Elizabeth MarshallApr 2, 2023
Wolves in Beowulf and Other Old English Texts
Boydell & Brewer 2022
Two perceptions about wolves are inherited from ancient and medieval European lupine motifs: the superstition that the wolf could steal a person's speech, and the perceived contiguous natures of wolves and human outlaws. In Wolves in Beowulf and Other Old English Texts (Boydell & Brewer, 2022), Elizabeth Marshall traces the history of these associations and the evidence to suggest that they were known to writers working in early medieval England. Marshall provides new, animal-centric readings of Old English texts, including Beowulf, and positions these texts within a lupine literary network that transcends time and place. By exploring the intricate, contradictory, and even sympathetic depictions of the wolves and wolf-like entities found within these texts, Marshall banishes all notions of the medieval wolf as the one-dimensional, man-eating creature that it is so often understood to be.
Elizabeth Marshall earned her PhD from the University of St Andrews and has received awards for both her thesis and research on the cultural and sociological issues related to the extraordinary predator’s reintroduction to Britain.
Latoya Johnson is an editor, writer, and bibliophile with a master's in Humanities. Her research and writing interests include books and reading in popular culture, the public history of women's fiction, and women in Greco-Roman mythology.