Beowulf and the North Before the Vikings (Past Imperfect) (Paperback)

Beowulf and the North Before the Vikings (Past Imperfect) By Tom Shippey Cover Image
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Ever since Tolkien's famous lecture in 1936, it has been generally accepted that the poem Beowulf is a fantasy, and of no use as a witness to real history. This book challenges that view, and argues that the poem provides a plausible, detailed, and consistent vision of pre-Viking history which is most unlikely to have been the poet's invention, and which has moreover received strong corroboration from archaeology in recent years. Using the poem as a starting point, historical, archaeological, and legendary sources are combined to form a picture of events in the North in the fifth and sixth centuries: at once a Dark and a Heroic Age, and the time of the formation of nations. Among other things, this helps answer two long-unasked questions: why did the Vikings come as such a shock? And what caused the previous 250 years of security from raiders from the sea?

About the Author

Tom Shippey =========== Tom Shippey has published extensively on Tolkien and on early medieval literature. His last book is Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings (2018).

Product Details
ISBN: 9781802700138
ISBN-10: 1802700137
Publisher: ARC Humanities Press
Publication Date: August 31st, 2022
Pages: 136
Language: English
Series: Past Imperfect