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Reading Tolkien and Beowulf

Selected Resources for Beowulf

A Critical Companion to Beowulf
PR1585 .O73 2003

Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature
PR173 .C36 2013

Companion to Old and Middle English Literature
PR166 .C66 2002

A concordance to Beowulf
SL REF  PR1585 .A2 B4

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England
REF  DA152 .B58 1999

Selected Resources for Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia : Scholarship and Critical Assessment
REF  PR6039 O32 Z664 2007

The Complete Guide to Middle Earth: from The hobbit to The Silmarillion
On order

Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: a Reader
PR6039.O32 Z839 2004
The eighteen essays in this reader examine the ancient Greek, Latin, Old Norse, Old English and Finnish sources from which Tolkien appropriated the concepts, images, characterizations, contexts and theories that inform his own fictional narratives.                                                                          

Language Resources

Introduction to Old English
PE135 .B34 2007

A Comprehensive Old English Dictionary
REF  PE279 .B48 1982

A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
PE279 .H17 1960

Bosworth Toller Anglo Saxon Dictionary
REF PE279 .B5 1964
REF PE279 .B52 1972 suppl

A Thesaurus of Old English (U of Glasgow)

Historical Resources

Medieval England: an Encyclopedia
REF  DA129 .M43 1998
Covers English social, cultural and political life from the Anglo-Saxon invasions in the fith century to 1500.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages
REF  D114 .D5 1982

The New Cambridge Medieval History
Multi-volume set which covers Europe and the Middle East during their transition from Roman to medieval society.

Reference Sources

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Dictionaries are useful for more than just looking up definitions.  A historical dictionary, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, includes full etymologies, and dated quotations to show shifting meanings over time. 

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The Oxford English Dictionary is the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of the English language.

 As a citations dictionary, it quotes sentences used by authors to illustrate the history of usage beginning with the earliest known usage of each word.
 
To date there is no English-language etymological dictionary of Old English. If an Old English word is continued in Modern English, sources such as the Dictionary of Old English will provide the Modern English reflex within the entry for the Old English word, e.g., OE thegn ['THANE'].
 
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