). Musical score (16 pages).
†Collinder, Björn. 1954. "Beowulf" översätt i originalets versmått. Swedish imitative meter. Fry 351. G-R 1750.
García de Diego, Vicente. 1954. Summary in the "leyendas nórdicas" section of his Antología de Leyendas de la Literatura Universal (Barcelona, 1954), 1085-95.
†Serraillier, Ian. 1954. Retold for children in mainly blank verse; illustrated by Severin. (M 182). Fry 1908. G-R 1751.
*Anon 1955. "O Monstro de Caim" [The Monster of Cain] in Epopéia 33: 3-20. Brazilian Portuguesecomic book version based directly on Basari 1941 even to the graphics, though these are much debased from the Italian originals. Fry 25, but see also Fry 1299 and the note on Basari 1941 above.
Sharenkov, Viktor. 1955. English prose paraphrase in his Outline of English Literature, pp. 11-16 (Sofia, repr. 1962). (Possibly a U of Sofia English Department publication.)
Blair, Peter Hunter. 1956. Passages in alliterative verse. Fry 128. G-R 596.
*Amis, Kingsley. 1957. "Anglo-Saxon Platitudes" (poem), Spectator 198: 445. Fry 10.1.
†Wright, David. 1957. English prose. Fry 2251. G-R 1752.
Baldini, Gabriele. 1958. Italian summary in Storia della letteratura inglese (Torino, 1958), 42-45 and 48.
*Canaway, W. H. 1958. The Ring-Givers (London: Michael Joseph, 1958). A historical novel turning the monsters into figments of the imagination and incorporating material from eddic poetry and Hrolf's Saga to fill out the sixth-century story.
Caillois, Roger, and Jean Clarence Lambert. 1958. Trésor de la poésie universelle (Paris, 1958). Includes excerpt from Thomas 1913.
†Lindqvist, Sune. 1958. Beowulf dissectus is a partial translation into Swedish that purports to be the entire (original) poem with interpolated material deleted. Fry 1251. G-R 1753.
†Cecioni, Cesare G. 1959. A careful prose translation into Italian based on Klaeber's edition. Fry 299. G-R 1754.
†Vera Perez, Orestes. 1959, repub. 1961. Spanish prose. Fry 1630. G-R 1755.
Kennedy, Charles W. 1960. Passages in alliterative verse (same as Kennedy 1940?). Fry 996.
[Oshitari, Kinshiro. 1960. Unconfirmed, may contain passages in Japanese: cp. Fry 1604 (cites a 1965 article). See Oshitari 1990.]
*Auden, W. H., 1961. "Short Ode to a Philologist" (i.e., Tolkien). Poem in Tolkien festschrift. Fry 43.
*Borges, Jorge Luis. 1961. "Compositión escrita en un ejemplar de la gesta de Beowulf," in his Antología Personal (Buenos Aires), 187. Poem, in Spanish; for English translations see Borges 1967. Fry 172.
Goodrich, Norma Lorre. 1961. The Medieval Myths, "Chapter One: Beowulf" (paraphrase). New York: Mentor, 13-50.
Picard, Barbara. 1961. "Beowulf" paraphrased for children in her Tales of the British People.
*Sutcliff, Rosemary. 1961. A fairly close retelling for children by one of the most famous British authors of children's fiction (see translations of this novel below). G-R 1755A.
Zezmer, David M. 1961. Summary incorporating passages from Kennedy 1943 (14 pages). Fry 2276.
Bessinger, Jess B., Jr. 1962. Beowulf, Caedmon's Hymn, and Other Old English Poems Read in Old English. Sound recording of Bessinger reading, with his descriptions and translations of texts on record jacket. Fry 102.
Leighton, Jane. 1962. English prose paraphrase for children in the "It's Fun to Read" series: The Story of Beowulf, Retold and Annotated (Frankfurt am Maine).
White, Anne Terry. 1962. English prose paraphrase for children. Fry 2202.
†Alfred, William. 1963. English prose. Fry 7. G-R 1756.
Flint, E.L. and M. K. 1963. Paraphrase for children. Fry 570.
Kinter, William. 1963. English prose summary for students in A Comprehensive Outline of Beowulf (New York).
Lattimore, Richmond, 1963. "Finnsburg" in English verse. Hudson Review 16: 50-51. Twice reprinted in collections by Lattimore (1966 and 1972). Fry 1183. G-R 1529.
†Raffel, Burton. 1963. Freely translated into roughly imitative meter. (Art edition with drawings by Leonard Baskin, 1972.) Fry 1678. G-R 1757.
[Severs 1963: Music?]
Boucher, Alan. 1964. Retold in Icelandic on Icelandic radio. Unpublished.
Wahba, Yousef Magdi Mourad. 1964. First translation into Arabic. Fry 2160. G-R 1758.
*Allen, Marijane. 1965. Beowulf: A Screenplay. Stanford M.A. creative writing thesis, winner of American Screenwriters' Guild Award, 1966. Unpublished.
