The term thegn, from Old English þegn, ðegn, "servant, retainer", "one who serves", is used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or, as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves. It is the term for an early medieval Scandinavian class of retainers. Old English þeġn is cognate with Old High German Old Norse þegn; the thegn had a military significance, its usual Latin translation was miles, meaning soldier, although minister was used. Joseph Bosworth describes a thegn as "one engaged in a king's or a queen's service, whether in the household or in the country", adds: "the word in this case seems to acquire a technical meaning, to become a term denoting a class, however, several degrees". But, like all other words of the kind, the word thegn was changing its meaning, and, "the name, like that of the gesith, has different senses in different ages and kingdoms, but the original idea of military service runs through all the meanings of thegn, as that of personal association is traceable in all the applications of gesith".
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy with Normans and the new Norman ruling class replaced the Anglo-Saxon terminology with Norman. In this process, king's thegns became barons, the thegn class merged with the norman knight class; the precursor of the thegn was the gesith, the companion of the king or great lord, a member of his comitatus, the word thegn began to be used to describe a military gesith. It is only used once in the laws before the time of Aethelstan, but more in the charters. H. M. Chadwick says that "the sense of subordination must have been inherent in the word from the earliest time", but it has no connection with the German/Dutch dienen, to serve. In the course of time it extended its meaning and was more used; the thegn became a member of a territorial nobility, the dignity of thegnhood was attainable by those who fulfilled certain conditions. The nobility of pre-Conquest England was ranked according to the heriot they paid in the following descending order: earl, king's thegn, median thegn.
In Anglo-Saxon hierarchic society, a king's thegn attended in person upon the king, bringing with him his men and resources. A "median" thegn did not hold his land directly through an intermediary lord; the thegn was inferior to the ætheling, the member of a kingly family, but he was superior to the ceorl and, says Chadwick, "from the time of Æthelstan the distinction between thegn and ceorl was the broad line of demarcation between the classes of society". His status is shown by his weregild. Over a large part of England this was fixed at six times that of the ceorl, he was the twelfhynde man of the laws divided from the twyhynde man or ceorl. In a document known as Geþyncðo we learn: "And if a ceorl throve, so that he had five hides of his own land and kitchen, bellhouse and burh-gate-seat, special duty in the king's hail was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy." A hide of land was considered sufficient to support a family. And again—"And if a merchant throve, so that he fared thrice over the wide sea by his own means was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy."
In a similar manner a successful thegn might hope to become an earl. In addition to the thegns there were others who were thegns on account of their birth, thus thegnhood was inherited and acquired; the twelve senior thegns of the hundred play a part, the nature of, rather doubtful, in the development of the English system of justice. By a law of Aethelred they "seem to have acted as the judicial committee of the court for the purposes of accusation," and thus they have some connection with the grand jury of modern times; the increase in the number of thegns produced in time a subdivision of the order. There arose a class of king's thegns, corresponding to the earlier thegns, a larger class of inferior thegns, some of them the thegns of bishops or of other thegns. A king's thegn was a person of great importance, the contemporary idea being shown by the Latin translation of the words as comes, he had certain special privileges. No one save the king had the right of jurisdiction over him, while by a law of Canute we learn that he paid a larger heriot than an ordinary thegn.
In Domesday Book, OE þegn has become tainus in the Latin form, but the word does not imply high status. Domesday Book lists the taini who hold lands directly from the king at the end of their respective counties, but the term became devalued because there were so many thegns. Compare the separate development of the concept of "vassal", from a warlord's henchman to one of Charlemagne's great companions. During the part of the 10th and in the 11th centuries in Denmark and Sweden, it became common for families or comrades to raise memorial runestones, fifty of these note that the deceased was a thegn. Examples of such runestones include Sö 170 at Nälberga, Vg 59 at Norra Härene, Vg 150 at Velanda, DR 143 at Gunderup, DR 209 at Glavendrup, DR 277 at Rydsgård. Abthain Fyrd Thain Thane Abels, Richard P. Lordship and Military Obligation in Anglo-Saxon England, British Museum Publications ISBN 0-7141-0552-X David Roffe, "The King's thegns on the eve of the Norman Conquest" Mats G. Larsson, "Rinkar, karlar svenner" in Populär Historia April 2002 Canute, King of the English: Heriots and reliefs, c. 1016 - 1035: the equivalent of "death d
Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, was a British actor, voice actor, dramatist, filmmaker and opera director, stage designer, comedian, humourist and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter. He was a fixture on television talk shows and lecture circuits for much of his career. An intellectual and diplomat, he held various academic posts and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and President of the World Federalist Movement. Ustinov was the winner of numerous awards over his life, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for acting and a Grammy Award for best recording for children, as well as the recipient of governmental honours from, amongst others, the United Kingdom and Germany, he displayed a unique cultural versatility that has earned him the accolade of a Renaissance man. Miklós Rózsa, composer of the music for Quo Vadis and of numerous concert works, dedicated his String Quartet No. 1, Op. 22 to Ustinov.
