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The Fall of Gondolin - J R R Tolkien

The Fall of Gondolin

By: J R R Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor), Alan Lee (Illustrator)

Hardcover Published: 30th August 2018
ISBN: 9780008302757
Number Of Pages: 304

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In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo's desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo's designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon's daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Tuor and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same 'history in sequence' mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world' and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three 'Great Tales' of the Elder Days.

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For serious Tolkien fans only

3

This book will probably appeal mainly to serious Tolkien fans. It presents three different versions of the story The Fall Of Gondolin, one of which is complete but written in a very 'old world literary' style that I found hard going, and another of which is easier to read, more verbose, but incomplete. The book also includes a lot of commentary from Christopher Tolkien about the various versions, the reasons behind the final one being unfinished, as well as some other related works.

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The Fall of Gondolin

3.0 1

100.0

`Never did [Tolkien] write a more sustained account of battle. With dragons and fiery balrogs galore, the attack on Gondolin makes Peter Jackson's souped-up cinema battles look like tabletop games.'
The Times

`The text is rife with references to characters and creatures that come to play a role in The Lord of the Rings... one passage in particular seems to set up one of the most famous scenes from the LOTR trilogy.'
Time

`It's a load-bearing pillar in the grander narrative that eventually came to encompass better-known works. Tolkien explicitly expressed his wish later in life that the three Great Tales of Middle-earth's early days - The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, and The Fall of Gondolin - along with The Lord of the Rings and other writings, should be considered as "one long Saga of the Jewels and the Rings".'
Entertainment Weekly

ISBN: 9780008302757
ISBN-10: 0008302758
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 30th August 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.1  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.58

J.R.R. Tolkien


About the Author


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father's death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.

His mother died when he was only twelve and both he and his brother were made wards of the local priest and sent to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where Tolkien shone in his classical work. After completing a First in English Language and Literature at Oxford, Tolkien married Edith Bratt. He was also commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought in the battle of the Somme. After the war, he obtained a post on the New English Dictionary and began to write the mythological and legendary cycle which he originally called The Book of Lost Tales but which eventually became known as The Silmarillion.

In 1920 Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds which was the beginning of a distinguished academic career culminating with his election as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. Meanwhile Tolkien wrote for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit. It was his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who asked for a sequel to The Hobbit and gradually Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, a huge story that took twelve years to complete and which was not published until Tolkien was approaching retirement. After retirement Tolkien and his wife lived near Oxford, but then moved to Bournemouth. Tolkien returned to Oxford after his wife's death in 1971. He died on 2 September 1973 leaving The Silmarillion to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher.

Visit J.R.R. Tolkien's Booktopia Author Page


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