[*Borges, Jorge Luis. 1965. Poem?]
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. 1965. Verse translation of "Finnsburg." Fry 420.
*Herrera, José Luis. 1965. Beowulfo (Madrid: Aguilar). Spanish prose for children. Interesting illustrations; the book won a prize for graphic design.
†Pearson, Lucien Dean. 1965. Rhythmic English prose and blank verse. Fry 1625. G-R 1759.
Rona, Eva. 1965. English prose paraphrase, published in Budapest. Fry 1729.
Alexander, Michael. 1966. English alliterative verse, lines 26-57, 194-257, 837-875, 2231-2266 (see Alexander 1973). G-R 407.
*Cox, Molly. 1966. Television screenplay for "Jackanory," a children's BBC-TV program. Unpublished.
†Donaldson, E. Talbot, 1966. Literal English prose translation, reprinted in The Norton Anthology and for three decades the source of most American college students' knowledge of the poem. Fry 485. G-R 1760.
Frey, Leonard Hamilton. 1966. Lines 1-52 in English prose. Fry 587.
Gondim, Navarro. 1966. "A Epopéia de Beowulf." First (and last?) serious attention to Beowulf inPortuguese (cp. Basari 1941). Verse translation of the Grendel's mere passage, based on Klaeber, inUnitario (weekly literary supplement of daily newspaper of Fortaleza, Brazil), 24 April 1966. G-R 1761.
Graf, Nanette. 1966. Paraprase in English prose for students. Fry 656.
†Nagano, Moriji. 1966. Japanese prose. Fry 1539. G-R 1762.
*Przedpelska-Trzeciakowska, Anna. Beowulf. Warsaw, 1966. Polish prose translation of Sutcliff 1961.
Sakuraba, Ichiro. 1966. Lines 1279-1309 in English prose, published in Tokyo. T/O 172.
*Tokonami, Shigeru, and Yoshiji Ida. 1966. Translation of Sutcliff 1961 into Japanese.
*Walsh, Gillian Paton. 1966. Hengest's Tale. London: Macmillan, 1966. Lively historical novel incorporating the Finnsburg materials. (The Fragment occurs almost verbatim on pp. 91-92.)
Borges, Jorge Luís. 1967. (Cp. Borges 1961.) "Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf," translated by Alistair Reid in A Personal Anthology. Ed. Anthony Kerrigan. (New York: Grove): 202. Poem translated from Spanish. (See also Borges 1993.)
Hieatt, Constance, 1967. English prose. Fry 820. G-R 408.
Thomas, W. K. 1967. "Beowulf, a Paraphrase." Verse paraphrase, omitting all material Thomas considered "extraneous" and "useless," published in Revue de l'Université d'Ottawa, 37: 23-68. G-R 1763.
Westphalen, Tilman. 1967. "Beowulf" 3150-55. A book-length study with new readings and a translation of these lines. G-R 2677.
†Crossley-Holland, Kevin. 1968. Beowulf: A New Translation. G-R 1764.
Garmonsway, George N., and Jaqueline Simpson, 1968. Close, literal English prose translation (by Garmonsway). G-R 2323.
*Nye, Robert. 1968. Beowulf: A New Telling (New York) and Bee Hunter: Adventures of Beowulf(London): two titles, one book. "This is an interpretation, not a translation" (Beaver edition, 103). Grendel's Mother is a medusa and the aged Beowulf cleverly kills the dragon with a hive of bees. An interesting and lively revisionist version for children. G-R 1765.
*McElfresh, Samuel Henry. 1969. Beowulf: A Film Script. M.A. thesis for San Franscisco State College. Interesting introduction includes film theory, but the Beowulf story is heavily romanticized in the script itself. Unpublished.
[Suzuki, Shigetake. 1969? See Suzuki 1978.]
[*Reichel 1960s? German novel: M 396.]
Hulpach, Vladimír, Emanuel Frynta, and Václav Cibula. 1970. Popular Romances of the Middle Ages, translated by George Steiner (London), 10-19. English prose retelling, originally in Czechoslovakian (?).
†McLeod, Thomas J. 1970. Beowulf: An Interlinear Translation (Hillsboro, Texas: Medical School of the Southwest Foundation). G-R 1766.
*Gardner, John. 1971. Grendel (New York: Knopf). A first-person narrative by Grendel himself. This is probably the best known adaptation of the story, by a professional medievalist who was also a modern novelist. The monsters are self-aware and philosophical. The Australian animated film "Grendel, Grendel, Grendel" is a parody of this novel.
Paulsen, Asta. 1971. "Beowulf." Vartovbogen, 33-53. Danish prose paraphrase.
*†Rebsamen, Frederick R. 1971. Beowulf Is My Name (San Francisco: Rinehart). An interesting experiment in a close prose retelling-by Beowulf himself. (See also Rebsamen 1991.)