In 2003, Durham University changed the name of its Graduate Society to Ustinov College in honour of the significant contributions Ustinov had made as chancellor of the university from 1992 until his death. Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov was born in England, his father, Jona Freiherr von Ustinov, was of Russian, Polish Jewish and Ethiopian descent. Peter's paternal grandfather was Baron Plato von Ustinov, a Russian noble, his grandmother was Magdalena Hall, of mixed German-Ethiopian-Jewish origin. Ustinov's great-grandfather Moritz Hall, a Jewish refugee from Kraków and a Christian convert and collaborator of Swiss and German missionaries in Ethiopia, married into a German-Ethiopian family. Peter's paternal great-great-grandparents were the German painter Eduard Zander and the Ethiopian aristocrat Court-Lady Isette-Werq in Gondar. Ustinov's mother, Nadezhda Leontievna Benois, known as Nadia, was a painter and ballet designer of French, German and Russian descent, her father, Leon Benois, was an Imperial Russian architect and owner of Leonardo da Vinci's painting Madonna Benois.
Leon's brother Alexandre Benois was a stage designer who worked with Diaghilev. Their paternal ancestor Jules-César Benois was a chef who had left France for St. Petersburg during the French Revolution and became a chef to Emperor Paul I of Russia. Jona worked as a press officer at the German Embassy in London in the 1930s and was a reporter for a German news agency. In 1935, two years after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Jona von Ustinov began working for the British intelligence service MI5 and became a British citizen, thus avoiding internment during the war, he was the controller of Wolfgang Gans zu Putlitz, an MI5 spy in the German embassy in London who furnished information on Hitler's intentions before the Second World War. Ustinov was educated at Westminster School and had a difficult childhood because of his parents' constant fighting. One of his schoolmates was Rudolf von Ribbentrop, the eldest son of the Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. While at school, Ustinov considered anglicising his name to "Peter Austin" but was counselled against it by a fellow pupil who said that he should "Drop the'von' but keep the'Ustinov'".
After training as an actor in his late teens, along with early attempts at playwriting, he made his stage début in 1938 at the Players' Theatre, becoming established. He wrote, "I was not irresistibly drawn to the drama, it was an escape road from the dismal rat race of school". In 1939, he appeared in White Cargo at the Aylesbury Rep, where he performed in a different accent every night. Ustinov served as a private in the British Army during the Second World War, including time spent as batman to David Niven while writing the Niven film The Way Ahead; the difference in their ranks—Niven was a lieutenant-colonel and Ustinov a private—made their regular association militarily impossible. He appeared in propaganda films, debuting in One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, in which he was required to deliver lines in English and Dutch. In 1944, under the auspices of ENSA, he presented and performed the role of Sir Anthony Absolute, in Sheridan's The Rivals, with Dame Edith Evans, at the Larkhill Camp theater.
