Together with Tolkien’s “Corrigan Poems”, which are included in this book, the Aotrou and Itroun texts comprise a sequence that was the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien’s life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic languages and mythologies.
The sequence shows the corrigan’s increasingly powerful presence, as she takes an ever more active role in the lives of Aotrou and Itroun, Lord and Lady. She would finally emerge, changed in motive and character but still recognizable, in The Lord of the Rings as the beautiful and terrible Lady of the Golden Wood, the Elven queen Galadriel.
The book is edited and introduced by Verlyn Flieger, and includes a new prefatory note on the text by Christopher Tolkien.
About the author
J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 60 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
‘The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun is a poem in the tradition of the medieval “lay”, also illustrated by the Lay of the Children of Húrin, and in the Lay of Leithian. This 556-verse-long poem tells the tragic story of a lord who sacrifices his life by love: in order to have a child with his wife, then to remain faithful to his spouse, he gives his life to a witch.’ The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate website
‘The language is as time-worn as a Runic engraving yet clear as a bell … The holy and the unholy imbue everything. It is a world captured in stained glass.’ Daily Telegraph