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He is the ideal king, and his title to the throne is not supposed to be doubtful. Yet we saw that, in Beowulf , the position of Hrothulf is represented as an ambiguous one [57] , he is the king's too powerful nephew, whose claims may prejudice those of his less distinguished young cousins, the king's sons, and the speech of queen Wealhtheow is heavy with foreboding.

I ween that he will requite our children, if he remembers all which we two have done for his pleasure and honour, being yet a child [58]. Again we have mention of "Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Heorot was filled full of friends: at that time the mighty Scylding folk in no wise worked treachery [61].

The statement that "as yet" or "for a very long time" or "at that time" there was peace within the family, necessarily implies that, at last, the peace was broken, that Hrothulf quarrelled with Hrothgar, or strove to set aside his sons [63]. Further evidence is hardly needed; yet further evidence we have: by rather complicated, but quite unforced, fitting together of various Scandinavian authorities, we find that Hrothulf deposed and slew his cousin Hrethric.

Hrolfr, O. For no one but a son of King Roe could have had such a claim to the throne as to rule between that king and his all powerful nephew Roluo [65]. It is difficult, perhaps, to state this argument in a way which will be convincing to those who are not acquainted with Saxo's method of working. Translating the words into their Old English equivalents, Hrethric, son of Hrothgar, is slain by Hrothulf.

Hrethric is then almost certainly an actual historic prince who was thrust from the throne by Hrothulf. Of Hrothmund [66] , his brother, Scandinavian authorities seem to know nothing. He is very likely a poetical fiction, a duplicate of Hrethric. For it is very natural that in story the princes whose lives are threatened by powerful usurpers should go in pairs. Hrethric and Hrothmund go together like Malcolm and Donalbain. Their helplessness is thus emphasized over against the one mighty figure, Rolf or Macbeth, threatening them [67].

Yet this does not prove Hrothmund unhistoric. On the contrary it may well happen that the facts of history will coincide with the demands of well-ordered narrative, as was the case when Richard of Gloucester murdered two young princes in the Tower. Two other characters, who meet us in Beowulf , seem to have some part to play in this tragedy.

It was a maxim of the old Teutonic poetry, as it is of the British Constitution, that the king could do no wrong: the real fault lay with the adviser. If Ermanaric the Goth slew his wife and his son, or if Irminfrid the Thuringian unwisely challenged Theodoric the Frank to battle, this was never supposed to be due solely to the recklessness of the monarch himself—it was the work of an evil counsellor—a Bikki or an Iring. Now we have seen that there is mischief brewing in Heorot—and we are introduced to a counsellor Unferth, the thyle or official spokesman and adviser of King Hrothgar.

And Unferth is evil. His jealous temper is shown by the hostile and inhospitable reception which he gives to Beowulf. But, as we learn from the Helgi Lay itself, the uttering of such unfounded taunts was not considered good form; whilst it seems pretty clear that the speech of Beowulf to Unferth is intended as an example of justifiable and spirited self-defence, not, like the speech of Sinfjotli, as a storehouse of things which a well-mannered warrior should not say.

Besides, the taunt of Beowulf is confirmed, although but darkly, by the poet himself, in the same passage in which he has recorded the fears of Wealhtheow lest perhaps Hrothulf should not be loyal to Hrothgar and his issue: "Likewise there Unferth the counsellor sat at the foot of the lord of the Scyldingas: each of them [i. But, granting that Unferth has really been the cause of the death of his kinsmen, some scholars have doubted whether we are to suppose that he literally slew them himself.

For, had that been the case, they urge, he could not be occupying a place of trust with the almost ideal king Hrothgar. But the record of the historians makes it quite clear that murder of kin did happen, and that constantly [70]. Amid the tragic complexities of heroic life it often could not be avoided. The comitatus -system, by which a man was expected to give unflinching support to any chief whose service he had entered, must often have resulted in slaughter between men united by very close bonds of kin or friendship.

Turning from history to saga, we find some of the greatest heroes not free from the stain. I doubt, therefore, whether we need try and save Unferth's character by suggesting that the stern words of the poet mean only that he had indirectly caused the death of his brethren by failing them, in battle, at some critical moment [71]. I suspect that this, involving cowardice or incompetence, would have been held the more unpardonable offence, and would have resulted in Unferth's disgrace.

But a man might well have slain his kin under circumstances which, while leaving a blot on his record, did not necessitate his banishment from good society. All the same, the poet evidently thinks it a weakness on the part of Hrothgar and Hrothulf that, after what has happened, they still put their trust in Unferth. Here then is the situation. The king has a counsellor: that counsellor is evil.

Both the king and his nephew trust the evil counsellor. A bitter feud springs up between the king and his nephew.

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That the feud was due to the machinations of the evil adviser can hardly be doubted by those who have studied the ways of the old Germanic heroic story. But it is only an inference: positive proof we have none. Lastly, there is Heoroweard. Of him we are told in Beowulf very little. He is son of Heorogar or Heregar , Hrothgar's elder brother, who was apparently king before him, but died young [72]. It is quite natural, as we have seen, that, if Heoroweard was too young for the responsibility when his father died, he should not have succeeded to the throne.

What is not so natural is that he does not inherit his father's arms, which one might reasonably have supposed Hrothgar would have preserved, to give to him when he came of age. Instead, Hrothgar gives them to Beowulf [73]. However this may be, in any future struggle for the throne Heoroweard may reasonably be expected to play some part. Neither Saxo nor the Saga thinks of Hiarwarus as the cousin of Rolf Kraki: they do not make it really clear what the cause of his enmity was.

But they tell us that, after a banquet, he and his men treacherously rose upon Rolf and his warriors. But the triumph of Hiarwarus was brief. Rolf's men all fell around him, save the young Wiggo, who had previously, in the confidence of youth, boasted that, should Rolf fall, he would avenge him. Astonished at the loyalty of Rolf's champions, Hiarwarus expressed regret that none had taken quarter, declaring that he would gladly accept the service of such men.

Whereupon Wiggo came from the hiding-place where he had taken refuge, and offered to do homage to Hiarwarus, by placing his hand on the hilt of his new lord's sword: but in doing so he drove the point through Hiarwarus, and rejoiced as he received his death from the attendants of the foe he had slain. It shows how entirely the duty of vengeance was felt to outweigh all other considerations, that this treacherous act of Wiggo is always spoken of with the highest praise.

Holder, pp. Olrik, , []. XXIV , The story has been fully worked out by Olrik Heltedigtning , , I , etc. These views have been disputed by Miss Clarke Sidelights , , who seems to regard as "hypotheses" of Olrik data which have been ascertained facts for more than a generation. Miss Clarke's contentions, however, appear to me to be based upon a misunderstanding of Olrik. The poem, then, is mainly concerned with the deeds of Geatic and Danish kings: only once is reference made to a king of Anglian stock—Offa.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us of several kings named Offa, but two only concern us here. Still remembered is the historic tyrant-king who reigned over Mercia during the latter half of the eighth century, and who was celebrated through the Middle Ages chiefly as the founder of the great abbey of St Albans. This Offa is sometimes referred to as Offa the Second , because he had a remote ancestor, Offa I, who, if the Mercian pedigree can be trusted, lived twelve generations earlier, and therefore presumably in the latter half of the fourth century. Offa I, then, must have ruled over the Angles whilst they were still dwelling in Angel, their continental home, in or near the modern Schleswig.

This Offa I, king of Angel, is referred to in Widsith. Widsith is a composite poem: the passage concerning Offa, though not the most obviously primitive portion of it, is, nevertheless, early: it may well be earlier than Beowulf. After a list of famous chieftains we are told:. Offa ruled Angel, Alewih the Danes; he was the boldest of all these men, yet did he not in his deeds of valour surpass Offa.

But Offa gained, first of men, by arms the greatest of kingdoms whilst yet a boy; no one of equal age ever did greater deeds of valour in battle with his single sword: he drew the boundary against the Myrgingas at Fifeldor. Much is obscure here: more particularly our ignorance as to the Myrgingas is to be regretted: but there is reason for thinking that they were a people dwelling to the south of the old continental home of the Angles. After the lapse of some five centuries, we get abundant further information concerning Offa.

The legends about him, though carried to England by the Anglian conquerors, must also have survived in the neighbourhood of his old kingdom of Angel: for as Angel was incorporated into the Danish kingdom, so these stories became part of the stock of Danish national legend. Offa came to be regarded as a Danish king, and his story is told at length by the two earliest historians of Denmark, Sweyn Aageson and Saxo Grammaticus. In Saxo the story runs thus:. Wermund, king of Denmark, had a son Uffo [Offa], tall beyond the measure of his age, but dull and speechless. When Wermund grew blind, his southern neighbour, the king of Saxony, laid claim to Denmark on the ground that he was no longer fit to rule, and, relying upon Uffo's incapacity, suggested that the quarrel should be decided by their two sons in single combat.

