Beren and Luthien standalone book

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CJRT is releasing the tale of Beren and Luthien as a standalone book, much as he did for The Children of Hurin. It is coming out in May. Amazon US lists 3 different hardcover editions: one around $16, one around $28, and one around $51. Good luck finding out the differences! I believe all are illustrated (by Alan Lee). I think one of the more expensive ones has a slipcase, but I haven't really been able to confirm anything. Publisher's website was no help. The Tolkien Estate website hasn't been updated in a couple of years, so it was similarly no help. This is very frustrating as I'd like to get this book preordered so I lock in the eventual lowest price, but I can't until I know what version I want.

In any case, I'm very glad this is coming out. The Tale of Beren and Luthien is considered one of the "great tales" of the Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin and The Fall of Gondolin being the other two. I always considered the Beren and Luthien story the best part of the Silmarillion proper.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Rev made a brief post about that back in October in the "Pure Middle Earth" discussion forum.
He didn't mention anything about the different editions, tho...(maybe that bit of news wasn't available then).

He posted a link to a UK site
http://www.tolkien.co.uk/product/978000 ... thien%20(1

I will get the UK edition ...I like reading Tolkien (or really any English author) in the British editions because I like the way they spell waggon and jewellery and colour and civilisation, and also the peculiarly British usages, all of which seem to get altered or even excised in the US editions. :angry:
I have the UK editions of The Children of Hurin and also Tales from the Perilous Realm for just that reason.

(Even tho' I have never read it I have never forgiven the American publisher --whichever one it was--- that changed the title of the first Harry Potter book from HP and the Philosopher's Stone to HP and the Sorcerer's Stone. I could throttle him/her and their likewise ignorant ilk. :club: )

EDIT: after studying both listings on Amazon, I think the $16 one is the British edition becaaause....the publisher is HarperColllins Publishers, Ltd. which is the UK arm of HarperCollins (US).
The $28 edition is published by [US] Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Gettin' the UK edition, fer sure, fer sure. :inlove:
Last edited by Deimos on Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I don't recall the spelling being Americanized in LOTR or The Hobbit, though it's been a time since I read either. If it were the British spellings, I would have noticed them initially but they would have soon faded from my radar, just as I don't really notice any more when Val and our UK members use British spellings in their posts.

As I recall, the American publisher of Harry Potter changed the name of the first Harry Potter novel because they assumed that Americans were too stupid to know what the Philosopher's Stone was. I'm inclined to think they were probably correct in that assumption. When you read about how many basic things people don't know, I really doubt too many would have known what an esoteric, fictitious thing was.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Olorin wrote:I don't recall the spelling being Americanized in LOTR or The Hobbit, though it's been a time since I read either. If it were the British spellings, I would have noticed them initially but they would have soon faded from my radar, just as I don't really notice any more when Val and our UK members use British spellings in their posts.

As I recall, the American publisher of Harry Potter changed the name of the first Harry Potter novel because they assumed that Americans were too stupid to know what the Philosopher's Stone was. I'm inclined to think they were probably correct in that assumption. When you read about how many basic things people don't know, I really doubt too many would have known what an esoteric, fictitious thing was.
Yes, I read that that was the reason for the change.
But that is also the very reason why it should not have been changed. In such instances it forces the reader to learn something.
Yes, reading for pleasure should be [mostly] pleasurable, but it can also be an opportunity to learn something that just might pique one's interest enough to go on to a completely different intellectual pursuit.
In this case it would have led to learning about the "science" of alchemy which, 'tho' it predates mediaeval times, really came into it's own as a field of study during the Middle Ages.
And in pursuit of knowledge about the nature of a philosopher's stone our reader might have learned exactly why JRRT names the Elven Rings of Power as he did, and also see how the Dwarven Rings complete the pattern (not to mention a lot of other stuff about the Middle Ages that play such an important part in The Canon).

I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned by having to research something or other mentioned in a literary work, music, movies of which I had no knowledge, but the knowledge of which was necessary for understanding what I was reading/ listening to/watching.

It was a stupidly ignored "teaching moment", and a powerful one, by the publisher who opted for profit over erudition.
Last edited by Deimos on Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Had you pre-ordered it?
If so, did Amazon refund the money?

I put in my "Save for later" cart, and so didn't actually spend anything on it (yet).

I'm wondering is the slipcased edition was limited to the extent that libraries and preferred brick and mortar bookstores got the only copies. And now there are no more...only the rather pedestrian hardcover edition.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I had not ordered it yet. I was still trying to confirm that it contained illustrations. To me that's a priority over having the slipcover.

It's not infrequent for Amazon to go through phases where it shows something as currently on available/not sure when they're going to get. I'm not sure why that is. I think it's if they have any mental question mark s about the details of their supply chain, they throw up that message.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Do you recall the price on Amazon?

Now here is the odd thing...it is still available on all the other (international) Amazon sites: Canada, France UK, Germany.... many with a release date of June 1.
So what is going on with the stupid Amazon US , I wonder?

