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The Lays of Beleriand (History of Middle-Earth) Hardcover – 20 Nov 1985

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 20 Nov 1985
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (20 Nov. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395394295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395394298
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.9 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,492,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A worthy addition to The History of Middle-earth’ Mallorn

‘Anyone loving the oiginal books will want to study this one’ Daily Mail

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"The power of Tolkien's central characters . . . shines through." Library Journal.
A treasure trove of lore for old and new friends of Middle-earth. Enter now, reader, and learn of the hero of the Lay of Leithian. Hear as well of the early years of Turin the Tall, as he journeys through darkness on his quest to find his father. Read of his rescue by Beleg the Brave, and of the dark destiny that haunts their friendship! Only the genius of Tolkien could create a fantasy more real than reality, a reality more fantastic than fantasy! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is just two poems - unfinished - plus fragments of several more abandoned after a couple of pages, and loads of editorial info on top of that.
Yes, but - this is gorgeous writing. The pain of Túrin is as real and gripping as the 'Silmarillion' account was factual and distant, and the love of Beren and Lúthien shines with the power unrivalled in the rest of Tolkien's writing. And that's saying a lot! The unfinished aspect of the works just serves as a reminder of the difficulty with which work of this magnitude is achieved - as well as the fragility of creative impulse that sustains it.
Rather than despair over what is left unsaid, I find myself turning to this book more often than to 'The Lord of the Rings' - the power and the relative brevity (so that much can be ingested in one sitting - the verse is extremely readable) of the works make me fall instantly in love with them every time!
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By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
The Lays of Beleriand contains 2 partially completed verse tales, the 1st of which – ‘The Lay of the Children of Hurin’ is hampered by it’s reader unfriendly metre, and is no improvement on the prose version as already given in earlier volumes. In contrast ‘The Lay of Leithian’ is an excellent epic poem, and it’s a sad loss that this was never completed, as I feel this would ultimately have been one of Tolkiens most celebrated works. As usual there is a morass of needless editorial minutia concerning changing names, but due to the construction this can be readily skipped.
The ‘History of Middle Earth’ series of books often makes the mistake of presuming that every single unpublished scribbling by this great writer is worthy of publication, but this volume at least contains much that is of genuine quality.
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Format: Paperback
Lays of Beleriand comprises of two long poems. One of them is the alliterative poem Lay of the Children of Húrin, the second one is the octosyllabic poem Lay of Leithien, i.e the story of Beren and Lúthien). Both of them are a valuable addition for a Tolkien reader. There can be found many passages of immense beaty as well as some weaker ones, partly deriving from the fact, that the poems are unfinished and so we have only a glimpse of what could be, if Tolkien had the life-span of a true Dunedain.
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Format: Paperback
This is perhaps one of the greatest passages by Tolkien I have evere read. Though it is an ongoing poem, it is quite easy to read, and yet as power- and beautifull, as it gets. I recommendthis book to ANYONE who has read the Sillmarillion, I think it's save to say, that this poem is among the best ones, ever written in the English language.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tolkien outdid himself with these two long poems. Although never completed, these alliterative verse versions of the "Lay of the Children of Hurin" and "The Lay of Beren and Luthien" are vivid, thrilling and deeply moving. There is little different about these stories from their versions in The Silmarillion, but they are more detailed, and in VERSE. Not only do they make very enjoyable reading, but students of Old, Middle and Early Modern English poetry will be in awe of Tolkiens completely unaffected ability to render his story in alliterative verse, complete with caesura. I was very frustrated not to be able to read complete versions, but the lies of Delu Morgoth live even today, and the ends of these tales are lost in the mists of time...
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Format: Hardcover
Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.

Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.

Vol 1 & 2, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 ( 1983) & 2 (1984). The Book of Lost Tales was written during the 1910s and 1920s. Wikipedia describes it this way: "The framework for the book is that a mortal Man visits the Isle of Tol Eressëa where the Elves live. In the earlier versions of the `Lost Tales' this man is named Eriol, of some vague north European origin, but in later versions he becomes Ælfwine, an Englishman of the Middle-ages."

Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (1985). These are collections of poems, many of them incomplete, written between the 1920s and the late 1940s.

Vol 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986).
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