Much to the delight of fans, a brand new novel from The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien was released on Thursday. Edited by his son Christopher, the novel was released 100 years after the story was originally written by Tolkien and contains a very personal story to the author.
The name of the book is Beren and Lúthien and it tells the story of lovers Beren, a mortal man and Lúthien, an immortal elf who together try to steal from the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor. The names of the characters will certainly sound familiar to anyone who has read The Silmarillion and, the new story brings readers back to the world of Middle Earth.
According to BBC, Tolkien wrote the story when he returned from the Battle of the Somme. He wrote the story as a means of therapy and to grieve over the loss of friends and atrocities he witnessed within the battle.
Tolkien specialist John Garth, told BBC of how Tolkien used writing like an exorcism of sorts to help overcome the horrible images and experiences he had from the trenches of World War I:
“When he came back from the trenches, with trench fever, he spent the winter [of 1916-1917] convalescing. He’d lost two of his dearest friends on the Somme and you can imagine he must have been inside as much of a wreck as he was physically.”
Writing this novel helped him manage and deal with all that he saw. Also, his wife Edith helped him a great deal. Garth tells of a story where Edith was on a walk and danced within a field of white flowers. According to Garth, this moment brought Tolkien so much joy, which he had never thought he would experience again, that this event became a pivotal moment within Beren and Lúthien.
Tolkien’s connection to the characters within this story must have been deep since, as BBC points out, the names Beren and Lúthien are engraved on the tombstone which Tolkien and his wife share.
We are sure true Tolkien fans will LOVE this love story. The book was published through HarperCollins and includes illustrations by Alan Lee who won an Academy Award for his work on the Lord of the Rings films.
What do you think of a brand new Tolkien story being released 100 years after it was originally written? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
— HarperCollinsUK (@HarperCollinsUK) October 19, 2016