So maybe I’m just a big nerd (OK, scratch the “maybe”… :) ) But I’m all excited about this: a free e-book of Tom Shippey’s Beowulf, a volume in Routledge’s “Critical Heritage” series. (Did I mention I love Routledge? They publish MANY good books on pagan history and religion.) It’s a download from Wowio.com, which is a legal free download service – they state that the publishers are paid via ads and corporate contributions.
This book is (so far) an absolutely fascinating account of the history of the (almost non-) discovery of the manuscript of Beowulf, and how it was received – that it to say, badly – by the literary establishment even as late as the 1960s; the bulk of the volume consists of a critical sourcebook of essays and articles regarding Beowulf scholarship over time (many in translation).
You haven’t seen it much so far, but this is my Northern side coming out… more on that anon.