Beren and Luthien

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Beren and Luthien

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Jun. 2, 2017, 9:16pm

Released June 1

Jun. 3, 2017, 8:40am

Yeesh, the slipcased deluxe edition is $180 at Amazon or £75 at Amazon UK...

Jun. 3, 2017, 2:13pm

I posted this elsewhere, so hope I can be forgiven for repeating myself:

I'm going to read the book in a couple of weeks, in all probability, due to other commitments - though I still had to rush out and buy it as soon as it came into stock! Nevertheless, I have read Christopher Tolkien's introduction, in which he makes some interesting comments.

Firstly, there is no new material in this book but, as Christopher Tolkien says, this is the first time all the versions of the Beren and Lúthien story have been gathered together in one place, so it does make it easier to appreciate the way J.R.R. developed his ideas.

Out of the deeply interconnected narrative of The Silmarillion, J.R.R. told his publisher that three stories could be abstracted without the need for the reader to know the whole history of the First and Second Ages of Middle-earth. We had The Children of Húrin ten years ago, now Beren and Luthien. So it seems in accordance with his father's wish (or, at least, his conception) that the story should be presented to us as a separate volume. Whether that's enough of a reason to spend hard-earned money on words you may already have is for each of us to decide (though if you're reading this, that decision has probably already been made in the affirmative).

The third story Professor Tolkien mentioned was The Fall of Gondolin. Christopher Tolkien makes the poignant observation that, being in his ninety-third year, Beren and Luthien is likely to be the last book upon which he works. I suspect, however, that with the appetite for Tolkien's legendarium growing stronger, another editor will be found for The Fall of Gondolin in due course.

Christopher kindly shares a memory of his father telling him stories from The Silmarillion, and specifically of Beren and Lúthien, and if, sadly, these are to be the last of his words that we read, how fitting that he leaves us with such a warm and comforting image, of the father and son enjoying time together in love and fellowship.

Jun. 3, 2017, 2:42pm

Bearbeitet: Jun. 3, 2017, 10:13pm

>4 Michael.Rimmer:
Doesn't Christoher have a Tolkien nephew who has latterly been helping him. Perhaps he can take the baton and do The Fall of Gondolin.

If I recall, as it stands in Book of Lost Tales II, Fall of Gondolin is more or less complete in itself. But I think some of the Unfinished Tales lead up to it?

Jun. 3, 2017, 5:49pm

I'm not sure - I assume it's not his son, Simon Tolkien (who obviousness isn't his nephew!), as despite their later reconciliation, I doubt Christopher T would trust his film-approving offspring with Tolkien Snr's legacy. Could it be Tim Tolkien?

Jun. 6, 2017, 9:50pm

Yea, I deemed the price a tad too much. I have several deluxe Tolkien editions, but I couldn't justify to the wife my (as she jokes) "need" for another. I just finished/enjoyed a regular edition of the 'Beren and Luthien' compilation, but of course it is by now comfortable territory for me, like putting on comfortable shoes. Oddly, I think these later tomes may become the catalysts to ensnare potential readers of the HOME, like sips of Scotch, a morsel of Limburger Cheese, or sticking one's toe in the ocean to see if you are ready to take the plunge. At least I hope so, I'm ready to dive in there again very soon.

p.s. Before I go HOME again I'm working on a bucket list reading mission: I'm reading 'Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare,' and after each chapter reading the play he just discussed. That's several pounds of reading, literally :) I take a break now and then to read other things, but I'm getting there.

Jun. 6, 2017, 10:16pm

>7 Michael.Rimmer: Found this on the webs:

" When CT passes, it may be the case that Adam Tolkien (who helped a lot with the publication of The Children of Hurin) takes over the main running of the Estate "

Jun. 7, 2017, 2:53am

>9 Crypto-Willobie: Makes more sense :-)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 7, 2017, 9:45am

B&L typo...

At the bottom of p. 21, one phrase of the final sentence reads

"...when Morgoth turned into..."

but must correctly read either
"...which Morgoth turned into..."

"...when Morgoth turned it into..."

unless he's claiming that Morgoth himself turned into a region...


Jun. 19, 2017, 12:19pm

I think the price they are selling the slipcase deluxe edition for is too high. I have purchased all of Tolkien's titles in the slipcase deluxe editions and I have never paid over $100 for them. I'm curious as to why they are charging so much for Beren and Luthien? I am going to just purchase the hardcover for less than $20 this week and wait for the deluxe slipcase edition to go down in price.

Jun. 19, 2017, 11:02pm

Only remotely connected to Beren & Luthien but it does touch on one of their descendants...

Elrond Half-Elven was not half-elven. He was 9/16 Elven (and 3/8 (6/16) human and 1/16 Maian). Not as catchy though...

Jun. 20, 2017, 9:27am

I read Beren and Luthien over the weekend. While I've read HoME and the canonical books many times, I found B&L to be a pleasant compilation of the B&L-related bits from HoME. The book doesn't pretend to be anything that it's not, and the primary source texts take center-stage (which is sometimes not the case in HoME). I found the extracts from the Lay of Leithian (with which I was already familiar, of course) to be particularly moving in their new setting in B&L; in The Lays of Beleriand the verse can sometimes seem swallowed up in the editorial apparatus. There's a sense in which the book feels like it was a favor being done to Christopher Tolkien, who wished to leave one last memorial to his father (parents), but I think the book works as a book. I'll return to it, definitely.

Jun. 20, 2017, 10:35am

>14 jfclark:

Any comments on the Lee illustrations? I've assumed there are internal as well as cover illustration, similar to Children of Hurin but I've not bothered to look it up online -- preferring this readerly thread.

Nov. 12, 2017, 3:12pm

>15 elenchus: All a matter of taste, of course, but if you like Lee's work generally, then no reason you wouldn't like these. For me, he often seems a bit washed out, and this is particularly so in the first illustration of Luthien in the moonlight. I know it's supposed to be ethereal, but I would like to be able to make out the subject without squinting (though maybe that's just my failing eyesight).

Nov. 14, 2017, 11:09am

>17 Tolkienfan: I agree with you on the washed out look of the illustrations and wish they had more color and richness.

Nov. 15, 2017, 5:43am

>18 Michael.Rimmer: Looking again at Lee's illustrations for B&L, most of them are, actually, quite solid. I think I was so miffed at the first overly-ethereal one that I'd got that criticism stuck in my head. The only other one that's kind of washed out is the one of Gorlim facing page 96, but that, I think, works really well against the solid blackness of the roosting ravens.