King Arthur's Death

By Michael Smith

An epic poem of the fall of kings, vibrantly translated and stunningly illustrated with linocut prints by the author of Unbound’s Sir Gawain

Thursday, 24 October 2019

A progress report on King Arthur - plus a special date for your diary!

This week my illustrated translation of the Alliterative Morte Arthure (King Arthur's Death), reached a new milestone as I received the first copyedit from the editorial team. I'm so pleased to have the same team working on the book as on my translation of Gawain: the questions are probing and compel me onwards to be sure of accuracy!

It's a daunting task to go through this, but a worthwhile one - because it makes the book better, stronger and ultimately more rigorous in the telling - and explanation of - this magnificent poem.

I have just over a month to complete this task; after which the book moves forward to the next stage when we begin to see the actual layout of the real pages. All of a sudden the book moves from being pages on a screen to something more substantial. This is an exciting time indeed - all made possible by your support.

Book your tickets for a special performance!

Meanwhile, you may be interested in a sneak preview of the translation. I am one of the Friends of a redundant mediaeval church in Hertfordshire (a building now owned by the Churches Conservation Trust). This year we are performing an abridged version of my translation as a pre-Christmas treat! The show will take place on 23rd November 2019 at 7.30; all profits go to the repair and maintenance of this wonderful building.

The performance will be directed by Mike Ashman (formerly a director at the Royal Opera House) with authentic period music by Dr Jon Banks (a musical director of London's Globe Theatre). The same team produced an abridged version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight here a few years back (based again on my translation). I can only say that with the church lit only by candles and decked out with antlers and holly the setting is wonderful. Indeed, that event was a sell out.

The tickets are currently selling through Eventbrite; to learn more about the show and to book your tickets, please click here

Thank you once again for supporting my work. If you can make it to the show in November it will be wonderful to see you there. If you know of others who would like to go (or who might even want to pledge support for the book), please do spread the word!

Banners Advance!

Kind regards,


Michael Smith

Author, Translator, Printmaker

PS. I was delighted this week to learn that my translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has been read by MA students at Lancaster University undertaking a "Gawain on location" tour. That news really made my week - a sense that my work, only possible with your support, is helping this fabulous ancient poem reach new audiences and open new minds to this magnificent period in the development of the English language.

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Arnold Williams
 Arnold Williams says:

Brilliant news about your translation being used by MA students at Lancaster. Hope the Herfordshire church event goes well. It sounds fabulous, but I live much to far away to travel down. Best wishes. Arnold.

posted 24th October 2019

Gregory Jennings
 Gregory Jennings says:

Best of luck for the performance & exciting news on the use of the translation by MA students.

posted 24th October 2019

Michael Smith
 Michael Smith says:

Thank you Arnold and Gregory - I'll post a report on the performance when it's happened. Rehearsals going well!!! Michael

posted 6th November 2019

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