Thought you’d seen the last of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work? He’s back again, thanks to his son. Christopher has edited his father’s work for posthumous publication in various collections including The Children of Húrin and The Silmarillion, and now he’s edited another of his dad’s writings – the love story of Beren and Lúthien – into a book of the same name to be published in May 2017. The tale was so important to J.R.R. Tolkien that he had those two names engraved on the tombstone shared by him and his wife.
So who are Beren and Lúthien? Well, we’ve actually met them before in The Silmarillion, a collection of stories about the a period of Middle-Earth’s history preceding The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Beren is a man in love with an immortal elf called Lúthien. Her dad won’t let her marry Beren unless he can retrieve an ancient and very rare jewel called a Silmaril from the crown of a proto-Sauron called Melkor aka Morgoth.
This new edition will tell the story on its own: its publisher has explained that Chris Tolkien has tried “to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded”. Alongside the book will be drawings and colour plates by Alan Lee, who has illustrated Tolkien’s LOTR and The Hobbit and won an Oscar in 2004 for art direction in the third LOTR film, Return of the King.