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The Poetic Edda

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The Poetic Edda - illustrated

By Olive Bray (Translator)

a book that influenced jrr tolkien

With introduction by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Illustrated by W G Collingwood. First published 1908

The Poetic Edda, also known as The Elder Edda, is a collection of thirty-four Icelandic poems, interwoven with prose, dating from the 9th century to the 12th.

J. R. R. Tolkien readily acknowledged his debt to this source.

He was sixteen years old when the Viking Club of London published this beautifully illustrated translation by Olive Bray. Readers of Tolkien’s work will easily spot his inspirations - the names of the dwarves in The Hobbit; riddle games; Mirkwood; the Paths of the Dead; an underworld creature being tricked into remaining above-ground until dawn, when sunlight turns him to stone; different races calling a single thing by various names, and more. Here, too, you will find the mischievous god Loki.

Illustrator W. G. Collingwood was an English author, artist, antiquary and professor. In 1897 he travelled to Iceland where he spent three months exploring the actual sites that are the settings for the medieval Icelandic sagas.

His study of Norse and Anglican archaeology made him widely recognized as a leading authority, and his Art Nouveau-style illustrations for the Bray edition are rich with symbolism.

The Poetic Edda, the most important existing source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends, is part of the literature that influenced Tolkien’s inner world, informing the creation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Product Details
  • Publication Date: Jun 01 2013

    ISBN/EAN13: 0987500139 / 9780987500137

    Page Count: 432

    Binding Type: US Trade Paper

    Trim Size: 6" x 9"

    Language: English

    Color: Black and White

    Related Categories: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
     
More About the Creators
Dart-Thornton

Biography

The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 28, No. 4, Oct., 1929 reviewed Olive Bray's translation of The Poetic Edda, stating:
'Miss Bray's work is eminently satisfactory: she possesses a scholar's knowledge of the subject (though she was by no means a specialist in the field); and she had poetic ability of a high order. She nearly always succeeded in reproducing the poetry and the spirit of the old lays and she adhered to the metrical form; to do these things she did not hesitate, to depart from rules of alliteration or sometimes to disregard alliteration entirely. '

Miss Bray was born in the UK circa 1880 and died in Exeter, Devon, in 1937.
More About the Illustrator
collingwood

Biography

William Gershom Collingwood (1854 -1932) was an English author, artist, antiquary and Professor of Fine Arts at University College, Reading.

By the 1890s Collingwood had become a skilled painter and also joined the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. He wrote a large number of papers for its Transactions; becoming editor in 1900. Collingwood was particularly interested in Norse lore and the Norsemen, and he wrote a novel, Thorstein of the Mere which was a major influence on Arthur Ransome.

In 1897, Collingwood travelled to Iceland where he spent three months over the summer exploring with Jón Stefánsson the sites around the country in which the medieval Icelandic sagas are set. He produced a large number of sketches and watercolours during this time (e.g. the picture of the Althing), and published, with Stefánsson, an illustrated account of their expedition in 1899 under the title A Pilgrimage to the Sagasteads of Iceland (Ulverston: W. Holmes).

Collingwood was a member of the Viking Club and served as its president. In 1902 he co-authored again with Jón Stefánsson the first translation it published, The Life and Death of Kormac the Skald. His study of Norse and Anglican archaeology made him widely recognized as a leading authority.

 



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