New York: W. W. Norton & Co., (2012). First US edition. Hardcover. Fine / Fine. Item #19543
8vo. 101pp. Black textured paper over boards, gilt spine title. A fine copy. The dustwrapper is not price-clipped and is fine as well.
"The Alliterative Morte Darthur" first appeared around the year 1400 and now exists only in one manuscript copy held at Lincoln Cathedral. It was a milestone not only in that it marked a transmission of Arthurian material, based on the Welsh, on Wace and on Geoffrey, but also because it was the first time the story of Arthur was told in English, The verse, like Gawain, harkens back to the Anglo-Saxon style of poetry: each line has four stresses and contains three alliterating syllables. This edition uses the 1974 Benson edition of the text and, on each facing page, a translation by Armitage into modern English but also in matching alliterative verse, A wonderful feat, and enhanced by the Introduction, a note on the meter of the original by Simpson, and a list of the characters in the narrative.