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Download The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation Audiobook, by Simon Armitage Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 5 3.88 (8 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Armitage Narrator: Bill Wallis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9781482982060
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First appearing around 1400, The Alliterative Morte Arthur, or The Death of King Arthur, is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems ever penned in Middle English. Now, from the internationally acclaimed translator of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, comes this magisterial new presentation of the Arthurian tale, rendered in unflinching and gory detail. Following Arthur’s bloody conquests across the cities and fields of Europe, all the way to his spectacular and even bloodier fall, this masterpiece features some of the most spellbinding and poignant passages in English poetry. Never before have the deaths of Arthur’s loyal knights, his own final hours, and the subsequent burial been so poignantly evoked. 

Echoing the lyrical passion that so distinguished Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, Simon Armitage has produced a virtuosic new translation that promises to become both the literary event of the year and the definitive edition for generations to come.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A new standard in the enterprise of bringing the past back into poetry.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Armitage’s spectacular translation…renders this anonymous poem into modern English lines that command your full allegiance…With captivating articulation, these lines growl and roar and hiss in a way that reminds us just how much our preference for rhyme over alliteration has cost us. And amid all the viscera and gore, we find such startling moments of intimacy and grief, expressed by soldiers wholly unconstrained by our narrow, modern-day expectations of manhood.”

    Washington Post

  • “Invitingly ingenious and inventive.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Armitage, on top form, renders [Arthur] expertly.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Armitage has triumphed…The verse requires attention; but, once you are attuned to the alliterative structure, it’s as swift as the swish of a sword.”

    Spectator

  • A Poetry Book Society Choice

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri Kempton | 10/12/2013

    " You know what? Any book where you can open to a random page and sing the contents to the tune of "My Favorite Things" deserves some love. Oh, and there's all that stuff about Arthur! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart Parr | 8/22/2013

    " Pretty good update of an ancient poem into modern language. I think a poetic form is something many fantasy and sci-fi writers can learn from - complete, epic story in a few thousand lines of poetry, much better that wading through 3 volumes of prose :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 4/24/2013

    " Poem on the story of Arthur. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amaya | 1/24/2013

    " Fanastic! Armitage does a very good job at preserving the alliteration of the original version. A must for any and all Arthurian lore lovers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dacinky | 11/18/2012

    " I forget which version of the alliterative morte arthure I read, but I seem to recall (read it in 1989) that Arthur was fighting the Romans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin Price | 9/23/2012

    " Not quite as robust as Seamus Heaney's Beowulf (though that may be oweing more to the source material than the talents of the translator) but still a powerful and moving rendition of a classic verse text. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gary D. | 8/12/2012

    " Has the original on facing page. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Gillway | 7/4/2012

    " I think I might enjoy having this read to me because it is the sound of the words which is important. "

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About the Author
Author Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage is a British poet, playwright, and novelist. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes, a Lannan Award, and the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize. Additionally, Armitage writes for radio, television, and film, and was recently elected Oxford Professor of Poetry.

About the Narrator

Bill Wallis has performed in over two hundred radio series and plays, while among his numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company are The Alchemist, The Master Builder, and Twelfth Night. He is also a prolific film and television actor, having made numerous appearances in such productions as Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Midsomer Murders, Bad Girls, Doctors, Poirot, and as Dr. Nick MacKenzie in Dangerfield.