July 11, 2016

Tolkien Tuesday: "The Children of Hurin"

Next up in my “Tolkien Tuesday” series, is The Children of Hurin.

This was the ‘newest’ of the main Tolkien book when I began collecting Tolkien books. After seeing The Lord of the Rings films, I became interested in the books. For Christmas 2001, my parents got me the one-volume edition hardback with cover artwork by John Howe: the one of Gandalf walking. This worked out very well, because A) it was cheaper for them. Not that things were extremely rough financially, but money saved potentially means more gifts :P (when you have a set budget). B) I wanted The Lord of the Rings in hardback, so that’s what I got
J That’s going back quite a few years. I still own that edition for sentimental reasons, and will give that, as well my older edition of The Hobbit (the same as my 70th anniversary edition but older.) to my future kids someday.

So, The Children of Hurin became the first NEW Tolkien book I ever got. Since this book onwards are so new, there’s fewer editions of them. My copy is the hardback edition.

The dustjacket features artwork by Alan Lee, which is a traditional glossy type. Removing it, the book underneath is blue with Tolkien’s logo and book title embossed in gold. The interior art is on both plasticized paper as color illustrations; and pencil artwork all throughout. At the rear is a fold-out sheet of a map of Beleriand.

And that’s really about it for the hardback edition of The Children of Hurin.

Why did I get it: since this is a new Tolkien book (well, nearly 10 years old now..) due to it being new, that was pretty much the only standard hardback edition available. I got it because it could very well be the last new Middle-earth material published, not counting future anniversary, deluxe, expanded or illustrated editions of existing text.

Who would I recommend this edition to: This EDITION, not BOOK….well, anyway who wants to celebrate the fact that it’s more Middle-earth material, in hardback format. In stand hardback edition, this is pretty much it.

“Should I wait for a better one?”: Well, since it’s so new, I doubt there will be a better one…save for 20th anniversary edition or older, but that’s not guaranteed. It’s still in print so may as well get it!

Overall: This book may be ‘unnecessary’ to some due to the fact that fragments or portions have been published before in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, as well as The History of Middle-earth. This is the first time that the entire tale has been published between its own covers, and focussing on the beginning and ending of the story, with minimal editing involved. Alan Lee’s artwork compliments the story quite well, as well literally giving us a look into the past of Middle-earth history, and one of Tolkien's earliest tales. 

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