Academic Dean Dr. Ben Reinhard’s latest work, a new verse translation of the quintessential Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, was recently published and is now available for purchase. A notable achievement in literal fidelity and poetic form, Reinhard’s translation of Beowulf includes his new translation in addition to a critical introduction and more that ground the poem in traditional criticism and the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Dating from the age of Bede the Venerable, Beowulf is one of the most famous literary works of all time, the “heroic-elegiac” poem of man versus monsters. The hero, Beowulf, defends the Danes against the rampaging Grendel and his monstrous mother, and returns home, where he lives long and prosperously. At life’s end, however, he must confront the final foe, death, in battle with a dragon, deadly and ancient.
Reinhard’s new translation produces a formal equivalent to the original text with a noble and somber style of its own. Complementing the translation are the Old English text, a critical introduction, and detailed explanatory notes from Reinhard, making this Beowulf a distinct work and a must-read that is already earning acclaim.
“Ben J. Reinhard’s new verse translation of Beowulf is a most welcome addition to the shelves of those who love the classics,” says famed author Joseph Pearce.
While Beowulf has been the subject of countless analyses, translations, and critiques over the centuries, Reinhard’s new translation brings important new facets to the text to benefit teachers and students alike.
“The result of all this is a translation…that needs to be read slowly and carefully: one that preserves some of the difficulty and remoteness (and, it is hoped, at least some of the beauty and wonder) of the Old English original,” writes Reinhard in his introduction.
Ben J. Reinhard is Academic Dean and Associate Professor of English at Christendom College, where he teaches courses in Old and Middle English literature. His scholarship has appeared in: Anglo-Saxon England, English Studies, Mythlore, Notes and Queries, Old English Newsletter, and Religion & Literature.