The Ballad of the White Horse

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Ignatius Press, 2001 - Religion - 280 pages
3 Reviews

The Ballad of the White Horse is one of the last great epic poems in the English language. On the one hand it describes King Alfred’s battle against the Danes in 878. On the other hand it is a timeless allegory about the ongoing battle between Christianity and the forces of nihilistic heathenism. Filled with colorful characters, thrilling battles and mystical visions, it is as lively as it is profound.

Chesterton incorporates brilliant imagination, atmosphere, moral concern, chronological continuity, wisdom and fancy. He makes his stanzas reverberate with sound, and hurries his readers into the heart of the battle.

This deluxe volume is the definitive edition of the poem. It exactly reproduces the 1928 edition with Robert Austin’s beautiful woodcuts, and includes a thorough introduction and wonderful endnotes by Sister Bernadette Sheridan, from her 60 years researching the poem. Illustrated.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Amelia_Smith - LibraryThing

Epic poetry is hard, especially for those of us who don't come from a strong oral storytelling tradition. The opening and closing chapters were strong, but in the middle I kind of struggled to keep ... Read full review

Review: The Ballad of the White Horse

User Review  - Jed - Goodreads

Pretty pretty good. Makes Chesterton even more of an enigma from my standpoint, because the whole flow of the poem went pretty well. Good, healthy Romanticism. Some awesome lines. Enjoyable. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
ix
UNITIES OF TIME AND PLACE
xxxii
PREFATORY NOTE TO FIRST EDITION
xxxiii
DEDICATION
xxxix
THE VISION OF THE KING
2
THE GATHERING OF THE CHIEFS
20
THE HARP OF ALFRED
40
THE WOMAN IN THE FOREST
66
ETHANDUNE THE FIRST STROKE
86
ETHANDUNE THE SLAYING OF THE CHIEFS
106
ETHANDUNE THE LAST CHARGE
126
THE SCOURING OF THE HORSE
152
DOCUMENTATION AND ABBREVIATIONS
175
ENDNOTES
176
REFERENCES
225
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He began his education at St Paul's School, and later went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are The Man Who Was Thursday, a metaphysical thriller, and The Everlasting Man, a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics. Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown." Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62.

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