Books by J.R.R.Tolkien - Finn and Hengest

  Short Description:

Finn and Hengest is a study by J.R.R Tolkien, edited by Alan Bliss and published posthumously in book form in 1982.

Finn and Hengest are two Anglo-Saxon heroes appearing in the Old English epic poem Beowulf and in the fragment of "The Fight at Finnsburg". Hengest has sometimes been identified with the Jutish king of Kent. He and his brother Horsa (the names meaning "stallion" and "horse") were the legendary leaders of the first Anglo-Saxon immigrants to Britain as mercenaries in the 5th century).

The book is based on an edited series of lectures made by Tolkien before World War II, and some made after. In his lectures, Tolkien argues that the Hengest of "The Fight at Finnsburg" and Beowulf was an historical rather than a legendary figure and that these works record episodes from an orally composed and transmitted history of the Hengest named in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle." This view has gained acceptance from a number of medieval historian and Anglo-Saxon scholars both since Tolkien's initial lectures and since the publication of this posthumous collection.