The epic fantasy precursor to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is available for the first time in 181 years!
The Magic Ring
by Baron de la Motte-Fouqué
Edited by Amy H. Sturgis
Published by Valancourt Books
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It is the twelfth century, the era of Richard the Lion-heart and the Third Crusade. Along the Danube, the tranquil world shared by cousins Otto von Trautwangen and Bertha von Lichtenried is changed forever when they witness a knightly contest for possession of a magic ring. Soon both are drawn into a quest that transforms them and endangers all they love. The resulting adventures lead each to different paths of enchantment and peril, from the mysteries of Moorish Spain to the birthplace of Norse mythology. While navigating an ever-changing sea of allies and foes, both natural and magical, the two seek love, honor, survival, and a ring that possesses more power than either can possibly understand.
In a seamless blend of medieval quest, epic fantasy, Gothic nightmare, historical romance, and religious allegory, Baron de la Motte-Fouqué masterfully relates a story that is as elemental as the bond of parent and child, and as profound as the concepts of redemption and sacrifice. The Magic Ring draws on an impressive host of inspirations, such as Germanic folk tales and Icelandic sagas, Arthurian romance and Gothic horror. This novel has earned its place as a text of considerable historical significance, and yet it continues to offer an exhilarating reading experience for the contemporary audience.
Baron de la Motte-Fouqué (1777-1843), a literary star in the constellation of German Romanticism, was known for his development of dark fantasy and chivalric adventure in works such as The Magic Ring, Undine, and Sintram and His Companions. His influence extended through time and across borders to reach composers such as E.T.A. Hoffman and Richard Wagner as well as authors from Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to George MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien. Robert Pearse Gillies (1788-1858) was a Scottish Romantic writer, a translator of German literature, and a key figure in the development of Blackwood’s Magazine and Foreign Quarterly Review.
This edition includes the complete original text of the first English version of The Magic Ring, the 1825 translation by Robert Pearse Gillies, as well as a scholarly introduction, a glossary of literary influences and references, and the complete text of Baron de la Motte-Fouqué’s 1820 short story “The Field of Terror,” also translated by Gillies.
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