After the war, he began writing. He starred with Aldo Ray in We're No Angels, his career as a dramatist continued, his best-known play being Juliet. His film roles include Roman emperor Nero in Quo Vadis, Lentulus Batiatus in Spartacus, Captain Vere in Billy Budd and an old man surviving a totalitarian future in Logan's Run. Ustinov voiced the anthropomorphic lions Prince John and King Richard in the 1973 Disney animated film Robin Hood, he worked on several films as writer and director, including The Way Ahead, School for Secrets, Hot Millions and Memed, My Hawk. In half a dozen films, he played Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot, first in Death on the Nile and in 1982's Evil Under the Sun, 1985's Thirteen at Dinner, 1986's Dead Man's Folly, 1986's Murder in Three Acts and 1988's Appointment with Death. Ustinov won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in Topkapi, he w
P. J. Cosijn
Pieter Jacob Cosijn was a late 19th-century Dutch scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature. His important work on Beowulf was edited by Rolf Bremmer. Cosijn became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1877. Works by or about P. J. Cosijn at Internet Archive
In ancient Scandinavia and Germanic Europe a mead hall or feasting hall was simply a large building with a single room. From the fifth century to early medieval times such a building was the residence of a lord and his retainers; the mead hall was the great hall of the king. The old name of such halls may have been sal/salr and thus be present in old place names such as "Uppsala"; the meaning has been preserved in German Saal, Dutch zaal, Frisian seal, Icelandic salur, Swedish and Danish sal, Lithuanian salė, Finnish sali, Estonian saal, Izhorian saali, Hungarian szállás, French salle, Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish sala and Russian зал. In Old English, sele and sæl were used; these words are etymologically related to saloon. The word as a whole is a direct cognate with the Sanskrit term "madhushala" which refers to a pub or tavern. From around the year 500 C. E. up until the Christianization of Scandinavia, these large halls were vital parts of the political center. They were superseded by medieval banquet halls.
Examples that have been excavated include: Southwest of Lejre, Denmark. Remains of a Viking hall complex were uncovered in 1986–88 by Tom Christensen of the Roskilde Museum. Wood from the foundation was radiocarbon-dated to circa 880, it was found that this hall was built over an older hall, itself dated to 680. In 2004–05, Christensen excavated a third hall located just north of the other two; this hall was built in the mid-6th century the time period of Beowulf. All three halls were about 50 meters long. Ongoing excavations have helped to establish the visual characteristics of the royal halls and their location in the landscape around Lejre, circa 500-1000 Gudme, Denmark. Two similar halls were excavated in 1993. Of the so-called "Gudme Kongehal" only the post holes were found; the larger of the two was 8 meters wide. Gold items found near the site have been dated between 200 and 550; the Iron Age graveyards of Møllegårdsmarken and Brudager are close by. The halls may have been part of a regional religious and political center serving as royal feasting places with Lundeborg serving as harbor.
The mead hall developed from European longhouses: The unrelated Neolithic long house was introduced with the first farmers of central and western Europe around 5000 BC. Longhouses did not come into use until more than a thousand years after the neolithic version ceased to be used. Germanic cattle-farmer longhouses emerged along the southwestern North Sea coast in the third or fourth century BC and are the predecessors of the German and Dutch Fachhallenhaus or Low German house; the related medieval longhouse types of Europe of which some examples have survived are among others: The Scandinavian or Viking Langhus, with the variants of traditional farm house such as excavated in Vorbasse, a garrison/barracks type for warriors such as found at the Viking ring castles and the sophisticated large banquetting halls such as the mead halls. The southwest England variants in Dartmoor and Wales The northwest England type in Cumbria The Scottish Longhouse, "blackhouse" or taighean dubha The French longère or maison longue There are several accounts of large feasting halls constructed for important feasts when Scandinavian royalty was invited.
According to a legend recorded by Snorri Sturluson, in the Heimskringla, the late 9th century Värmlandish chieftain Áki invited both the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair and the Swedish king Eric Eymundsson, but had the Norwegian king stay in the newly constructed and sumptuous one, because he was the youngest one of the kings and the one who had the greatest prospects. The older Swedish king, on the other hand, had to stay in the old feasting hall; the Swedish king was so humiliated. The construction of new feasting halls could be the preparation for treacherous murders of royalty. In the Ynglinga saga part of the Heimskringla, Snorri relates how, in the 8th century, the legendary Swedish king Ingjald constructed a large feasting hall for the purpose of burning all his subordinate petty kings late at night when they were asleep. According to Yngvars saga víðförla, the same ruse was done by the Swedish king Eric the Victorious and the Norwegian ruler Sigurd Jarl, when they murdered Áki, a rebellious Swedish subking, at Gamla Uppsala, in the late 10th century.
