Book review: 'The Fall of Arthur' takes a comprehensive look at J.R.R. Tolkien's version of the tale of King Arthur
"THE FALL OF ARTHUR," by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 233 pages (f)
Sometime in the 1930s, J.R.R. Tolkien began writing a poem about King Arthur's kingdom. By 1937, Tolkien was occupied with finishing his novel, "The Hobbit." His poem about King Arthur was never finished.
"The Fall of King Arthur" shares this unfinished poem with the world for the first time. Just 40 pages long, Tolkien's poem is written in Old English alliterative meter. This style of writing forms a verse using alliteration instead of rhyme to form the structure of the poem's lines.
Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, edited this book about his dad's poem. He tells the story behind the writing of the poem and shares his knowledge of his father's work. He also gives insight into what his father was attempting to do with his poem about King Arthur.
Christopher's review is filled with unique insights into his father's writing, including his frustration with his father's illegible handwriting. It tells the story behind the poem and helps the reader understand some of the deep meaning behind the poem's style and word choice.
Tolkien's poem tells a familiar story in a very unique style. The beauty of this style is shown in the opening lines describing Arthur's march to war.
Arthur eastward in arms purposed
his war to wage on the wild marches,
over seas sailing to Saxon lands.
from Roman realm ruin defending.
This book is written for those who enjoy Tolkien's work and want to see another side to this brilliant writer. The poem and the story behind it offer a new look at Tolkien and his desire to use his stories to bring magic and mystery back to his English homeland.
While the poem does contain the story of Guinevere and her betrayal, this book does not contain any foul language or sexual references.
Steve Larson is one of the founders of Information Alliance, a Utah-based data collection company. He currently serves as vice president of sales. He spends his free time writing and practicing photography. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.
- Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be a...
- Wright Words: Christmas Jars tradition...
- Linda & Richard Eyre: Ann and Mitt Romney...
- Pope Francis wins out over Edward Snowden,...
- Toddler basketball star, 'Trick-Shot-Titus,'...
- The Bandito gets into the Christmas spirit
- Sundance to premiere 117 independent feature...
- Expelling Santa from school? Holiday...
- Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be... 15
- 'Deseret News Sunday Edition' looks at... 10
- 'Sound of Music' hit a high note for... 9
- Linda & Richard Eyre: Ann and Mitt... 8
- Joseph Cramer, M.D.: What if negative... 6
- Pope Francis wins out over Edward... 6
- Toddler basketball star,... 5
- Wright Words: Christmas Jars tradition... 3