New book on Maldon, Homecoming, and more

Thanks to the Tolkien Guide, we have an announcement of a forthcoming book that will be important for the study of Tolkien’s alliterative verse: The Battle of Maldon together with The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, edited by Peter Grybauskas and to be published by HarperCollins in March 2023.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Battle of Maldon together with The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, edited by Peter Grybauskas

According to the pre-publication information, the book will include Tolkien’s lecture on “The Tradition of Versification in Old English,” a valuable resource for those who can’t go to Oxford to read Tolkien’s papers (and let’s face it — that’s most of us!)

Tolkien’s translation of “The Battle of Maldon” was done in prose, most likely as notes for his lectures on the poem. What it says — or doesn’t say — about his interpretation of the word “ofermod,” which is central to his short essay accompanying “The Homecoming,” should be of interest to Tolkien scholars.

As I’ve argued elsewhere, I think that “The Homecoming” is the best of Tolkien’s alliterative verses. While “The Homecoming” is available in print in various editions (see our Descriptive Bibliography), this publication will certainly help to give this verse drama more well-deserved exposure.

Our list of secondary sources on Tolkien’s alliterative verse is still in progress, but once it is posted, you’ll be able to find Peter Grybauskas’s previous articles on “The Homecoming” as well as the work of others on this text.

Woven Words

Welcome to our blog, “Woven Words,” part of the Tolkien and Alliterative Verse website.

Our title is adapted from a line in J.R.R. Tolkien’s alliterative verse play “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth” where one of the characters states, “The woven staves have yet worth in them.” “Staves” — meaning a half line of this kind of verse — is not a word that most people would understand, but “words” is close enough and more accessible for our own blog name.

Our words are woven here in another way, as the pages on this site are composed by a team effort. Check the “About Us” page to see who we are. All of the resources that we have published on this site are a work in progress; we will continue to add to the information we have gathered and any updates will be posted on this blog.

Here at Woven Words, we hope to post information about our ongoing projects and give you some insight into the academic work that we do as faculty and students. We’ll also post about recent articles and books dealing with Tolkien’s alliterative verse.

We’ll be featuring our various pages here in the days ahead, but in the meantime, take a look around! And please subscribe to our blog if you want to keep up with new material.