The Song of the Nibelungs
A book that inspired Tolkien
The Professor’s Bookshelf Book #1
With original illustrations.
Translated by Margaret Armour
Illustrated by W.B. MacDougall
Introduced by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
The Song of the Nibelungs, a thirteenth century Germanic Epic, greatly inspired Professor Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.
Scholars have noted the influence of its pre-Christian heroic motifs – drawn from historic events and people of the 5th and 6th centuries – on his writing of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
This classic saga, drenched in blood and tragedy, heroism and honour, beauty and nobility, gives us a glimpse into the literature
that helped inform Professor Tolkien’s imagination, ultimately flowering in his most popular work – The Lord of the Rings.
“This is a beautiful edition, both text and illustrations. A must for lovers of medieval history and lore, and for anyone who enjoys poetic stories of love stronger than death and of bloody revenge.I read and re-read this book as a teenager in Spanish in Spain and have kept it close to me for the past 40 years. I was growing hopeless that I would ever be able to find an English version for my children and was thinking of translating it myself for their pleasure. This is a beautiful edition, both text and illustrations. A must for lovers of medieval history and lore, and for anyone who enjoys poetic stories of love stronger than death and of bloody revenge.”Lena on Amazon
Translator Margaret Armour was the wife of W.B. MacDougall, whose illustrations illuminate the text with their delicate beauty.
In his turn, MacDougall was a friend of famous art nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, and his own drawings echo Beardsley’s style.
Tolkien was five years old when this beautifully illustrated translation by Margaret Armour was published in England under the title ‘The Fall of the Nibelungs’. The interior of this book is a facsimile of that edition.
Undoubtedly a copy would have made its way into his hands during his boyhood.
Armour uses an archaic form of English to preserve the high-flown style of the original poem. Here and there throughout The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, too, employs this solemn, dignified and majestic form, which is reminiscent of the language of the King James Bible.
A glossary of antiquated terms is provided at the back of this book.
ISBN: 9781925110036 (paperback)
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