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Did You Know

The manuscript of Beowulf was almost destroyed in 1731, when a fire broke out in the library of Sir Robert Cotton, where it was housed. The fire damaged the edges of the manuscript, such that much of the text was already lost when the Icelandic scholar G.J. Thorkelin transcribed it, a task that was completed in 1787. All modern editions use Thorkelin's MS to reconstruct as far as possible the missing lines.

Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic in British literature.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10


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