Volume one of the Old Icelandic "fornaldarsögur" (sagas of legendary old times); contains the texts of the following works:
Hrólfs saga kraka ok kappaVolume one of the Old Icelandic "fornaldarsögur" (sagas of legendary old times); contains the texts of the following works:
Hrólfs saga kraka ok kappa hans ("The Saga of Hrólf Kraki and his champions") Völsunga saga ("The Saga of the Völsungs") Ragnars saga loðbrókar ("The Saga of Ragnar Loðbrók") Þáttr af Ragnars sonum ("The Tale of Ragnar's Sons") Norna-Gests þáttr ("The Tale of Norna-Gest") Sögubrot af fornkonungum ("The Saga-fragment of the Ancient Kings") Sörla þáttr eða Heðins saga ok Högna ("The Tale of Sörli, or of Heðin and Högni") Ásmundar saga kappabana ("The Saga of Ásmund Champion-Slayer")...more
It will be said that the scholarship in this book is dated in some respects, for example the assumption of an underlying "Ur-story": where we would prIt will be said that the scholarship in this book is dated in some respects, for example the assumption of an underlying "Ur-story": where we would prefer now to see variation as the norm, here common, unified originals underlying the existing variants are hypothesized. But in other respects, scholarship like Chambers' has yet to be superceded (though with advances in oral and folklore theory, archaeology, history and the like, it perhaps OUGHT to have been, as Chambers himself would have been the first to say). Two basic assumptions of Chambers' are (to my knowledge) all but undisputed in scholarship today: one, that the Anglo-Saxons must have had many tales (written or oral) of heroic figures and legends; two, that most of these same Old English tales are lost to us. In great depth and detail Chambers follows the hints of old Gothic, Burgundian, Frankish, Langobardic and North Sea tales, devoting sections on individual heroes and stories to their wider medieval European contexts (mostly of Germanic-speaking peoples), as well as to their Old English contexts. Their is also detailed commentary on "Widsith" the poem, its language and meter, provenance, etc. As in his stunning study of "Beowulf," Chambers' writing is as logical as it is clear. This is philological scholarship of the kind rarely conducted these days....more
Very highly recommended; to have such an expert in the field write such readable, witty prose is really exceptional. (In other words, it's enjoyable,Very highly recommended; to have such an expert in the field write such readable, witty prose is really exceptional. (In other words, it's enjoyable, approachable, /and/ accurate.)...more
A collection of essays on "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," first published in the 1970s -- as such, the essays are some of the earliest writtA collection of essays on "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," first published in the 1970s -- as such, the essays are some of the earliest written on Tolkien, at a time before Tolkien's other writings, "The Silmarillion," "Unfinished Tales" and "History of Middle-Earth," were posthumously published, and for this reason they can at times be dated and incorrect. On the other hand, some of this is fundamental, bedrock scholarship on Tolkien, and still useful.
This new edition contains a foreword by T.A. Shippey, which does a good, thoughtfully-considered job of putting these essays in their context, and noting their merits and demerits.
On the other hand, it should ALSO be noted that a piece written by Professor Tolkien himself, and published in the original edition of the "Tolkien Compass," is NOT to be found in this new edition: the extremely valuable, highly enlightening "Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings," published in the original 1975 edition of the "Tolkien Compass" but withdrawn from this present edition by the Tolkien Estate. (Shippey, in his foreword, speaks of "deploring the required omission" of it.) This work of Tolkien's is not only linguistically interesting, but also sheds a great deal of light on the etymologies and creative inspirations and processes behind Tolkien's varied nomenclature: and since Tolkien himself said that, for him, stories and concepts began with words and names, the absence of his "Guide to Names" in this volume is to be sorely missed....more