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The Waning Sword

Edward Pettit


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1Sadly, my greatest debts by far cannot be acknowledged in person, being to the members of my family to whom I dedicate this book.

2More happily, I acknowledge my debt to the many scholars whose works appear in the bibliography. I apologize to the many others whose writings doubtless ought to feature but do not.

3Thanks are also due to my former teachers of Old English, Old Norse, Old Irish and medieval Latin at various colleges of the University of London: Professor Janet Bately, Professor Jane Roberts, Mr John Porter, Professor Alison Finlay, Professor Richard North, the late Dr Paddy Considine, Mr Robert Ireland, Professor Katie Wales, Dr Eirian Davies and Dr Stuart Lee. None of these people, however, are in any way responsible for the approaches taken or opinions expressed in this book, some of which may prove controversial. I am solely accountable for any errors it contains.

4Russell Marks deserves special thanks for generously allowing me to include his splendid illustrations of Grendel and Grendel’s mother. More of his work can be found at

5Finally, I warmly thank Dr Alessandra Tosi, the anonymous reviewers of this book, and the cover design, typsetting, editorial and indexing staff (Anna Gatti, Luca Baffa and Adèle Kreager) at Open Book Publishers for accepting and improving this volume.


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