The Children of Húrin

Synopsis
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien. 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 which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.
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In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire.
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Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Turin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled.
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The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

The first edition of The Children of Húrin is illustrated by Alan Lee, who was already well-known for his Tolkien illustrations in previous editions as well as his classic collaboration with Brian Froud, Faeries, and his Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Black Ships Before Troy, before his Oscar-winning work as conceptual designer for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy brought him even greater acclaim. Here's a quick glimpse of one of Lee's interior illustrations for The Children of Húrin.

[From http://www.amazon.com/]

2 comments:

MisterDavid said...

'He couldn't bring it to a final and completed form'

- or maybe he wouldn't complete it, if you go with the Leaf by Niggle stream of psychoanalysis.

And then he had his journey to make ...

Have you read it yet?

Anonymous said...

I read it. I am not a scholar. I came to Tolkien thorugh Lewis. I read that the Aneid was one of Lewsis' favorite books. So it seemed to make sense to read the Illiad and the Odessey before the Aneid.

After this I read Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion.

I know that much of the "Children of Hurin" was in the Silmarillion. I don't care.

For me, Children of Hurin was an achingly beautiful book. The last page nearly brought me to tears.