The Battle of Maldon: Together with the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth - J. R. R. Tolkien - Books - HarperCollins - 9780063338180 - June 6, 2023
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The Battle of Maldon: Together with the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

J. R. R. Tolkien

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The Battle of Maldon: Together with the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

The first-ever standalone edition of one of J. R. R. Tolkiens most important poetic dramas, that explores timely themes such as the nature of heroism and chivalry during war, featuring previously unpublished and never-before-seen texts and drafts.

In 991 AD, Vikings attacked an Anglo-Saxon defense-force led by their duke, Beorhtnoth, resulting in brutal fighting along the banks of the river Blackwater, near Maldon in Essex. The attack is widely considered one of the defining conflicts of tenth-century England, due to it being immortalized in the poem,The Battle of Maldon.

Written shortly after the battle, the poem now survives only as a 325-line fragment, but its value to today is incalculable, not just as a heroic tale but in vividly expressing the lost language of our ancestors and celebrating ideals of loyalty and friendship.

J. R. R.

Tolkien consideredThe Battle of Maldonthe last surviving fragment of ancient English heroic minstrelsy. It would inspire him to compose, during the 1930s, his own dramatic verse-dialogue,The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelms Son, which imagines the aftermath of the great battle when two of Beorhtnoths retainers come to retrieve their dukes body.

Leading Tolkien scholar, Peter Grybauskas, presents for the very first time J. R. R. Tolkiens own prose translation ofThe Battle of Maldontogether with the definitive treatment ofThe Homecoming of Beorhtnothand its accompanying essays; also included and never before published is Tolkiens bravura lecture, The Tradition of Versification in Old English, a wide-ranging essay on the nature of poetic tradition.

Illuminated with insightful notes and commentary, he has produced a definitive critical edition of these works, and argues compellingly that,Beowulfexcepted,The Battle of Maldonmay well have been the Old English poem that most influenced Tolkiens fiction, most dramatically within the pages ofThe Lord of the Rings.


208 pages

Media Books     Hardcover Book   (Book with hard spine and cover)
Released June 6, 2023
ISBN13 9780063338180
Publishers HarperCollins
Pages 208
Dimensions 221 × 148 × 22 mm   ·   306 g
Language English  

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