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English Poetry and Old Norse Myth: A History

Heather O'Donoghue

Abstract

English Poetry and Old Norse Myth: A History traces the influence of Old Norse myth—stories about divine beings such as Odin, Thor, Baldr and Freyja—on poetry in English from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Many major poets were inspired by this mythic material, especially the poetry of the Edda. Some, such as the Anglo-Saxon poet of Beowulf, or Walter Scott, used mythic references to set the scene of a distant but dramatic Northern past. Others, such as Thomas Gray, or Matthew Arnold, adapted actual Old Norse texts in ways which both responded to and formed the literary tastes of their ... More

Keywords: literature, poetry, myth, Old Norse, Edda, reception

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199562183
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562183.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather O'Donoghue, author
Vigfússon Rausing Reader in Old Norse, University of Oxford