The Old Poetic: Translations of Old English heroic poetry

Rupert Granville Glover


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These translations of Old English heroic poetry were first presented as the bones of a Master of Arts Honours thesis in English at the University of Canterbury in 1968. They are based mainly on texts found in Krapp and Dobbie’s monumental collection entitled The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, although
I have referred constantly to other annotated editions of most of the poems, and have revised my translations considerably since 1968.

I considered attaching the original Old English versions of all the poems but finally concluded that scholars would already be familiar with them and the non-specialist reader would derive little benefit from having them absent a knowledge of Old English. It therefore seemed sensible to me to insert just the original of The Fight at Finnsburg to give a taste of what Old English looked like in the hope that at least some appetites might be whetted to take the subject further.

For their scholarly help in solving the inevitable problems of translation from Old English, I am very grateful to Robin Barrett, Nick Doane, and the late Harry Orsman, emphasising that any shortcomings in my scholarship are entirely my own. For their far-reaching encouragement of my study of things medieval, I wish to record the contributions of Charles Spear and Gordon Troup. I am also very grateful to Nick Doane for his scholarly introduction, also written in 1968. Professor A. N. Doane taught at Victoria University of Wellington from 1965 to 1971. Since then he has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison specialising in Anglo-Saxon studies. He retired in 2006. He is the general editor of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, an international project publishing complete facsimiles with new descriptions of all extant manuscripts containing any Old English writing.

About the Author

Rupert Granville Glover is a Christchurch barrister who holds a Master of Arts with Honours in English and French and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Canterbury. He was awarded a Centennial Scholarship by the New Zealand Law Society in 1981 and was the winner of the Canterbury District Law Society’s Gold Medal in Law in 1982. He lectured in law at the University of Canterbury from 1982 to 1986 before turning to full-time practice specialising in criminal law, in which field he has extensive experience from the Privy Council down through the ranks. He has published numerous academic articles and two legal text books, is a former President of the Criminal Bar Association of Canterbury and has been a member of several Canterbury and New Zealand Law Society committees. He is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre General List of Arbitrators and Mediators and has been a Specialist Adviser to the New Zealand Legal Services Agency. He was married to Margaret Sewell, another prominent Christchurch barrister until her death in 2021. They have five daughters, three of whom have law degrees.


ISBN: 978-0-473-64237-2

Publisher: the Frida Press

Pages: 76

Dimensions: 135 x 205mm (portrait)

Format: Flexibind with Endpapers, ribbon & Flaps

Weight: 0.25kg

Published: 2022


A beautiful cloth-bound Edition with Endpapers, a Ribbon, and Flaps.