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The Battle of Maldon together with the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

1 Dec, 2022 (edited)
2022-12-1 7:46:13 AM UTC

BattleofMaldon.jpg

First ever standalone edition of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most important poetic dramas, that explores timely themes such as the nature of heroism and chivalry during war, and which features unpublished and never-before-seen texts and drafts.

In 991 AD, vikings attacked an Anglo-Saxon defence-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 immortalised 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 an heroic tale but in vividly expressing the lost language of our ancestors and celebrating ideals of loyalty and friendship.

J.R.R. Tolkien considered The Battle of Maldon ‘the 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 Beorhthelm’s Son, which imagines the aftermath of the great battle when two of Beorhtnoth’s retainers come to retrieve their duke’s body.

Leading Tolkien scholar, Peter Grybauskas, presents for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien’s own prose translation of The Battle of Maldon together with the definitive treatment of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth and its accompanying essays; also included and never before published is Tolkien’s 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, Beowulf excepted, The Battle of Maldon may well have been ‘the Old English poem that most influenced Tolkien’s fiction’, most dramatically within the pages of The Lord of the Rings.

Edited by Peter Grybauskas https://english.umd.edu/directory/peter-grybauskas

UK Hardback 30th March 2023

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The Battle of Maldon & The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth (UK HB)

HarperCollins (2023-03-30)


£20.00 HarperCollins (Hardback) - Availability: Click to check
$19.46 Blackwell's (hardback) - Availability: Usually dispatched within 10 days
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US Hardback June 6, 2023

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The Battle of Maldon: together with The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth US (2023)

William Morrow (2023-06-06)


$24.09 Blackwell's (hardback) - Availability: Usually dispatched within 72 hours
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Deluxe
Book released on the 27th April 2023

Battle of Maldon Deluxe.jpg

Collector’s slipcased edition of the first ever standalone presentation of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most important poetic dramas, that explores timely themes such as the nature of heroism and chivalry during war, and which features unpublished and never-before-seen texts and drafts.

In 991 AD, vikings attacked an Anglo-Saxon defence-force led by their duke, Beorhtnoth, resulting in brutal fighting along the river Blackwater, near Maldon in Essex. The attack is widely considered one of the defining conflicts of tenth-century England, and is immortalised in the poem, The Battle of Maldon.

Written shortly after the battle, the poem survives only as a 325-line fragment, but its value to today is incalculable. J.R.R. Tolkien considered The Battle of Maldon ‘the 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 Beorhthelm’s Son, which imagines the aftermath of the great battle when two of Beorhtnoth’s retainers come to retrieve their duke’s body.

Leading Tolkien scholar, Peter Grybauskas, presents for the first time Tolkien’s own prose translation of The Battle of Maldon together with the definitive treatment of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth and its accompanying essays; also included and never before published is the lecture, ‘The Tradition of Versification in Old English’. Illuminated with insightful notes and commentary, he offers a definitive critical edition of these works, and argues compellingly that, Beowulf excepted, The Battle of Maldon may well have been ‘the Old English poem that most influenced Tolkien’s fiction’, most dramatically within the pages of The Lord of the Rings.

This slipcased edition includes a colour frontispiece reproducing a page of Tolkien’s original manuscript of The Homecoming, and is printed on acid-free paper with a ribbon marker. It is quarterbound with a unique illustration by Bill Sanderson gold-foiled on grey boards and is housed in a custom-built slipcase. It also includes a digitally remastered recording of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth read by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien, which is available on CD for the first time.

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The Battle of Maldon & The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth: Deluxe (UK, HB)

HarperCollins (2023-04-27)


£75.00 HarperCollins (Hardback) - Availability: Click to check
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Kindle

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The Battle of Maldon: together with The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

HarperCollins (2023-03-30)


£14.99 Amazon.co.uk (Kindle Edition) - Availability: Now
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UK and US Audiobook

Homecoming.webp

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The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

HarperCollins (2023-03-30)


£5.24 Amazon.co.uk (Audible Audiobook) - Availability: Now

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The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

HarperCollins (2023-03-30)


$6.00 Amazon.com (Audible Audiobook) - Availability: Now


1 Dec, 2022 (edited)
2022-12-1 8:21:14 AM UTC

Emilien wrote:

Wow ! New material ?
Edit : now I would like a hardcover edition of the last release of Sir Gawain and the green knight !

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

HarperCollins (2021-04-29)


£8.99 HarperCollins (Paperback) - Availability: Click to check
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$17.04 Amazon.com (Paperback) - Availability: Now
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£7.49 eBay UK - Availability: Click to check
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 8:29:58 AM UTC
Didn't find time to read the description before going to work.
My comment is pointless.
This is great news.
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 9:08:38 AM UTC
Very interesting!
I'm curious about this "also included and never before published is Tolkien’s bravura lecture, ‘The Tradition of Versification in Old English’, a wide-ranging essay on the nature of poetic tradition"
1 Dec, 2022 (edited)
2022-12-1 10:13:14 AM UTC
I am really quite happy about this (thanks Emilien for alerting me to it), not only because I feel Tolkien's text has received too little exposure but because I am myself working on a 70th anniversary edition for my own collection. I will wait until this edition is released before deciding if I continue. My own version also included the Battle of Maldon (but using an older translation that Tolkien would have known) along with my introduction, an edited version of 'The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth: Philogy and The Liteary Muse' by Thomas Honegger, the drafts from Treason of Idengard, an entry on criticism, a piece on ofermod among letters and oddmetns of notes published here and there.

Excited to see what is presented. Hopefully some manuscript pages will make their way into this volume too.
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 10:30:36 AM UTC
Now this one I am excited for! Personally, I couldn’t be really bothered about the latest releases (well, since The Nature of Middle-earth). M
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 10:41:32 AM UTC

Éarendel wrote:

Now this one I am excited for! Personally, I couldn’t be really bothered about the latest releases (well, since The Nature of Middle-earth). M

This is the sort of stuff HC should be releasing. Real unpublished material that will add to Tolkien's reputation and importance as a scholar. I know this won't be for everyone but I am ecstatic at this news.
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 12:43:12 PM UTC
Is that the paperback with the green illustrated knight on? Yes that’s a lovely cover.
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 7:35:30 PM UTC
Exciting news! Has "J.R.R. Tolkien’s own prose translation of The Battle of Maldon" been previously published?
1 Dec, 2022
2022-12-1 8:34:46 PM UTC

Tuor wrote:

Exciting news! Has "J.R.R. Tolkien’s own prose translation of The Battle of Maldon" been previously published?

There has been a couple of lines I think but the complete text has never been published.
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