The Sundering Flood

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-01-16
  • Publisher: Dover Publications

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The celebrated medievalist William Morris was among the first writers to combine supernatural elements with worldbuilding. He created the precursors of modern fantasy fiction, and both C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien acknowledged his influence on their writing. In his final novel, Morris draws upon Icelandic lore to tell a tale of two lovers, Osberne and Elfhild, separated by a broad river. When Elfhild vanishes from the riverbank, Osberne takes up his magical sword Boardcleaver and begins a desperate search. He soon finds himself battling a tyrannical king in the service of rebel knight Sir Godrick of Longshaw, but Osberne can never forget the quest for his lost love.
A captivating blend of chivalric romance and wizardry, this volume is a facsimile of the highly ornamented Kelmscott Press edition of 1897. The text is printed in black, with red chapter titles, and the lovely borders and initials are Morris's own design.

Author Biography

Polymath William Morris (1834–96) was a prolific writer of novels and essays as well as a translator of medieval texts. Although best known in his lifetime as a poet, Morris is chiefly remembered today for his designs, which he issued from his highly successful decorative arts firm. He also founded the Kelmscott Press, which he dedicated to the hand-printing of a select number of beautiful books.

Table of Contents

I. Of a river called the Sundering Flood, and of the folks that dwelt thereby.
II. Of Wethermel and the child Osberne
III. Wolves harry the flock
IV. Surly John falls out with the goodman
V. Osberne slays the wolves
VI. They fare to the Cloven Mote
VII. Of a newcomer, and his gift to Osberne
VIII. The goodman gets a new hired man
IX. The Bight of the Cloven Knoll
X. Osberne and Elfhild hold converse together
XI. Osberne shoots a gift across the Flood
XII. Of a guest called Waywearer
XIII. Steelhead gives Osberne the sword Board-cleaver
XIV. Steelhead takes leave of Osberne  
XV. Surly John brings a guest to Wethermel
XVI. Hardcastle would seize Wethermel
XVII. Osberne slayeth Hardcastle
XVIII. Osberne tells Elfhild of the killing of Hardcastle
XIX. The winter passes, and Elfhild tells of the death of her kinswoman
XX. Osberne fares to East Cheaping and brings gifts for Elfhild
XXI. Warriors from East Cheaping ride into the Dale
XXII. Osberne takes leave of Elfhild
XXIII. Osberne is chosen captain of the Dalesmen
XXIV. A skirmish with the Baron of Deepdale in the marshes
XXV. Stephen tells of an adventure in the camp of the Foemen
XXVI. They bring the Baron into East Cheaping
XXVII. They parley from the walls
XXVIII. The Baron of Deepdale makes peace
XXIX. Osberne and his men return to Wethermel
XXX. Osberne goes to the trysting-place
XXXI. They meet through autumn and winter
XXXII. Foemen among the West Dalers
XXXIII. Osberne seeks tidings of Elfhild
XXXIV. Osberne sorrows for the loss of Elfhild
XXXV.berne seeks counsel of Steelhead
XXXVI. The staves which Osberne taught to the Dalesmen
XXXVII. Osberne takes leave of Wethermel
XXXVIII. Osberne parts fron Stephen the Eater
XXXIX. Osberne gets him a new master
XL. Osberne rides with Sir Godrick
XLI. They joust with the Knight of the Fish
XLII. They deliver the thorpedwellers from the Black Skinners
XLIII. They come to the edge of the Wood Masterless
XLIV. They reach Longshaw, and Osberne gets him a new name
XLV. The Red Lad scatters the host of the Barons
XLVI. Osberne enters the City of the Sundering Flood
XLVII. The Battle in the Square
XLVIII. Sir Godrick is chosen nBurgreve of the City
XLIX. The Red Lad takes leave of Sir Godrick
L. The Red Lad speaks privily with Sir Godrick
LI. Osberne is beguiled by felons
LII. The meeting of Osberne and Elfhild
LIII. They come to Wethermel, and the Carline begins a tale
LIV. The Blue Knight buys the Maiden of the Chap,am
LV. The Blue Knight talks with the Maiden by the way.
LVI. They come to Brookside
LVII. The Maiden bears tidings of a young champion at Longshaw
LVIII. The Blue Knight and his host leave Brookside
LIX. The Maiden and the Carline flee to the Grey Sisters
LX. They fall in with three Chapmen
LXI. They escape from the Chapmen by the Carline's wizardy
LXII. The Carline endeth her tale
LXIII. Osberne and Elfhild make themselves known to their people
LXIV. The Lip of the Sundering Flood
LXV. A friend at need
LXVI. The Lord of Longshaw gathereth force

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