More Fun in the Ice World | Main | Back From the Coast

December 29, 2002

Tolkien Beowulf Manuscript Discovered

Posted by Mike on December 29, 2002 10:54 AM

An English professor has found a previously undiscovered handwritten manuscript of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf:

"A US academic, Michael Drout, found the Tolkien material by accident in a box of papers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

"An assistant professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Dr Drout was researching Anglo- Saxon scholarship at the Bodleian, and asked to see a copy of a lecture on Beowulf given by Tolkien in 1936.

"It was brought to him in a reading room in a large box. Professor Drout, who reads Anglo-Saxon prose to his two-year-old daughter at bedtime, said: 'I was sitting there going through the transcripts when I saw these four bound volumes at the bottom of the box.

"'I started looking through, and realised I had found an entire book of material that had never seen the light of day. As I turned the page, there was Tolkien's fingerprint in a smudge of ink.'"

Publication date is set for some time this year. I guess I'll replace my old paperback edition with it, but I'll hold on to my other translation. had the story, but I found the link and sent it on to them.

ObNeedlessDiary: I bought a copy of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien over the holidays. Right now, I'm using it to answer all sorts of Lord of the Rings trivia, but I think I'll give it a full read-through once I've worked out from under the other stuff on my reading list.


The Tolkien's translation of Beowulf is great. Those who love Tolkien will love his translation as well.

Posted by: Tolkien at March 17, 2004 9:15 AM