Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Beowulf refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Beowulf (disambiguation).

Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics is the title of a lecture by J.R.R. Tolkien and its shortened publication in book-form. Note that the original and much longer manuscript of the lecture was published as Beowulf and the Critics in 2002, edited by Michael D.C. Drout. Drout has described the lecture as "possibl[y] ... the single most influential essay in the history of literary studies in the twentieth century".[1]

The lecture[edit]

The lecture "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" was the Sir Israel Gollancz Memorial Lecture for 1936. Tolkien delivered it to the British Academy on 25 November 1936 and again two weeks later to the Manchester Mediaeval Society.

Publication history[edit]

Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics has been published as and in several different publications in the past.

First Edition (1937)

In 1937, the first edition of Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics was issued in the Proceedings of the British Academy (vol. 22, 1936, pr. 1937, pp. [245]-295).[2] It was also published separatey by Humphrey Milford (London) for the British Academy ([1 July]. 56 pp. 500 copies printed. ISBN: N/A). Altogether six impressions (2.-5. impressions 1958-1971 by the Oxford University Press; 6th impression 1977, by the British Academy) were printed.[3]

Booklet (1969)

Around 1969, booklets of Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (undated and unknown publisher and place of publication), appeared.[4]

The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays (1983)

In 1983, the lecture was included in The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

Beowulf and the Critics (2002)

In 2002 was published Beowulf and the Critics, edited by Michael D.C. Drout. The volume contains the text of the lecture and the lecture series on which the lecture was based.[5]

Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell (2014)

In 2014 was published Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell, edited by Christopher Tolkien. The translation is followed by a commentary on the poem. The book also includes Tolkien's previously unpublished "Sellic Spell" and two versions of "The Lay of Beowulf".

Gallery[edit]

1937, Beowulf: The Monsters and The Critics  
1969, Beowulf: The Monsters and The Critics  
1983, The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays  
2002, Beowulf and the Critics  
2014, Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary  

References

  1. Drout, Michael D.C. "'Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics': The Brilliant Essay that Broke Beowulf Studies", The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza, April 25, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  2. Bertenstam, Åke: Chronological Bibliography of the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (TolkienBooks.net)
  4. Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. 1969? (TolkienBooks.net)
  5. Beowulf and the Critics. 2002 (TolkienBooks.net).