The Story of Kullervo

The Story of Kullervo

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Overview


“Shows how Finnish mythology and folk tales were instrumental to how Tolkien created his own legendarium.”—Boston Globe
 
Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. “Hapless Kullervo,” as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.
 
Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanōna, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates.
 
Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was “the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own,” and was “a major matter in the legends of the First Age.” Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, the tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
 
“A fascinating read.”—NPR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544947245
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 218,031
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

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

VERLYN FLIEGER, Ph.D., 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. Her publications include Tolkien on Fairy-Stories with Douglas A. Anderson, and Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien.

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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