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Beren and Lúthien

October 19, 2016

Beren and Luthien coverHarperCollins will announce today the latest Tolkien title edited by Christopher Tolkien, Beren and Lúthien, to be illustrated with drawings and paintings by Alan Lee and published on 4 May 2017. An American edition will be published simultaneously by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. As we write this on the 18th, Amazon UK list only a Kindle edition. Price and physical details have not been announced, but the upper dust-jacket is pictured at left; nor is there word yet of a deluxe edition.

To quote HarperCollins’ press release (thanks to David Brawn at HarperCollins for sending this and the cover art), Christopher Tolkien ‘has attemped 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.’

‘Original form’ presumably means the earliest surviving version, written in ink over, and obliterating, the first version which Tolkien had written out in pencil, in The Book of Lost Tales, as The Tale of Tinúviel. This evolved as Tolkien’s legendarium grew, as related in several volumes of The History of Middle-earth and described at length in our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Update later this morning: A hardcover edition of 304 pages is now listed on Amazon UK at £20.00, and a simultaneous deluxe edition at £75.00.

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14 Comments
  1. October 19, 2016 6:56 am

    I’m wondering if it will be included also the later prose version, which is still unpublished.

  2. Villads permalink
    October 19, 2016 7:02 am

    Amazon UK has now listed a hardcover edition of 304 pages at a price of £20.00.

    • October 19, 2016 7:35 am

      Amazon UK have now also listed a Deluxe Slipcased Edition £75 for release on the same day.

  3. Philip Sokolov permalink
    October 19, 2016 11:04 am

    I am certain the original form they have in mind is the 1930s Lay.

  4. October 19, 2016 2:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing the news with us. I too am hoping for the later prose Beren & Luthien to be included.

    • October 20, 2016 4:34 am

      I have a feeling that’s what the Press Release might actually be referring to…after all “Luthien” is not even named in the Book of Lost Tales Version, and Sauron is not a lord of werewolves but a ‘prince of cats’. As amusing as such a publication might be (though redundant) I think we might actually get some new material here.

  5. October 19, 2016 5:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Mouzafphaerre.

  6. October 19, 2016 6:53 pm

    I’m so excited for this 😀 Thanks for posting Wayne and Christina.

  7. October 19, 2016 6:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Wrítung Awa to Ealdre and commented:
    So keen for this book! Thanks for posting Wayne and Christina.

  8. October 22, 2016 7:36 am

    Thank you very much for making us aware of this publication and the presentation of the dust jacket. For me since Unfinished Tales I have always enjoyed reading the Silmarillion materials not as a tight compendium but where the narrative provides an emotional immediacy. Some of Hurin and Tuor has that same sense of introspection and depth as the chapters with Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) on the journey to Doom and I am sure a more focused presentation of the matter of B & L will come even closer into their tale. Like others I am curious to see where this starts Christopher quite rightly places the BOLT as being stylistically disconnected from his fathers latter work. As so much of the story is very poetic I hope the Ley is central to the presentation and perhaps stops for prose expansion or the other way round. Fascinated to see how this works.

  9. October 23, 2016 11:20 am

    The UK price has new been reduced by £5. It must have had unprecedented demand!

  10. October 31, 2016 5:04 am

    Reblogged this on Garganthua's Worlds and commented:
    I can not wait 🙂 !

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  1. Beren and Lúthien, a centenary publication | John Garth

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