Wermund, in despair, offered himself to fight, in spite of his blindness: this offer the envoys of the Saxon king refused with insult, and the Danes knew not what to say. Thereupon Uffo, who happened to be present, suddenly asked leave to speak. Wermund could not believe that it was really his son who had spoken, but when they all assured him that it was , he gave the permission.

The Saxon envoys accepted the offer and departed. The blind king was at last convinced, by passing his hands over him, that the speaker had been in truth his son. But it was found difficult to arm him; for his broad chest split the rings of every coat of mail: the largest, his father's, had to be cleft down the side and fastened with a clasp. The sword, when found, was so frail from age that Uffo did not test it: for Wermund told him that, if he broke it, there was no other left strong enough for him.

So Uffo and his two antagonists were taken to the place of combat, an island in the river Eider. Crowds lined either bank, and Wermund stood prepared to throw himself into the river should his son be slain. Uffo held back at first, till he had discovered which of his antagonists was the more dangerous, since he feared the sword would only be good for one blow.

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Then, having by his taunts induced the champion to come to close quarters, he clove him asunder with one stroke. Wermund cried out that he had heard the sound of his son's sword, and asked where the blow had fallen: his attendants assured him that it had pierced, not any particular part, but the man's whole structure. So Wermund drew back from the edge, desiring life now as keenly as before he had longed for death. Finally Uffo smote his second antagonist through, thus opening a career which after such a beginning we may well believe to have been glorious.

The story is told again by Sweyn Aageson in a slightly varying form. Sweyn's story has some good traits of its own—as when it makes Uffo enter the lists girt with two swords, intending to use his father's only in an emergency. The worthless sword breaks, and all the Danes quake for fear: whereupon Uffo draws the old sword and achieves the victory.

But above all Sweyn Aageson tells us the reason of Uffo's dumbness and incapacity, which Saxo leaves obscure: it was the result of shame over the deeds of two Danes who had combined to avenge their father upon a single foe. What is the incident referred to we can gather from Saxo. Two Danes, Keto and Wigo, whose father Frowinus had been slain by a hostile king Athislus, attacked Athislus together, two to one, thus breaking the laws of the duel. That this incident was also known in England is rendered probable by the fact that Freawine and Wig, who correspond to Saxo's Frowinus and Wiggo, are found in the genealogy of English kings, and that an Eadgils, king of the Myrgingas, who is almost certainly the Athislus of Saxo [74] , also appears in Old English heroic poetry.

It is probable then that the two tales were connected in Old English story: the two brethren shamefully combine to avenge their father: in due time the family of the slain foe take up the feud: Offa saves his country and his country's honour by voluntarily undertaking to fight one against two.

About the same time that the Danish ecclesiastics were at work, a monk of St Albans was committing to Latin the English stories which were still current concerning Offa. The object of the English writer was, however, local rather than national. He wrote the Vitae duorum Offarum to celebrate the historic Offa, king of Mercia, the founder of his abbey, and that founder's ancestor, Offa I: popular tradition had confused the two, and much is told concerning the Mercian Offa that seems to belong more rightly to his forefather. The St Albans writer drew upon contemporary tradition, and it is evident that in certain cases, as when he gives two sets of names to some of the chief actors in the story, he is trying to harmonize two distinct versions: he makes at least one error which seems to point to a written source [75].

In one of the MSS the story is illustrated by a series of very artistic drawings, which might possibly be from the pen of Matthew Paris himself [76]. These drawings depict a version of the story which in some respects differs from the Latin text which they accompany. The story is located in England. Warmundus is represented as a king of the Western Angles, ruling at Warwick. Offa, his only son, was blind till his seventh, dumb till his thirtieth year.

Accordingly an ambitious noble, Riganus, otherwise called Aliel, claims to be recognized heir, in hope of gaining the throne for his son, Hildebrand Brutus. Offa gains the gift of speech in answer to prayer; to the joy of his father and the councillors he vindicates his right, much as in the Danish story. He is knighted with a chosen body of companions, armed, and leads the host to meet the foe.

He dashes across the river which separates the two armies, although his followers hang back. This act of cowardice on their part is not explained: it is apparently a reminiscence of an older version in which Offa fights his duel single handed by the river, and his host look on.

The armies join battle, but after a long struggle draw away from each other with the victory undecided. Offa remaining in front of his men is attacked by Brutus or Hildebrand and Sueno, the sons of the usurper, and slays them both a second reminiscence of the duel-scene. He then hurls himself again upon the foe, and wins the victory. Widsith shows us that the Danish account has kept closer to the primitive story than has later English tradition.

In Beowulf too we hear of Offa as a mighty king, "the best of all mankind betwixt the seas. The episode in Beowulf relates rather to his wife Thryth, and his dealings with her. The passage is the most obscure in the whole poem, but this at least is clear: Thryth had an evil reputation for cruelty and murder: she wedded Offa, and he put a stop to her evil deeds: she became to him a good and loyal wife.

Now in the Lives of the two Offas quite a long space is devoted to the matrimonial entanglements of both kings. Concerning Offa I, a tale is told of how he succoured a daughter of the king of York, who had been turned adrift by her father; how when his years were advancing his subjects pressed him to marry: and how his mind went back to the damsel whom he had saved, and he chose her for his wife.

Whilst the king was absent on his wars, a messenger whom he had sent with a letter to report his victories passed through York, where the wicked father of Offa's queen lived. A false letter was substituted, commanding that the queen and her children should be mutilated and left to die in the woods, because she was a witch and had brought defeat upon the king's arms. The order was carried out, but a hermit rescued and healed the queen and her children, and ultimately united them to the king. From the name of the heroine in the last of these versions, the tale is often known as the Constance -story.

But it is clear that this tale is not identical with the obscure story of the wife of Offa, which is indicated in Beowulf. When, however, we turn to the Life of Offa II , we do find a very close parallel to the Thryth story. This tells how in the days of Charles the Great a certain beautiful but wicked girl, related to that king, was condemned to death on account of her crimes, but, from respect for her birth, was exposed instead in a boat without sails or tackle, and driven ashore on the coast of King Offa's land.

Drida, as she said her name was, deceived the king by a tale of injured innocence, and he committed her to the safe keeping of his mother, the Countess Marcellina. Later, Offa fell in love with Drida, and married her, after which she became known as Quendrida. In the end she was murdered by robbers—a just punishment for her crimes—and her widowed husband built the Abbey of St Albans as a thank-offering for her death.

The parallel here is too striking to be denied: for Drida is but another way of spelling Thryth, and the character of the murderous queen is the same in both stories. There are, however, striking differences: for whereas Thryth ceases from her evil deeds and becomes a model wife to Offa, Drida continues on her course of crime, and is cut off by violence in the midst of her evil career. How are we to account for the parallels and for the discrepancies? The most obvious and facile way of accounting for the likeness between what we are told in Beowulf of the queen of Offa I, and what we are elsewhere told of the queen of Offa II, is to suppose that Thryth in Beowulf is a mere fiction evolved from the historic Cynethryth, wife of Offa II, and by poetic licence represented as the wife of his ancestor, Offa I.

It was in this way she was explained by Professor Earle:. The name [Thrytho] was suggested by that of Cynethryth, Offa's queen The vindictive character here given to Thrytho is a poetic and veiled admonition addressed to Cynethryth [78]. Unfortunately this, like many another facile theory, is open to fatal objections. In the first place the poem of Beowulf can, with fair certainty, be attributed to a date earlier than that at which the historic Offa and his spouse lived.

Of course, it may be said that the Offa episode in Beowulf is an interpolation of a later date. But this needs proof. If we wish to regard the Offa-Thryth -episode as a later interpolation, we ought first to prove that it is later in its syntax and metre.

We have no right to assume that the episode is an interpolation merely because such an assumption may suit our theory of the development of Beowulf. So until reasons are forthcoming for supposing the episode of Thryth to be later than the rest of the poem, we can but note that what we know of the date of Beowulf forbids us to accept Earle's theory that Thryth is a reflection of, or upon, the historic Cynethryth. But there are difficulties in the way of Earle's theory even more serious than the chronological one. We know nothing very definitely about the wife of Offa II, except her name, but from a reference in a letter of Alcuin it seems clear that she was a woman of marked piety: it is not likely that she could have been guilty of deliberate murder of the kind represented in the Life of Offa II.

The St Albans Life depends, so far as we know, upon the traditions which were current four centuries after her death. There may be, there doubtless are, some historic facts concerning Offa preserved in it: but we have no reason to think that the bad character of Offa's queen is one of them. Indeed, on purely intrinsic grounds we might well suppose the reverse.

When in the Life we find Offa completely exonerated, and the deed represented as an assassination brought about by the malice and cruelty of his queen, it seems intrinsically likely that we are dealing with an attempt of the monks to clear their founder by transferring his cruel deeds to the account of his wife.

So far, then, from Thryth being a reflection of an historic cruel queen Cynethryth, it is more probable that the influence has been in the reverse direction; that the pious Cynethryth has been represented as a monster of cruelty because she has not unnaturally been confused with a mythical Thryth, the wife of Offa I. But the exceeding frequency of the element thryth in the names of women robs this objection of all its point.

