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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Fall of Arthur by JRR Tolkien


Jan 27 2013, 3:25am

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The Fall of Arthur by JRR Tolkien Can't Post

In anticipation of the publication of Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur on May 23, 2013, I wanted to share the description of the "deluxe edition" posted at Amazon, and possibly get some early impressions and comments.

The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the extraordinary story of the final days of England's legendary hero, King Arthur. The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur's expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere's flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur's return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle. Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him 'You simply must finish it!' But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that 'he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur'; but that day never came. Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.

I thought the highlighted part at the end would be of particular interest to many here.

Kindly visit listings at:

- amazon.com;
- goodreads.com; and especially
- tolkiengateway.net.

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jan 27 2013, 3:33am)

Subject User Time
The Fall of Arthur by JRR Tolkien SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jan 27 2013, 3:25am
    Arthur, we never knew ye squire Send a private message to squire Jan 27 2013, 6:07am
    There's an entire book devoted to the idea that Arthuriana underlies Tolkien's legendarium. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jan 27 2013, 6:53am
        Quite SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jan 27 2013, 10:53pm
    Well well Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Jan 27 2013, 9:10pm
        What Radagast-Aiwendil said Fredeghar Wayfarer Send a private message to Fredeghar Wayfarer Jan 28 2013, 10:23pm
            Just a thought, but if we are to imagine the intersection Eruonen Send a private message to Eruonen Jan 30 2013, 8:00pm
            I nominate you to finish the poem. SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Feb 1 2013, 4:34pm
    is it in Old English?// elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Jan 28 2013, 3:46pm
        Not according to the link NEB posted SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jan 28 2013, 6:02pm
            "His bed was barren; there black phantoms" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jan 29 2013, 6:46am
                Sometimes I look at stuff I wrote yesterday SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jan 29 2013, 3:09pm


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