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The tale of Beren and L#65533;thien 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 L#65533;thien: for Beren was a mortal man, but L#65533;thien 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 L#65533;thien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and L#65533;thien 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 L#65533;thien 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.
Published on the tenth anniversary of the last Middle-earth book, the international bestseller The Children of H#65533;rin , this new volume will similarly include drawings and color plates by Alan Lee, who also illustrated The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and went on to win Academy Awards for his work on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Author Notes

A writer of fantasies, Tolkien, a professor of language and literature at Oxford University, was always intrigued by early English and the imaginative use of language. In his greatest story, the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954--56), Tolkien invented a language with vocabulary, grammar, syntax, even poetry of its own. Though readers have created various possible allegorical interpretations, Tolkien has said: "It is not about anything but itself. (Certainly it has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.)" In The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien tells the story of the "master of wood, water, and hill," a jolly teller of tales and singer of songs, one of the multitude of characters in his romance, saga, epic, or fairy tales about his country of the Hobbits.

Tolkien was also a formidable medieval scholar, as evidenced by his work, Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics (1936) and his edition of Anciene Wisse: English Text of the Anciene Riwle.

Among his works published posthumously, are The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur, which was edited by his son, Christopher.

In 2013, his title, The\Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography) J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", & "The Silmarillion", was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Editor Christopher Tolkien successfully aims this latest version of Beren and Lúthien's tale at two distinct audiences. This hybrid volume serves both as an introduction to a moving love story from the First Age of Middle Earth for fans who are not familiar with The Silmarillion and as a scholarly look at how Christopher's father altered the tale over the years. Those in the first category should skip the spoiler-filled preface and go straight to the original version, which describes the love of the mortal Beren and the royal elf-maiden Lúthien. Lúthien's father agrees to their marriage, but only if Beren retrieves a Silmaril jewel from the crown of Melko, the dark god who preceded Sauron as the embodiment of evil in Middle Earth. Despite that familiar fairy-tale setup, Lúthien herself plays an active part in the adventure. The prose isn't always the elder Tolkien's most polished, but the story works as a stand-alone tale. Those who have encountered it before will find that Christopher enhances their appreciation of it through his accessible illumination of how it evolved over the years. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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