Sunday, April 8, 2018

New Tolkien Book Rumored

So, thanks to Doug K. on the MythSoc list (thanks Doug), I've now learned of the news about a forthcoming Tolkien book said to be due out this fall (August 30th, to be precise): THE FALL OF GONDOLIN by JRRT, ed. by CT.

So, how real is this?
Real enough that amazon.co.uk is taking preorders.*

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-Gondolin-J-R-Tolkien/dp/0008302766/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1523229772&sr=8-4&keywords=tolkien+gondolin **


Real enough that The Tolkien Society is helping to spread the news.

https://www.tolkiensociety.org/blog/2018/03/new-tolkien-book-to-be-published/


Real enough that amazon thinks it has 304 pages, making it a fairly substantial volume, about the same size as last year's BEREN AND LUTHIEN.


If there is such a book (as the evidence suggests), then it will probably v. much along the lines of BEREN & LUTHIEN, bringing together into one volume all the existing bits of the various forms of the story: the BLT-era FALL OF GONDOLIN (the only complete version of the story), the wonderful fragment Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin (previously appearing in UNFINISHED TALES), concise but eloquent excepts from the ANNALS, and perhaps a few misc. bits.

Publication of a stand-alone FALL OF GONDOLIN would complete one of Tolkien's unrealized dreams: to publish each of the (three or four) 'Great Tales'*** that underlie the Silmarillion as stand-alone books: the stories of TURIN, BEREN & LUTHIEN, and now THE FALL OF GONDOLIN.  All that wd leave is the (unwritten) TALE OF EARENDEL, the first of them all but the only one never to have any completed form (the longest bit being Bilbo's Lay of Earendel sung in Elrond's hall.

That makes the following excerpt from the Amazon produce description perhaps the best of all:

After a minutely observed account of the fall 
of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape 
of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, 
looking back from a cleft in the mountains 
as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage
 of their city. They were journeying into a new story,
 the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, 
but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

That is, it sounds as if Christopher has brought together all the fragments of poetry and the quickly jotted outlines about what wd have appeared in Earendel's story--just as he did in the penultimate chapter of THE BOOK OF LOST TALES Volume II--and placed them all together in a section of their own at the end of the work. I'm looking forward to this part of the prospective book even more than the main Gondolin section.

So, we'll see, and soon know one way or the other whether there will be celebrating or sorrow all round come the beginning of September.


--John R.
--current reading: SUN SPOTS (CoC scenario)


*I got mine in today.

**also at this link is a reasonably informative description of its contents.

***Tolkien was inconsistent whether their were three or four of these; I've tend to include Earendel's story, which raises the total to four.

5 comments:

John Hancock said...

This leaves two questions.

Is the upcoming Amazon series' going to feature this and similar stories?

And now that CT has retireed is anyone taking up the mantle of continuing the editorial process of bringing more of JRRT's works to publication?

grodog said...

Very cool, thanks as always for sharing the news, John!

Allan.

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Hancock

Q#1: "Is the upcoming Amazon series' going to feature this and similar stories?"

--I seriously doubt it. It would all depend on whether Amazon has acquired rights beyond that available to Jackson. I've heard nothing to indicate this is the case.


Q#2: "And now that CT has retired is anyone taking up the mantle of continuing the editorial process of bringing more of JRRT's works to publication?"

--I shd think the process wd continue as long as there's material of interest still to see the light of day.

--JDR

Doug Kane said...

It was pointed out to me that while I was failing to find a listing for this at "www.harpercollins.com" there is one at www.harpercollins.co.uk (www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008302771/the-fall-of-gondolin/). So apparently it really is happening!

Paul W said...

I would like to see a volume that does the same with all if the Numenor material.