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

Beowulf, Botulf, and the Black Dog

Beowulf – detail from a painting by Michael Leonard

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 24th March 2007

We begin with an introduction to the heroic world of Beowulf and its geographical and supernatural landscape . We shall consider Professor Tolkien’s observation that in Beowulf we have something

more significant than a standard hero, a man faced with a foe more evil than any human enemy … and yet incarnate in time, walking in heroic history, and treading the named lands of the North.

We shall also see how the great narrative of the heroic exorcist was given form in folklore, where there are parallels between Grendel and the Black Shuck, and in certain saints’ lives, particularly those texts associated St Botulf of Iken. We shall explore St Botulf’s story as an exorcist and a patron saint of travellers, especially those crossing water.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Beowulf the Exorcist  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 Grendel and the Black Dog  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00 Beowulf and St Botulf  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Cult of St Botulf  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993. Since then he has worked as an independent scholar in Early Medieval Studies. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003. He is also now a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M. (ed.), Beowulf (Penguin Classics 2003)
Bevis, T., Hereward: De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis (Westrydale 1982)
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)
Mayr-Harting. H., The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England (London 1972)
Mitchell, B., & F.Robinson, (eds), Beowulf (Blackwell 1998)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993, 1994, 1999, 2004)
Orchard, A., Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf Manuscript (Brewer 1995)
Orchard, A., A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Brewer 2003)
Scarfe, Norman., "St Botolph, The Iken Cross, and the Coming of East Anglian Christianity", Suffolk in the Middle Ages (Boydell 1986), pp.39-51.
Stevenson, F.S. "St Botolph (Botwulf) and Iken", Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 18 (1924), pp.30-52.
West, S.E., N.Scarfe, & R.Cramp, "Iken, St Botolph, and the Coming of East Anglian Christianity", Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, XXXV (1984), pp.279-301.


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

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

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