|back Blueprint next
|Move over Beowulf and make way for Judith!
It seems that our English teachers forgot to share with us
one more Epic. This additional text that was in the same
manuscript containing Beowulf--- the model Anglo-Saxon Hero.
The saga has survived right along with Beowulf for 1200 plus
years because it was deemed great by others for many
The Modern Age teachers disagreed, it seems and only foster
the teaching of Beowulf.
Why do you suppose the Victorians and those after them did
Perhaps it is because Judith shows the classic Heroine role
model for the Dark and Middle Ages, The Valiant Virgin.
It didn't seem advisable to sully the "modern" youth with that
particular bit of history.
Until now, that is.
Elfinspell is proud to bring you the text of Judith from the 9th
century as translated by Albert S. Cook, a professor of the
University of California in the late 1800's. He thought it was
important, even then, to acknowledge the role of powerful
women throughout history. He also recognized the modern
tendency to discount all such feminist literature. He
challenged the general suppression of these texts with
similar heroic female role models, unsuccessfully it seems.
His cause was just then, and it is just now. We reproduce his
work to continue to spread the word.
The translation is also far more readable than many
translations of Beowulf and the rhythm is entrancing even at
first glance. With practice it gets even better.
Please go straight to the epic:
As usual, the text is far more engaging than the scholarly
prefaces, which can wait until you have savored the poem
Plans are in the works to put up Professor Cook's Anglo-Saxon
text but it is slow work due to coding difficulties for
Anglo-Saxon letters. The Old English text is already on line
elsewhere anyway, in the general form.
Pending Portions of the Book, the scholarly apparatus and
such are not finished yet. The poem is, the best part. The
rest is on it's way. Contact us if you wish to read it sooner.