Anonymous: Guthlac B

(1083 words)
  • Hugh Magennis (Queen's University Belfast)

Guthlac B, an Old English narrative poem dealing with the death of the English saint Guthlac (c. 674-714), follows on immediately in the Exeter Book after Guthlac A, another poem about the same saint, which is accepted to be the work of a different poet. In its present state Guthlac B is a poem of 560 lines but the text is incomplete, with material missing at the end due to the loss of a whole gathering from the manuscript at this point. The source of Guthlac B is the Latin Life of St Guthlac written by Felix of Crowland in the first half of the eighth century. The Old English poet focuses particularly on chapter 50 of the

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Magennis, Hugh. "Guthlac B". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2006
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]