Beren and Lúthien

Beren and Lúthien

Book - 2017
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"Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Luthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien's Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Luthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year. Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Luthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Luthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Luthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Luthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril. In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Luthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost"--From publisher.
Publisher: London :, HarperCollins,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780008214197
0008214190
Branch Call Number: F TOL NVD
Characteristics: 288 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Lee, Alan
Tolkien, Christopher
Alternative Title: Beren & Lúthien

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AL_JOSHUAS Jan 16, 2018

Its a delight to see how the myth evolved and changed over time as Tolkien built up the world of Middle Earth around Beren and Luthien over the years. Christopher collects the writings of his father in a wonderful way with great commentary. A must read for Tolkien lovers.

c
claralex800
Aug 21, 2017

This book reminded me of how every myth has multiple versions. It retells the story several times but every retelling is different (the one with the giant cats is my personal favourite). It keeps things interesting, and calls back to how (it is said that) Tolkien was creating a mythology for England. Reading this book outside probably helped me to enjoy it. Once I was inside I just couldn't be bothered reading the last section. I've had enough poetry this summer, thanks.
The illustrations were beautiful though. The last one is my favourite.

I was initially skeptical of this release as the tale of Beren and Luthien is told quite fully in The Silmarillion. But, thankfully, all my fears were proved wrong. This volume refrains from copying and pasting from The Silmarillion by featuring a prose version of the tale in the draft process. This excerpt is delightful, as it is told in a folklore-like style with a wry sense of humor that differs from the epic style of the Silmarillion (hint: some giant cats get in Huan's way!).
But the real gem of this volume is the verse form of the tale of Beren and Luthien. Told in cantos, this poetry is unspeakably beautiful. Reading it aloud, I found myself moved to tears by the sheer beauty of many passages.
As an added joy, the pictures by Tolkien icon Alan Lee do not disappoint.

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