*†Tegethoff, Wilhelm. 1971. Der altangelsächsische Beowulf: Ein Werk Adalberts von Bremen(Osnabrück: Im Eigenverlag des Verfassers). In German. "Adapts the poem in creating a parody of German verse supposedly by one Adalbert von Bremen" (Short 816). GR 2349.
*Aukin, Liane. 1972. Play performed by The Freehold Company in London on Dec 1972 and in Edinburgh on April 1973. Unpublished.
†Suzuki, Shigetaka. 1972. Text edited for Japanese university students with English translation and Japanese apparatus.
†Alexander, Michael. 1973. Beowulf: A Verse Translation (Harmondsworth: Penguin). A taut, gritty translation in imitative verse, influenced by Ezra Pound, of whose poetry Alexander is a scholar.
*Boseley, M. C. 1973. Adaptation for a TV script for "Jackanory," a children's BBC-TV program, based mainly on C. L. Wrenn's edition and R. K. Gordon's translation. (M. C. Boseley lives in Västerås, Sweden.) Unpublished.
†Brown, J. L. 1973. Beowulf: Translated from West Saxon Verse of the Tenth Century into English Prose (Campbell, CA: Academy Press). Not seen.
Worden, Marny. 1973. Beowulf (Silver Spring, Md.: National Association for the Deaf, 1973). Abridged adaptation "for those with low reading levels" (brochure).
*Hart, Joseph. 1974. "Wiglaf." Prairie Schooner (Winter 1974), 283-295. Short story.
†Lerate, Luis, and Jesus Lerate. 1974. Beowulf y otros poemas épicos antiguos germánicos (s. VII-VIII) (Barcelona: Seix Barral, translation republished 1986). Reported in OEN 10:2 (1977), 30, as also including translations of shorter poems, among them the "Finnsburg Fragment."
*Wiley, Betty Jane. 1974. Beowulf: A Musical Epic. Victor Davies, composer. (Toronto: Leap Frog Records). A rock opera.
Anonymous. 1975. "Beowulf and Grendel" in The Magic of Words: The 1975 Childhood Annual. Paraphrase, illustrated by Brian Froud.
†Porter, John. 1975. Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon Text with Modern English Parallel (London: Pirate Press). Literal line-by-line translation with no pretentions to art or even comprehensibility. Revision published 1988 by Llanerch Enterprises, and again, with the original Old English, by Anglo-Saxon Books in 1991 and 1993.
Tikhomirova, V. 1975. Beowulf, Starshaia Edda, Pesnia o Nibelungakh [Beowulf, Elder Edda, Song of the Nibelungen]. Ed. M. I. Steblin-Kamenskii (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia). In Russian, presumably a paraphrase.
*Uslan, Michael. 1975-76. Beowulf: Dragon-Slayer (New York: D. C. Quality Magazines). Comic book serial, of which the first is a "sword and sorcery" retelling of the story. The five sequels have Beowulf and his pal Nan-zee (a sexy female substitute for Wiglaf) engaging in further adventures thoroughly enjoyed by the author. A lively cult item.
*Crichton, Michael. 1976. Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan, Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in A.D. 922 (New York: Knopf). Brings together the Arab Ibn Fadlan's Risala and theBeowulf story in thriller form, making the Grendels into a neanderthal-like tribe. (See The 13th Warriorunder "Films" at the end of this list.)
Dietrichson, Jan W. 1976. Beowulf-kvadet. Oslo: H. Aschehoug. Norwegian prose.
†Nickel, Gerhard, et al. 1976. Beowulf und die Kleineren Denkmäler der altenglischen Heldensage Waldere und Finnsburg: Mit Text und Übersetzung, Einleitung und Kommentar (3 Vols., Heidelberg: Winter), in Vol. 3. [Not seen: it is unclear to me in what volume the translation was to appear. Douglas Short reports that Vol. 3 had not appeared as of December 1979 (item 1003).]
*Blackistone, Bruce. 1977. Beowabbit: Facsimile from the Collection of Raymond Palmer, attributed to Æthelstan of Devonshire (Takoma Park, MD: Centa). Parody.
†Chickering, Howell D., Jr. 1977. Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor). Fairly literal moderately imitative verse. For two decades this has been the translation of choice for many scholars who teach the poem.
†Jonk, Jan. 1977. Beowulf, een prosavertaling, ingeleid door Godfried Storm. (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker). Dutch prose.
†Haley, Albert W., Jr. 1978. Beowulf (Boston: Branden). Modern English. M160
†Ohba, Keizo. 1978. Shin Kogo-yaku: Beowulf (Tokyo: Shinozaki Shorin). Colloquial Japanese. (Not verified: reported in the MLA Bibliography for 1978.)
†Suzuki, Shigetake, and Motoko Suzuki. 1978. Old English Poetry: Elegy, Beowulf and Religious Poetry (Tokyo). Not seen; reported in ASE 9 (1979), 345. These are probably English translations; see Suzuki 1972.
