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inkfish9 10/20/16 :: 3:42pm

inkfish9 10/20/16 :: 3:42pm
JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth love story to be published next year

JRR Tolkiens legend of the mortal man Beren and the immortal elf Lúthien a story that meant so much to the Lord of the Rings author that the characters names are engraved on the headstone shared by him and his wife is to be published next year.

The Middle-earth tale tells of the love between the mortal man and the immortal elf. Lúthiens father, an Elvish lord, is against their relationship, and so gives Beren an impossible task to fulfil before the two can be married, said HarperCollins, which will publish Beren and Lúthien next May. The pair then go on to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril, or jewel.

Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that came down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien, writes Tolkien in his major work, The Silmarillion. The authors wife, Edith, has the name Lúthien on her grave, while Tolkien himself, who died two years later in 1973, has Berens.

The story was written in 1917 after Tolkien returned from the Somme, where he had served as a signaller. It is an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, said the publisher, and the forthcoming book is the authors son Christopher Tolkiens attempt to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded.

That story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history, said the publisher. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, [Christopher Tolkien] has told the story in his fathers 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.

The texts about the legend are presented together for the first time, said HarperCollins, and reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

Beren and Lúthien, edited by Christopher Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee, will be released on the 10th anniversary of the publication of The Children of Húrin. That book was started in 1917-18 by Tolkien, who kept working on versions of it over the next three decades. It was restored by his son and went on to become a bestseller.

Although no further Middle-earth titles have been published since The Children of Húrin, a host of previously unpublished works by The Lord of the Rings author have been released, from his retelling of a Finnish legend, The Story of Kullervo, to his poem The Fall of Arthur and his translation of the 11th-century Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.


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10/20/16 :: 4:03pm
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inkfish9 10/20/16 :: 4:13pm
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Since it was first written in 1917, Tolkien re-wrote the story in several forms, including as The Lay of Lúthien, a long poem in rhyming couplets. One version of this story is told to the hobbits by Aragorn the ranger in the first Lord of the Rings novel, The Fellowship of the Ring, while another version appears in the first chapter of Tolkien's The Silmarillion.

The new book, edited by Christopher Tolkien, will open with earliest version of the tale, a short story called the Tale of Tinúviel, as well as featuring passages from later versions, and illustrations by Alan Lee.

In addition to the version that first appeared in the 12-volume The History of Middle-Earth series, the new book will feature passages from various different iterations alongside illustrations by Alan Lee.

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