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The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the epic story of the Norse hero, Sigurd, the dragon-slayer, the revenge of his wife, Gudrun, and the Fall of the Nibelungs.
It has not been reproduced or quoted from since it was written over 70 years ago and the book is complete and unaltered, as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote it while he was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920s and ‘30s, before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The Norse legends and sagas were the single greatest influence on Tolkien's writings, and many of the events in Sigurd and Gudrun can be traced through to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Children of Hurin. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún makes available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and The Fall of the Niflungs.It includes an introduction by J.R.R. Tolkien, drawn from one of his own lectures on Norse literature, with commentary and notes on the poems by Christopher Tolkien. "In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrun his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrun. In the Lay of Gudrun her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge. "Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Volsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda." -- Christopher Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81. Christopher Tolkien is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the publication of his father's unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. He lives in France with his wife Baillie.