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What's your favorite version of Beowulf


~Amanda~
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Well, this is for a high-school or older -- but whenever I see Beowulf, I throw out John Gardener's Grendel version. It is not simple, but is astonishing.

 

more on-topic: we use AO, and I note that they recommend Burton Raffel's version ...

 

and :bigear: since we'll hit this in a few years ...

 

ETA: have you cross-posted on Logic? Things move a bit more slowly there, so not only is it spot-on for the age but you stay on Page 1 longer ...

Edited by serendipitous journey
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  • 2 weeks later...

BUMPing, I suppose, and also adding this which I just came across -- our library had Michael Morpurgo's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I was checking Amazon pulse of that book when I saw his version of Beowulf. This is illustrated, but if it is like Sir Gawain it is quite substantive. The editorial reviews are excellent too. James Rumford's version may better fit a slightly younger crowd -- it is violent, but doesn't seem as gory as Morpurgo's -- and Rumford stuck as much as possible to words from Old English: I think it's the one I'll try with my 7yo later this year.

Edited by serendipitous journey
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BUMPing, I suppose, and also adding this which I just came across -- our library had Michael Morpurgo's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I was checking Amazon pulse of that book when I saw his version of Beowulf. This is illustrated, but if it is like Sir Gawain it is quite substantive. The editorial reviews are excellent too. James Rumford's version may better fit a slightly younger crowd -- it is violent, but doesn't seem as gory as Morpurgo's -- and Rumford stuck as much as possible to words from Old English: I think it's the one I'll try with my 7yo later this year.

 

We used and enjoyed the Morpurgo's version of Beowulf.

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We used the Veritas Press recommendations when they were ready for a "real" version. That's the Frederick Rebsamen one for the younger end, and the Seamus Heaney one for the upper end. If those are too heavy, the Geraldine McCaughrean or Rosemary Sutcliff versions would be fabulous choices.

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BUMPing, I suppose, and also adding this which I just came across -- our library had Michael Morpurgo's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I was checking Amazon pulse of that book when I saw his version of Beowulf. This is illustrated, but if it is like Sir Gawain it is quite substantive. The editorial reviews are excellent too. James Rumford's version may better fit a slightly younger crowd -- it is violent, but doesn't seem as gory as Morpurgo's -- and Rumford stuck as much as possible to words from Old English: I think it's the one I'll try with my 7yo later this year.

 

DS11 and I read Michael Morpurgo's version of Beowulf a couple of years ago. We really loved it, but I wonder if it's at the level you're looking for.

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BUMPing, I suppose, and also adding this which I just came across -- our library had Michael Morpurgo's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I was checking Amazon pulse of that book when I saw his version of Beowulf. This is illustrated, but if it is like Sir Gawain it is quite substantive. The editorial reviews are excellent too. James Rumford's version may better fit a slightly younger crowd -- it is violent, but doesn't seem as gory as Morpurgo's -- and Rumford stuck as much as possible to words from Old English: I think it's the one I'll try with my 7yo later this year.

 

When you jump into the high school versions of SG & Beowulf, read this old thread from years ago. :) Better yet, start reading the unabridged now for your own personal edification...if you haven't yet.

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I think I'd rather it too low than them not be able to understand it at all, at least for our first exposure to the story

 

If it's your very first time, I'd go with Geraldine McCaughrean or Rosemary Sutcliff. The latter has better illustrations, and both tell the story wonderfully.

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For middle grades? HO recommends the retelling by Robert Nye, but the reviews on Amazon are so disheartening, I don't want to get it. Any suggestions?

 

Sometimes it pays to ignore those Amazon reviews. ;) I think the Nye version is perfect middle schoolers (around 6th grade or so as recommended in WTM.) I read it aloud to some of my kids at that stage (just because we wanted to, not because it was over their head.) Some of my other kids read it on their own. We've all loved it. When we finish Nye, I usually pull Seamus Heaney's off the shelf, read some lines, listen to some lines being read online in Old English, show them the side-by-side translation, and then we save the rest of Heaney's for high school.

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