Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Beowulf - 3 Recommendations For Your Homeschool

This year has been an enlightening one.  I have joined a group of mothers and read The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason.  I was most intrigued with Miss Mason's words and recommendations on reading Beowulf in volume two.

Children should be in Touch with Beowulf––We have to thank Tennyson for our Arthur, and Shakespeare for our Henry the Fifth, but we imagine that parents will find their children's souls more in touch with Beowulf than with either of these, no doubt because the legends of a nation's youth are the pages of history which most easily reach a child; and Beowulf belongs to a younger stage of civilisation than even Arthur.(Volume 2 page 143)
This sent me on a quest to see what my local library had on Beowulf. Here are three that I would like to recommend.

Beowulf {Rob Lloyd Jones}

  • Format Hardback | 
  • 64 pages 
  • Dimensions 136 x 198 x 12mm | 222.26g 
  • Publication date 26 Sep 2009 
  • Publisher Usborne Publishing Ltd Publication 
  • Language English 
  • Illustrations note full colour illustrations throughout 
  • ISBN10 0746096860 
  • ISBN13 9780746096864 
  • Author - Rob Lloyd Jones
  • Illustrated - Victor Tavares
This book is beautifully illustrated and well written for younger readers.

Beowulf {Michael Morpugo}

  • Format Paperback | 160 pages 
  • Dimensions 129 x 198 x 11mm | 159g 
  • Publication date 03 Oct 2013 
  • Publisher Walker Books Ltd Publication 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 1406348872 
  • ISBN13 9781406348873 
  • Author - Michael Morpugo
  • Illustrated - Michael Foreman
This one is for older students and is a well written condensed translation which still brings across the beauty of the story and the depth of the character of Beowulf.

 Beowulf {Translated by Professor Burton Raffel}

  • Format Paperback | 152 pages 
  • Dimensions 105 x 172 x 15.24mm | 89g 
  • Publication date 04 Feb 2016 
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0451530969 
  • ISBN13 9780451530967 
  • Translated by Professor Burton Raffel
This is the translation that Nathaniel and I will be reading together in the new year.  From my research and the recommendations of other Charlotte Mason home educators this edition captures the beauty of the English language and the heroic character of Beowulf drawing the reader into the story of the hero.

But it is not only the idea of a hero which we have in Beowulf, it is also the idea of a king, the just governor, the wise politician, the builder of peace, the defender of his own folk at the price of his life, "the good king, the folk king, the beloved king, the war ward of his land, the winner of treasure for the need of his people, the hero who thinks in death of those who sail the sea, the gentle and terrible warrior, who is buried amid the tears of his people. (vol 2 pg 144 & 145)
Have you read Beowulf? IF so which translations did you use and why?


  1. I have never ever read this book. I might like a child's modern translation...

    1. I had not either. I did really enjoy this one :D

  2. I read several different translations of Beowulf over the years for my English classes. I need to look for a version to share with the kids.

    1. I really enjoyed these ones and they are definately child friendly.


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