First published in 1945, this book has been made available again to the public after 61 years, and of course I ran to my local bookstore (Standaard Boekhandel here in Mortsel, as it's ran by a fellow BeLUG member) to reserve my copy.
So when it arrived a few weeks ago, I sat down and thoroughly enjoyed this work by Tolkien, which has nothing to do with Middle Earth... or does it.
The Lay is a poem with 508 lines, and was written during the time Tolkien delved into the Breton mythology. It is based in Brittany (France), and the Aotrou and Itroun aren`t names, but titles (Lord and Lady) in the language back then. It deals about a childless couple, where the Lord strikes a deal with a Corrigan (witch / faerie) to get children.
While they do receive two children because of this, it comes at the ultimate price for the parents. The book also includes two shorter poems, Corrigan I and Corrigan II, and for all the stories the necessary notes and remarks are included, both on the terms used as from where the tales originate.
It ties in with his Middle Earth masterwork in how the forest of Bereliand came about, and how he envisaged all forests to be places of myth and magic.
Mind you, this isn`t "light reading" but a nice work none the less!
Mid Victorian Royal Navy Channel Fleet c1870
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