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The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur's expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere's flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur's return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle. Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, "You simply must finish it!" But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he "hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur," but that day never came. Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and significant tantalizing notes. In these notes can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.
This deluxe hardcover edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic prelude to his Lord of the Rings trilogy contains a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien's own drawings and full-color illustrations, including the rare "Mirkwood" piece. J.R.R. Tolkien's own description for the original edition: "If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) -- if you do not already know all about these things -- much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise."
The tales of The Silmarillion were the inspiration of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing; he worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to a final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, "The History of the Silmarils," the three great jewels created by FÃ«anor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them and set them in his crown, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. This is the history of the rebellion of FÃ«anor and his people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all the heroism of Elves and Men, against the great Enemy. The book includes several other, shorter works besides The Silmarillion. Preceding it are "AinulindalÃ«," the myth of Creation, and "Valaquenta," in which the nature and powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is "AkallabÃªth," the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of NÃºmenor at the end of the Second Age; completing the volume is "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion. The revised and corrected "second edition" text and, by way of introduction, a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, which provides a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages are also included. Serious efforts have been made to make all of the elements in this book accessable to readers who use braille, audio and print. Before the body of the book begins there is a 5 page insert with a list of accented words and a simple key enabling braille readers to distinguish the acute, umlaut and circumflex accents. As accented words are encountered, readers can refer to this list to identify the specific accents they contain. The five geneaological charts and the chart illustrating the divisions of the two major groups of Elves have been described. The notes on pronunciation, Index of Names and Appendix have been included and carefully formatted.
Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version of the great legend of Northern antiquity, recounted here in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún. In the Lay of the Völsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fáfnir, most celebrated of dragons; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild, who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy, and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrún his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrún. The Lay of Gudrún recounts her fate after the death of Sigurd, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers, and her hideous revenge.
Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was one of the 20th century's most prolific letter writers. Over the years he wrote a mass of correspondence - to his publishers, his family, friends and fans of his books - which records the history and composition of his works and his reaction to subsequent events. By turns thoughtful, impish, scholarly, impassioned, playful, vigorous, and gentle, Tolkien poured his heart and mind into a great stream of letters to intimate friends and unknown admirers all over the world. From this collection one sees a mind of immense complexity and many layers - artistic, religious, charmingly eccentric, sentimental, and ultimately brilliant.
The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916-17 when he was twenty-five years old and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend and English association, they are set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriel (or Elfwine) to Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, where Elves dwelt; from them he learned their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. In the Tales are found the earliest accounts and original ideas of Gods and Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs, and Orcs; of the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; of Nargothrond and Gondolin; of the geography and cosmography of the invented world. These views of Tolkien's original visions of the beginning of time and first ages of his invented universe are fascinating and vary in countless ways from the Silmarillion. The poetry is charming and has a certain innocence. Through Christopher Tolkien's extensive notes, appendix and Index, the evolution of J. R. R. Tolkien's plots, characters and languages can be traced through alterations both minor and massive. Every effort has been made to preserve the formatting of text and poetry and to include all of the accents as they appear in the book. The validator has described 2 unique maps drawn by J. R. R. Tolkien which are analyzed in detail by his son. This book is a scholarly, textbook-like recording of Tolkien's unpublished notes with lengthy analysis by his son after each section. The appendix and index are 51 pages long. This book will be a reliable resource for any Tolkien reader or student interested in understanding his languages exactly as he wrote them.
The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916-17 when he was twenty-five years old and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for these tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend, they are set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriol (or AElfwine) to Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle, where elves dwelt; from him they learned their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. In these Tales are found the earliest accounts and original ideas of Gods and Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs, and Orcs; of the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; of Nargothrond and Gondolin; of the geography and cosmology of Middle-earth. Volume One contains the tales of The Music of the Ainur, The Building of valinor, The Chaining of Melko, The coming of the Elves and The Flight of the Noldoli, among others. Each tale is followed by a short essay by Christopher Tolkien, the author's son and literary executor.
The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J. R R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. It is published in two volumes. The first contains the Tales of Valinor, and this second part includes Beren and Lúthien, Túrin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin. Tolkien's stories may be read alone as exotic, heroic, wondrous adventures. Each tale is followed by a commentary, together with associated poems, and each volume contains extensive information on names and vocabulary of the earliest Elvish languages. Through Christopher Tolkien's extensive notes, appendices and Index, the evolution of J. R. R. Tolkien's plots, characters and languages can be traced through alterations both minor and massive. Every effort has been made to preserve the formatting of text and poetry and to include all of the accents as they appear in the book. A list of accented words identifying each accents specifically is provided by the validator for braille readers. Taken as a whole, this is a scholarly, textbook-like recording of Tolkien's unpublished stories with lengthy analysis by his son after each section. The appendix and index are 51 pages long and are included. This book will be a reliable resource for any Tolkien reader or student interested in great fantasy stories and understanding his languages and themes exactly as he developed them.
[from the book jacket] This is the third volume of the History of Middle-earth, which comprises heretofore unpublished manuscripts that were written over a period of many years before Tolkien's Silmarillion was published. Volumes 1 and 2 were The Book of Lost Tales, Part One and The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two. Together, these volumes encompass an extraordinarily extensive body of material ornamenting and buttressing what must be the most fully realized world ever to spring from a single author's imagination. "I write alliterative verse with pleasure," wrote J. R. R. Tolkien in 1955, "though I have published little beyond the fragments in The Lord of the Rings, except The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth." The first of the poems in The Lays of Beleriand is the previously unpublished Lay of the Children of Hurin, his early but most sustained work in the ancient English meter, intended to narrate on a grand scale the tragedy of Turin Turambar. It was left incomplete but includes a powerful account of the killing by Turin of his friend Beleg, as well as a unique description of the great redoubt of Nargothrond. The Lay of the Children of Hurin was supplanted by the Lay of Leithian, "Release from Bondage," in which another major legend of the Elder Days received poetic form, in this case in rhyme. The chief source of the short prose tale of Beren and Luthien is The Silmarillion. This, too, was not completed, but the whole Quest of the Silmaril is told, and the poem breaks off only after the encounter with Morgoth in his subterranean fortress. Many years later, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, J. R. R. Tolkien returned to the Lay of Leithian and started on a new version, which is also given in this book. Accompanying the poems are commentaries on the evolution of the history of the Elder Days, which was much developed during the years of the composition of the two Lays. Also included is the notable criticism in detail of the Lay of Leithian by C. S. Lewis, Tolkien's friend and colleague, who read the poem in 1929. By assuming that this poem is actually a fragment from a past lost in history, Lewis underlined the remarkable power of its author's imaginative talents and academic competence. Before the Contents is a list of the accented words in the text with a key enabling braille readers to identify the specific accents.
The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R.Tolkien since the 1977 publication of The Silmarillion. Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth. The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair. But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, and with his grim band of outlaws begins to turn the tide in the war for Middle-earth -- awaiting the day he confronts his destiny and the deadly curse laid upon him.The paperback edition of The Children of Húrin includes eight color paintings by Alan Lee and a black-and-white map.
There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but that were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.
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