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 The Erl King


2 1/2" x 1 7/8", 60 pages, 19 illustrations
Published in an edition of  20

A story has it that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, late one night, saw a dark figure riding at great speed with a large bundle in its arms. The next day Goethe learned that he had seen a farmer taking his sick son to the doctor. This incident is said to have been the main inspiration for the poem, one of Goethe's most famous.

The Erl King tells the legend of the Erl (or Alder) King and his daughter, who tempt or steal away travelers in the woods. This Scandinavian legend came to Germany in Johann Gottfried von Herder's 1778 book of ballads Stimmen der Volker in Leidern, and was adapted, not only by Goethe, but by Schubert in his famous lied for solo voice and piano of 1815.

This book contains Goethe's poem, accompanied by illustrations taken from the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, a German Romantic painter and a contemporary of Goethe's. I've also included a version of the original ballad Sir Olaf He Rides, translated by George Borrow.

The book is printed on Kelly Digital Color Copy paper and is half-bound in woodgrain printed lokta paper and brown kidskin.


This product was added to our catalog October 3, 2012
$75.00