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The Dragon Ouroboros
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The Dragon Ouroboros - illustrated

Large format paperback
By E.R. Eddison (Author)
a book that influenced jrr tolkien
With introduction by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Illustrated by Keith Henderson, first published 1922


The Dragon Ouroboros was first published under the title The Worm Ouroboros. J.R.R. Tolkien read the story, and praised it in print, writing in a letter that he enjoyed Eddison’s books ‘for their sheer literary merit’.  Eddison, he stated, was ‘the greatest and most convincing writer of “invented worlds”’ he had ever read.
Tolkien’s close friend and confidante C.S. Lewis was also an admirer, opining that ‘no writer can be said to remind us of Eddison’.

This heroic high fantasy novel is often compared with Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which was written thirty-two years later.  The Lord of the Rings, however, is written mostly in modern English, while Eddison wrote the greater part of Ouroboros in sixteenth-century English. Ryan Harvey, in Where Head and Tail Meet: E. R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros explains that Eddison employed his experience translating Norse sagas and reading medieval and Renaissance poetry, which was, at that time, an almost unique approach among popular fantasy novels.

Readers will swiftly become accustomed to Eddison’s archaic language and find themselves swept away by the imagery, which is frequently beautiful . "The outer ward of the fortress was dark with cypress trees: black flames burning changelessly to heaven from a billowy sea of gloom," for example, and “Enchanted boats, that seemed builded of the glow-worm’s light, drifted on the starry bosom of the lake. Over the sloping woods the limbs of the mountains lowered, unmeasured, vast, mysterious in the moon’s glamour…”
It is easy to see why Tolkien was impressed with Eddison’s unusual, sprawling and imaginative work, which undoubtedly influenced his creation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Product Details
  • Publication Date: Jun 01 2013

    ISBN/EAN13: 0987555456 / 9780987555458

    Page Count: 540

    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

> E.R. Eddison on Wikipedia

Dart-Thornton

Biography

Eric Rücker Eddison, CB, CMG (24 November 1882 – 18 August 1945) was an English civil servant and author, writing under the name "E.R. Eddison."
Eddison is best known for the early romance The Worm Ouroboros (1922) and for three volumes set in the imaginary world Zimiamvia, known as the Zimiamvian Trilogy: Mistress of Mistresses (1935), A Fish Dinner in Memison (1941), and The Mezentian Gate (1958).

These early works of high fantasy drew strong praise from J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and later, Ursula K. Le Guin. Tolkien generally approved Eddison's literary style, but found the underlying philosophy rebarbative; while Eddison in turn thought Tolkien's views "soft". Other admirers of Eddison's work included James Stephens, who wrote the introduction to the 1922 edition; Robert Silverberg, who described The Worm Ouroboros as "the greatest high fantasy of them all"; and Clive Barker.

More About the Illustrator
collingwood

Biography

Keith Henderson (1883–1982) trained at the Slade and was an official war artist with the RAF. Known primarily as an illusttrator, he illustrated works by E. R. Eddison, W. H. Hudson, and, with Norman Wilkinson, a famous edition of Chaucer's translation of The Romaunt of the Rose. These illustrations received a very favorable notice from G. R. S. Taylor in The New Age, (NA 4.6:116) .

 



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