Art And Culture

Tolkien Story a Century Later

Tolkien Story a Century LaterTolkien Story a Century Later

A Middle-earth love story by ‘Lord of the Rings’ author J. R. R. Tolkien will be published a century after it was first penned in 1917.

The UK publisher HarperCollins will release the book ‘Beren and Luthien’ a love tale between a mortal being and an immortal elf, reported.

Tolkien (1892-1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works.

After Tolkien’s death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including ‘The Silmarillion’. These, together with ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.

Technically, the story of ‘Beren and Luthien’ has been published previously, with one version appearing in the 12-volume ‘The History of Middle-earth’ series. However, the new book will include new iterations by Tolkien, who had some of his rare first editions auctioned last month, and illustrations by Alan Lee.

While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre.

This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature or, more precisely, of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning “dead celebrity” in 2009.

Tolkien, a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford who drew inspiration for his works from medieval literature, was nominated in 1961 for the Nobel Prize in Literature by his friend CS Lewis, another medieval expert who wrote the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’, but ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was ignored by the jury.

According to Nobel Prize documents released after 50 years, one of the jury members, Anders Osterling, said the work “has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality”.

‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy written between 1937 and 1949, has sold more than 150 million copies. It has inspired three hit films and subsequent video games and adaptations have been made for radio and theater.

‘Beren and Luthien’, with 304 pages, will be published in May 2017.

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