The Books that Inspired Tolkien

Beowulf, Michael Alexander, Book, Penguin Classics, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legends from the Ancient NorthHaving recently discussed why The Hobbit was such an influential book for me over at Searching for SuperWomen (read it here), I was delighted to see even more Tolkien news bandying around. Penguin have announced that they will be re-releasing several titles that inspired Tolkien and his epic fantasies, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Planned in conjunction with the second Hobbit film due out later this year (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – watch the teaser trailer here), the five titles will be published as part of the Legends from the Ancient North series. Publishing director Simon Winder told The Bookseller:

“Tolkien was professor of Anglo Saxon for many years at Oxford so he knew all of these inside out and was fascinated by them… There are some really interesting links – The Wanderer has all the kinds of riddles that Golem told in it – and The Hobbit is totally a work of Tolkien’s own imagination, but you can see what fired him was this world of elves and dragons and swords and heroic bravery and terrible monsters and dangerous journeys. He just revelled in all of that, and we wanted to create something new which would express his own excitement at this world that he knew really well.”

Now, before we move on, can we take a minute to appreciate the beauty of the jacket designs!? I want them just for that! The jackets were created by Swedish designer Petra Borner, who photographed layered pieces of coloured paper to achieve the effect. They’re really beautifully created, and the hope is that it will get people reading sagas again.

Beowulf, Michael Alexander, Book, Penguin Classics, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legends from the Ancient NorthBeowulf
Pre-order your copy from Waterstones here.

The Wanderer, Michael Alexander, Penguin Classics, The Legends from the Ancient North, Book, J.R.R. TolkienThe Wanderer
Pre-order your copy from Waterstones here.

The Elder Edda, J.R.R Tolkien, The Legends of the Ancient North, Book, Penguin Classics, Andy OrchardThe Elder Edda
Pre-order your copy from Waterstones here.

Sire Gawain and the Green Knight, The Legends from the Ancient North, J.R.R Tolkien, Penguin Classics, Bernard O'DonoghueSir Gawain and the Green Knight
Pre-order your copy from Waterstones here.

The Saga of the Volsungs, The Legends of the Ancient North, J.R.R. Tolkien, Penguin Classics, Jesse L. ByockThe Saga of the Volsungs
Pre-order your copy from Waterstones here.

The books are publishing on the 7th November, shortly before the film hits cinemas, and are £6.99 each.

Will you read any of the books?

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