New Book!

King Arthur's Death (the Alliterative Morte Arthure

Following the success of my translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,  King Arthur's Death (or the Alliterative Morte Arthure, as it is also known), is the second of my series of illustrated translations of mediaeval romances from the Alliterative Revival of the fourteenth century.

King Arthur - Battle and Betrayal!

King Arthur's Death tells the story of the arrival at Camelot of Roman senators demanding that Arthur pays homage to the Emperor. Arthur refuses, leaving his kingdom in the hands of Mordred while he travels to assert his rights.


When he learns that Mordred has betrayed him and seized the kingdom and Guinevere for himself, Arthur must return to Britain to take back his kingdom for himself.

Round Table Action and Pace!

The original poem, a masterpiece second only to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, has astonishing pace, action and flow. In its descriptions of mediaeval warfare and its sweeping scope, it is a milestone in mediaeval alliterative poetry.

The folly of mediaeval warfare!

But it's also a highly reflective work, dealing with self-doubt, religious conviction, the folly of chivalry and also possesses a darkly ironic twist in its description of the realities of warfare.

As well as my translation, I have illustrated the book throughout with 30 linocut images and illustrations; this time inspired by the German artist Kathe Kollwitz.


For an insight into the background for my translation and illustration of this magnificent poem, please see this article from


"Michel Smith has managed to produce a version that maintains the power and magic of the original, while investing it with a thoroughly modern and viscerally affecting sensibility."

(Shiny New Books - read the full review here)

Summary of Contents:

Historical Introduction

A Summary of the Poem

A Note on the Translation

The translation of the Alliterative Morte Arthure



Some Further Reading

About the publisher

Unbound is a crowdfunding publisher, with authors including the BBC presenter Jonathan Meades, the film director Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Flash Gordon) and the Sunday Times best-selling author, Tom Cox, amongst many others.

Book Cover Arthur Jacket.jpg

Above - the book jacket to King Arthur's Death - due to publish in February 2021

William and the Werewolf

Coming Soon! 


Also by Michael Smith is William and the Werewolf - a new translation of the fourteenth century adventure romance, William of Palerne. For more information, click here