Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hild and Tolkien and Beowulf

From: Stephanie

I just finished reading HILD and wanted to let you know I enjoyed it immensely. It was not what I expected, though. I suppose I thought you would include her journey to sainthood, so I hope there is to be a sequel!

As a side note, I now have a better understanding of where Tolkien derived some of his inspiration for names.
I'm delighted you enjoyed the novel. And I absolutely will write Hild's journey to sainthood, though it's going to take two more books to do it--if all goes according to plan. (However, given that the original plan was to write one large volume, I wouldn't blame readers for not finding me wholly reliable.)

Tolkien was an Old English scholar; we read many of the same sources. That is, I read a lot of poetry--which is probably only a fraction of the corpus, which I'm guessing Tolkien was familiar with in its entirety. I'm also guessing (a pretty safe bet) that he didn't need to resort to bilingual editions. Did you know that his translation of Beowulf is due out in late May from HarperCollins? I for one am looking forward to it immensely; I can't wait to savour the differences between it and others' work.

Meanwhile, there's always his Fall of Arthur which came out last year. It's his (sadly incomplete) version of the Matter of Britain using modern English in the form of Old English alliterative meter. It's not for everyone but if you find both Hild and The Lord of the Rings stirring, you might like it.
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