Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Elder Edda (Penguin Classics)

The Elder Edda is the second book in the Penguin Classics series Legends from the Ancient North. This work, like the others in this series have two things in common. The author is anonymous, and the works inspired the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. This edition of the book begins with a twenty page introduction by the author, which tells us about the Icelandic history of the Codex Regius and the contents. There are also notes on spelling, pronunciation, and translation, which will be helpful to serious students of Norse literature. There are also several pages of further reading that will prove interesting to both the casual and serious reader.

The book is divided into three sections - The Mythological Poems of the Codex Regius, The Heroic Poems of the Codex Regius, and an appendix which has Some Eddic Poems Not Contained in the Codex Regius. The mythological poems are my favorite, as I'm a sucker for myths from most cultures. These poems cover characters like Odin, Loki, Grimnir, and Hymir. Some of the Heoric Poems have a mix of prose and poetry, and some read like a play with speaking parts for different characters. At the end of the book are approximately 100 pages of abbreviations, glossary, and most helpful notes on each poem. Overall, this was an interesting read and one I'd recommend if you are a fan of Norse literature/mythology like myself.

This book was provided to me for free by Penguin Classics in exchange for an honest review.