adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Beowulf and the Beginnings of England

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 11 June 2005

An introduction to the epic masterwork that marks the beginning of literary art in the English language.

We begin with a look at the unique manuscript of the poem, the epic story it tells, and the insights it reveals into the Old English Heroic Age.

After lunch we shall explore the account of the royal rite of ship-funeral that forms the climax of the opening movement and the way it amplifies our understanding of the ship-burial rites at Sutton Hoo and Snape. We shall also consider other indications that Beowulf was composed in the pre-Viking kingdom of East Anglia..

"We may still, against [the poet's] great scene, hung with tapestries of ancient ruin, see the hero walk" (J.R.R.Tolkien).

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 A Beginner’s Guide to the Beowulf Manuscript  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 An Introduction to the World of Beowulf  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00 Sutton Hoo and the Opening Movement of Beowulf  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Beowulf and the Wuffings  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, was published in 1993. He is a Director of Wuffing Education as well as a media consultant in Early Medieval Studies and Time Team historian. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003


Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M. (tr.), The Earliest English Poems (Penguin Classics 1966)

(tr.), Beowulf (Penguin Classics 1973)

Bjork, R.E., & J.D.Niles (eds), A Beowulf Handbook (Nebraska University 1997, 1998)

Fulk, R. (ed.), Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology (Indiana University 1991)

Garmonsway, G., and J.Simpson, Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent 1968, 1980)
Heaney, S.

(tr.), Beowulf (Faber & Faber 1999)

Mitchell, B., and F.Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell 1986) (eds), Beowulf (Blackwell 1998)

Newton, S. The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993, 1994)

The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird 2003)

Shippey, T.A., Beowulf (London 1978)

Swanton, M. (ed. & tr.), Beowulf (Manchester 1978)



Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £35, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

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