The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun

The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Unavailable for more than seventy years, this early but important work is published for the first time with Tolkien’s "Corrigan" poems and other supporting material, including a prefatory note by Christopher Tolkien.

Set ‘In Britain’s land beyond the seas’ during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the ‘Aotrou’ and ‘Itroun’ of the title) and the tragedy that befalls them when Aotrou seeks to remedy their situation with the aid of a magic potion obtained from a corrigan, or malevolent fairy. When the potion succeeds and Itroun bears twins, the corrigan returns seeking her fee, and Aotrou is forced to choose between betraying his marriage and losing his life.

Coming from the darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, together with the two shorter ‘Corrigan’ poems (which lead up to it and are also included in this volume), were the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien's life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic, and particularly Breton, myth and legend.

Originally written in 1930 and long out of print, this early but seminal work is an important addition to the non-Middle-earth portion of his canon and should be set alongside The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur and The Story of Kullervo. Like these works, it belongs to a small but important corpus of his ventures into ‘real-world’ mythologies, each of which in its own way would be a formative influence on his own legendarium.

Edited with notes and commentary by Verlyn Flieger and a prefatory note on the text by Christopher Tolkien.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328557520
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 274,355
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and the author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

VERLYN FLIEGER, PhD, is retired from the University of Maryland as professor emerita in the Department of English, where her specialties were the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and comparative mythology. 

Date of Birth:

January 3, 1892

Date of Death:

September 2, 1973

Place of Birth:

Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)

Place of Death:

Oxford, England

Education:

B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919

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