Of these remains the poem of Beowulf is the grandest; it has deservedly engaged the attention of the most eminent scholars of Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as of our own country; but unfortunately it has been very much misunderstood. Its origin has been referred to the Scandinavian kingdoms, and to a period antecedent to the immigration into Britain of the Teutonic race; and its subject to the misty regions of mythology. One eminent scholar, Mr Thorpe, has expressed his conviction that the heroes of this poem are real kings and princes of the North, whilst he assigns to them a home in Sweden [a note briefly cites Thorpe 1855: viii]. I claim for it an English origin, and, (although in a different sense from that in which he puts them), adopt his queries, and the answer to them:-

‘What interest could an Anglo-Saxon feel in the valorous feats of his deadly foes the Northmen? in the encounter of a Sweo-Gothic hero with a monster in Denmark? or with a fire-drake in his own country? The answer, I think, is obvious-none whatever.’