Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Another New Tolkien Book!

November is going to be a good month for Tolkien fans (Based on Canadian release dates. It looks as though the USA ones are earlier.)! First of all, there's the new Facsimile first edition of The Hobbit - released for the 80th anniversary that I mentioned back in September, and today I found out about this one. Not to forget about the Beren and Luthien book which is coming out in 2017 - and for which I currently cannot find a non-e-book listing!

The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun - J.R.R. TolkienThe Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
J.R.R. Tolkien
Ed. Verlyn Flieger
Release Date: November 3, 2016

The product description:
Unavailable for more than 70 years, this early but important work is published for the first time with Tolkien's 'Corrigan' poems and other supporting material, including a prefatory note by Christopher Tolkien. Set 'In Britain's land beyond the seas' during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the 'Aotrou' and 'Itroun' of the title) and the tragedy that befalls them when Aotrou seeks to remedy their situation with the aid of a magic potion obtained from a corrigan, or malevolent fairy. When the potion succeeds and Itroun bears twins, the corrigan returns seeking her fee, and Aotrou is forced to choose between betraying his marriage and losing his life.
Coming from the darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, together with the two shorter 'Corrigan' poems that lead up to it and which are also included, was the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien's life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic, and particularly Breton, myth and legend. Originally written in 1930 and long out of print, this early but seminal work is an important addition to the non-Middle-earth portion of his canon and should be set alongside Tolkien's other retellings of myth and legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur and The Story of Kullervo. Like these works, it belongs to a small but important corpus of his ventures into 'real-world' mythologies, each of which in its own way would be a formative influence on his own legendarium.
Verlyn Flieger has a reputation as one of the great Tolkien scholars, having written several highly recommended books on the subject as well as more recently editing a number of new editions of Tolkien's books. This is sure to be an interesting one that I'm looking forward to reading.

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