Old English Studies and its Scandinavian Practitioners
Title Details

256 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 music exx., 1 map and 16 b/w illus.

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Series Vol. Number: 50

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Old English Studies and its Scandinavian Practitioners

Nationalism, Aesthetics, and Spirituality in the Nordic Countries, 1733-2023

by Robert E Bjork

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
An account of the Scandinavian contributions to the field of Old English studies from the eighteenth century onwards.


The discipline of Old English Studies began in Scandinavia, not England, pioneered by the work of the great Danish scholar, N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872) and continues to flourish in the languages of the region (including Finland). This book offers a history of Scandinavian scholarship, in Neo-Latin, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, as well as Finnish and Sámi, from 1733 to the present day. It surveys the major events and texts in the discipline, and evaluates translations of Beowulf and other Old English prose and verse texts. It argues that nationalism, aesthetics, and spirituality are the chief motivators for Old English studies in the Nordic countries; although Romantic nationalism was a first mover for Old English studies, the qualities Scandinavians now seek in Old English literature-that we all seek-are transnational, existential, spiritual, and human. The study concludes with complete bibliographies of contributions in the Scandinavian languages to Old English studies and of translations of Old English literature into the Scandinavian languages.


This book is available as Open Access under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND.
Introduction: The View from the North
Part 1: The Beginnings, 1733 to 1899
1. Old English Studies and the Politics of Philology in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Scandinavia
2. Myth of Spirit, Myth of Word in the Works of N. F. S. Grundtvig
3. Grundtvig's Vision of the Old English Phoenix
Part 2: The Flourishing, 1900 to 2023
4. Old English Studies in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Scandinavia
Part 3: The Continuing Interest: Beowulf and Translations of Beowulf and Other Old English Literature, 1733 to 2022
5. Scandinavian Approaches to Beowulf
6. Scandinavian Translations of Beowulf
7. Scandinavian Translations of Old English Literature other than Beowulf
Conclusion: A Truly Splendid Ruin

ROBERT E BJORK is Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University as well as co-editor of Klaeber's Beowulf (2008) and General Editor of The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages (2010). He specializes in Old English and Old Norse language and literature and is a Fellow of both the Medieval Academy of America and the English Association.

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9781843847274

September 2024

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9781843847267

September 2024

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Title Details

256 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 music exx., 1 map and 16 b/w illus.

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Series Vol. Number: 50

Imprint: D.S.Brewer