Such a coincidence, far from being remarkable, would be the most natural in the world. If we look at the Mercian pedigree we find that almost half the ladies connected with it have that element thryth in their names. It is to this lady Hermuthruda that we must now devote our attention.


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She belongs to a type which is common in folk-tale down to the time of Hans Andersen—the cruel princess who puts her lovers to death unless they can vanquish her in some way, worsting her in a contest of wits, such as the guessing of riddles, or a contest of strength, such as running, jumping, or wrestling. The stock example of this perilous maiden is, of course, for classical story Atalanta, for Germanic tradition the Brunhilt of the Nibelungen Lied , who demands from her wooer that he shall surpass her in all three feats; if he fails in one, his head is forfeit [81].

Of this type was Hermuthruda: "in the cruelty of her arrogance she had always loathed her wooers, and inflicted upon them the supreme punishment, so that out of many there was not one but paid for his boldness with his head [82] ," words which remind us strongly of what our poet says of Thryth. Hamlet Amlethus is sent by the king of Britain to woo this maiden for him: but she causes Hamlet's shield and the commission to be stolen while he sleeps: she learns from the shield that the messenger is the famous and valiant Hamlet, and alters the commission so that her hand is requested, not for the king of Britain, but for Hamlet himself.

With this request she complies, and the wedding is celebrated. It may well be that there is some connection between the Thryth of Beowulf and the Hermuthruda who in Saxo weds Offa's ancestor—that they are both types of the wild maiden who becomes a submissive though not always happy wife. If so, the continued wickedness of Drida in the Life of Offa II would be an alteration of the original story, made in order to exonerate Offa II from the deeds of murder which, as a matter of history, did characterize his reign.

When we come to the story of Beowulf's struggle with Grendel, with Grendel's mother, and with the dragon, we are faced by difficulties much greater than those which meet us when considering that background of Danish or Geatic history in which these stories are framed. In the first place, it is both surprising and confusing that, in the prologue, before the main story begins, another Beowulf is introduced, the son of Scyld Scefing. Much emphasis is laid upon the upbringing and youthful fame of this prince, and the glory of his father.

Any reader would suppose that the poet is going on to tell of his adventures, when suddenly the story is switched off, and, after brief mention of this Beowulf's son, Healfdene, we come to Hrothgar, the building of Heorot, Grendel's attack, and the voyage of Beowulf the Geat to the rescue. Now "Beowulf" is an exceedingly rare name. The presence of the earlier Beowulf, Scyld's son, seems then to demand explanation, and many critics, working on quite different lines, have arrived independently at the conclusion that either the story of Grendel and his mother, or the story of the dragon, or both stories, were originally told of the son of Scyld, and only afterwards transferred to the Geatic hero.

Yet, though possible enough, it does not admit of any demonstration. In this genealogy Beow is always connected with Scyld and Scef, and in some versions the relations are identical with those given in Beowulf : Beow, son of Scyld, son of Scef, in the genealogies [84] , corresponding to Beowulf, son of Scyld Scefing, in our poem. Hence arose the further speculation of many scholars that the hero who slays the monsters was originally called, not Beowulf, but Beow, and that he was identical with the hero in the West Saxon pedigree; in other words, that the original story was of a hero Beow son of Scyld who slew a monster and a dragon: and that this adventure was only subsequently transferred to Beowulf, prince of the Geatas.

This is a theory based upon a theory, and some confirmation may reasonably be asked, before it is entertained. As to the dragon-slaying, the confirmatory evidence is open to extreme doubt. As to Grendel, one such piece of confirmation there is. The conquering Angles and Saxons seem to have given the names of their heroes to the lands they won in England: some such names—'Wade's causeway,' 'Weyland's smithy'—have survived to modern times. The evidence of the Anglo-Saxon charters shows that very many which have now been lost existed in England prior to the Conquest.

This has been claimed as evidence that the story of Grendel, with Beow as his adversary, was localized in Wiltshire in the reign of Athelstan, and perhaps had been localized there since the settlement four centuries previously. Yet one such instance of name-association is not conclusive. We cannot leave out of consideration the possibility of its being a mere chance coincidence, especially considering how large is the number of place names recorded in Old English charters.

Of late, people have become more sceptical in drawing inferences from proper names, and quite recently there has been a tendency entirely to overlook the evidence of the charter, by way of making compensation for having hitherto overrated it. All that can be said with certainty is that it is remarkable that a place named after Beowa should be found in the immediate proximity of a "Grendel's lake," and that this fact supports the possibility, though it assuredly does not prove, that in the oldest versions of the tale the monster queller was named Beow, not Beowulf.

But it is only a possibility: it is not grounded upon any real evidence. These crucial references occur in a charter given by Athelstan at Luton, concerning a grant of land at Ham in Wiltshire to his thane Wulfgar. Praedicta siquidem tellus his terminis circumcincta clarescit Ambiguous as this evidence is, I do not think it can be dismissed as it is by Lawrence Pub. Lawrence continues: "Suppose one were to set up a theory that there was a saga-relation between Scyld and Bikki, and offered as proof the passage in the charter for the year in which there are mentioned, as in the same district, scyldes treow and bican sell How much weight would this carry?

The answer surely is that the occurrence of the two names together in the charter would, by itself, give no basis whatever for starting such a theory: but if, on other grounds, the theory were likely, then the occurrence of the two names together would certainly have some corroborative value. Miller has argued [ Academy , May , p. Now "grindle" is found in modern dialect and even in Middle English [85] in the sense of "a narrow ditch" or "gutter," but I doubt if it can be proved to be an Old English word.

Evidence would rather point to its being an East Anglian corruption of the much more widely spread drindle , or dringle , used both as a verb "to go slowly, to trickle," and as "a small trickling stream. Again, both Panzer and Lawrence suggest that the Beowa who gave his name to the ham may have been, not the hero, but "an ordinary mortal called after him" Recent scepticism as to the "Beow-myth" has been largely due to the fact that speculation as to Beow had been carried too far. For example, because Beow appeared in the West Saxon genealogy, it had been assumed that the Beow-myth belonged essentially to the Angles and Saxons.

Yet Beow would seem to have been also known among Scandinavians. For in somewhat later days Scandinavian genealogists, when they had made the acquaintance of the Anglo-Saxon pedigrees, noted that Beow had a Scandinavian counterpart in a hero whom they called Bjar [88]. Yet this dry reference serves to show that Bjar must once have been sufficiently famous to have a horse specially his own [89].

Whether the fourteenth century Scandinavian who made Bjar the Northern equivalent of Beow was merely guessing, we unfortunately cannot tell. But however this may be, the assumption that Beow was peculiarly the hero of Angles and Saxons seems hardly justified. Again, since Beow is an ancestor of Woden, it was further assumed that he was an ancient god, and that in the story of his adventures we had to deal with a nature-myth of a divine deliverer who saved the people from Grendel and his mother, the personified powers of the stormy sea.

That Grendel is fictitious no one, of course, would deny. They thought that those elements in heroic poetry which could not be referred back to actual fact must be traced to ancient stories in which were recorded the nation's belief about the sun and the gods: about storms and seasons. The different mythological explanations of Beowulf-Beowa and Grendel have depended mainly upon hazardous etymological explanations of the hero's name.

Beaw is the divine helper of man in his struggle with the elements. Grendel represents the stormy North Sea of early spring, flooding and destroying the habitations of men, till the god rescues them: Grendel's mother represents the depths of the ocean. But in the autumn the power of the god wanes: the dragon personifies the coming of the wild weather: the god sinks in his final struggle to safeguard the treasures of the earth for his people [91].

Others, remembering that Grendel dwells in the fen, see in him rather a demon of the sea-marsh than of the sea itself: he is the pestilential swamp [92] , and the hero a wind which drives him away [93]. Or, whilst Grendel still represents the storms, his antagonist is a "Blitzheros [94]. Such explanations were till recently universally current: the instances given above might be increased considerably. Sufficient allowance was not made for the influence upon heroic poetry of the simple popular folk-tale, a tale of wonder with no mythological or allegorical meaning.

Now, of late years, there has been a tendency not only to recognize but even to exaggerate this influence: to regard the hero of the folk-tale as the original and essential element in heroic poetry [98]. Though this is assuredly to go too far, it is but reasonable to recognize the fairy tale element in the O. We have in Beowulf a story of giant-killing and dragon-slaying.

Why should we construct a legend of the gods or a nature-myth to account for these tales? Why must Grendel or his mother represent the tempest, or the malaria, or the drear long winter nights? We know that tales of giant-killers and dragon-slayers have been current among the people of Europe for thousands of years.

Is it not far more easy to regard the story of the fight between Beowulf and Grendel merely as a fairy tale, glorified into an epic [99]? And as to the first step—the parallel between Beowulf and the Grettis saga —there can, fortunately, be but little hesitation. Section II. The Scandinavian Parallels—Grettir and Orm. The Grettis saga tells the adventures of the most famous of all Icelandic outlaws, Grettir the strong.

