Books

The Transmission of Beowulf: Language, Culture, and Scribal Behavior (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017)

Now available in hardcover

"This is a truly paradigm-shifting book. Leonard Neidorf swims against the tide of much recent Beowulf scholarship, but his case is supported by such a compelling weight of evidence that it is difficult to see how it could be seriously challenged." - Carole Hough, University of Glasgow

"The Transmission of Beowulf is a major advance in the study of poems that survive in unique manuscripts and should be required reading in all Beowulf courses.” - Geoffrey Russom, Brown University 

"...fascinating and highly persuasive...this book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the manuscript context of Beowulf, scribal culture in Anglo-Saxon England more generally, or the early history of the English language." - Susan Irvine, Times Literary Supplement (2018) 

"...a scholarly manifesto of the utmost importance in its evidentiary rigor, theoretical utility, and vigorous prose. By any measure, it ranks as one of the most pivotal books ever written on Old English literature and will be recognized as a historic achievement." - Scott Gwara, Anglia 135 (2017)

"Neidorf’s work has the potential to change the current state of the field...it shows the continued relevance of philology and textual studies to modern scholarship." - Megan E. Hartman, Philological Quarterly 96 (2017)  

"...beautifully written and produced...this book will reorient Beowulf studies." - Paul Cavill, Modern Philology 115 (2018)

"This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with Beowulf or the study of Old English scribal practice." - Dennis Cronan, Studia Neophilologica (2018)

 

Old English Philology: Studies in Honour of R.D. Fulk, ed. Leonard Neidorf, Rafael J. Pascual, and Tom Shippey (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016)

Now available in hardcover

"The title of this book—Old English Philology—states simply and boldly what it contains. Like the scholar they honour, the contributors to the festschrift revel in the rigorous argumentation that the best philological work demands. As a result, the rewards of philological study, in this case its contributions to our understanding of numerous facets of Old English poetry, are also on full display. The editors are to be commended for bringing together such an impressive concentration of intellectual effort, and R. D. Fulk should be proud for having inspired it." - Susan E. Deskis, Review of English Studies (2017)

"This is a first-rate collection whose essays make contributions to the field and honor Fulk appropriately with substance, insight, and sound argumentation." - Corey J. Zwikstra, The Medieval Review (2017) 

"...essential reading for students of Old English poetry and a coherent demonstration of the value of philology, in a wide range of forms, in the scholarly enterprise." - Paul Cavill, TOEBI Newsletter 34 (2017)

 

The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment, ed. Leonard Neidorf (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2014)

Winner of CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (2015) Distinction

Now available in paperback

“This book will be a milestone, and deserves to be widely read. The early Beowulf that overwhelmingly emerges here asks hard questions, and the same strictly defined measures of metre, spelling, onomastics, semantics, genealogy, and historicity all cry out to be tested further and applied more broadly to the whole corpus of Old English verse” - Andy Orchard, Oxford University

“Agnosticism can surely no longer be justified. The Reassessment volume brings together a battery of strong contributions which taken together conclusively demonstrate that it is overwhelmingly probable that Beowulf was composed before about 800 and overwhelmingly improbable that it could have been composed much later…an exciting and substantial volume, consistently interesting, with alert individual items that cumulatively build to a powerful overall case" - Hugh Magennis, TOEBI Newsletter 32 (2015)

"The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment is bound to become one of the most influential books in Anglo-Saxon studies. The first-rate essays in this volume will steer the course of Beowulf scholarship in many productive directions, supplying the field with a secure foundation for future literary-historical research. Indeed, Leonard Neidorf, whose position as a leading scholar in the field of Old English literature is significantly cemented by this volume, must be congratulated for editing a book that will move the field forward and occupy, together with Klaeber’s fourth edition, a privileged place in the history of Beowulf scholarship" - Mercedes Salvador-Bello, Modern Philology 113 (2015)

"Given the editor's magisterial contributions to Old English literary name studies, it is unsurprising that onomastic evidence features prominently, and hence the collection will be of interest to many readers of Nomina...All the chapters are stylishly written, with an abundance of references to recent scholarship, and the volume itself is well produced...Taken together, the collection makes a strong case for an early dating of the poem Beowulf. It makes an even stronger one for a scientific approach to the dating of Old English poetry, and for the use of all available kinds of data, including name evidence." - Carole Hough, Nomina 38 (2015)

“The dating criteria proposed in this volume are consistent with one another and add cumulative support for the hypothesis of an early Beowulf…Contributors to this volume present their ideas clearly and concretely. As its editor hopes, the volume should help scholars arrive at an informed opinion about the poem’s date, whether or not dating is their central concern” - Geoffrey Russom, Anglia 133 (2015) 

“The contributors are prominent, well-established Anglo-Saxonists…[their] various methodologies are more technical and more objective than those of pre-1981 early-dating arguments, and collectively offer a cohesive and compelling case for Beowulf’s early composition. Not only is this volume a necessary companion for the 1981 collection, it stands on its own as an introduction to key issues in the dating of Old English poetry” - Sarah Downey, Choice 52 (2015)