Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hilary Tolkien's book

So, while it's not as big a bit of news as word that Tolkien's SIGURD poem(s) are being published at last, there's none the less another welcome announcement about a forthcoming book by a Tolkien within the last few days.

This time, it's not JRRT but his brother Hilary who's the author. Even though Hilary died just a few years after his older brother, in 1976, the family has decided to publish some reminiscences he'd jotted down about his early years, including their growing up together in Birmingham. Titled BLACK & WHITE OGRE COUNTRY: THE LOST TALES OF HILARY TOLKIEN (after the Tolkien Brothers' nickname for the two Father-and-Son millers who ran Sarehole Mill in their day), it's to be a slim volume of some eighty pages, edited by Angela Gardner and illustrated by Jef Murray, and due to be released the end of this month.

What's more, this is the first of two planned books by H.T., the other, which should follow in a few months' time, being a collection of letters and photographs. This shd go v. well with the recent TOLKIEN'S GEDLING 1914, which focuses on the Tolkiens' Aunt Jane but has a few photographs and reminisces about a young Hilary T., and the promised forthcoming book by the same authors on Aunt Jane's farm known as 'Bag End'. We're getting more and more of these pieces about people who were important to Tolkien, and they're helpful in giving us bits and pieces that help fill in the picture.

BLACK & WHITE OGRE COUNTRY doesn't seem to be available (?yet) from amazon, but I was able to order a copy through ACD Books (; for more information about the Hilary Tolkien books, see Jef Murray's 'Mystical Realms' newsletter for January


as well as the write-up on (

There are also at least two new works of Tolkien scholarship on the way that sound interesting; more on these later. But in general it looks like 2009 will see some interesting new Tolkien releases.