First edition illustrated by W.G. Collingwood of the POETIC EDDA, the single most important source for our understanding of Norse mythology.
THE ELDER OR POETIC EDDA
"Professor J. R. R. Tolkien readily acknowledged his debt to this source. He was sixteen years old when the Viking Club of London published this beautifully illustrated translation by Olive Bray. <br /><br />"Readers of Tolkien's work will easily spot his inspirations – the names of the dwarves in The Hobbit; riddle games; Mirkwood; the Paths of the Dead; an underworld creature being tricked into remaining above-ground until dawn, when sunlight turns him to stone; different races calling a single thing by various names, and more." – blurb for this translation's reprint in 2013, as Tolkien's Bookshelf #2
Preserved mainly in a 13th-century Icelandic manuscript known as the Codex Regius, the POETIC EDDA has been fundamental to the formation of modern conceptions of the old Scandinavian world. These tales of Yggdrasil and Ragnarok, Loki and Odin influenced the likes of Wagner, Ezra Pound, and J.R.R. Tolkien. In 1897 W.G. Collingwood, an artist and antiquarian, spent three months in Iceland studying the archaeological remains and geographical settings found in the Norse myths and sagas. Collingwood dedicated himself to the study of Old Norse and soon became president of the London-based Viking Society for Northern Research, or Viking Club, of which William Morris and Eirikr Magnússon had been early members. The club issued this as Volume II of their Translation Series. A stunning illustrated vision of the revered epic.
London: Printed for the Viking Club, 1908. Full title: The Elder or Poetic Edda, commonly known as Saemund's Edda. Part I.—The Mythological Poems [complete as issued]. Quarto. 7.25'' x 8.75''. Original full grey cloth, spine and front board elaborately stamped with gilt motif of Yggdrasil. Fore edge and bottom edge uncut. Old Norse and English text printed on facing pages. Full-page illustration after introduction and 32 half-page historiated headpieces. Bibliography and index at rear. , lxxx, 327,  pages. Only a hint of rubbing and bumping to cloth.
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