Writing Beowulf

Random Ramblings

A portion of the Beowulf manuscript. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“I need a challenge,” I told my husband the other day. I’ve not long finished my newest book, I’m not ready to start the next one, and I was rather at loose ends. Until I remembered a project I’d half-considered earlier: an adaptation of Beowulf.

In Empire’s Heir, my sixth book, the character Sorley hears a tale new to him, and, because he is a bard with all the responsibility that title carries: historian, poet, cultural custodian– he puts the tale into verse and music. The conceit is that the poem he writes is Beowulf – but as no one knows who wrote it, why not Sorley?

Half an hour later, Sorley had finished singing about Hrothgar and heroes and monsters, and I could stand without too much pain.

“That is not a danta* for children,” I…

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