†Swanton, Michael. 1978. Beowulf: Edited with an Introduction, Notes and New Prose Translation(Manchester: Manchester University Press). Literal prose, parallel text. Revised 1997. M 195.
*Bourland, Roger. 1979. "Beowulf: A Pageant." Musical score.
*Oldham, June. 1979. The Raven Waits. (London: Abelard-Schuman, Ltd.; repub. Hodder Children's Books in their Hodder Silver Series, 2001). A novel from the point-of-view of the (on site) Beowulf poet, before he writes the poem commemorating the hero.
Ball, Gordon. 1980. "The Story of Beowulf." Wonders: Writings and Drawings for the Child in Us All, eds. Jonathan Cott and Mary Gimbel. (New York: Rolling Stone Press): 72-79. Standard retelling, close.
*Cole, Kenneth. 1980. Rock musical score. M 251.
†Bravo, Antonio. 1981. Beowulf. Estudio y traducción (Oviedo: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Oviedo). Spanish.
Cross, Beverley. 1981. Movie script for Clash of the Titans. See more under "Video Recordings and Films" below.
†Bradley, S. A. J. 1982. Anglo-Saxon Poetry (London: Dent), 408-494. Literal prose translation (see comment above on Grundtvig 1820).
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. 1982. Beowulf (Oxford: Oxford University Press). A lively retelling in prose for children, with brilliant, terrifying line drawings by Charles Keeping.
†Greenfield, Stanley B. 1982. A Readable Beowulf: The Old English Epic Newly Translated(Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press). This translation is by one of Anglo-Saxon poetry's best close readers. Greenfield's main innovations are a (surprisingly readable) syllabic verse of mainly nine syllables per line and an effort to incorporate wordplay comparable to what he finds in the original. Some will find the puns strained.
†Bjornsson, Halldóra B. 1983. Bjólfkviða (Reykjavik: Fjölva). First Icelandic translation, in imitative verse, by a well-known Icelandic poet. She makes use of the echoic technique made (in)famous by the Zukofskys' translation of Catullus, used perhaps more appropriately in the near-cognate context of Old English to Icelandic.
*Borges, Jorge Luis. 1983. "Fragmento" (pp. 228-29, about Beowulf's sword) and "Breve antología anglosajona" (pp. 307-321, including a passage from Beowulf) in Obras completas en colaboración, Vol. 2 (Madrid: Alianza Trez & Emecé). A number of other poems in this collection are also loosely connected withBeowulf.
Kirtland, Ernest J. 1983. Beowulf. Prose translation.
†Osborn, Marijane. 1983. Beowulf: A Verse Translation with Treasures of the Ancient North (Berkeley: University of California Press). Imitative verse aiming at clarity and readability, with photographs of artifacts that illuminate references to material culture in the poem. Republished 1994, without pictures or other supportive materials, in Narrative Fiction: An Introduction and Anthology, ed. Kelley Griffith (New York: Harcourt and Brace).
Tripp, Raymond P., Jr. 1983. More About the Fight with the Dragon (Lanham, MD: University Press of America). Edits, comments upon, and offers a facing-page literal translation of lines 2208b-3182. "If we restore the poet's language and let it speak for itself, an entirely different story emerges. Then there is no thief, no animal dragon, and no last survivor. These all return to their original identity in the form of a single evil king, most likely Heremod himself, who became a dragon…" (ix).
*Bingham, Jerry. 1984. Beowulf, Adapted from the 8th Century Epic Poem (Chicago: First Comics). "He was of a noble breed. He was…BEOWULF!" Despite the medieval castle and inevitable horned helmets, the graphics are excellent, and Bingham even tries for occasional alliterative verse.
†Haarder, Andreas. 1984. Sangen om Bjovulf: i dansk gengivelse (Kobenhavn: G. E. C. Gad). Danish. Not seen, but Haarder is a notable scholar of the poem.
†Huppé, Bernard F. 1984. The Hero in the Earthly City: A Reading of Beowulf (Binghampton: SUNY, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies), 97-201. "Makes no attempt at poetic recreation, only at following the text, as I understand it, with minimal deviation from line by line congruence" (97). Assumes "the poet's Augustinian frame of reference" (203).
†Krol, Jelle, and Popke van der Zee. 1984. Beowulf, in proaza-oersetting út it Aldingelsk (Boalsert: Koperative Utjourwerij). Frisian prose.
†Roberts, Gildas. 1984. Beowulf: A New Translation into Modern English Verse (St. John's, Newfoundland: Breakwater).
Lerate, Luis, and Jesus Lerate. 1986. New and/or revised? See Lerate 1974 (Spanish).
*McBeth, W. Francis. 1986. Beowulf: An Heroic Trilogy for Symphonic Band. (San Antonio, Texas: Southern Music Co.) Musical score (40 pages). Sound recording produced by Shenandoah University, 1989 (1 sound cassette).
