This epic poem (over 10,000 lines) tells the tragic story of the Norse hero Sigmund, his son Sigurd, and Sigurd's wife Gudrun. The author's fascination with the Volsung legend began in his youth, and had already resulted in several other literary and scholarly treatments of the story. It was Morris's favourite poem, and was enthusiastically praised both by contemporary critics and by such figures as T. E. Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw. In recent years it has been rated very highly by many William Morris scholars, but has never succeeded in finding a wide readership on account of its great length and archaic style.
William Morris (1834–1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant part in promoting the early socialist movement in Britain.
Our book is in very nice condition for its age, bound in dark blue cloth with title etc in black lettering on a pasted label on the spine (label slightly damaged - see photo). The exterior shows only minor wear consistent with age - bumped corners (no frank damage), a little shelf wear to top & tail of spine (no frank damage), and some general grubbiness and staining. Inside, however, the binding is firm with no loose pages: all pages clean and bright: light foxing only to endpapers. The front endpaper has been neatly taped down the spine angle. Included with the book are 2 postcards (relating to sale of another book, one postmarked 1961). This is presumed to be a first edition copy - although published in November 1876, the title page of the first edition gave 1877 as the date, in Roman numerals (as here). A subsequent edition in 1877 included 4 pages of publisher's other titles - which are not in this volume.