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

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Cover design revealed for King Arthur!!!

Dear supporter,

I had a wonderful surprise from Imogen, my editor at Unbound, who yesterday sent me the proposed artwork for King Arthur's Death - the Alliterative Morte Arthure. I simply had to share it with you. I am absolutely thrilled with the design, capturing what I see as the core essence of this magnificent fourteenth century work.

I think the designer himself (who worked on my last book) summed up the approach perfectly: 

"We wanted to go darker than Gawain with this cover, and this print of a reflective Arthur, seemingly realising his fate and his mistakes, is perfect to meet that aim.Having looked at various print, type, and colour options, the whole team felt that this was the way to go. The black is the natural choice, anything else doesn’t have the gravitas or contrast. The type hints at historical without being blackletter or distressed, that little bit of personality in its form has the cleanliness of a sans serif, but links to the theme as well - we found that contrasting, modern typefaces seemed to jar with the illustration style."

I cannot add to this - they have done a wonderful job. I showed it to a friend of mine yesterday (someone who a while back was very senior at the UK bookselling chain Waterstone's) and he described it as "a very striking cover". I couldn't agree more - the team at Unbound have done a fantastic job of condensing in one image the very spirit of this magnificent alliterative work.

The image, incidentally, is one of many which I produced to appear in the book; indeed, the original linocut is still available as a pledge option should anyone wish to own an extra special piece of this story!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Thank you once again for supporting my work and enabling it to happen.


Michael Smith

Author, Translator, Printmaker


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