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. 1987. Beowulf: The Poetry of Legend (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell). Not seen: uncertain whether this is a study or a new translation.
†Glover, Julian. 1987. Beowulf: An Adaptation of the Verse Translations of Michael Alexander and Edwin Morgan (Gloucester [England]: Sutton).
Heaney, Seamus. 1987. "A Ship of Death" (Beowulf, lines 26-52). In The Haw Lantern (New York: Noonday Press). This and Heaney's many other fragmentary translations, not listed here, are incorporated in his complete translation of 1999.
Koch, Ludovica. 1987. In Italian. M 483.
*Niven, Larry, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes. 1987. The Legacy of Heorot (New York: Simon and Schuster). Beowulf retold as science fiction. The "grendels" appear as a natural response to humans disturbing ecological balance on the planet Tau Ceti Four. Fortunately security chief Cadmann Weyland (Beowulf) comes to the rescue. Lots of blood. Niven has a previous hero, Beowulf Shaeffer, first appearing in 1966 and then in the science fiction magazine Omni for May 1993, and the team has written sequels to their "Beowulf" novel (Beowulf's Children 1995, etc.).
*Anderson, Poul. 1988. Hrolf Kraki's Saga (New York, Baen). A retelling of the saga as a modern novel; includes themes from Beowulf.
Berrill, Margaret. 1988. Beowulf (Raintree Stories Series, Steck Vaugn). For children: presumably a paraphrase.
*Holt, Tom. 1988. Who's Afraid of Beowulf? (London: Macmillan). Novel, parodying the mainly comic sagas in Seven Viking Romances, translated by Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards (London: Penguin, 1985). Characters from these and other sagas, such as Arvarodd (Arrow-Odd) and Hrolf Kraki, wake up in the modern world. Beowulf appears but is marginal in this very funny book. Republished as Expecting Beowulf, 2002.
†Lehmann, Ruth P. M. 1988. Beowulf: An Imitative Translation (Austin: University of Texas Press). The cover copy of this translation advertises it misleadingly as "the only one available that preserves both the story line of the poem and the alliterative versification of the Anglo-Saxon original" (back cover). Imitative meter is an important element in Lehmann's presentation and the only aspect of translation she discusses ( pp. 16-18). (Also see Rebsamen, 1991.) Though occasionally obscure or sloppy, often her terse, clear diction works well. The book abounds, however, in misprints and errors of fact surprising from this noted scholar.
†Karibe, Tsunenori. 1989. "Beowulf with its Japanese Translation Facing the Original (I)," Bulletin of the College of General Education (Niigata University), 20: 239-84. In Japanese. For completion (Part II) see Karibe 1990.
Quasha, George. 1989. Beowulf. No indication of what this is. Hungry Minds, Inc. ISBN 0671005502.
1990s Note: The translations and versions listed below represent a range of purposes and attitudes that show the increasing sophistication and breadth of serious interest in the poem, hence the more extensive annotation.
†Hudson, Marc. 1990. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press). "Liberal paraphrase might describe the path I took" (p. 17). Hudson's commentary chapter title, "The Syntax of Contemplation," tells us much about the effect he strives for in this fine verse translation, which may appeal more to the sophisticated reader of modern poetry than to the average "Beowulfian." His deeply thoughtful and well-informed commentary on the process of translating Beowulf must be read by anyone now writing on the subject.
Karibe, Tsunenori. 1990. "Beowulf with its Japanese Translation Facing the Original (II)," Bulletin of the College of General Education (Niigata University), 21: 187-227. In Japanese. Completion of Karibe 1989.
*†Oliver, Raymond. 1990. Beowulf: A Likeness, with Randolph Swearer and Marijane Osborn, with an introduction by Fred C. Robinson (New Haven: Yale University Press). "This volume is a rendition of the Old English heroic poem Beowulf with an accompaniment" (1); the story is told by Oliver as "a re-creation…using modern verse forms" (1). "To convey the plot, setting, characters, and so forth, I have tried to adapt the (realistic) techniques of the historical novel…" (Author's Prologue, 8). Naturally, additional commentary on this (exceptionally beautiful) volume would not be unbiased.
†Oshitari, Kinshiro. 1990. Beowulf (Tokyo: Kenkyusha). In Japanese.
†Tharaud, Barry. 1990. Beowulf (Niwot: The University Press of Colorado). Revised 1996. Tharaud's dedication indicates his inspiration and purpose: "For my English 201 students at Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey (1984-86)"; he offers the text in the simplest, most readable English prose compatible with the nature of the poem. "In an attempt to make the poem more accessible and enjoyable to the nonspecialist, nonacademic reader, there are no footnotes, and pertinent historical, literary, or linguistic information is contained in the text or in the brief introduction" (11). I have seen two reviews expressing widely different responses, though the negative one did not seem to take fair account of the translator's purpose. The text is accompanied by the Rockwell Kent lithographs made in 1931.
