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TOLKIEN, J. R. R. - BRAY, Olive (ed. & trans.)

The Elder or Poetic Edda,

commonly known as Sæmund's Edda. Part I.- The Mythological Poems. Illustrated by W. G. Collingwood.

London: Printed for the Viking club, 1908 Stock Code: 142356
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A scarce edition, influencing Tolkien

First edition, first impression, of this uncommon English translation that influenced J. R. R. Tolkien, this copy with a nice literary association: from the library of Gladys Huntington (18871959), author of the anonymously-published novel Madame Solario (1956), with her bookplate and ownership inscription, dated 19 May 1917, to the front endpaper.

This attractively illustrated work was reissued in 2013 as part of "Tolkien's Bookshelf", noting this edition as a general inspiration and the source of the Dwarves' names in The Hobbit. The projected second part was never completed, making this complete as published. In 1929, the Journal of English and Germanic Philology reviewed Olive Bray's translation of The Poetic Edda: "Miss Bray's work is eminently satisfactory: she possesses a scholar's knowledge of the subject (though she was by no means a specialist in the field); and she had poetic ability of a high order. She nearly always succeeded in reproducing the poetry and the spirit of the old lays and she adhered to the metrical form".

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Quarto. Original grey cloth, Norse-style decorative borders and lettering in gilt on front board and spine. Text in Icelandic and English in facing pages.


One full page and many half-page illustrations.


Spine a little browned, touch of wear at tips, endpapers slightly foxed, contents clean and unmarked; a very good copy.


Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 28, No. 4, October 1929.


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