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.
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.