†Crépin, André. 1991. "Beowulf": Édition diplomatique et texte critique, traduction française(Göppingen: Kümmerle). 2 Vols., in French. Not seen; Crépin is a well-known French scholar.
*Gabard, G. N. 1991. "Loss of Dream Sleep," Literary Review 35, 103-07. Verse translation of lines 697-836.
†Rebsamen, Frederick. 1991. Beowulf: A Verse Translation (New York: Harper-Collins). "The only translation I am aware of that attempts throughout to imitate the Old English poetic form as closely as is practical in Modern English" (author's introduction, vii). My quick reading finds this alliterative verse translation as good as any other striving for faithfulness.
†Tripp, Raymond P., Jr. 1991. Beowulf: An Edition and Literary Translation in Progress (Denver: Society for New Language Study). A continuation of efforts published by Tripp in 1983 (see above).
Aertsen, Henk. 1993. "Beowulf" in Van Aiol tot de Zwaanridder: Personages uit de middeleeuwse verhaalkunst en hun voortleven in literatur, theater en beeldende kunst (Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Sun), eds. Willem P. Gerritsen and Anthony G. van Melle; translated by Tanis Guest as A Dictionary of Medieval Heroes (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1998; paperback 2000), 55-57. Summary of the poem (originally in Dutch).
*Borges, Jorge Luis. 1993. "Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf." Translation by R. G. Barnes, Poetry Magazine 162 (1993), 159.
Polevoy, P. N. 1993. Legendy i skrazanyja staroj Evropy: Pod zvon mechej, Pesni Eddy, Pesn' o Nibelungakh, Skazanie o Beovul'fe [Legends and Tales of Old Europe: To Ringing Swords, Songs of the Edda, The Story of the Nibelungen, The Tale of Beowulf] (Smolensk: Smiadyn'). In Russian, presumably a paraphrase.
*Beard, Henry. 1994. "Grendel's Dog" in Poetry for Cats (New York: Willard). Parody of the alliterative style of Beowulf.
†?György, Fordította Szegó. 1994. Beowulf (Budapest: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Anglisztika Tanszék). In Hungarian.
†Risden, E.L. 1994. Beowulf: A Student's Edition (Troy, NY: Whitston). Not seen: presumably a close translation (?).
Cano, María Fernanda. 1995. Beowulf: La leyenda de las dos criaturas. (Publisher unknown: ISBN 9879011066.) Spanish, presumably a paraphrase.
*Godwin, Park. 1995. The Tower of Beowulf (New York: Morrow). Fantasy novel in which Grendel's mother is Loki's ugly daughter by a giantess, whom he turns into a loathly lady-a magical female capable of appearing beautiful. In her lovely aspect she seduces "Shild" and gives birth to his son Grendel. Another grotesque but sensitive monster (like Gardner's Grendel), he comes in later years to prey upon his kinsmen, the Scyldings.
†?Grant, Paula. 1995. Aldfrith's Beowulf (Felenfach, Wales). Presumably a translation; not seen.
*Potter, Tessa. 1996. Beowulf and the Dragon. Crystal Lake, IL: Rigby Interactive Library (Myths and Legends Series). Not seen.
*Schaefer, Frank. 1996. Whose Song Is Sung (New York: Tor). The novel is subtitled "A Narrative of the Travels of Musculus Herodes Formosus, Known as Musculus the Dwarf, through Barbarian Territories, Including an Account of His Sojourn with the Northmen, and a True Description of the Demise of a Monster Known as the grundbur at the Hands of the Hero, Beowulf, and certain other Related Incidents, which elsewhere have been Misrepresented." Although the idea bears some relationship to that of Crichton 1976, the execution is quite different. One of the better "Beowulf" novels.
*Jensen, S. R. 1997. Beowulf and the Monsters: Adapted and Arranged from the Old English Poem "Beowulf" (Sydney: Australian RRC). Not seen: TV script?
*Strickland, Brad. 1997. Be a Wolf (The Adventures of Wishbone #1 (Lyrick Studios). Amazon.com's synopsis: This new series of novels is structured like the Wishbone public television episodes, reproducing the major elements and charm of the show while keeping the story focused on Wishbone, the dog. The series is a mixture of novelizations of existing episodes as well as original Wishbone stories. This book is inspired by the classic work, Beowulf.
†Trask, Richard M. 1997. Beowulf and Judith: Two Heroes (Lanham, MD: University Press of America). A translation notable for "adhering scrupulously to the alliterative strictures of Anglo-Saxon verse and exploiting its epithetical style" (press advertisement). Interlinear Old English text. (Not seen.)
†?Carruthers, Leo. 1998. Beowulf (Paris: Didier). Not seen: translation into French?
†Bringsvaerd, Tor Age. 1999. Beowulf: Han som ville bli husket (Oslo: Gyldental). A prose retelling in Norwegian with exquisite illustrations by Arne Samuelsen.