I may just place the pre-order through Amazon in Canada (hi Val ! :big_wave:)
It's about $80 USD, but the release date is 20 June.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I've heard something pretty astounding that may explain what is going with the Amazon US release of the book: apparently, in a move reminiscent of what happened with the first Harry Potter book (Philosopher's Stone versus Sorcerer's Stone,) the publishers decided to alter the title of the book for the US market because they figure no one over there will know who the heck Beren and Luthien are, and thus sales would suffer accordingly. No word yet on what the 'simplified' replacement title will be, but I can't wait to see what atrocity they are going to foist on you guys. Jack and Jill?!? I'm guessing the current Amazon.com listing is just a placeholder for now and the book is delayed until the alternate title covers are printed for the US. :O :huh:
This Space for Rent

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Jeez, Val, you almost gave me a heart attack :O :O :O ...UNTIL.....I recalled something.
The book is currently available on [US] Amazon, and elsewhere in the non-slipcased edition as "Beren and Luthien"
So I think what you heard (or at least I hope) is a horrid malicious rumour.

However, it is still just the sort of moronic thing a US publisher would do.
And if, for some reason, that turns out to be true exclusively for the slipcased edition, why, I will spend whatever is required to get a non-vandalized copy from another source / country.

Edit: just took the precautionary step of pre-ordering it from Amazon in Maple Leaf land.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Horrid malicious humour - guilty as charged. :embarasse :laugh: :club:

A thousand apologies, guys. I was reading your posts and was seized by an evil impulse to spread some 'alternative facts' because, as both of you pointed out, it's just the sort of dumb thing that could actually happen. I also intended to let you know I was just kidding after a few hours of panic.

Absolutely no truth to what I said. Sorry for the April Fools in May moment. :huh: :embarasse
This Space for Rent

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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And I just placed a pre-order from YOUR arm of Amazon because of your fear-mongering? .....hmmm... :club:
jk.... I can always cancel it if Amazon USA relists it. It was a little cheaper here (I don't know why, tho'....)


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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Valkrist wrote: Thu May 18, 2017 7:32 pm I guess I deserve that. ;)

Olorin is oddly silent. I wonder if he's mad at me.... :huh: :club:
No, I'm not mad, but if letting you think that for a few days makes you more circumspect about punking your long-suffering readers, I'm good with that. :lol:

For about the last 2.5 years since I got a smart phone, I don't actually turn on my desktop computer as much as I used to. Any more, I have it on during the weekend and turn it on maybe once during the week. I really only need it when I'm doing database work or something like that. Otherwise, I just use the phone. Unfortunately, I find the phone not conducive to making posts of any length, so I don't post as often or as lengthily as I used to.

I just looked at Amazon and the American site still says unavailable. The Canadian site has it but for a price that translates to $81 American. Not paying that much for a slipcover when I can get the standard hardcover for about $16! Moreover, I still haven't been able to confirm what's different about the SE other than the slipcover. For example, I definitely want a version with the illustrations, and I don't know that slipcover has that. So unfortunately, I'm going to have to continue sitting tight on this one, missing out on Amazon pre-order price guarantees, and possibly missing out on getting the slipcover edition, but so be it. For the moment, anyway.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I re-read your post a time or three.....and decided to cancel my pre-order.
I did know at the time I pre-ordered that the cost was higher than the original US Amazon listed price (maybe by $30 or so), but that is only one of the reasons why I canceled.

The book is hardcover but, like almost all HC book sold these days, the boards are not fully covered with cloth, only the spine and a couple of inches of the boards. And I hate that :angry: (aside from the fact that it wouldn't match all my other JRRT books that have the same title/author lettering (font) format and are fully covered.)

For $80 the book should be entirely clothbound.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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FWIW for those interested..... this concerns the NON slipcased edition, but still hardcover:

American edition: Houghton Mifflin ISBN [-13] : 9781328791825
UK edition: HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd ISBN [-13] : 9780008214197
Covers are slightly different..... (Alan Lee art is the same, title words placement is different)


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I've had my standard HC copy sitting on my shelf for the last few weeks...haven't had a chance to crack it open. I have to admit I was a little shocked at the sticker price for what it is. But it's absolutely my favorite storyline in Silmarillion, so it was an instabuy for me.

I'm hoping I'll be able to read it soon, though. If it's a good compilation, I'll look into getting the slipcase one.

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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I will probably order the UK edition ("gently used" as the booksellers say) when the price comes down a bit more.
Right now --new-- it would run me $20 + $4 shipping.
btw, most reputable [secondhand] online booksellers charge the same for shipping (generally about $4 per book, reducing the cost per book if ordering more than one) no matter where a book comes from.
Delivery time from outside the US is the only thing that is different... longer, obviously.

Since I am *ahem* retired :cheering: I am willing to wait a little longer to get it, and then sit down to really enjoy it at leisure :cheers:


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: Beren and Luthien standalone book

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The Estate and Warner just settled a lawsuit over the extent of the movie rights...did they cover slot machines, etc? I remember being shocked walking into a casino (going to a concert in its theater) and seeing LOTR slot machines. Anyway, sounds like neither side ended up owing the other money, so sort of a draw, maybe?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/wa ... ar-BBDFPf3
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."
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