So you are probably looking at your bookshelf thinking, “I have a really nice collection of Tolkien works.” You may even have a few first editions in there which cost you a pretty penny (hey, why do you have TWO kidneys anyway?). The Tolkien bookstore is now offering some neat additions for your library.
The online Tolkien bookshop is now reprinting rare editions of lesser known works. Included in these elegant volumes is English and Medieval Studies: Presented to J.R.R. Tolkien on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday. Also included is a text influential to Tolkien, The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise edited by Christopher Tolkien.
“Professor J. R. R. Tolkien retired in 1959 from the Merton Professorship of English language and Literature in the University of Oxford, which he had held since 1945. Before that he had been Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford and Professor of the English Language in the University of Leeds.
In recognition of the great contributions to English philology and medieval literature that he made over this long period, twenty-two former pupils, friends and colleagues from this county and abroad have combined to offer him a volume of studies in honour of his seventieth birthday in 1962. The essays mainly deal with subjects close to his own interests – the character and the metre of Old English poetry, the Ancrene Riwle, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, various more general aspects of medieval literature, and some of the links between Old Norse and English. The book is edited by Professor Tolkien’s successors in his two Oxford chairs, C. L. Wrenn and Norman Davies, and includes the following essays: ‘The Old English Epic Style’ by A. Campbell; ‘The Appreciation of Old English Metre’ by A’ J. Bliss; ‘King Alfred’s Last War’ by M. E. Griffiths; ‘Six Questions of Old and Middle English Morphology’ by C. E. Bazell; ‘Studies in Late West Saxon Labialization and Delabialization’ by Pamela Gradon; ‘The Bodmer Fragment of Ælfic’s Homily for Septuagesima Sunday’ by N. R. Ker; ‘A Neglected Manuscript of British History’ by S. R. T. O. d’Ardenne; ‘ormulum: Words copied by Jan van Vliet from parts now lost’ by R. W. Burchfield; Norse Alliterative Phrases in the Ormulum’ by E. S. Olszewska;‘The Affiliations of the manuscripts of Ancrene Wisse’ by E. J. Dobson; ‘God and Man in Troilus and Criseyde’ by T. P. Dunning; ‘Chaucer’s Translation of the Bible’ by W. Meredith Thompson; ‘God’s Wenches and the Light that Spoke (a note on Langland’s kind of poetry)’ by Nevill Coghill; ‘ The Anthropological Approach’ by C. S. Lewis”
“Heidrek’s Saga is a medieval entertainment – a ‘romance’, but a romance that derives little of its matter from the literature of France or Germany. It is an example of a kind of story-telling that was flourishing in Iceland by the beginning of the twelfth century, and which (in contrast to the more celebrated ‘Sagas of the Icelanders’) told of legendary figures whose origins lie far back in time beyond the settlement of the country. The elements of the story, diverse in age and atmosphere, are unified in the theme of a possession bearing an ancestral curse, as it passes down the generations; but the saga’s peculiar value lies in the older poems which the unknown author set into the framework of his narrative, including The Battle of the Goths and the Huns, perhaps the oldest of all the Northern heroic lays, The Waking of Angantyr, source of many eighteenth-century ‘Gothic Odes’, and the unique riddle-contest between King Heidrek and the god Odin in disguise.
Translated from the Icelandic with Introduction, Notes and Appendices by Christopher Tolkien, then Lecturer in Old English at New College, Oxford, The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise was first published in 1960 in Nelson’s Icelandic Texts series and has since become extremely difficult to obtain. Marking its fiftieth anniversary of publication, this new hardback edition reproduces the original text so that new academics and devotees may once again study and enjoy the prose and the poetry of this famous saga from the same tradition as The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, which under Christopher Tolkien’s editorship became a worthy best-seller in 2009.”
These editions are print-on-demand from Tolkien’s UK website. To order your copies, click here.