- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Watkins (July 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1842931539
- ISBN-13: 978-1842931530
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Beowulf & Grendel: The Truth Behind England's Oldest Legend Paperback – January 1, 1999
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Grigsby makes several references to Scandinavian/Anglo-Saxon rituals, e.g. references to a barley god, which he believes shares some similarities to rituals from the Middle East. Another comparison is to the depiction of a solar disk above a boat, which is clearly reminiscent of Egyptian artwork.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the earliest known history of the English-speaking peoples, and possibly a few others as well.
The work is sloppy. The main point of discussion concerns the historicity of Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's Mother. Grigsby begins with an examination of the genealogy of Scylding dynasty found at the beginning of the Beowulf. He (as many others have) is drawn to the mysterious figure of `Sheaf', and uses the figure to springboard into what is really the main (and tiresomely repeated) theme of this book: that the fight between Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's Mother is the dim echo of a ritual of a corn/fertility god's death and resurrection, encompassing both positive and negative aspects of a Neolithic cult's understanding of divinity.
There is very little material to work with from the era of Beowulf - either its mythological setting or the time the text was composed/copied (Grigsby blandly states it was the 11th century). To fill this very large gap, Grigsby turns to a method largely (and rightly) discredited among the majority of modern scholars, namely, comparative myth. Thus, we are taken on grand tours of ancient Egyptian myths about corn; to Greece where we learn about corn myths; to Stone Age burial mounds that we learn are connected to features recurrent in the corn myths. Grigsby's method is circular: if it fits with the corn cult he posits, it is related to the corn cult. Circumstantial evidence is enough to prove the underlying continuity of this surprisingly resilient cult of the corn god.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As several other reviewers mention, Grigsby performed a tour de force in tying together items as far-removed in time and space as Isis and Osiris, Inanna and Dumuzi, Demeter and... Read morePublished on August 13, 2009 by P. G. Wickberg
I'm a medical researcher with special interests in neuroscience, and Grogsby's thesis is fascinating. Read morePublished on May 14, 2007 by D. Strickland
This book makes the interesting case that the Beowulf poem is less a dim recollection of a particular historical incident or of a strictly mythological tale, than it is a veiled... Read morePublished on April 17, 2007 by Stuart W. Mirsky
This is an inspiring work. John Grisby has brought a wide array of factors concerning early northern culture together to make his point. Read morePublished on October 23, 2006 by Amazon Customer
After having the great honor to see the film Beowulf and Grendel at the Toronto Film Festival, this book was just what I needed to complete my "Missing Link". Read morePublished on November 19, 2005 by Alexandria