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The Fall of Arthur by JRR Tolkien

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on Wed, 02/18/2015 - 03:49

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fall of Arthur is a reasonably brief book at 220 pages.

This book could be approached in one of two ways.

The first is to read the unfinished, but original poem by Tolkien depicting "The Fall of Arthur", along with the "Notes on the Text..." and "The Poem in Arthurian Tradition," and end it right there roughly halfway through.

I should preface that most of what I know about Arthur is from Monty Python and Mark Twain. As such, I really enjoyed the information provided in Notes and the Arthurian Tradition. It provided me with a good context to understand Tolkien's effort and to better understand the legend of Arthur itself. I was pretty content with this as a complete work in and of itself.

The second is to read the balance of the work as well, which is very much like the History of Middle Earth volumes wherein Christopher Tolkien provides input around the writing process, timing of the writing, changes in the story, and potential relationships between the work at hand and other stories of his father's.

I didn't find this second part to be as interesting in general, because it is not a part of his Middle Earth works and as such, I didn't feel compelled to understand it that much further.

The Tolkienist in me read through the second part, but I don't think it would have been of interest for anyone other than a serious Tolkien fan.

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