Given how short this piece is -- only about five hundred lines -- and that the new book is listed as being 120 pages, I assume the volume will probably come with some extras -- introduction, notes, possibly commentary, perhaps printing the earlier (1930) draft for the first time. Since this is Tolkien's re-working of a Breton Ballad, I wouldn't be surprised if his faux-medieval source was reprinted as well, esp. given that it's quite short. And in any case, the listing on amazon.co.uk promise a Prefatory Note by Christopher Tolkien.
All in all, a nice chance to have a piece currently available only through interlibrary loan and the like accessible in a format that fits easily on the shelf with Tolkien's other short pieces; something to be able to look forward to. It's a piece I've been interested in for a long time (cf. the section on it in my contribution to the Shippey festschrift), even having organized a dramatic reading of it at Kalamazoo several years ago.
Here's a link with a few details:
Nor is it the only short new book by Tolkien announced as forthcoming: amazon.co.uk also lists a stand-alone printing of Tolkien's little parable LEAF BY NIGGLE .. Just 64-pages long, it's apparently being released in conjunction with the dramatization of the story, which is currently on tour in the UK. I'll be pre-ordering this one too -- though I'll have to hurry about it, since it's due out in just a week.
This little book's release means that just about all Tolkien's shorter pieces have now been released, or soon will be.
Again, here's a link for a little more information.
--current reading: THE DERELICT by Sandy Petersen
--current music: PAGING M. PROUST by the Jayhawks (a group whose existence I just learned about on Tuesday)
*thanks to friend Andrew (Thanks Andrew).
** (w. Doug Anderson),