As to the historic existence of Grettir there is no doubt: we can even date the main events of his life, in spite of chronological inconsistencies, with some precision. But between the year , when he was killed, and the latter half of the thirteenth century, when his saga took form, many fictitious episodes, derived from folk-lore, had woven themselves around his name. Of these, one bears a great, if possibly accidental, likeness to the Grendel story: the second is emphatically and unmistakably the same story as that of Grendel and his mother.

In the first, Grettir stops at a farm house which is haunted by Glam, a ghost of monstrous stature. Grettir awaits his attack alone, but, like Beowulf, lying down. Glam's entry and onset resemble those of Grendel: when Grettir closes with him he tries to get out. They wrestle the length of the hall, and break all before them. Grettir supports himself against anything that will give him foothold, but for all his efforts he is dragged as far as the door.

There he suddenly changes his tactics, and throws his whole weight upon his adversary. The monster falls, undermost, so that Grettir is able to draw, and strike off his head; though not till Glam has laid upon Grettir a curse which drags him to his doom. The second story—the adventure of Grettir at Sandhaugar Sandheaps —begins in much the same way as that of Grettir and Glam.

Grettir is staying in a haunted farm, from which first the farmer himself and then a house-carl have, on two successive Yuletides, been spirited away. As before, a light burns in the room all night, and Grettir awaits the attack alone, lying down, without having put off his clothes. But this time Grettir is pulled put of the hall, and dragged to the brink of the neighbouring gorge. Here, by a final effort, he wrenches a hand free, draws, and hews off the arm of the ogress, who falls into the torrent below.

Grettir conjectures that the two missing men must have been pulled by the ogress into the gulf. This, after his experience, is surely a reasonable inference: but Stein, the priest, is unconvinced. So they go together to the river, and find the side of the ravine a sheer precipice: it is ten fathom down to the water below the fall. Grettir lets down a rope: the priest is to watch it.

Then Grettir dives in: "the priest saw the soles of his feet, and then knew no more what had become of him. Grettir hews it asunder. The giant then grasps at another sword hanging on the wall of the cave, but before he can use it Grettir wounds him. Stein, the priest, seeing the water stained with blood from this wound, concludes that Grettir is dead, and departs home, lamenting the loss of such a man.

He leaves the bones in the church porch, for the confusion of the priest, who has to admit that he has failed to do his part faithfully. Now if we compare this with Beowulf , we see that in the Icelandic story much is different: for example, in the Grettis saga it is the female monster who raids the habitation of men, the male who stays at home in his den.

In this the Grettis saga probably represents a corrupt tradition: for, that the female should remain at home whilst the male searches for his prey, is a rule which holds good for devils as well as for men []. The sword on the wall, also, which in the Beowulf -story is used by the hero, is, in the Grettir -story, used by the giant in his attack on the hero. But that the two stories are somehow connected cannot be disputed. Now obviously such a series of resemblances cannot be the result of an accident.

Either the Grettir -story is derived directly or indirectly from the Beowulf epic, more or less as we have it, or both stories are derived from one common earlier source. The scholars who first discovered the resemblance believed that both stories were independently derived from one original []. This view has generally been endorsed by later investigators, but not universally []. And this is one of the questions which the student cannot leave open, because our view of the origin of the Grendel -story will have to depend largely upon the view we take as to its connection with the episode in the Grettis saga.

If this episode be derived from Beowulf , then we have an interesting literary curiosity, but nothing further. In that case the story, as given in the Grettis saga , would be of great weight in any attempt to reconstruct the presumed original form of the Grendel -story. The evidence seems to me to support strongly the view of the majority of scholars—that the Grettir -episode is not derived from Beowulf in the form in which that poem has come down to us, but that both come from one common source.

It is certain that the story of the monster invading a dwelling of men and rendering it uninhabitable, till the adventurous deliverer arrives, did not originate with Hrothgar and Heorot. It is an ancient and widespread type of story, of which one version is localized at the Danish court. When therefore we find it existing, independently of its Danish setting, the presumption is in favour of this being a survival of the old independent story. Of course it is conceivable that the Hrothgar-Heorot setting might have been first added, and subsequently stripped off again so clean that no trace of it remains.

But it seems going out of our way to assume this, unless we are forced to do so []. Again, it is certain that these stories—like all the subject matter of the Old English epic—did not originate in England, but were brought across the North Sea from the old home. And that old home was in the closest connection, so far as the passage to and fro of story went, with Scandinavian lands. Nothing could be intrinsically more probable than that a story, current in ancient Angel and carried thence to England, should also have been current in Scandinavia, and thence have been carried to Iceland.

Other stories which were current in England in the eighth century were also current in Scandinavia in the thirteenth. Why then, contrary to all analogy, should we assume a literary borrowing in the case of the Beowulf-Grettir -story? The compiler of the Grettis saga could not possibly have drawn his material from a MS of Beowulf [] : he could not have made sense of a single passage.

INTRODUCTION

He conceivably might have drawn from traditions derived from the Old English epic. But it is difficult to see how. Long before his time these traditions had for the most part been forgotten in England itself. One of the longest lived of all, that of Offa, is heard of for the last time in England at the beginning of the thirteenth century. That a Scandinavian sagaman at the end of the century could have been in touch, in any way, with Anglo-Saxon epic tradition seems on the whole unlikely.

The Scandinavian tradition of Offa, scholars are now agreed [] , was not borrowed from England, and there is no reason why we should assume such borrowing in the case of Grettir. The probability is, then, considerable, that the Beowulf -story and the Grettir -story are independently derived from one common original. And this probability would be confirmed to a certainty if we should find that features which have been confused and half obliterated in the O.

Grendel's home seems sometimes to be in the sea: and again it seems to be amid marshes, moors and fens, and again it is "where the mountain torrent goes down under the darkness of the cliffs—the water below the ground i. This last account agrees admirably with the landscape depicted in the Grettis saga , and the gorge many fathoms deep through which the stream rushes, after it has fallen over the precipice; not so the other accounts. This story, natural enough in a Scandinavian country, would be less intelligible as it travelled South. The Angles and Saxons, both in their old home on the Continent and their new one in England, were accustomed to a somewhat flat country, and would be more inclined to place the dwelling of outcast spirits in moor and fen than under waterfalls, of which they probably had only an elementary conception.

Now it is in the highest degree improbable that, after the landscape had been blurred as it is in Beowulf , it could have been brought out again with the distinctness it has in the Grettis saga. To preserve the features so clearly the Grettir -story can hardly be derived from Beowulf : it must have come down independently. But if so, it becomes at once of prime importance. For by a comparison of Beowulf and Grettir we must form an idea of what the original story was, from which both were derived.

It is generally asserted that the Orm -story affords a close parallel to the episodes of Grendel and his mother. I cannot find close resemblance, and I strongly suspect that the repetition of the assertion is due to the fact that the Orm -story has not been very easily accessible, and has often been taken as read by the critics.

But, in any case, it has been proved that the Orm -tale borrows largely from other sagas, and notably from the Grettis saga itself []. One such feature there is, namely Orm's piety, which he certainly does not derive from Grettir. In this he with equal certainty resembles Beowulf.

According to modern ideas, indeed, there is more of the Christian hero in Beowulf than in Orm. Now Orm owes his victory to the fact, among other things, that, at the critical moment, he vows to God and the holy apostle St Peter to make a pilgrimage to Rome should he be successful. In this a parallel is seen to the fact that Beowulf is saved, not only by his coat of mail, but also by the divine interposition []. But is this really a parallel? Beowulf is too much of a sportsman to buy victory by making a vow when in a tight place.

However, I have given in the Second Part the text of the Orm -episode, so that readers may judge for themselves the closeness or remoteness of the parallel. It was elaborately worked out by Gering in Anglia , III , , and it is of course noticed in almost every discussion of Beowulf. XII , The best edition of the Grettis saga is the excellent one of Boer Halle, , but the opinions there expressed as to the relationship of the episodes to each other and to the Grendel story have not received the general support of scholars.

We have seen that there are in Beowulf two distinct elements, which never seem quite harmonized: firstly the historic background of the Danish and Geatic courts, with their chieftains, Hrothgar and Hrothulf, or Hrethel and Hygelac: and secondly the old wives' fables of struggles with ogres and dragons. Turning back to the Saga of Rolf Kraki , we do find against that Danish setting a figure, that of the hero Bothvar Bjarki, bearing a very remarkable resemblance to Beowulf.

Arrived at Leire, Bjarki takes under his protection the despised coward Hott, whom Rolf's retainers have been wont to bully. The champions at the Danish court [in Beowulf one of them only—Unferth] prove quarrelsome, and they assail the hero during the feast, in the Saga by throwing bones at him, in Beowulf only by bitter words.

