Beren and Lúthien is one of Tolkien’s oldest stories. A tale of tragic love, the story appears many times throughout Tolkien's histories of Middle-earth.
First developed in 1917, Tolkien published the first version of Beren and Lúthien shortly after returning home from fighting in World War I. The story was an essential element in Tolkien’s development of Middle-earth histories and mythology, going through several renditions throughout his lifetime. First appearing in The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien began re-shaping the story in to an epic poem, but never finished all seventeen of the planned cantos. The tale later appeared in prose form in The Silmarillion and is recounted by the character Aragorn in The Fellowship of the Ring.
Throughout its various renditions, the heart of the story always remains the same: Beren, a mortal man, falls madly in love with Lúthien, an Elven princess. Her father, a powerful Elven King, disapproves of Beren and sets him an impossible task to complete before he will give his blessing to wed his daughter. Together, Beren and Lúthien set out upon a task to steal away a Silmaril from Morgoth, the greatest evil the world has ever known
Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien, has edited his father’s writings of this epic tale and compiled them as one continues story for the first time. Illustrated by Alan Lee, who also worked as a concept artist on The Lord of the Rings films, directed by Peter Jackson, this volume is a beautiful work of one of Tolkien’s most memorable and heartbreaking stories.
Beren and Lúthien will be released on June 1, 2017.