Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rating : 3.0/5
Number of Pages : 393
Series : #3 Histories of Middle Earth
Format : Mixture of Fantasy and Non-Fiction
Reason for Reading : My love of all things Middle Earth

An insight into how the Lays of Beleriand were written and evolved. This is primarily a look at the Lay of the Children of Hurin about Turin andthe Lay of Lethian about Beren and Luthien. It also adds some of the early poems "The Flight of the Noldoli", "Fragment of an Alliterative Lay of Earendel" and "The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin".

One of the most interesting sections of this collection of writings is the commentary of CS Lewis concerning the Lay of Lethian. It is annotated to show which comments Tolkien used and changed his writing accordingly in alter drafts (or made a note to change it but never got around to it). Lewis pretends to treat the Lay as an ancient and annoymous work and adds comments from 19th centuary scholars which takes the sting from some of his sharper comments and judgements. There is also some great praise for some of the passages.

Overall this makes an interesting addition to the series and sees the stories evolving from The Book of Lost Tales II.

3 comments:

Kailana said...

I have been planning to read this series for years and never got around to it... No surprise there! I should dig out book one and try and make it a reality this year.

Kailana said...
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Elena said...

If I remember my read of this (from a few years ago), I found Lewis's comments to be one of the best parts.