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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.
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?
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.
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...
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...
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.