Beowulf: Translation and Commentary (Tom Shippey)

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: Translation and Commentary
Publication Information
EditorLeonard Neidorf
TranslatorTom Shippey
PublisherUppsala Books
Released18 August, 2023
FormatPaperback, hardcover

Beowulf: Translation and Commentary is a translation of the Old English poem Beowulf by Tom Shippey, the book is edited by Leonard Neidorf, first published in 2023.

The text of translation is given in parallel with the original Old English text, then is followed by commentaries by Leonard Neidorf. An essay about J.R.R. Tolkien and Beowulf is included as an appendix.

A second edition was published on 25 February 2024, which includes three additional texts, also translated by Tom Shippey: The Fight at Finnsburg, Waldere, and Hildebrandslied.


  • Introduction
  • The Editor on the Translator
  • Translator's Preface
  • Note on the Beowulf Text
  • Text and Translation
  • Commentary
  • Appendix I: Tolkien and Beowulf
  • Appendix II: Finnsburg, Waldere, Hildebrandslied
  • Bibliography

From the publisher

Beowulf, composed around 700 A.D., is the first great epic poem in the English language. It tells the timeless story of a hero’s fight against monsters and sets it against a complex background of political intrigue and tribal warfare. Situated in sixth-century Scandinavia, the poem brings to life a magnificent world that fuses history with fantasy. Tom Shippey’s new translation of Beowulf, reflecting a lifetime of engagement with the poem, makes its story clearer and more compelling than it has ever been. The original Old English text of Beowulf is included along with an extensive and innovative commentary, which guides the reader passage-by-passage through the poem and its criticism.

In addition to the text, translation, and commentary, this volume contains an extensive bibliography, a translator’s preface, and an appended essay by Tom Shippey on “Tolkien and Beowulf—A Lifelong Involvement.” The 2nd edition (revised and expanded) adds new texts and translations (by Tom Shippey) of Waldere, the Hildebrandslied, and the Fight at Finnsburg.

Publication history and gallery

2023 paperback
2023 paperback  
2024 paperback & hardcover
2024 paperback & hardcover  

External links