The hero in each case replies, in kind, with such effect that the enemy is silenced. But despite the fame and splendour of the Danish court, it has long been subject to the attacks of a strange monster [] —a winged beast whom no iron will bite [just as Grendel is immune from swords [] ]. Bjarki [like Beowulf [] ] is scornful at the inability of the Danes to defend their own home: "if one beast can lay waste the kingdom and the cattle of the king.

He tries to draw his sword, but the sword is fast in its sheath: he tugs, the sword comes out, and he slays the beast with it. Bjarki then compels the terrified coward Hott to drink the monster's blood. Hott forthwith becomes a valiant champion, second only to Bjarki himself. The beast is then propped up as if still alive: when it is seen next morning the king calls upon his retainers to play the man, and Bjarki tells Hott that now is the time to clear his reputation.

Hott demands first the sword, Gullinhjalti, from Rolf, and with this he slays the dead beast a second time. King Rolf is not deceived by this trick; yet he rejoices that Bjarki has not only himself slain the monster, but changed the cowardly Hott into a champion; he commands that Hott shall be called Hjalti, after the sword which has been given him.

We are hardly justified in demanding logic in a wild tale like this, or one might ask how Rolf was convinced of Hott's valour by what he knew to be a piece of stage management on the part of Bjarki. But, however that may be, it is remarkable that in Beowulf also the monster Grendel, though proof against all ordinary weapons, is smitten when dead by a magic sword of which the golden hilt [] is specially mentioned.

In addition to the undeniable similarity of the stories of these heroes, a certain similarity of name has been claimed. Similarity of sound might have caused one name to be substituted for another []. It is scarcely to be wondered at, then, that most critics have seen in Bjarki a Scandinavian parallel to Beowulf. But serious difficulties remain. There is in the Scandinavian story a mass of detail quite unparallelled in Beowulf , which overshadows the resemblances. Bjarki's friendship, for example, with the coward Hott or Hjalti has no counterpart in Beowulf.

And Bjarki becomes a retainer of King Rolf and dies in his service, whilst Beowulf never comes into direct contact with Hrothulf at all; the poet seems to avoid naming them together. Still, it is quite intelligible that the story should have developed on different lines in Scandinavia from those which it followed in England, till the new growths overshadowed the original resemblance, without obliterating it.

After nearly a thousand years of independent development discrepancies must be expected. It would not be a reasonable objection to the identity of Gullinhjalti with Gyldenhilt , that the word hilt had grown to have a rather different meaning in Norse and in English; subsequent developments do not invalidate an original resemblance if the points of contact are really there. But, allowing for this independent growth in Scandinavia, we should naturally expect that the further back we traced the story the greater the resemblance would become. This brings us to the second, serious difficulty: that, when we turn from the Saga of Rolf Kraki —belonging in its present form perhaps to the early fifteenth century—to the pages of Saxo Grammaticus, who tells the same tale more than two centuries earlier, the resemblance, instead of becoming stronger, almost vanishes.

Nothing is said of Bjarki coming from Gautland, or indeed of his being a stranger at the Danish court: nothing is said of the monster having paid previous visits, visits repeated till king Rolf, like Hrothgar, has to give up all attempt at resistance, and submit to its depredations. The monster, instead of being a troll, like Grendel, becomes a commonplace bear.

All Saxo tells us is that "He [Biarco, i. Hjalti] place his lips to the beast and drink its blood as it flowed, that he might become stronger. Hence the Danish scholar, Axel Olrik, in the best and most elaborate discussion of Bjarki and all about him, has roundly denied any connection between his hero and Beowulf.

He is astonished at the slenderness of the evidence upon which previous students have argued for relationship. These ballads belong to about the year Yet, though they are thus in date and dialect closely allied to the Saga of Rolf Kraki and remote from Saxo Grammaticus, they are so far from supporting the tradition of the Saga with regard to the monster slain, that they represent the foe first as a man-eating she-wolf, which is slain by Bjarki, then as a grey bear [as in Saxo], which is slain by Hjalti after he has been compelled to drink the blood of the she-wolf.

We must therefore give up the winged beast as mere later elaboration; for if the Bjarki ballads in a point like this support Saxo, as against the Saga which is so closely connected with them by its date and Icelandic tongue, we must admit Saxo's version here to represent, beyond dispute, the genuine tradition.

Accordingly the attempt which has been made to connect Bjarki's winged monster with Beowulf's winged dragon goes overboard at once. But such an attempt ought never to have been made at all. The parallel is between Bjarki and the Beowulf-Grendel episode, not between Bjarki and the Beowulf-dragon episode, which ought to be left out of consideration. The likeness between Beowulf and Bjarki lies, not in the wingedness or otherwise of the monsters they overthrow, but in the similarity of the position—in the situation which places the most famous court of the North, and its illustrious king, at the mercy of a ravaging foe, till a chance stranger from Gautland brings deliverance.

Thus, whilst we grant the wings of the beast to be a later elaboration, it does not in the least follow that other features in which the Saga differs from Saxo—the advent of Bjarki from Gautland, for instance—are also later elaboration. And we must be careful not to attach too much weight to the account of Saxo merely because it is earlier in date than that of the Saga.

The presumption is, of course, that the earlier form will be the more original: but just as a late manuscript will often preserve, amidst its corruptions, features which are lost in much earlier manuscripts, so will a tradition. It's worth looking at--paperback is still in print. Hazel Cook Corcoran, Grandmother's Garden, This is a small book of poetry. Both are signed by the author. I am trying to find out more about the books and author. Maybe Could you be getting it mixed up with Horton Hatches an Egg?

Bodecker, which have various tiny animals hedgehogs, rabbits, etc. The signs, lighted windows of houses, etc. Illustrations are copyright by Bodecker for Night-Lite Library, but the only book showing on a google search is Kraus's Night-Lite Storybook and Kraus's publishing house, Windmill, was the one that issued the calendars.

I am wracking my brains over G My college-age children and I all agree that the illustrations look very familiar!! I am inclined to suggest Gateway to Storyland by Watty Piper late 50's edition which was mine as child that I kept for my children. It's up in the attic--I just went to check, but it's about degrees up there and I didn't find it immediately and had to leave!! I'll try to check later. I still think I KNOW those illustrations--could you tell me a little more info--what are the dimensions of the book and what was time frame you first had the book?

I looked thru all the books I have here with no luck--but there is a falling apart book of Mother Goose at my mom's that I'll check next time I'm home. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. I think we had this book as children too. Those pictures are definately familiar. I would try Mother Goose. Just a suggestion! I have a book called Favorite Nursery Tales that is similar to what you describe.

It is smallish- 62 pages long. It has all the stories but Three Little Kittens- but there are some poems along the way. Mine is a edition. There is an edition from perhaps that resembles your long lost book. I have never been able to pull up your pictures to see what they look like! Sutton, Margaret, The Haunted Attic , I can't remember the entire plot of this Judy Bolton mystery, but this might be the one. This is not the Haunted Attic by Margaret Sutton.

You mistakenly classed one of my stumpers as "solved". I have also read that story-a couple of days ago-and it is not the book that I am looking for. Can you please put it back under "unsolved"? The Allen kids discover a girl hiding in the cabin they're living in. She has been drugged and has amnesia. It turns out she was kidnapped by a man who then drugged her and tried to convice her that he was her father. The kids go in search of the girl's identity and her real father. They travel along a river in a cabin cruiser, pursued by the kidnapper and his gang. In the end she's reunited with her father.

Margaret Buffie, The Dark Garden. Probably not the book you're looking for, but enough of the details match that it's a possibility. Elizabeth Enright, Thimble Summer , circa Thimble Summer is about Garnet, who lives on a farm in the Depression, and her friend Citronella which you may be remembering as Lemon! It includes a visit to a fair. It was a Newbery winner and should be easily available.

Elizabeth Enright, Thimble Summer, Could it be Citronella, not Lemon? The other main character, named Garnet, has a pig, which might have led to the association with the name Fern. The details don't quite fit, but there are both "no-evil" monkey sculptures and very old automatic dolls on platforms. One wrote, one drew a picture of a chalet and one played a harpsichord?

I remember begging my mother to find dolls like that. Of course, who knows if dolls like that were ever common even in the 19th century - and there I was, asking for them in the late 's! Ruth Sawyer, Rollerskates, s? Rollerskates is about a ten-year old girl living in an hotel or possibly an apartment building with two elderly relatives. It tells of her adventures over the course of a year, and all the unusual people she be-friends. Eloise at the Plaza , children's book series. Goffstein, Daisy Summerfield's Style. I just reunited with this book myself! I'm pretty sure it's the same one you are looking for.

What I remember is that somehow this girl is supposed to be going one place, but she switches luggage?

I remember her being in nyc also, and the store with the monkeys is an art supply store. She wants to be an artist and she buys soapstone? She carves figures with moveable parts, and I think in the end she ends up selling them. I also remember that in order to have this fantasy life, she has to carefully budget the money she had for whatever it was she was really supposed to be doing. I can't remember the ending though! Cid Ricketts Sumner, Tammy series. Most of the things you talked about are in this story. Not exactly right but: Craig and his cousin Jill have been reduced to minute size and taken prisoner by an ant colony in punishment for stepping on one of its members.

