Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Thing of Beauty

So, yesterday an unexpected delight arrived: a copy of the deluxe slipcase edition of the new J. R. R. Tolkien book, THE CHILDREN OF HURIN. The text is the same as the standard UK edition, but instead of a solid blue-grey the cover is blue-grey near the spine and elsewhere grey, with the dragon-helm of Dor-lomin embossed in gold on the front; the slipcase itself is a blue-grey box with the dragon-helm in gold. And it includes a signed bookplate, autographed by Christopher Tolkien and by Alan Lee. Wow. Many thanks to the sender.

As for the book itself, I'm still working my way slowly through it. After all, it's not like I don't know how the story ends, having read and re-read the earlier publication of a good portion of this since it appeared in UNFINISHED TALES. And how many more times will I get the chance to sit down and read a new Tolkien book? Yes, there are still some treasures in the vault (The Bovadium Fragments, Sellic Spell, The Fall of Arthur), but they're mostly either short or unfinished, not the final version of one of the central stories in the legendarium like the Turin tale. It's a moment to savor, and I intend to make it last. I only wish I had an audiotape reading of the whole.