Randolph Swearer, Raymond Oliver, Marijane Osborn ; introduction by Fred C. Robinson
"Beowulf", the primary epic of the English language, is a powerful heroic poem eloquently expressive of the Anglo-Saxon culture that produced it. In this book a designer, a poet, and a specialist in Anglo-Saxon literature recreate "Beowulf" for a modern audience interweaving evocative images, a new interpretation in verse, and a running commentary that helps clarify the action and setting of the poem as well as the imagery. Randolph Swearer's images create an archaic, mysterious atmosphere by depicting in forms and shadows the world of Germanic antiquity - Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon art, artefacts, and scenery. At the same time, Raymond Oliver gives "Beowulf" a world in which to live, filling in the cultural gaps not with a thick matrix of footnotes but with poetry itself. Unlike many translations of "Beowulf" in existence, Oliver's retelling of the epic uses modern verse forms for poetic effect and includes historically authentic descriptions, characterizations, and explanations necessary for modern readers.
Marijane Osborn completes the process of restoring context to the poem by supplying a commentary to clarify the historical and geographical dimensions of the story as well as the imagery that accompanies it. All three work together to bring a likeness of an old and elusive tale to today's reader.