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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in World War I, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of eighty-one.
This is the third volume culled from Tolkien's unpublished manuscripts. Two tales from the Silmarillion the tragedy of Turin Turambar and the epic quest of Beren and Luthienappear in early versions. Turin's story is told in alliterative verse, the other in rhymed couplets. The multiple extant versions of each poem have been painstakingly arranged and synthesized by Tolkien's son Christopher, who has also provided elaborate notes on their relation to previously published works. While the power of Tolkien's central characterstragic, cursed Turin; the lovers Beren and Luthienshines through these poems, they are of interest chiefly in showing the development of a writer's ideas. For comprehensive literature and fantasy collections. Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.