A new title by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is set to be published next year. Beren and Lúthien, the story of the love between a mortal man and an immortal elf, will be released by HarperCollins in May 2017, one hundred years after it was first written.
The chracters of Beren and Lúthien had great personal significance for the author: their names appear on the headstone of the grave he shares with his wife, Edith. “I never called Edith Lúthien – but she was the source of the story,” he wrote in a letter to his son Christopher, shortly after her death.
The story was previously available as part of The History of Middle-earth, a 12-volume series edited by Christopher Tolkien that included unpublished papers relating to Tolkien’s novels.
Since it was first written in 1917, Tolkien re-wrote the story in several forms, including as The Lay of Lúthien, a long poem in rhyming couplets. One version of this story is told to the hobbits by Aragorn the ranger in the first Lord of the Rings novel, The Fellowship of the Ring, while another version appears in the first chapter of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.
The new book, edited by Christopher Tolkien, will open with earliest version of the tale, a short story called the Tale of Tinúviel, as well as featuring passages from later versions, and illustrations by Alan Lee.
Beren and Lúthien is the latest in a series of Tolkien works to be “rediscovered” since the author’s death in 1973. Last year, a dark revenge tale called The Story of Kullervo was published as a stand-alone novel for the first time. Next month, HarperCollins will also release a new edition of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, a poem inspired by medieval Celtic and Breton myths and legends.
Originally published on: The Telegraph
Date: 19 October 2016