The Children of Húrin by J R R Tolkien (Edited by Christopher Tolkien with illustrations by Alan Lee) - review by Hugh Cecil

Hugh Cecil

A Myth Reborn

The Children of Húrin

By

HarperCollins 320pp £18.99 order from our bookshop
 

The appearance of a new work by J R R Tolkien is a major literary event. It is true that the same dark story, of the ill-starred Túrin Turambar, has appeared before, in different fragments, as part of the corpus of Tolkien’s posthumously published writings, edited by his son Christopher over the past thirty years; but this does not diminish the significance of the new book, which offers, to a larger readership, a free-standing and uninterrupted narrative, pruned of footnotes and commentaries. 

Christopher Tolkien rightly believes that many enthusiasts of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, deterred by the plethora of scholarly textual editions in recent years, have missed out on work at the heart of his father’s imagination. By reinstating passages excised from earlier published versions, by the (minimal)

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