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The Fall of Arthur

(2013)
A collection of poems by

 
 
The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur's expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere's flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur's return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.

Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him 'You simply must finish it!' But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that 'he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur'; but that day never came.

Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.

Genre: Fantasy

Used availability for J R R Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur

Hardback Editions

May 2013 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-00-748994-3 / 978-0-00-748994-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 2013 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-544-11589-9 / 978-0-544-11589-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


May 2013 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur (Deluxe Slipcase Edition)
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-00-748989-7 / 978-0-00-748989-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Paperback Editions

January 2015 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-00-755730-2 / 978-0-00-755730-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 2014 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-544-22783-2 / 978-0-544-22783-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tolkien Adult Paper
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2014 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
ISBN: 0-00-748996-X / 978-0-00-748996-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

May 2013 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Availability: Amazon   


May 2013 : Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU