Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

The Fall of the King

2011
Author:

Johannes V. Jensen
Translated by Alan G. Bower
Afterword by Sven H. Rossel

The Fall of the King

The masterpiece of one of Scandinavia’s preeminent literary figures and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Fall of the King tells the story of Mikkel Thøgersen and the entanglements that bring him into service as a mercenary under King Christian II of Denmark in the early sixteenth century. Twice voted the most important Danish novel of the twentieth century, this book is both an epic depiction of real events and a complex psychological novel.

The Fall of the King recaptures for us with an astonishing vividness the feeling of the period. . . . What lures you to the end is the power of its descriptions; what makes it distinguished at rare moments is the richness of its poetry.

New York Times

Taking place during the first half of the sixteenth century, The Fall of the King tells the story of dreamy, slacking student Mikkel Thøgersen and the entanglements that ultimately bring him into service as a mercenary under King Christian II of Denmark. Moving from the Danish countryside to Stockholm during the execution of Swedish nobility and finally to the imprisonment of Mikkel and Christian, the narrative is a lyrical encapsulation of “the fall”—the fall of country, history, individuals, and nature.

Twice voted as the most important Danish novel of the twentieth century, The Fall of the King is both an epic depiction of real events and a complex psychological novel. Half pure narration, half prose poem, its scenes of brute realism mixed with rhapsodical passages make it a work of artistic genius.

The Fall of the King

Johannes V. Jensen (1873–1950) is widely considered the first great Danish writer of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944.

The Fall of the King

The Fall of the King recaptures for us with an astonishing vividness the feeling of the period. . . . What lures you to the end is the power of its descriptions; what makes it distinguished at rare moments is the richness of its poetry.

New York Times