The Wanderer & Other Old-English Poems
Lavishly ornamented and illustrated by Alan Lee. The Old English texts and their translations by Michael Alexander are set on facing pages for ease of reading.
Alan Lee is the most celebrated living illustrator of myth and fantasy: a recipient of the Kate Greenaway Medal; the Tolkien estate’s artist-of-choice for over 25 years; and an Oscar-winner for his conceptual work on Peter Jackson’s films of The Lord of the Rings. An artist steeped in myth, legend and folklore, his other-worldly images place him at the forefront of a tradition established by the Pre-Raphaelites, Rackham and Dulac.
Lee’s lavish illustrative scheme sets the poems in a modern re-imagining of an illuminated manuscript. Detailed watercolours evoke their magic and their mystery, bringing key moments vividly to life. Intricate ink-drawn ornamental borders – where knot-work turns into writhing dragons and shattered twigs become the broken strings of a harp – mirror their themes of life and death, and the brokenness and integrity of the texts themselves. And witty visual puns, where a picture is simultaneously a pile of twisted branches, bones and hail; the outline of a chicken; and the solution to a riddle, spelled out in runes, reflect their complexity and their humour. Crowning this scheme is the stunning design that adorns the binding – a lightning-shattered evocation of the Sutton Hoo helmet that hints at the inspired, and inspiring, tales enclosed within this magnificent volume.
Translated and introduced by Michael Alexander
Newly commissioned foreword by Bernard O’Donoghue
Set in 15-point Arcadian Bembo and printed on cream wove paper
Eight colour plates by Alan Lee, printed on Art paper and tipped into decorative borders
Numerous other drawings and borders integrated with the text and printed in dove grey
Limitation certificate printed letterpress by The Logan Press on Tintoretto paper, signed and numbered by the artist
Quarter-bound in goatskin with blind and silver blocking on the spine. Boards printed and blocked with designs by the artist
Endpapers printed with a design by the artist
Top edge gilded in gunmetal foil, ribbon marker
244 pages. Book size: 13¼˝ x 9½˝
Presented in a clothbound slipcase blocked in silver on the front board