Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims & Heroic Legends

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims & Heroic Legends

Article excerpt

Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims & Heroic Legends, ed. and trans. Louis J. Rodrigues (Pinner: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1993). 176 pp. ISBN 1898281017. £7.95. This book is the fifth volume in the editor's series of 'Anglo-Saxon Verse Specimens ren- dered into Modem English'. The heroic legends are represented by Beowulfian 'tales' (Sigemund, Finn, Thryth, Freawani, the Battle of Ravenswood and death of Ongentheow), The Finnsburh Fragment, Waldere, Widsith, Deo rand Wulf and Eadwacer, the last included for its connections to an old Germanic story and its structural similarities with Deor. As the volume is aimed at a non-academic audience, it deliberately lacks editorial variants of the texts, a glossary and a comprehensive bibliography- The introduction is readable but hardly non-academic; die translations achieve their compromise with the original versions by simplifying the syntax and retaining Old English lexical items that have survived into Modern English. [Jan Cermák]

This translation is based on the EETS edition of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 402. It is equipped with introduction and explanatory endnotes; Latin quotations are translated at the foot of the page. As a Penguin, this edition is clearly aimed in part at the general reader, but Hugh White seems less than easy with this. The introduction is a disappointment, self-consciously drawing attention to what that reader might find difficult in the world of the anchorite, and accompanied by unhelpful comparisons 'to our own culture, so much more positive in its attitude to sex and the body' (p. …

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