October 19, 2016

"Beren and Luthien"

Well, this is definitely unexpected!

May 2017 will see the publication of Beren and Luthien; the first new Middle-earth Tolkien book since The Children of Hurin.

Much like The Children of Hurin, the story already exists in various Tolkien books. Also, like The children of Hurin, this will be illustrated by Alan Lee, and features the complete tale between its own covers.

The book will be published in both hardback and deluxe edition. A paperback will follow, at the earliest, in 2018, for those that like that format. So know here comes the official word, as well as ISBNs. Please note that the deluxe edition artwork has yet to be revealed.

"Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.

Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.

In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost."

The book will be 304 pages, and published May 4, 2017.

The ISBN for the hardback is 9780008214197

The ISBN for the deluxe edition is 9780008214203.

I'll be pre-ordering the standard hardback edition, and place it right next to my copy of The Children of Hurin on 'The Shelf'.

Now, the only of 'The Three Great Gales' that remains to be published in this style is The Fall of Gondolin....

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