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Beowulf the Warrior Hardcover – 1961


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Henry Z. Walck; First Edition edition (1961)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000GKD9QQ
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,380,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Read aloud for grades 2/3 thru high school.
LME
This retelling of the story is easily read aloud and brings with it the beauty of the original language of the poem.
HannaLee
This edition includes a number of illustrations which will certainly help draw younger readers into the story.
Florentius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Florentius VINE VOICE on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This handy edition of Beowulf has the virtue of being easily approachable by an average reader, whereas some of the other translations I've seen have almost been like reading the original Anglo-Saxon itself. The translation reads easily yet retains the flavor and rhythms of the ancient epic.

Though it's still a little advanced for my kids (under age 6), it will definitely be bedtime fare in the not-too-distant future. For those unfamiliar with the story, it tells the tale of Beowulf and his battles against awful Grendel, the hideous mother of Grendel, and the terrible fire-breathing dragon. This edition includes a number of illustrations which will certainly help draw younger readers into the story.

If you enjoyed Beowulf and want to know more about the Anglo-Saxon language, you might try A Book For The Beginner In Anglo-saxon: Comprising A Short Grammar and Some Selections from the Gospels. If you just like epic poems, there's also The Laviniad: An Epic Poem which is an epic in the Trojan War cycle written by a modern author and the classic The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
My children (6 and 7 years old) thoroughly enjoyed listening to how the mighty and brave Beowulf defeated the evil Grendel and his Mother. The book is written very well and lends itself to a great deal of imagery. I was very glad this classic could be written in a manner that small children could understand and enjoy this great story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LME on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
from the hardback edition published 1961, Henry Z. Walck, Incorporated, New York
" Here is a spirited version of the oldest English verse epic. With tremendous power and memorable simplicity, Ian Serraillier has retold the heroic saga of the warrior who in his youth delivered Hrothgar the Dane from the menace of Grendel, the night-prowling monster; and who in his old age fought his last victorious but fatal battle against the dreadful dragon who ravaged the land of the Geats. The verse follow the pattern of the original poem closely, rekindling the fire and vigor of the unknown author who first wrote down this magnificent story, more than a thousand years ago.

""To venture on the story of Beowulf in verse, whether for children or adults, is a deed with its own kind of heroism. ...There must be a hundred ways of failing; Mr. Serraillier has hit on one of the ways to succeed. In about 800 lines of well-wrought verse, suitable for reading aloud, and free from the stale smells of lamp and candle, he establishes a manly narrative...""
-Times (London) Literary Supplement"

Absolutely terrific retelling that condenses the Beowulf story to about 800 lines from the original 3812, while keeping the tone and intent intact. In my opinion it is a literary work of genius, and of great understanding of the original tome. Read aloud for grades 2/3 thru high school. (for sensitive children do not tackle till grades 4/6 due to blood and battle scenes) Independent read for grades 5/6 thru adult, but really best for late jr. high and all thru high school, even as prep for college literature classes.

This retelling is well-complemented by Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo for grades 5-12. For the Beowulf story for younger readers, grades 2/3 to 5/6, I recommend The Dragon Slayer by Rosemary Sutcliff.

PS- Beowulf is much more likely to appeal to the male gender.
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Format: Paperback
When they exist, epic poems reveal a great deal about the mindset of a culture and modern education in the United States generally includes introduction of the Greek myths and the Iliad. However, Beowulf is often ignored and that is unfortunate. It is the only epic poem written in old English and it gives us a glimpse into the minds and beliefs of the English tribes before Christianity was introduced.
It is a story of a hero fighting and slaying the mighty and evil creatures that prey on humans. Grendel is a fierce creature that lives in a lake and captures humans for food. In the first story, Grendel comes out of his lair and is killed by the mighty warrior Beowulf. The second story has Grendel's mother out to avenge her son's death, once again after a fierce battle she is bested by the fearless Beowulf. In the final story, the aged Beowulf encounters a dragon and with the help of his loyal soldier Wiglaf, they kill the dragon. However, the exertion is too much for Beowulf and he dies after giving himself a eulogy. Wiglaf also chastises the remaining soldiers for cowardice, as they all fled into the forest when the dragon appeared.
A timeless story of heroism in the face of grave danger, this is a story that should be required reading of all American high school students.
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More About the Author

Ian Serraillier (September 24, 1912 - November 28, 1994), was a British novelist and poet. Serraillier was best known for his children's books, especially the Silver Sword (Novel) (1956), a wartime adventure story which was adapted for television by the BBC in 1957 and again in 1971.

Born in London, Serraillier was educated at Brighton College, and took his degree at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He became an English teacher, first at World War II. It was during this period that his first published work appeared, in the form of poetry for both adults and children. In 1946 his first children's novel was published. It was followed by several more adventure stories of treasure and spies. His best known work, The Silver Sword, was published in 1956 and has become a classic, bringing to life the story of four refugee children and their search for their parents in the chaos of Europe immediately after World War II.

As well as children's novels and poetry, Serrailler produced his own retellings of classic tales, in prose and verse, including Beowulf, Chaucer and Greek myth. Together with his wife Anne he founded the New Windmill Series in 1948, published by Heinemann Educational Books, which set out to provide inexpensive editions of good stories. He continued as co-editor of the series until the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

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