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Challenges: 30-Day Character Study by oshun

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Take at least a half-hour to read what the texts say about your chosen character.

Picked up the book Beren and Lúthien and started crawling through it again. I had no warning first time around that it was 1) not a somewhat novelistic treatment like Children of Húrin, nor 2) a definitive study of the texts on Beren and Lúthien. I do not have a problem, am just mildly disappointed. I was hoping for a definitive collection of stuff scattered throughout all of the texts, including ones that are not easily accessible. I appreciate what I have and do not blame Chistopher Tolkien—he is in his 90s!

It is good to have most, if not all, of the HoMe stuff in one volume. But the illustrations which I have heard are lovely are totally inaccessible on the Kindle version to any one with vision problems. They are tiny and not zoomable. SHAME ON AMAZON! It’s scandalous that they can widely market something which should be a real live-changer for people with vision impairment and then market its content without any warning that the illustrations will not be usable for them. Rant, rant, rant!

I was not satisfied, reading hours beyond my ½ an hour for this day, that I had a real sense of what Beren and Lúthien meant to Tolkien. It ranks near the bottom for me amongst his major story lines—maybe at the bottom! So, I decided, since I was finding no answers, in the texts I would go outside of the canon texts. I opened up John Garth’s Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (an excellent book and one I highly recommend) which covers his early work. I am halfway through it for the second time and there is hardly a mention of Edith Tolkien yet. Sigh. That has been futile so far relating to my subject area.

Finally, ETA:

‘In those days her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes brighter than you have seen them, and she could sing – and dance,’ he wrote to their son Christopher after her death in 1971. When duty permitted, they would stroll in a nearby wood, which Roos tradition identifies as Dents Garth, at the south end of the village, beside the parish church of All Saints. Here, at the feet of the ash, oak, sycamore, and beech trees, tall flowers with white umbels burst into bloom from mid-April until the end of May. The flowers, Anthriscus sylvestris, are what books might call cow parsley, wild chervil, or Queen Anne’s lace . . . . Among these cloudy white heads, Edith danced and sang. The scene fixed itself in Tolkien’s mind. It could have come from fairy-tale, a vision of sylvan loveliness glimpsed by a wanderer returned from war. When he next had the leisure to compose at length, Tolkien put the scene at the heart of just such a tale. --John Garth. Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth.


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