By J. D. Ogilvy, Donald C. Baker, Keith Baker

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Additional resources for Reading Beowulf: An Introduction to the Poem, Its Background and Its Style

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Aldfrid the Wise, as the Irish called him, was a scholar, a bibliophile, and a poet. html2010-9-10 4:17:22 next page > page_19 < previous page page_19 next page > Page 19 (his mother may have been a Scot). Some Gaelic poems attributed to him have survived; he is probably the Acircius who corresponded with Aldhelm and sent him samples of his Latin verse; and it would not be surprising if he wrote English verse as well. In fact, A. S. Cook suggested that he might be the author of Beowulf. This is an attractive speculation, and one wishes that there were some way of proving it.

It is true that the serf escapes the dragon, but when we next encounter him, he is hæft hygegiomor (a sorrowful captive, line 2408) being forced to guide Beowulf's band to the dragon's lair. His good fortune has been, to put it mildly, rather brief. This anomaly is part of a larger inconsistency in the author's view of how far the Lord's favor can protect one from the troubles likely to result from disturbing a dragon's hoard. Christianity in Beowulf Most of the inconsistencies and apparent inconsistencies in Beowulf have to do with religion.

It seems that in the middle of the seventh century a visit to Ireland was, for young Northumbrians, the equivalent of the eighteenth-century grand tour. html2010-9-10 4:17:24 next page > page_25 < previous page page_25 next page > Page 25 terity. Some immediately undertook the monastic life; others preferred to go from the cell of one master to that of another to pursue their studies. The Scots [Gaels] gladly received all of them, fed and housed them without charge, and freely provided them with books and instruction.

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