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The Poetic Edda - A Book That Inspired Tolkien


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Olive Bray The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 28, No. 4, Oct., 1929 reviewed Olive Bray's translation of The Poetic Edda, stating: 'Miss Bray's work is eminently satisfactory: she possesses a scholar's knowledge of the subject (though she was by no means a specialist in the field); and she had poetic ability of a high order. She nearly always succeeded in reproducing the poetry and the spirit of the old lays and she adhered to the metrical form; to do these things she did not hesitate, to depart from rules of alliteration or sometimes to disregard alliteration entirely. ' William Gershom Collingwood (6 August 1854, Liverpool - 1 October 1932) was an English author, artist, antiquary and professor of Fine Arts at University College, Reading. In 1897, Collingwood travelled to Iceland where he spent three months over the summer exploring with Jon Stefansson the sites around the country in which the medieval Icelandic sagas are set.[2] He produced hundreds of sketches and watercolours during this time (e.g. an imagined meeting of the medieval Althing), and published, with Stefansson, an illustrated account of their expedition in 1899 under the title A Pilgrimage to the Saga-steads of Iceland. Collingwood was a member of the Viking Club and served as its president. In 1902 he co-authored again with Jon Stefansson the first translation it published, a translation of Kormaks saga entitled, The Life and Death of Kormac the Skald. His study of Norse and Anglican archaeology made him widely recognised as a leading authority. Following Ruskin's death Collingwood continued to help for a while with secretarial work at Brantwood, but in 1905 went to University College, Reading (now the University of Reading) and served as professor of fine art from 1907 until 1911. Collingwood joined the Admiralty intelligence division at the outbreak of the First World War. In 1919, he returned to Coniston and continued his writing with a history of the Lake District and perhaps his most important work, Northumbrian Crosses of the pre-Norman Age. He was a great climber and swimmer, and a tireless walker into advanced age. In 1927 he experienced the first of a series of strokes. His wife died in 1928, followed by Collingwood himself in 1932. He was buried in Coniston. The largest part of Collingwood's paintings of Iceland are held in the National Museum in Reykjavik: other locations include Abbot Hall Art Gallery. Cecilia Dart-Thornton is a highly acclaimed fantasy author whose books are popular across the globe and translated into several languages. Notable works include The Bitterbynde Trilogy.


..". after more than a hundred years, this book is finally back in print! It is almost exactly like the old Viking Club Edition - written in the original Old Norse with an English translation by Olive Bray and very fine illustrations by W.G. Collingwood. ... a very helpful glossary has been added at the end of the book. This book is ... a great introduction for anyone who is reading The Poetic Edda for the first time..." Ramon M.

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