Happy Birthday, Beowulf!

180px-Beowulf.firstpageThis year the British Library is celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of Beowulf. If you happen to be in London on October 25-28, you can see their copy of Beowulf on display.

For those of us who can’t make it to London, listening to the audiobook version of the Seamus Heaney translation is another great way to celebrate this epic poem. The translation by the Nobel Prize-winning author was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times and Library Journal. AudioFile Magazine awarded our audio recording, narrated by Golden Voice George Guidall, an AudioFile Earphones Award.

Pairing the print—especially the Heaney translation, which in most cases has a side-by side view of the modern translation and the Old English—with the audio will allow students to comprehend the famous work and hear the poetic elements without having to struggle through archaic text and notoriously difficult Old English names. Our Heaney translation also includes a wealth of information before and after the poem itself, including background information, author information, literary criticism, and a discussion of the art of translation.

Download an excerpt from the Beowulf audiobook below. (Right click and Save As to download.)
Beowulf Teacher Guide PDF

Beowulf Audiobook Excerpt – On translator Seamus Heaney, background on Beowulf, Beowulf summary

Beowulf Audiobook Excerpt – The Beginning


One Response

  1. Wow; I had no idea that it was the 1,000th anniversary of Beowulf. That really puts a lot of literature in perspective.

    Hats off to you guys for providing such awesome materials for this book. Beowulf isn’t exactly the easiest book to read (or teach), so having good materials is a must.

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