HarperCollins has signed world rights for the literary work of Eric Rücker Eddison, often acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of modern fantasy.
E R Edison was born in 1882 and a close friend of Arthur Ransome, and wrote six books before his death in 1945, including 1922's The Worm Ouroboros and the subsequent Zimiamvia trilogy.
David Brawn, publisher of estates at HarperCollins, said: "When Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros was published in 1922, no one quite knew what to make of it. The fantasy genre that we know today was barely in its infancy, and the sheer scope of the world Eddison had invented, with dark intrigue and outlandish violence, inspired other authors to indulge in literary world-building. Like Tolkien and C S Lewis, Eddison drew on ancient sagas and mythology for inspiration – he produced an acclaimed translation of the seminal Nordic Egil’s Saga in 1930 – and his legacy is probably greater than the small number of books he published."
J R R Tolkein called Eddison: "The greatest and most convincing writer of invented worlds that I have read."
Eddison's granddaughter Anne Higson said: "Our family is delighted that HarperCollins is reissuing these books for a new generation."
The Worm Ouroboros and its three sequels, Mistress of Mistesses, A Fish Dinner in Memison, and the posthumous The Mezentian Gate will be published as paperbacks and e-books on 9th October, the first time in more than 40 years that all four will be available in the UK. The books will feature cover art by John Howe.
HarperCollins will also publish Eddison's first book, Poems, Letters and Memories of Philip Sidney Nairn on 14th August, and his translation of Egil's Saga on 11th September, the first time either book has been published in paperback.