Down beneath the ground they are herded, down to the city under the back steps, where the haughty and Queen ruled with an iron hand, each of her subjects with a vital task to perform. Craig and Jill are put to work! I agree that this sounds like the story of the princess and her friend Curdie, who followed an invisible magic strand to escape the goblin'' underground lair. Loved that book!

Lewis' Narnia series includes a title called The Silver Chair It was originally published around I'm guessing this one rather than The Silver Chair by Lewis , because the latter is easier to find. What magic powers it possesses she has not yet discovered, but the sudden changes in her life are unmistakable: her house is burned down, her family has disappeared, and a man in a dark uniform is stalking her. Can Ellen ever find her family? Can she use the power of the silver crown to thwart the powers of darkness?

What diabolical force hides inside the mysterious castle in the woods? I'm inclined to second the recommendation of The Silver Chair. I don't recall where the children are when they get pulled into Narnia in this book, but they are sitting on a railway bench when their adventure starts in The Last Battle. Sounds as though the requester may be combining these two titles into one.

This is a contemporary fantasy that begins in Central Park, then moves into an odd sort of alternate setting in which teenaged Kevin is both prince and anti-hero. Rainbow Brite. Wasn't there a big toy merchandise collection of toy unicorns for little girls in the s and early 90s, called Rainbow Brite? Or was that just horses? This sure sounds like a book based on those toys. Thanks for the suggestion, but it was definitely not Rainbow Brite.

It was an Apple Paperback book. NY Apple Scholastic Right at the tail end of the possible period, but anyways, the right publisher and topic. Emily Arrow is in the second grade at Polk Street school. Emily has a rubber unicorn, Uni, perhaps an eraser. Uni accompanies Emily on quite a few adventures. I don't remember much reference to rainbows, but there is definitely a spooky book about an old house in the series, and Emily has a falling out with her best friend, Dawn, in another book.

Hope this helps. In Conford's book, the main female character, Carrie, secretly writes an advice column in her school newspaper. The description of the cover also seems familiar as well. Ellen Conford. Girl writes advice column for high school newspaper and tries to impress cute guy who's also on the newspaper staff.

This is incorrect. I have this book and the character is not a girl who was overweight. Beverly Cleary, The Luckiest Girl , 's or 60's? This may be the book that you are looking for. It has to do with a girl writing for her school newspaper, and it takes place in Northern California or Oregon. It has been a long time since I have read it. Suzanne Rand , Ask Annie, This is one of the original "Sweet Dreams" paperback teen romance series. Irvin S.

Cobb, Faith, Hope and Charity, I have a vague memory of this possibly having been done as a 'Twilight Zone' or similar show episode. G This is a shot in the dark, but since no-one else has answered, I figured I'd try. The whole book is posted online. There was a treasure hunt involved. I think I know this book, but of course author and title currently elude me. The spy kid meets some girls who live in the only painted house on the island, and there is a man named Eugene who runs a sort of general store. The medium of exchange is called krinks, and the children sing a song "Earn krinks for Eugene to drink a-drink drink.

Maybe this will trigger someone's memory that's better than mine. Grattan, Madeleine, William Pene du Bois. Jexium Island. Drawn from memories of a childhood near the banks of the Garonne and inspired by tales of the Resistance. The heroes crack a ring of kidnappers who capture children to work on a North Atlantic island of jexium deposits. An uneven but memorable book. I am sure this is the book you are seeking.

It has black and white illustrations by William Pene du Bois, and is the story of Serge, who makes his way from France to the coast of Newfoundland to search for his kidnapped foster sister Angele. There he finds many children who have been captured to work on an island of jexium deposits. Marion Conger illus. This is just a remote guess, depending on how definite your memories are, but your description reminded me of this book, which has Peter and Mary going through the year with the different holidays.

The stove is old-fashioned with a big copper kettle on top. There's a short description in the Solved Mysteries section. Hope this helps Wilken, Elosie, Baby's Christmas. I think all of the Christmas activities take place at "Baby's" home. In the original version of this book the illustrations were absolutely gorgeous! The children are facing the creche, holding hands, with their backs to the reader. I think it probably is Wilkin although it could be Tasha Tudor. I'll find it, it's around here somewhere! It may be the Golden book Christmas in the Country.

Betty strings popcorn and cranberies in the kitchen for the Christmas tree which Bob chops down in the pasture. It was published I think in the late 's the illustrations place the story around the turn of the century. The story ends with imagining the animals in the barn getting ready for Christmas.

Marcia Martin, illus. A Wonder Book. This doesn't match exactly but it's very close. Three children, Bobby, Sally, and Baby celebrate Christmas with their parents. There's a picture of mother taking gingerbread cookies out of the oven and a picture of Sally and Baby looking at a nativity manger under the tree.

They also go shopping for ornaments, sit on Santa's lap, and pick out a tree with Daddy. At the end the children say "Oh, we can hardly wait until next Christmas! Thanks anyway! Okay, this is a long shot but the description of the cover reminded me of this book. The girl is in the snowy woods and there is a fox peeking out from behind a tree. The background is dark green. But the girl and the animals are searching for Christmas because they have never seen one so while the anxiety is there the story doesn't sound the same.

Andre Norton, The white jade fox. I know this is the wrong colour, but the psychic elements and the atmosphere described brought this book to mind. I am sorry to say that neither one of these is the book I am searching for, I really wish I could remember more about it, sometimes I think that something is about to surface, but is gone before it formulate's in my mind. Thank you for trying! The Search Continues!

London, Bodley Head This may be a bit early, however Severn's books do sometimes have supernatural or unsettling elements to them. So Phillippa was left to amuse herself, and it was during one of her solitary walks in Wild Valley that she first saw Foxy-boy. Was he a Fox or a boy? What was he doing in the Valley? And would Phillippa ever be able to get near enough to him to find out? Unfortunatly, Foxy-Boy wasn't it either.

If I recall correctly, I think the girl may have become a fox in the end, but I'm not ever possitive about that. Thanks for trying! Chilton, Nightmare , , approximate. Girl is in motorbike accident and gets sent back in time as an old woman in a forest. She finds a fox tail, which she wants to sell to have food for the winter. The fox evil spirit starts haunting her. Frank Herrmann, Giant Alexander series. One of these? He holds a little friend Timmy in his shirt pocket - if that helps identify the book as one of the series.

See T59 for some suggestions. Picture is in dark tones. Scholastic Book Club put out a paperback version. There is a good description under "Solved Mysteries. In the book described, the girl who befriends the hippy girl is very straight laced. She goes to the hippy's house and the girl has an enormous room which she can skate in - but she doesn't have her parent's love. I know that the description doesn't immediately fit, but I think this is the book you're thinking of. This is not Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth It sounds more like The Birds of Summer , but in that book the children's mother is the one who is hippie-like and they live with her.

Set in the s, the novel tells the story of Summer Mclntyre, who lives with her mother. Oriole, and her sevenyear-old sister, Sparrow, in Alvarro, California. Oriole harbors romantic visions of getting back to nature and living the simple life, but she depends upon welfare to raise her family. The Mclntyres live in a wooded area in a trailer that they rent from their friends and neighbors, the Fishers. The Fishers own some greenhouses in which they grow strawberries and tomatoes to sell in town.

ABOUT PAYOUTS

She learns about runestones from one of the friends too. Wylly Folk St. The girl went to visit family and met the ghost of her half-sister who had drowned. There was an owl figurine which her sister had made that solved a mystery. Rachel Field, Polly Patchwork , ca Polly is a little girl who lives with her grandmother. They are very poor, and the grandmother makes Polly a dress out of an old patchwork quilt, telling Polly stories about family members who contributed squares to the quilt. When Polly wears the dress to school, the kids make fun of her, but in a spelling bee Polly looks at one of the squares and gets help from an ancestor in spelling Mississippi.

That sounds like it should be it, but I don't think it is. I distinctly remember "green," as in a green dress or coat. I don't remember the title or author but the story I'm thinking of was part of a larger book like a reader. The girl's family might have been Quaker or Amish or something like that because she says that her mother knew how to make beautiful dresses without ruffles or trim.

Another family loses their home a fire? Her family is surprised but she actually means to give her everyday dress so she can wear her new green one. Her grandmother makes her fetch her new dress to give away and she grumbles to herself because her everyday dress should be good enough for that other girl. The story had a turn-of-the-century feel like a Laura Ingalls Wilder although it was not the Little House series.

Hope this is the story and gives a few more clues. I remember reading a bioliography of Susan B. Anthony that describe that story. It also had a story about her working in her father's thread mill, and seeing it as unfair that young girls work hard and their father would take their earnings.

