Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Rating : 3.5/5
Number of Pages : 385
Series : #2 The Histories of Middle Earth
Format : Mixture of Fantasy and Non-Fiction
Reason for Reading : My love of all things Middle Earth

The second part of the tales written by JRR Tolkien between 1916 and 1920. Again they are lovingly annotated by his son Christopher Tolkien. They include the earliest tellings of Tinuviel (Beren and Luthien), Turambar (Turin and the Dragon), the Fall of Gondolin and the Nauglfring (the Necklace of the Dwarves). Also included are the notes and poetry of Tolkien concerning Earendel and Eriol of AElfwine who is the central character listening to all of the tales in the Cottage of Lost Play in books one and two.

This is another great collection and a must for all Tolkien fans. The extended versions of Gondolin and the Nauglfring are the only full versions in existence (later drafts contain much condensed versions). It was really interesting to see how the tales evolved as Tolkien kept re-drafting for example in the tale of Tinuviel one of the main protagonists is an evil Prince of Cats and in the final version it was Sauron. It's amazing to see how much of the early mythology nd ideas Tolkien had written by the time he was 25.

My favourite tle was of Turin. It's such a sad tale and really moving. I do also like Beren and I am looking forward to the third book in the series whcih continues with both characters. This volume also sees the first appearance of one Legolas Greenleaf and it was interesting to read that Tolkien didn't approve of airy fairy paintings of the elf. He was supposed to have been quite substantial, fierce and strong with great stamina.

2 comments:

mariel said...

I've always wanted to read more about the tale of Luthien and Beren. I really should make a start on these!

I like that Legolas is a tough elf not a airy fairy one prancing about! Having said that, I quite like the way Orlando Bloom played him (ick!), elegant but tough and certainly not human physically or emotionally. It has been a while since I read some Tolkien! Nice review!

Nymeth said...

One day I'll read these. I don't know why I never went beyond LOTR and The Hobbit with Tolkien, considering how much I love those books.