From at least the tenth century onwards in Norse mythology, there are numerous examples of halls where the dead may arrive. The best known example is the hall where Odin receives half of the dead lost in battle. Freyja, in turn, receives the other half at Sessrúmnir; the story of Beowulf includes a Mead-Hall called Heorot, so big and had so much attendant laughter that the creature Grendel broke in and slaughtered the noisemakers. In fiction, mead halls appear in works that take place during the Middle Ages. In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, Meduseld was the great Golden Hall built in Rohan. Meduseld was a large hall with a straw roof, which made it appear as if it were made out of gold when seen from far off, its walls were richly decorated with tapestries depicting the history and legends of the Rohirrim, it served as a house for the King and his kin, a meeting hall for the King and his advisors, a gathering hall. A mead hall is the central location of Beorn's home grounds where he serves mead and food to Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves and Gandalf in The Hobbit.
In The Elder Scrolls by Bethesda Softworks, a race called the Nords, who resemble the Germ
Kevin John William Crossley-Holland is an English translator, children's author and poet. His best known work is the Arthur trilogy, for which he won the Guardian Prize and other recognition. Crossley-Holland and his 1985 novella Storm won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding children's book by a British author. For the 70th anniversary of the Medal in 2007 it was named one of the top ten winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite. Born in Mursley, north Buckinghamshire, Crossley-Holland grew up in Whiteleaf, a small village in the Chilterns, his father was a composer and ethnomusicologist. He attended Bryanston School in Dorset, followed by St Edmund Hall, where after failing his first exams he discovered a passion for Anglo-Saxon literature. After graduating he became the Gregory Fellow in Poetry at the University of Leeds and from 1972 to 1977 he lectured in Anglo-Saxon for the Tufts University London programme.
He taught in the midwestern United States as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at St. Olaf College, as well as holding an Endowed Chair in Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of St Thomas, Minnesota. Crossley-Holland's writing career began when he became a poetry and children's book editor for Macmillan Publishers, he was editorial director for Victor Gollancz. He is known for poetry, story collections, translations, including three editions of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf in 1968 1973, 1999; some of his books, including the Arthur trilogy, reinterpret medieval legends. He writes definitive collections of Norse myths and British and Irish folk tales. Bracelet of Bones, the first of his Viking sagas, was published in 2011, as was The Mountains of Norfolk: New and Selected Poems, he has translated the riddles included in the Anglo-Saxon Exeter Book. Crossley-Holland has written the libretti for two operas by Nicola LeFanu, The Green Children and The Wildman, for a chamber opera about Nelson and Emma Hamilton.
He has collaborated several times with the composers Arthur Bliss and William Mathias and has written a stage play, The Wuffings. Crossley-Holland lives on the North Norfolk coast, his autobiography, The Hidden Roads: A Memoir of Childhood, was published in 2009. In 2012 he took up the honorary post of President of the School Library Association; the Arthur trilogy comprises The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places, King of the Middle March, published by Orion Children's Books in hardcover editions summing 1,100 pages. These must be the author's best-known works. Crossley-Holland takes a new look at the King Arthur legends, showing a medieval boy's development from a page to a squire and to a knight. Alongside this advance, the medieval Arthur faces issues such as his prospective betrothal and inheritance. Meanwhile, he has the "Seeing Stone" through which observes the remarkably parallel early life of King Arthur, several hundred years before. A follow-up to the trilogy was published in Gatty's Tale.
