Rupert Bruce-Mitford, The Antiquaries' Journal, , pp.210-211.
The mass of critical literature with which the modern student of Beowulf is surrounded … resembles a minefield or quagmire into which no one should venture lightly. Dr Newton has taken up the exceptionally tricky question of the poem's origins … and concludes that it was written in the pre-Viking period and most plausibly in East Anglia.
When we read the blurb and see that his arguments are described as 'passionate' and then go on to learn that he is an East Anglian himself and lives a few miles from Sutton Hoo, we might well expect partisanship and straining of the evidence. Not a bit of it. One of the most remarkable and distinctive (and distinguished) features of the book, apart from the immaculate clarity with which it is thought and written, is its even-handedness, its lack of dogmatism, its judicial quality, and the expert manner in which all types of evidence are combined and dealt with….
The author is clearly deeply and infectiously interested in his theme…. This up-to-date and shrewd book must be regarded as a major contribution in its field, to which students at all levels will assuredly give a warm welcome.
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