J.R.R. Tolkien’s retelling of the Arthurian legends, The Fall of Arthur, will finally be published! As a professor of languages, including Old Norse and Old English, Tolkien dedicated a considerable amount of time to the translation of Germanic and Saxon literature (most famously, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), but he also made a hobby of composing original versions of those older sagas in English. Never before published, The Fall of Arthur makes use of the alliteration and “kennings” (poetic compound metaphors) common to Anglo-Saxon poetry like Beowulf, and retells the greatest stories from the Arthurian myth.
I’m looking forward to this one. Before conceiving of the Lord of the Rings as a kind of “national myth” for England, Tolkien briefly considered the stories of Arthur for that honor, so I can only expect we’ll see in The Fall of Arthur flashes of the same passion and poetry that make his master work so enjoyable.