Crossley-Holland was awarded the 1985 Carnegie Medal and 2007 "Anniversary Top Ten" recognition from British librarians for Storm. For Arthur: The Seeing Stone he won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime award judged by a panel of British children's writers and the Tir na n-Og Award from the Welsh Books Council; the two annual awards for young people's books recognise one fiction published in the U. K. written by an author who has not yet won it, the best English-language book with "authentic Welsh background". The Seeing Stone was bronze runner up for the Smarties Prize in ages category 9–11 years and it made the 2000 Whitbread Awards shortlist. Gatty's Tale was one of seven books on the 2008 Carnegie shortlist. Official website Kevin Crossley-Holland at British Council: Literature Kevin Crossley-Holland at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Archival material at Leeds University Library Biography, The Northern Children's Book Festival, 2003 The Guardian: Interview Kevin Crossley-Holland at Library of Congress Authorities, with 85 catalogue records
Grendel is a character in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, found in the Nowell Codex. This manuscript is so-called because its first known owner was the antiquary Laurence Nowell, whose name can be found written on the first leaf with the date 1563. Grendel is one of the poem's three antagonists, all aligned in opposition against the protagonist Beowulf. Grendel is feared by all in Beowulf. Grendel is described as "a creature of darkness, exiled from happiness and accursed of God, the destroyer and devourer of our human kind", he is depicted as a monster or a giant, although his status as a monster, giant, or other form of supernatural being is not described in the poem and thus remains the subject of scholarly debate. There are numerous different interpretations and re-imaginings of the character of Grendel and his role in the story of Beowulf. In John Gardner's book Grendel, Grendel has more human qualities and the book is narrated from his perspective. Grendel is found in the poem Beowulf, contained in the Nowell Codex.
Grendel, being cursed as the descendant of the Biblical Cain, is "harrowed" by the sounds of singing that come every night from the mead-hall of Heorot built by King Hrothgar. He attacks Heorot. Grendel continues to attack the Hall every night for twelve years, killing its inhabitants and making this magnificent mead-hall unusable. To add to his monstrous description the poet details how Grendel consumes the men he kills. Beowulf leaves his native land of the Geats to destroy Grendel, he is warmly welcomed by King Hrothgar. Afterwards Beowulf and his warriors bed down in the mead hall to await the inevitable attack of the creature. Grendel stalks outside the building for a time, spying the warriors inside, he makes a sudden attack, bursting the door with his fists and continuing through the entry. The first warrior Grendel finds is still asleep, so he devours him. Grendel is shocked when the warrior grabs back with fearsome strength; as Grendel attempts to disengage, the reader discovers. Beowulf uses neither armour in this fight.
He places no reliance on his companions and had no need of them. He trusts. Beowulf tears off Grendel's arm, mortally wounding the creature. Grendel dies in his marsh-den. There, Beowulf engages in a fierce battle with Grendel's mother, over whom he triumphs. Following her death, Beowulf finds Grendel's corpse and removes his head, which he keeps as a trophy. Beowulf returns to the surface and to his men at the "ninth hour", he returns to Heorot. In 1936, J. R. R. Tolkien's Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics discussed Grendel and the dragon in Beowulf. Tolkien argues that "the evil spirits took visible shape" in the dragon, he points out that while Grendel has Christian origins as the descendant of Cain, he "cannot be dissociated from the creatures of northern myth." He argues for the importance of Grendel's role in the poem as an "eminently suitable beginning" that sets the stage for Beowulf's fight with the dragon: "Triumph over the lesser and more nearly human is cancelled by defeat before the older and more elemental."
This essay was the first work of scholarship in which Anglo-Saxon literature was examined for its literary merits – not just scholarship about the origins of the English language, or what historical information could be gleaned from the text, as was popular in the 19th century. Tolkien wrote his own translation of Beowulf entitled, Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary together with Sellic Spell between 1920 and 1926. During the decades following Tolkien's essay, the exact description of Grendel became a huge source of debate for scholars. Indeed, because his exact appearance is never directly described in Old English by the original Beowulf poet, part of the debate revolves around what is known, namely his descent from the biblical Cain. Grendel is referred to as a sceadugenga – shadow walker, night goer – given that the monster was described to be in the shroud of darkness. In Beowulf, Grendel's physical features do not get an extensive description; the poet seems to concentrate more on his evil lineage and deeds.
