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, 4 July 2019

Recreating mediaeval illuminated letters - a short film

As many of you will know from my translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I like to illustrate my works with linocut prints. So I have produced a brief film showing how I produce the letters which will appear in the book - from the cutting through to the printing and finally the publication of the work in the finished book! 

Art is very important to my approach. I make these linocuts to evoke the period in which the original poems were written. While these poems may be "Arthurian Romances", they are also statements of the time in which they wrere written. We must read them less as abstract works but more as poems of social commentary. They conceal hidden and serious messages which are relevant even today.

I also produce the illustrations to inspire me in how I translate the works. By creating original art, I feel I get closer to the original mental anguish of the mediaeval poets themselves. I am comfortable with this. It is a strange feeling to work around the curves and flourishes of each letter, it draws you very close to the unspoken mystery and hidden codes of the illuminators. You enter an almost parallel universe as 600 years of history fall away and the past becomes the present.

Own your own illuminated letters!

As well as appearing in the book, these letters are also available as a new pledge option for patrons of the book. I will print two letters by hand for ten lucky pledgers, featuring your initials (or those of a friend or loved one).

If you'd like to own your own mediaeval illuminated letters in the style of King Arthur, please scroll down the pledge options and look for Mediaeval Initials.If you've already pledged but would like to upgrade, you can do so too! Or, if you're happy with your pledge and would like to pledge for this extra reward (may be as a gift for a friend), please feel free to do so!

Either way, there are ten sets of letters available - you will be contacted nearer publication about the letters you would like me to print.

I hope you like the film. Please accept my apologies for my recent quietness regarding King Arthur. This isn't because I have stopped work but because I am working flat out to get the manuscript to Unbound by the end of July. I am well on track to deliver and, hopefully, it won't be too long before the book you have helped to support becomes reality!

Thank you once again for your support.

Michael Smith

Author, Translator, Printmaker

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