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The Worm Ouroboros

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Book Details

Title:The Worm Ouroboros
Eddison, Eric Rücker   
(4 of 4 for author by title)
Mistress of Mistresses (Zimiamvian Trilogy #1)
Published:   1926
Publisher:Ballantine Books
Tags:fantasy, fiction

This is the book that shaped the landscape of contemporary science fiction and fantasy. When The Lord of the Rings first appeared, the critics inevitably compared it to this 1922 landmark work. Tolkien himself frankly acknowledged its influence, with warm praise for its imaginative appeal. The story of a remote planet’s great war between two kingdoms, it ranks as the Iliad of heroic fantasy.

In the best traditions of Homeric epics, Norse sagas, and Arthurian myths, author E. R. Eddison weaves a compelling adventure, with a majestic, Shakespearean narrative style. His sweeping tale recounts battles between warriors and witches on fog-shrouded mountaintops and in the ocean’s depths—along with romantic interludes, backroom intrigues, and episodes of direst treachery. Generations of readers have joyfully lost themselves in the timeless worlds of The Worm Ouroboros. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:637 Info

Author Bio for Eddison, Eric Rücker

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Eric Rücker Eddison, (24 November 1882—18 August 1945) was an English civil servant and author, writing epic fantasy novels under the name E. R. Eddison. His notable works include The Worm Ouroboros (1922) and the Zimiamvian Trilogy (1935–1958). His early education was conducted at home by a series of tutors whom he shared with Arthur Ransome (author of Swallows and Amazons), the child of a neighbouring family. The two became lifelong friends and spent many hours in adventurous and imaginative play, some of which included the germs of Eddison’s later fiction. Afterwards Eddison attended Sunningdale Preparatory School in Berkshire before going to Eton, where he developed an interest in Icelandic. He went to Trinity College, Oxford in 1901 to study classics.

The following year he joined the Board of Trade, where he remained for the next 22 years in a variety of roles. In 1928 he moved to the Department of Overseas Trade as Head of Empire, Trades and Economic Division. He was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) the following year. He was promoted to Deputy Comptroller-General in 1930, and travelled to Canada for the British Empire Economic Conference held in Ottawa in the summer of 1932, which set out preferential tariffs for trade between countries within the British Empire. He took early retirement in 1938 in order to devote more time to his literary work.

Throughout his career in the civil service and during his retirement, Eddison forged a career as a writer. His first novel, The Worm Ouroboros, published in 1922 was praised by critics for its self-assurance and its introduction of a fully-imagined, fantastical world. He returned to this world in his later novels, Mistress of Mistresses (1935) and A Fish Dinner in Memison (1941), and was working on the third volume of the trilogy, The Mezentian Gate, when he died in 1945.

He was a keen Norse scholar, teaching himself Old Norse while at school and later at university. In 1926 Jonathan Cape published his re-imagining of a Norse saga, Styrbiorn the Strong, a fictional account using historical figures. His translation of Egil’s Saga was published in 1930.

He died suddenly, 18 August 1945, while gardening at the home he had built for his retirement in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

—Excerpts from ereddison.com/biography

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