The earliest extant heroic epic in any European vernacular, Beowulf is considered the most important poem in Old English. The title character is a warrior of superhuman strength who accomplishes glorious deeds to honor his king. He also represents the ideal lord and vassal, generous to his own men while fulfilling all the forms of courtesy at court. The narrative itself falls into two parts: Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters; then, after having ruled his people peacefully for fifty years, he is called upon to combat a dragon that is terrorizing the countryside.
Combining mythical elements with actual historical figures and events, the narrative ranges from fierce action sequences to detailed portrayals of court life and earnest considerations of social and moral dilemmas, all in a tone of sustained grandeur.
Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.
Robert Jordan was born in 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He taught himself to read when he was four with the incidental aid of a twelve-years-older brother, and was tackling Mark Twain and Jules Verne by five. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, with a degree in physics. He served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Army; among his decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. A history buff, he has also written dance and theater criticism and enjoyed the outdoor sports of hunting, fishing, and sailing, and the indoor sports of poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting. Robert Jordan began writing in 1977 and went on to write The Wheel of Time®, one of the most important and best selling series in the history of fantasy publishing with over 14 million copies sold in North America, and countless more sold abroad. Robert Jordan died on September 16, 2007, after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis.