First edition of the earliest collection of verse from the Eddic and skaldic traditions translated into English.
"If an Islandic [sic] poet had occasion to mention a rainbow, he called it, The bridge of the gods; if gold, The tears of Freya..."
This book set out to prove that Norse mythology and culture were more than than their reputation in England as barbarian raiders. Editor Thomas Percy talks of the Vikings' "amazing fondness for poetry... cherish[ing] it with all possible care" (preface). It contains five samples of Norse poetry, including the first English translations of the HAKONARMAL from the HEIMSKRINGLA and THE DEATH-SONG OF RAGNAR (which contained a famously misinterpreted line leading readers to believe Vikings drank from the skulls of their defeated enemies). Percy would go on to published a collection of old English ballads, RELIQUES OF ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY, that became a major influence on Romantics like Scott, Coleridge, and Wordsworth. An excellent copy of the book that began to shift the popular English perception of the Old North.
London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, in Pall-mall, 1763. Full title: Five pieces of runic poetry translated from the Icelandic language. Octavo. 7'' x 4.5''. Modern three-quarter brown calf over marbled boards, double-ruled gilt spine, red morocco spine label. Engraving of runes on title page. Introductory notes before each poem, transcriptions of Icelandic originals at rear. , 100 pages. Partially erased pencil ownership signature on title page. Binder's ticket before rear endpaper. Pages gently embrowned, a few signatures heavier, some leaves foxed.
We work hard to meet our ethical responsibilty to describe our material accurately. All items are guaranteed as described and may be returned for any reason within 30 days. Please notify us before mailing a return.
We guarantee the authenticity of our items. All items are original (meaning not facsimiles or reproductions), first editions (i.e. first printings), unless otherwise noted. TPM is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and upholds their Code of Ethics.
All items subject to prior sale. Domestic orders over $250 and international orders over $500 ship gratis. We use USPS unless otherwise requested. Expedited, overnight, or international shipping, as well as other carriers, may carry additional costs beyond quoted rates. All orders receive tracking information and a direct contact in case of any questions.
We accept all major credit cards, Paypal, Venmo, check, money order, and bank wire. We are happy to accomodate institutional buyers' needs. Sales tax will be added to applicable purchases.
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact us. We prioritize our long-term relationships far above any individual purchase, and we want you to love your item as much as we loved cataloguing it.