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The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda   By: (1834-1896)

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In "The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda," William Morris successfully brings to life a captivating Norse saga filled with heroic feats, tragic destinies, and mythological richness. This masterful translation showcases Morris's deep understanding of the source material and his talent for delivering a vivid and engaging storytelling experience.

"The Story of the Volsungs" is an epic tale that follows the fateful journey of the Volsung family, touching upon themes of honor, revenge, love, and destiny. Morris's translation remains faithful to the original material and maintains the saga's lyrical and mythical qualities. From the very beginning, readers are drawn into a world populated by mighty warriors, ruthless villains, and fantastical creatures.

One of the greatest strengths of this translation lies in Morris's ability to retain the essence and poetic beauty of the language found in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. By incorporating excerpts from this ancient work into the narrative, Morris infuses the story with an ethereal and enchanting atmosphere. The inclusion of these poetic moments adds depth and authenticity to the text, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Norse mythology.

Morris's prose effortlessly captures the grandeur and tragedy of the Volsungs' saga. His writing style is descriptive yet concise, conveying the epic scope of the narrative while ensuring that readers remain fully engaged from beginning to end. By expertly weaving together various subplots, Morris reveals the complex web of relationships and alliances, resulting in an intricate and multi-layered tale.

Furthermore, Morris's meticulous attention to detail shines through in his translation. He meticulously portrays the nuances in the characters' personalities, showcasing their flaws, virtues, and internal struggles. Each character, whether they are a hero driven by honor or a treacherous foe, is fully realized and captivating, making it easy for readers to empathize with their triumphs and tribulations.

Inevitably, Morris's translation is not without its challenges. The archaic language and unfamiliar names may prove initially daunting for readers unfamiliar with Norse mythology. However, Morris's commitment to providing a comprehensive glossary and extensive explanatory notes immensely aids in navigating these complexities. With his helpful annotations and insightful commentary, Morris ensures that readers can fully appreciate the rich cultural and historical context underlying the saga.

Overall, "The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda" by William Morris is a remarkable translation that breathes new life into an ancient Norse saga. Morris's mastery of language and storytelling enables readers to be transported to a distant, mythical world, where epic battles and tragic destinies unfold. This book is an essential addition to any lover of mythology, sagas, or timeless literature seeking a captivating and immersive reading experience.

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By Anonymous

Originally written in Icelandic (Old Norse) in the thirteenth century A.D., by an unknown hand. However, most of the material 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".

The text of this edition is based on that published as "The Story of the Volsungs", translated by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson (Walter Scott Press, London, 1888).

Douglas B. Killings



Anonymous: "Kudrun", Translated by Marion E. Gibbs & Sidney Johnson (Garland Pub., New York, 1992).

Anonymous: "Nibelungenlied", Translated by A.T. Hatto (Penguin Classics, London, 1962).

Saxo Grammaticus: "The First Nine Books of the Danish History", Translated by Oliver Elton (London, 1894; Reissued by the Online Medieval and Classical Library as E Text OMACL 28, 1997).


It would seem fitting for a Northern folk, deriving the greater and better part of their speech, laws, and customs from a Northern root, that the North should be to them, if not a holy land, yet at least a place more to be regarded than any part of the world beside; that howsoever their knowledge widened of other men, the faith and deeds of their forefathers would never lack interest for them, but would always be kept in remembrance... Continue reading book >>

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