THE BOOKS THAT INSPIRED 'THE HOBBIT' & 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS'
With original illustrations as published in J.R.R. Tolkien's lifetime
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The Saga of Eric Brighteyes - Illustrated

The Royal Mint

The Saga of Eric Brighteyes - Illustrated

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Pages: 376
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Color: Black and White
ISBN: 9780987555441
Publication Date: Jun 01 2013
Trim Size: 152mm x 229mm (6" x 9")


Written by H. Rider Haggard, illustrated by Lancelot Speed, first published 1891.

Description

Rider Haggard is among a small selection of Victorian and Edwardian writers whom J.R.R. Tolkien acknowledged by name. His books would have been favourites on Tolkien's bookshelf.

In her introduction to this new edition Cecilia Dart-Thornton asserts, ‘Haggard’s classic is an action-packed adventure filled with Viking feasts duels, battles on land and sea, romance, treachery, magic, beautiful women and brave heroes. In a description that seems to herald “The Lord of the Rings”, Haggard writes that Eric “was strong and great of stature, his hair was yellow as gold, and his grey eyes shone with the light of swords.”'

‘For both authors, landscape plays as important a part as any character, and is described in concise yet evocative language. Haggard plunges his readers among the dizzying precipices, waterfalls, fast flowing rivers, icy winters and stormy seas of his fantastic Iceland, much as Tolkien sweeps us into Middle-Earth.’

Enriched by almost sixty vibrant vignettes and illustrations by the hand of artist Lancelot Speed, this book is a close replica of the 1891 edition, published when Tolkien was one year old.  He read Haggard's heroic fantasy during the formative years of his youth, absorbing, no doubt, the lavish details of the pictures as he perused the tale. Speed was a highly accomplished and prolific fantasy illustrator during Tolkien's lifetime, and he illuminated many titles Tolkien is known to have read.

A dwarf-forged sword wrested from Barrow Dwellers, its bright blade engraved with runes; the appellation: 'Ring-giver'; poetry and song; a hero with grey eyes - these and many more resemblances of style and content exist between Haggard's classic tale and 'The Lord of the Rings'.

 


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