A stunning book annoucement was made quite a few months back, word that many of us had heard rumors about for years: faithful third son of J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher, had finished collating a manuscript of his fathers, creating, essentially, the first new Tolkien novel in thirty years. As he did with the very important, and by most accounts wonderful, Silmarillion, the junior Tolkein was faithful to the intent, story, Middle Earth worldview and prose of the story-in-progress. This, I would guess, will be the last real story from the pen of J.R.R. we shall see.
It hits stores this week, and we have it now. If you want us to send it, we can do so, asap. It is called, as those who care most likely know, The Children of Hurin. It is published, of course, by Houghton Mifflin, and sells, in hardback, for $26.00. It includes full color art by famed Middle-earth artist, Alan Lee.
this week only.
In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves.
Christopher Tolkien notes that, “The earliest versions of this story go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterward, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book I have endeavored to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.”
Here is a site that has some good background information about the new book. Here is another important one, noting the dark nature of some of the story. And for all things Tolkien, visit The Tolkien Library.
And, while you’re at it, listen to “All That Is Gold“, a wonderful, wonderful folk song by Brooks Williams (from his Back To Mercy CD.) It is inspired by the poems sung by the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings.