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'Beren And Lúthien' Reflects Tolkien's Real Life Love Story

J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher proves an able guide through Beren and Lúthien, his father's haunting tale of a mortal man who falls in love with the daughter of a disapproving Elven King.
Source: Terence Caven

One night in December of 1993, I stood in a frost-bound churchyard in Wolvercote, near Oxford. The tombstone in front of me bore the names of Edith Mary Tolkien and her husband John Ronald, but underneath each name was another: "Lúthien" and "Beren."

Young Tolkien had fallen in love with Edith when he was 16 and she 19, but his guardian disapproved (both he and Edith were orphans). They finally married when Tolkien was 24 — just a few months before he was deployed to the Somme.

The

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