"This is an excellent book"

Neil Philip


"The challenge for the translator must be to suggest the muscular music of the fourteenth-century poet while rendering the language in a form suitable for twenty-first century readers. Michael Smith manages this with commendable skill, producing a style which carries the reader headlong into the last days of the mythical king as he resists the Roman yoke and enters into his final confrontation with Mordred ... What distinguishes this edition from those previously published, apart from Smith’s sensitive translation, is of course his images. As in the Gawain book, the current volume benefits from a generous helping of strikingly dramatic linocuts, as well as some beautiful stylised capitals to begin each section."


Shiny New Books


A signed copy of King Arthur's Death (The Alliterative Morte Arthure), published 2021 with special Christmas greetings card. Ideal to send as a gift to a mediaevalist! 


FREE P&P to UK customers.


About the book...


The Alliterative Morte Arthure is one of the finest examples of mediaeval romance to emerge from the Alliterative Revival of the fourteenth century. Telling the story of how Arthur is challenged for his lands by the Emperor of Rome, it reveals in startling detail how kings (and leaders) who become so obsessed with their own arrogance and zeal end up losing everything in their vain quest for glory.


Transcribed in c.1440 by Robert Thornton from a lost original, the Alliterative Morte Arthure (Lincoln Thornton MS 92) is a work of great vibrancy and passion whose origins seem to reflect the dark days of monarchical chaos under Richard II and Henry IV. At times dark, at times exhibiting a wry sense of humour, King Arthur's Death - in its subject matter and warning - is as much a book for today as it was for its time.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, containing detailed recreations of illuminated lettering taken from the "Macclesfield Alphabet" and the author’s own linocut prints, each meticulously researched for contemporary accuracy. 


The greetings card is from a limited edition produced by Michael Smith, featuring two Christmas lovers, some mistletoe and the problem of the knight's visor...


Hard cover: ISBN: 978-1-78352-908-7


William and the Werewolf (William of Palerne)

Michael Smith is currently working on an illustrated translation of William and the Werewolf, one of the earliest examples of the Alliterative Revival of the fourteenth century. If you would like to support this book (and have your name in the back as a patron), click here

King Arthur's Death - signed with Christmas Card

  • Postage and Packing is FREE to UK customers. Overseas customers, air mail costs added in the checkout,

  • Because this book is signed, I regret that returns and refunds are not possible.