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 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.
It is a peculiarly British slice of history that our greatest works of fantasy should have emerged from a group of academics sitting in a smoke-filled local pub. The group was, of course, the Inklings and the pub was the Eagle and Child (known colloquially as the Bird and Baby) in Oxford. The group included the bard of myth and children’s fable Roger Lancelyn Green, the creator of Narnia, C.S. Lewis and, perhaps most famously of all, the Lord of Middle Earth himself, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Find out more about the mythical worlds of Middle Earth on our J.R.R Tolkien page.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 228 x 149 x 33 mm
Praise for The Children of Hurin:
'I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology'
Independent on Sunday
'The darkest of all Tolkien's tales. Alan Lee's illustrations complement the writing splendidly'
Times Literary Supplement
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