JRR Tolkien book Beren and Lúthien published after 100 years
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JRR Tolkien book Beren and Lúthien published after 100 years
JRR Tolkien book Beren and Lúthien published after 100 years

A new book by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is going on sale - 100 years after it was first conceived.

[...]

It is being published on Thursday by HarperCollins on the 10th anniversary of the last Middle Earth book, The Children of Húrin.

Tolkien specialist John Garth, who wrote Tolkien And The Great War, said the Hobbit author used his writing like an "exorcism" of the horrors he witnessed in World War One.

He said: "When he came back from the trenches, with trench fever, he spent the winter [of 1916-1917] convalescing.

"He'd lost two of his dearest friends on the Somme and you can imagine he must have been inside as much of a wreck as he was physically."

Mr Garth said on a walk in an East Yorkshire wood Tolkien's wife Edith danced in a glade filled with white flowers, which became the key scene in Beren and Lúthien.

He said: "Mr Tolkien felt the kind of joy he must have felt at times he would never feel again."

The names Beren and Lúthien are carved on the gravestone Tolkien and his wife share in Wolvercote cemetery in Oxford.

The story is about the fate of lovers Beren and Lúthien, a mortal man and an immortal elf who together try to steal from the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor.

For the new book Christopher Tolkien, now aged 92, has kept his father's story in the original form in which it was written and has also shown how the narrative changed to become part of The Silmarillion.



Beren and Lúthien on the official Tolkien online book shop

The tale of Beren and Lúthien 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 Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien 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 Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien 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 Lúthien 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.
2017 Jun 01 13:15
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