Related to This Book

Other Sites

The Death of King Arthur

A New Verse Translation

Simon Armitage (Translator, Oxford)


“A new standard in the enterprise of bringing the past back into poetry.”—Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal

First appearing around 1400, The Death of King Arthur is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems penned in Middle English. While it is more than six centuries old, this magisterial new translation has finally given American readers the ability to experience the splendor and poignancy of the original. Echoing the lyrical passion that so distinguished Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, Simon Armitage has produced a virtuosic translation of a timeless masterpiece, one that follows Arthur’s bloody conquests across Europe, all the way to his spectacular and even bloodier downfall. This unparalleled presentation of the greatest Arthurian tale promises to become the definitive edition for generations to come.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • December 2012
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34353-3
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 304 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Invitingly ingenious and inventive.” — Jeremy Noel-Tod, Guardian

“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.” — David Blackburn, Spectator

“Armitage, on top form, renders [Arthur] expertly.” — Bill Greenwell, Independent

Also by Simon Armitage All

  1. Book CoverThe Odyssey: A Dramatic Retelling of Homer's Epic


  2. Book CoverPearl: A New Verse Translation


  3. Book CoverSir Gawain and the Green Knight

    A New Verse Translation / Paperback

All Subjects