She had gotten the job after wishing on a star for something excited to do. Also after she gave away her new dress she actually felt happy because she didn't need to worry about keeping her new dress prefect. It seems that I remember the bioliography as part of a nonfiction series of varies American heros, Presidents, Presidents wives or mothers.

Hope this help. Anthony : champion of women's rights. This is the story that I was thinking of but I don't know if the dress was green. The grandmother is the one who tells Susan B. Anthony that she can't give her old dress away. The girl who receives the new dress just had her mother die after a long illness so the mother had not been able to take care of the family for a long time. At the end, Susan is happy because her old dress is comfortable and she wouldn't have been able to jump across the creek if she had been wearing the new one for fear of getting it dirty.

Carolyn Haywood, Betsy and the Circus Make-believe daughter , I'm not sure why this one comes to mind, but you can see a copy of it on this website. It's about three friends, all named Matilda except they have different nicknames , and I'm pretty sure one of them has some kind of oddball family background such as being circus performers. That sounds so familiar Barbara Chapman, Santa's Footprints , If this is the same book you people solved for me some time ago!

It sounds very similar to the short story The Wonderful Mistake. Thanks for your suggestion, but I just looked up The Wonderful Mistake , and I'm afraid that's not it. In the book I'm looking for, the first girl not rich per se, just middle-class is given a beautiful new doll, and invites her friends over so she can show it off. The poor girl is somehow invited also, though I don't think she is liked by the others. Possibly the first girl's mother made her invite the poor girl?

Or maybe the girl just invited her whole class and the poor girl tagged along? Anyway, the doll disappears, and everyone assumes the poor girl stole her - which she may have done, I don't recall. The doll is later anonymously returned to its owner, but the first girl meanwhile gains some understanding of or sympathy for the poor girl.

She decides perhaps with some urging from her mother or some other relative? She might even have dropped the doll off anonymously for the poor girl? The story takes place during the winter time, at or shortly before Christmas. I seem to recall the first girl walking home through a light snowfall after giving away her doll.


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  6. The book itself was fairly small, I think with a blue cloth-covered binding, and the writing on the cover may have been in silver. It was mostly text, but I think there were small line drawings on the first page of each chapter, above the text. There may have also been some larger line drawings scattered throughout the text, but I don't think there were any color pictures. Despite the choice of keeping the old, well-loved doll, this is not The Best Loved Doll, either. I'm almost positive that the book was a single story, not a collection of short stories. Thanks for your help!

    This seems too obvious, but could it be Goodnight, Moon? It's been years since my son and I read it, but maybe? What a wonderful tribute to Goodnight Moon, but the words "I love you" do not appear in the book. Thanks for the reply but unfortunately it is not Goodnight Moon. My daughter did remember that on the page that said "goodnight mother, I love you" was the picture of a little girl in bed telling her mother goodnight. She also remembered that it was not a "Golden Book" it was smaller in size or hard bound book. Any and all input is appreciated. Starts out "Goodnight Red sun, goodnight stars, goodnight bus goodnight cars I have this book -- it too was one of my favorites as a little girl and it took me a long time to track down a copy.

    It's about a little girl getting ready for bed and she's saying "Good night" to everything she sees like the sun, the things and people she can see out the window. Then she says hello to her bed and good night to her stuffed animals and her baby sibling then she says "Good night, Mother. I love you! Just wanted to add that I think the Green Glassy of the story title, which I believe was a snow globe, had inside of it the figure of a bear.

    I am still hoping someone remembers this story. Mary Grannan, Just Mary Stories. Just Mary was a radio personality in Canada. This book which has both the skating mice and the Bear in the Glassy is a combination of two of her books - Just Mary and Just Mary again. Try looking at some of Joan Aiken's adult novels from the 's - there was one that seems similar - the girl was a musician or music teacher and there was some kind of mystery subplot. The Greengage Summer. I'm not sure of the author, maybe Penelope Mortimer.

    I think this could be your book. Flanders, Rebecca, Yesterday Comes Tomorrow. Harlequin I'm dubious about this one, but it's the closest I've found so far. Then the present and the past merged, and Amelia Langston was back in on the Aury Plantation with Jeffrey Craig, the prime suspect in a murder. There she discovered everything that had been missing from her life Was this a fantasy or a frightening reality?

    I don't believe that there was a murder and it didn't have a plantation. It was almost from a Victorian time. He made a kind of washing machine and a toilet. As the book unfolds, you learn that the professor had also come through the sundial. He wasn't inventing things, he was re-inventing things. In the story there were 2 brothers. The hero was the black sheep of the family. When the girl had gone back in time she knew some of the characters and the plot of the mystery regarding the stolen necklace. She was very suspicious of the black sheep brother.

    I really believe that the word Time was in the title. I thought the name was A Stitch in Time. She brought her best friend. Every other guest for the weekend had a title. She was called the Mysterious Lady. She thought that she was gypped. It turns out she was playing herself in the mystery.

    I come home from teaching every day and I look to see if one of your readers remembers. I have faith in your site! It'll happen. My sister is sending a couple stumpers your way, too. I just read an interview with the director Lars von Trier who said that all of his movies are influenced by a book called Gold Heart -- I wonder if it's the same one? Grimm, Star Money. This should be in any full collection of Grimms fairy tales. Grimm, The Falling Stars , Illustrated by Eugen Sopko. A beautiful picture book version of Star Money by Grimm. May be out of print as I got my copy years ago.

    It is a great story for the Christmas holidays. The story of Star Money is used in many Waldorf schools around that time of year. In this large Golden book of stories the name of which I can't remember exactly, but I have it at home is a story about a little BOY who doesn't want to take a bath. He goes outdoors to see how the cat, the pig, etc. Might be what you're thinking of. David L. Harrison, The Book of Giant Stories , 's.

    The book cover is green with a giant on the front. It contains three different stories about three different giants. I also had this book as a child in the 70's I hope this is the one you are looking for! Jessamyn West, Leafy Rivers. Late 70's. It was definitely a witch, and I think she was trying to be a little girl. Anna Elizabeth Bennett, Little Witch. Maybe the stumper requester could look at Solved Mysteries, to rule it out?

    I remember this book too, but unfortunately no more details. I think you're right that the witch baked these green and purple cookies for Parent Night or Back-to-School Night. I think the rest of the parents who were there found them very unappetizing they were lumpy and misshapen too. The witch might have been hiding the fact that she was a witch, and trying to go to school like an ordinary girl -- that might be why she didn't ask her parents to make the cookies, because either they didn't know or didn't approve? I would have read it in the 70's.

    Timothy and two witches. This book is written for an older age group, but I can't remember the name I think this may be the same as "E Evil witches, good dragon" which seems very similar--right down to the blue pudding. Someone posted there that it was The Mythical Beast. Worth checking out, I would think. I don't remember anything about a teenage girl anthology, so this story appears to have been printed in a book of short stories with a different focus.

    Regardless, it's there. This story is either part of Young Mutants possible or Young Extraterrestrials. Contents at the bottom of this webpage. Young Extraterrestrials cover big. Young Mutants cover big. It could also be other books in the Young series, but I think it's one of those two. Series listed here, although I disagree with the review content.

    Brock, No Flying in the House. This story is about a girl who feels different and finds out she's a fairy she can kiss her elbow. There's a little magical dog as well. Kris Neville: Bettyann This is indisputably the science fiction classic Bettyann. When a "car accident" actually a spaceship crash, I think kills her parents and damages her arm she's adopted by an old couple. As a teenager she has an instinct to heal sick people. Her real family find her and tell her everything. They are shapeshifters and show her how to restore her arm. They take it for granted she will want to come back with them, but she changes into a bird and flies back to her earthly home.

    It is somber, as you said, but beautiful. There is a sequel called Bettyann's Children. Thanks to the people who have sent suggestions. The book definitely isn't No Flying in the House. The story I'm thinking of is fairly somber. I'll try to find a copy of the Young They sound promising.

    The girl's name is Anna Lavinia, she travels on a train and is given, I think, some kind of food by an old woman. Whether or not it's jelly donuts, I can't confirm right now, since my Mom has the book. Do "lavender blue days" a cat named Strawberry and floating down to the ground with an umbrella after jumping off a cliff sound familiar? Dorothy Canfield, Understood Betsy , 's, approximate. In this book, there is a chapter where Betsy and Molly go to the fair and the people they are supposed to ride home with leave without them. Betsy earns the money for train tickets by running the donut booth so the girl can go to dance with her boyfriend for an hour.

    When the girl comes back, she hands Betsy a bag of donuts. Maybe this is your book?

    Wolf, Wolves Running In Snow

    Catherine Storr, Marianne Dreams. The link has a synopsis of the story. Doesn't quite match the description in the stumper, but some how it feels like it might be the book being looked for. I read the book a while ago. Our local library no longer has a copy, but wasn't a movie made of it a year or two ago? Thanks for the feedback, but this book is definitely not Marianne Dreams. I do remember Marianne Dreams though, as it was a TV series in England during the Seventies, and I was disturbed by the rocks with eyes.