Grendel stands out as a liminal being and as a result there is massive debate regarding what type of creature he is. Scholars argue; the fear of the unknown is one of the greatest fears of all. The fact that Grendel escapes characterisation makes him more terrifying, but more difficult to visually portray. One example of a visual interpretation is the depiction of Grendel in Robert Zemeckis's 2007 film Beowulf; some scholars have linked Grendel's descent from Cain to the monsters and giants of the Cain tradition. Seamus Heaney, in his translation of Beowulf, writes in lines 1351–1355 that Grendel is vaguely human in shape, though much larger:... the other, warped in the shape of a man, moves beyond the pale bigger than any man, an unnatural birth called Grendel by the country people in former days. Heaney's translation of lines 1637–1639 notes that Grendel's disembodied head is so large that it takes four men to transport it. Furthermore, in lines 983–989, when Grendel's torn arm is inspected, Heaney describes it as being covered in impenetrable scales and horny growths: Every n
Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Among his best-known works is Death of his first major published volume. Heaney was born in the townland of Northern Ireland, his family moved to nearby Bellaghy. He became a lecturer at St. Joseph's College in Belfast in the early 1960s, after attending Queen's University and began to publish poetry, he lived in Sandymount, from 1976 until his death. He lived part-time in the United States from 1981 to 2006. Heaney was recognised as one of the principal contributors to poetry during his lifetime. Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997, its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994, he was the Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1996, was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 1998 was bestowed the title Saoi of the Aosdána. Other awards that he received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the E. M. Forster Award, the PEN Translation Prize, the Golden Wreath of Poetry, the T. S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread Prizes.
In 2011, he was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize and in 2012, a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust. His literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland. American poet Robert Lowell described him as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats", many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have said that he was "the greatest poet of our age". Robert Pinsky has stated that "with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller." Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as "probably the best-known poet in the world". His body is buried at the Cemetery of St. Mary's Church, Northern Ireland; the headstone bears the epitaph "Walk on air against your better judgement", from one of his poems, "The Gravel Walks". Heaney was born on 13 April 1939, at the family farmhouse called Mossbawn, between Castledawson and Toomebridge. In 1953, his family moved to Bellaghy, a few miles away, now the family home, his father, Patrick Heaney, was the eighth child of ten born to Sarah Heaney.
Patrick was a farmer, but his real commitment was to cattle dealing, to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared for him after the early death of his own parents. Heaney's mother, Margaret Kathleen McCann, who bore nine children, came from the McCann family, her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill, her aunt had worked as a maid for the mill owner's family. Heaney commented that his parentage contained both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution. Heaney attended Anahorish Primary School. Heaney's younger brother, was killed in a road accident while Heaney was studying at St. Columb's; the poems "Mid-Term Break" and "The Blackbird of Glanmore" are related to his brother's death. In 1957, Heaney travelled to Belfast to study English Language and Literature at Queen's University Belfast. During his time in Belfast, he found a copy of Ted Hughes's Lupercal, which spurred him to write poetry. "Suddenly, the matter of contemporary poetry was the material of my own life," he said.
He graduated in 1961 with a First Class Honours degree. During teacher training at St Joseph's Teacher Training College in Belfast, Heaney went on a placement to St Thomas' secondary Intermediate School in west Belfast; the headmaster of this school was the writer Michael McLaverty from County Monaghan, who introduced Heaney to the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh. With McLaverty's mentorship, Heaney first started to publish poetry in 1962. Hillan describes. In the introduction to McLaverty's Collected Works, Heaney summarised the poet's contribution and influence: "His voice was modestly pitched, he never sought the limelight, yet for all that, his place in our literature is secure." Heaney's poem Fosterage, in the sequence Singing School from North, is dedicated to him. In 1963, Heaney became a lecturer at St Joseph's, in the spring of 1963, after contributing various articles to local magazines, he came to the attention of Philip Hobsbaum an English lecturer at Queen's University. Hobsbaum set up a Belfast Group of local young poets, Heaney was able to meet other Belfast poets such as Derek Mahon and Michael Longley.
In August 1965, he married a school teacher and native of Ardboe, County Tyrone. Heaney's first book, Eleven Poems, was published in November 1965 for the Queen's University Festival. In 1966, Faber and Faber published called Death of a Naturalist; this collection was met with much critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Gregory Award for Young Writers and the Geoffrey Faber Prize. In 1966, Heaney was appointed as a lecturer in Modern English Literature at Queen's University Belfast; that year his first son, was born. A second son, was born in 1968; that same year, with Michael Longley, Heaney took part in a reading tour called Room to Rhyme, which increased awareness of the poet's work. In 1969, his second major volume, Door into the D