September 12, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun


There was a lot more to Professor J.R.R. Tolkien than just The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as evident in my most recent post which showcases The Children of Hurin. Even, there was a lot more to him than the realms he created. Tolkien was a great lover of poetry, and old myths (Anglo-Saxon, Old English, Norse, Icelandic, etc...) 

This post I shall talk a bit about something different from his usual material : The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun


Tolkien worked on this poem while he was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford in the '20s and '30s [exact date is unknown], prior to him working on The Hobbit. The poem is his version of The Saga of the Volsungs / Volsunga Saga, which tells the epic story of the legendary Norse hero, Sigurd (the dragon-slayer) the revenge of his wife, Gudrun, and the Fall of the Nibelungs. Tolkien's translated version is a narrative poem in the form of alliterative verse, inspired by the traditional poetry of the Poetic Edda.  The book is complete and unaltered, and this is 'important' because the Norse legends are the great of all influences on Tolkien's writings.

I definitely recommend this, of course, if you like poetry. Especially if you have read and enjoyed Beowulf and others such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Poetic Edda, etc. Fans of The Lord of the Rings (and other tales from that realm) may be fascinated to see how Tolkien handled a story which he did not invent. 

Much like The Children of Hurin, there are various editions by Harper Collins: 

Paperback: 9780007317240

Hardback: 9780007317233

Deluxe: 9780007317257

Super Deluxe: 9780007319725

and of course, ebook. 
978-0007317233
 
the epic story of the Norse hero, Sigurd, the dragon-slayer, the revenge of his wife, Gudrun, and the Fall of the Nibelungs. - See more at: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/870-The-Legend-of-Sigurd-and-Gudrun.php#sthash.ClfLZvfh.dpuf
the epic story of the Norse hero, Sigurd, the dragon-slayer, the revenge of his wife, Gudrun, and the Fall of the Nibelungs. - See more at: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/870-The-Legend-of-Sigurd-and-Gudrun.php#sthash.ClfLZvfh.dpuf

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