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October 29 , 2008

The Story Of The Volsungs


The Story of the Volsungs
tr. by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson

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News from Nowhere; Or, An Epoch of Rest

William Morris was an English novelist, poet, translator and socialist activist. Morris began publishing poetry and short stories in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. He founded these magazines with his friends during the period when he was at university. ‘News From Nowhere’ is one of the most famous books by William Morris that was initially…

"In offering to the reader this translation of the most complete and dramatic form of the great Epic of the North, we lay no claim to special critical insight, nor do we care to deal at all with vexed questions, but are content to abide by existing authorities, doing our utmost to make our rendering close and accurate, and, if it might be so, at the same time, not over prosaic: it is to the lover of poetry and nature, rather than to the student, that we appeal to enjoy and wonder at this great work, now for the first time, strange to say, translated into English." – William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson

Originally written in Icelandic – that is, Old Norse – in the thirteenth century A.D., by an unknown hand, most of the material in The Story of the Volsungs is based substantially on previous works, some centuries older. A few of these works have been preserved in the collection of Norse poetry known as the "Poetic Edda."

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