    I also thought it silly that she drew a lighthouse as a light source to aid their escape, instead of a constant source of light. Kate Seredy, The Good Master. Kathryn Worth, They Loved to Laugh. A deluge of ripe apples is Martitia's introduction to the five fun-loving Gardner boys when their father, Dr. David, brings the sixteen-year-old orphan girl to the hospitable Gardner home in North Carolina. They Loved to Laugh. This is about a young girl, Martitia? Her aunt always says, "Every tub must stand on its own bottom" and the boys make her think she is eating dog meat.

    Daringer, Helen F. Wonderful book about an orphan who goes to stay with an older woman, then stays with a lively family on a farm and has to decide if she will stay there or return to the woman. Thank you. They loved to laugh could indeed be a possibility and it's good to know that it's been reprinted.

    I had considered Kate Seredy's books before, but the descriptions don't sound right nor the Hungarian setting. I am very sure this story takes place entirely in the USA. Carol Brink, Caddy Woodlawn. Caddy herself lives on a farm with her siblings however, some cousins from the city visit, and there's a lot of adjustment and "growing up," including "goading" of each other. As I recall, Caddy's a tomboy and the girl cousins aren't, which leads to problems.

    The "mood" and time you described seemed right, so I wondered if maybe your memory had inadvertently "reversed" the plot, remembering the more common plot where the protagonist goes to the cousins' farm instead of having cousins come to hers. Since you've tried so many other books with no luck, I thought I'd suggest this. Louisa M. Alcott, Eight Cousins. A long shot -- but perhaps this is it? There is a hoard of cousins Thank you for these additional tips!

    I will give Adopted Jane a try and take another look at Caddie Woodlawn and also the sequel Magical melons. I had dismissed "Caddie" for the very reason you stated, but one never knows how memory can play tricks! This is probably a long shot, as it's such a well-known book, but is there any chance this could be Anne of Green Gables or one of its sequels?

    This one kind of fits. The character is named Julie. She goes to live with her aunt after her mother dies. The book covers her life from age 7 to age 18 or so. Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins. This is a far out in left field suggestion but it does involve hoards of cousins. Rose is orphaned and is sent to live with her father's aunts in San Francisco. She befriends her 7 boy cousins and they have adventures that include sailing, gardening, visiting the country, etc. She spends a great deal of time adjusting to her new life since she has spent most of her life in a girls' boarding school.

    Thanks for more suggestions. No, it's not Eight Cousins or any of L. Montgomery's books. My sense is that the author is much more obscure and that's one reason I can't pin down this book. Maybe too young, but have the feel that you're looking for. Nine-year-old Nancy is sent to live with her Swedish grandparents for a year. I wanted flowered wallpaper and a sewing basket for years after reading these books. Elizabeth Witheridge, Never Younger, Jeannie , It's great to have so many possibilities and to re-read and get acquainted with some excellent books. I am working my way through all your suggestions.

    Unfortunately, I know now that my long lost book is not either of the Caddie books, which are simply wonderful stories. In fact, I am wondering if my unknown writer writes as well as some of these others. I think my adult self may be alot more critical of a very sentimental, sweet, and even overwrought story which I suspect I am looking for. It may also be written even earlier than I think - two reasons why I am doubtful about Up a road slowly which is next in line. Thank you again to everyone, and I will continue to keep you posted.

    Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs. This is a total long shot. Only part of this book takes place on a farm. She did wear gingham uniforms in the orphanage She is older when she is on the farm-- she is sent to college by a mysterious benefactor. Something about your description triggered thoughts of this book.

    As I said-- a long shot. But a good read anyway! No, it's not Daddy Long Legs although it was a fun read - skimmed through the online version and want to come back to it later. I'm still waiting for more of your suggestions to arrive in concrete form as ordered books. Alas, need to be reading nothing but school books before too very long, so all this enjoyable detective work will have to be put on hold for awhile! Never younger, Jeannie just arrived today. There is nothing familiar about the look of it, but just in skimming through the text it certainly has the "right feel", as does Up a road slowly.

    Alice Lunt, Eileen of Redstone Farm , Probably not it, because this one takes place in Scotland or England, but otherwise it sounds similar. Thank you for continuing to take an interest in my archived post! I will order a copy of Eileen of Redstone Farm - you just never know I have enjoyed reading these books with a similar theme.

    I did read They loved to laugh and thought it was a moving and well-written book, with a very similar feel to what I'm looking for, but alas not the one. Of that I am very sure. Frances Salomon Murphy, Runaway Alice. This could be it - Alice is an orphan who goes to live on a farm as a foster child. Might be worth a try This isn't by any chance Bluebonnets for Lucinda , is it? That is long out of print. One chapter was reprinted in pre Childcraft, the one where Lucinda's been told to stay away from the foul-tempered geese, but she finds that if she plays her music box the geese become interested in the music and calm down.

    Once again, I do appreciate more suggestions for my post. It still haunts me and I fear my memories are just too vague. Gates, Doris, The Elderberry Bush. Good luck! Thank you again but it's not " Eileen of Redstone Farm ", although you're right - it's similar, but the setting is wrong.

    It's not " The elderberry bush " either, published too late. I know I didn't read it any later than I think I need to be hypnotised for this one! The name Pat, Patsy, or Patty seems to ring a faint bell also. She may have been one of the cousins and Julie or Judy was the heroine or vice versa. Rita Ritchie, Ice Falcon. This sounds very much like the sort of book Ritchie wrote - it's not The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan , so Ice Falcon may be a possibility, although I can't recall anything about it specifically.

    The pet falcon with them was a big help. Don't remember any family members being involved, either. Just the falconer. And a bit where he explained 'falco greenlandicus' to a Saracen. S F Welty, Knight's ransom, I think this is what you are looking for. It is a poem, and the refrain repeats the line "An' the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you don't watch out. For example, "Wunst they wuz a little boy who wouldn't say his prayers I have no idea which anthologies it's in, but this should help a little.

    I betcha it's this one. I was looking for this same book, now that I have a two-year-old. The artwork on that page used to scare the bejeebers out of me. I liked There Once Was a Puffin, especially. See here and search for Werne. James Stephens, The Crock of Gold , s. For the robin redbreast is the particular bird of the Leprecauns of Gort na Gloca Mora, and the Leprecauns retaliate by stealing Meehawl MacMurrachu's wife's washing-board, and Meehawl asks the Philosopher who lives in the center of the pine wood called Coilla Doraca for advice in locating the washboard Unique and inimitable, this is one of the great tales of our century.

    It's a great book - well worth a read anyway! I don't know the book, but the story reminds me of the folk tale The King's Highway. A king builds a new road, and decides to have a contest to see who can travel the road the best. The contestants complain that there's a pile of rocks in the road finally one weary traveller comes carrying a box of gold that was hidden under the rocks. He wins, of course, because "he who travels best is the one who smooths the way for others.

    Margot Benary-Isbert, The Ark. Definitely the book. There is a circus man with a mustache in this book, but no whale-shaped submarine or land with balloons. However, there was a prequel to this book called Three Little Horses and that might have those things. Otto Whittaker, The true story of the tooth fairy and why brides wear engagement rings , Marlys Millhiser, The Mirror , The night before her wedding, Shay Garrett and her grandmother, Brandy switch bodies, sending Shay back to I hate to disagree with the solution to this stumper, but I know The Mirror well I even have an autographed copy!

    The daughter and the grandmother switch places in the stumper story AND in The Mirror , but those are the only two things the two books have in common. Here is what happens in The Mirror. First, the name of the two women who switch places are Shay and Brandy. Shay is the modern girl, just about to be married to a guy named Mark, and she switches places with her grandmother, Brandy, the old fashioned girl, on the eve of her wedding.

    Second, the grandmother, Brandy, was never raped. The Mirror is very clear on the fact that Brandy was a virgin when she was married. The doctor comes to examine her on her wedding night, because, by that time, Brady now has Shay's soul, and Shay is a bit dizzy and faint. In comes the doctor, who states very cleary that she is a virgin, and that her new groom has nothing to worry about.

    Brandy who is really Shay , marries Corwin, a Welsh miner, who is killed in a mining accident. Shay never returns to the present day, and Brandy never returns to the 's. Shay is a modern girl with modern ideas living in the 's but she is not a black sheep, nor an outcast. Brandy, in the modern time, adjusts to living there, and ends up marrying Mark, the man Shay was originally going to marry. And that is the plot of The Mirror! If the original stumper stongly remembers a rape and an attempted abortion, a black sheep issue, and a return of the charactesr to the right year, then perhaps the stumper is asking about a different story than The Mirror.

    Are you sure that the Mirror isn't the story? In the story I remember but didn't remember the title of , the grandmother Brandy wasn't raped, but Shay was pregnant when the switch was made, so Brandy had to go through the pregnancy. Penny was the baby Shay had with the miner. From her 'future' she knew the baby wouldn't live to adulthood, so she tried to avoid getting pregnant with a copper penny. The baby was sickly and died after a few weeks.