Unpublished Tolkien work goes live in 2013

Posted by David Konow

Now is certain;u a great time to be a fan of Tolkien, because there’s going to be more even more material written by J.R.R. hitting the genre bookshelves.

No, this isn’t in reference to the movie adaptation of The Hobbit, which went from two-parter to trilogy, but rather, an unpublished manuscript penned by Tolkien that will finally see the light of day next year.

You often hear rumors about how many unpublished manuscripts certain authors have, and according to Galleycat, HarperCollins in the United Kingdom will publish The Fall of Arthur, which is a lengthy poem from Tolkien that has never seen the light of day. Tolkien’s son Christopher edited the work, and it is currently slated to go live in May 2013.

So how lengthy a poem is this? According to Galleycat and The Guardian, it’s over 200 pages, and the poem deals with the last days of King Arthur’s power, as he’s trying to protect his kingdom from Mordred.

The legend of King Arthur seems a fitting environment for Tolkien. Teasing readers with their report, Alison Flood of The Guardian wrote, "It’s the story of a dark world, of knights and princesses, swords and sorcery, quests and betrayals…but this is not Middle Earth, it’s ancient Britain."

Chris Smith, an editor at HarperCollins, noted, "Though its title had been known from Humphrey Carpenter’s [Tolkien] biography and Tolkien’s own letters, we never supposed that it would see the light of day." Smith says the poem is "extraordinary," and that it "breathes new life into one of our greatest heroes…"

This amazing new development should definitely make the end of the year and next summer a great time for Tolkien fans everywhere. Again, look for the first installment of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, on December 14, and Tolkien’s lost poem, The Fall of Arthur, next May from HarperCollins.