Eric Brighteyes, published in 1891, represented a new departure for Rider Haggard, best-known at the time for his novels set in nineteenth-century Africa, such as King Solomon’s Mines (1885) and She (1887). Set for the most part in tenth-century Iceland, it was praised by Tolkien for its heroic quality, and remains the best example of what was once a large and popular genre, the Victorian Viking novel. Unlike other works of this kind, however, though not unusually for Haggard, it is driven by female characters, and combines scholarly authenticity with Haggard’s own unique flair for the strange and supernatural. In this new edition, Tom Shippey supplies Eric Brighteyes with extensive explanatory notes and an introduction discussing Tolkien’s admiration for Haggard and the Victorian fascination with Vikings.
Also included in this deluxe edition are 17 full-page illustrations by Lancelot Speed (1891).
‘A delightful novel by Haggard, brilliantly illuminated by Shippey’
– Thijs Porck, Leiden University
‘An exciting tale, extensive annotations and an introduction in Shippey’s inimitable style, and the delight of engaging with a story Tolkien praised so highly – essential reading for more than just fans of Haggard himself!’
Tom Shippey has taught at six universities in Britain and America, including Oxford and Harvard. An eminent medievalist and scholar of Tolkien, his notable works include The Road to Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, and Beowulf: Translation and Commentary.
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) is one of the most influential and beloved adventure writers of the Victorian period. His works have fueled the imaginations of numerous authors and inspired dozens of film and television adaptations.