Professor Jana Shulman has been contacted by an Icelander who, while visiting a remote cabin on the Isle of Man last week, spotted a framed manuscript leaf—or so he thought—on the wall. With the owner’s permission, he removed the frame from the wall, took off the back, and discovered an entire manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. “Grandpa used to wrap fish with that,” the Icelander said (in Icelandic). Schulman, once presented with the scanned
pages sent via email attachment, was startled to discover that, while for the most part the manuscript presented the same story as the one found in Cotton Vitellius A. xv, the character of Wiglaf no longer appeared in the poem. Instead, the young man who came to Beowulf’s
assistance had a different name, to wit:
Bilbo wæs gebǣded, Baggines sunu,
Schulman and several other Icelandic scholars, from the universities of South Shire and Mordor Polytechnic, will be flying to Europe this week to examine the manuscript firsthand.