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. 1999. Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, edited with an introduction and notes by Heather O'Donoghue. (Oxford: Oxford University Press). It is unclear from the press advertisement claiming "New!" in what respect this book is new (cp. Crossley-Holland 1968).
†Heaney, Seamus. 1999. Beowulf (London: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux). This translation by a Nobel Prize winning Irish poet is remarkable when heard aloud; Heaney makes it his own by including Northern Irish diction and turns of phrase. It is included in the first volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literaturefor the year 2000, and also published separately with a facing page text in 2000.
*Katz, Welwyn Wilton. 1999. Beowulf (Toronto: Groundwood Books). An Adaptation for children told from the viewpoint of Wiglaf, who has "his own cursed gift." Many illustrations by Laszlo Gal.
*Hill, McKinley. 2000. True Confessions of a Dumpster Diver: A Syberpunk Version of the Beowulf Legend (Bloomington, Indiana: 1stBooks Library). Not seen.
*Hinds, Gareth. 2000. The Collected Beowulf (TheComic.Com). Three graphic comics previously published separately, now in one volume.
†Luizza, R. M. 2000. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press). Described by its author as a "quiet" translation, this version has received mostly rave reviews from Anglo-Saxonists.
†?Rogers, Bertha. 2000. Beowulf (Delhi, N.Y.: Birch Book Press). Presumably a translation. Not seen.
*Calcutt, David. 2001. Beowulf: A Play Based on the Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem (Dramascripts Classic Texts) (Cheltenham, UK: Nelson Thomas Ltd.). Not seen.
†?Kennedy, Thomas C. 2001. Beowulf (Leawood, KS: Squire Publishers). Presumably a translation. Not seen.
†Rodrigues, Louis J. 2001. Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburh: A Modern English Rendering (London: Runetree Press). Not seen.
Traherne, Elaine. 2002. "Beowulf" in Old and Middle English: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell), 159-195. Literal line-by-line translation of lines 320-1250 (Grendel and his Mother) with facing page text. Lines 662-1250 are reprinted in her Old and Middle English Poetry, co-edited with Duncan Wu (Oxford: Blackwell), 49-74.
†Slade, Benjamin. 2002-2003. Beowulf on Steorarume (Beowulf in Cyberspace). (Published online athttp://www.heorot.dk.) A new critical electronic edition of the text, based on an examination of the original manuscript with supplementary texts, including The Fight at Finnsburh, Waldere, Deor, Woden's Nine Herbs Charm, Bede's Account of Caedmon.
† ?Kamath, A. Rajagopal, August 2003 (1st ed.) Beowulf (Saindhava Books - Killam, Kerala [India]). Paperback, 96 pages.
Sound Recordings of Beowulf (Read in Old English and in Translation)
(For sheet music and recordings of musical compositions, see above Hanson 1925, Beach 1954, Wiley (Davies) 1974, Bourland 1979, Cole 1980, and McBeth 1986.)
Title: Selections from Beowulf. 1940. Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English. Description: 1 sound disc (ca. 30 min.): 78 rpm, mono; 10 in. Publisher No.: D9-CB-1912. National Council of Teachers of English. Read by Harry Morgan Ayres. Sound cassette. Berkeley, Calif.: Media Resources Center, The Library, University of California, 1988. 1 cassette.
Title: Selections from Beowulf. 1955. Read by Arthur G. Brodeur. Publisher: [Berkeley, Calif.?] REL 101. Description: 2s. 12 in. 33 1/3 rpm. Notes: "Issued...on the occasion of [Professor Brodeur's] retirement in June 1955 from the University of California."
Title: Beowulf/ Chaucer. [1957?]. Read by Kökeritz and Pope. Publisher: Pleasantville, N.Y.: Lexington. Description: 1 sound disc : 33 1/3 rpm ; 10 in. Contents: Side 1. Beowulf readings / read by John C. Pope. (Designed to illustrate the reader's conception of the meter and its rhythmic elaboration as expounded in his book, The Rhythm of Beowulf). Side 2. Chaucer readings / read by Helge Kökeritz. (Pronunciation used follows the principles outlined in the reader's A Guide to Chaucer's Pronunciation). Publisher No.: LE 5505 Lexington Records.
Title: Early English poetry read in Old and Middle English. 1958. Compiled, edited, and recited by Charles W. Dunn. Publisher: New York : Folkways Records. Description: 1 sound cassette (40 min.): stereo. Contents: Old English poetry: Caedmon's hymn -- The Battle of Maldon -- The Seafarer -- Beowulf ; Middle English poetry: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- Chaucer's Wife of Bath's tale. Publisher No.: FL 9851. Folkways Records Notes: Originally issued as a sound disc.
Title: Beowulf, Caedmon's Hymn, and Other Old English Poems. 1962. Read in Old English by J. B. Bessinger, Jr. Program notes by J. B. Bessinger, Jr. on container; text in Old and Modern English in container. Publisher: New York : Caedmon. Description: 1 sound disc (50 min.) : 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in. Contents: Caedmon's Hymn -- The Dream of the Rood -- The Wanderer -- The Battle of Brunanburg -- A Wife's Lament -- Selections from Beowulf. Publisher No.: TC 1161 Caedmon. Title on container: Beowulf, Caedmon's Hymn and other Old English poems. Also available in cassette form as Beowulf: In Old English.
Title: Beowulf. 1966. Selections, read in Old English by Norman Davis and Nevill Coghill. Descriptive notes by Norman Davis on slipcase; text of the recording ( p.) inserted. Publisher: [s.l.] : Spoken Arts. Description: 1 sound disc : 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in. Publisher No.: SA918, Spoken Arts. Edition recorded: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1952.
Title: Beowulf. 1967. Read in Old English by Kemp Malone. Text of the work with E. Talbot Donaldson's prose translation (171 p.) laid in container. Publisher: Caedmon TC 4001. Description: 8 s. 12 in. 33 1/3 rpm. microgroove. Automatic sequence.
Title: Readings from Old English. [n.d.] Prose and Verse represented in Bright's Anglo-Saxon Readerrevised by J. R. Hulbert and read [by Francis P. Magoun?] according to an early West Saxon type of pronunciation. F.C. Packard, editor; Francis P. Magoun. Publisher: Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Vocarium, [n.d.]. Description: 1 sound disc : 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in. Contents: Side 1: Readings from Old English prose and verse -- side 2: Readings from the Beowulf. Publisher No.: L-6000 Vocarium. Sound cassette: Berkeley, Calif., Media Resources Center: The Library, Univeristy of California, 1988. 1 cassette.
Title: Beowulf. 1997. Audio CD boxed set, Pearl -- Koch --; ASIN: B000000WWQ (information from amazon.com). Apparently a complete reading, although this is not confirmed.
Title: "Beowulf" Read in Anglo-Saxon. 1997. Wadhurst, East Sussex: Pavillion Records. 2 CDs with a booklet (12 pages).
Title: Opening the Word Hoard. 1999. Readings from Beowulf by Seamus Heaney. Publisher: Berkeley, CA : University of California, Office of Media Services. Description: 2 sound cassettes : analog. Nobel Prize winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney provides commentary and reads from his poem, Beowulf.
Title: Beowulf: The Original BBC Recording by Seamus Heaney. 2000. Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd, by arrangement with the BBC.
Video Recordings and Films
Title: Beowulf: An Animated Film (20 min). [n. d.] Screenplay (?) by D. J. M. Coleman. (Not seen. Copy in University of Birmingham Library reported by T. H. Williams on Ansaxnet.)
Title: Clash of the Titans (118 min). 1981. Film, available on video cassette. Screenplay writer Beverley Cross rearranges the Perseus story into the three-monster plot of Beowulf, adapting the Medusa to fill the slot of Grendel's Mother (cp. Nye 1968) and alluding to various other myths and literary works. Producer: Charles H. Schneer for MGM.
Title: Grendel, Grendel, Grendel (90 min). 1982. Animated film (no longer available) with screenplay by Bruce Sweaton. Produced by Satori Films, Australia. Musical parody of John Gardner's Grendel of 1971. Geats and Danes speak in outback Aussie, the monsters in posh Brit. Grendel's voice: Peter Ustinov.
Title: Beowulf and Old English Literature. 1984. Produced by Stephen Mantell; written by Carroll Moulton. Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities. Title on container: Beowulf and the Old English Tradition. Subject: Serves as an introduction to the origins of the English language and literature. Discusses Celtic-British culture, oral epic tradition, and examines, in detail, Beowulf.
Title: Star Trek Voyager (Episode 12). 1995. TV episode: A "photonic" breakaway from a nearby planet enters the Beowulf holodeck program. (An episode of "Zena" similarly adapts Beowulf in 2001. Not seen.)
Title: Animated Epics: Beowulf. 1998. A made-for-TV family version directed by Yuri Kulakov. Not seen.
Title: The Thirteenth Warrior (102 min). 1999. Film, available on video cassette. Based on Crichton's 1976 novel combining the historical A.D. 922 journey of the Arab Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) withBeowulf. Directed by John McTiernan.
Title: Beowulf (93 min). 2000. A highly derivative futuristic post-holocaust fantasy with Christopher Lambert as Beowulf. Directed by Graham Barker.
Postscript to the List
Note: Beowulf and the Critics by J. R. R. Tolkien was published by ACMRS in 2002. Click here for more information.
I have note of a Russian work titled Beowulf (Moscow 1975), for which I have information in cyrillic that I cannot read, a Bengali translation of 1985 cited in the CD Index Translationum, and a German work titledBeowulf (der erste Fantasyroman der Welt) distributed by Klett-Cotta in 2001.