Unpublished Tolkien epic arriving next year

A previously unpublished epic poem by The Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is slated for release in May 2013.

(How Mordred was Slain by Arthur, and How by Him Arthur was Hurt to the Death by Arthur Rackham, public domain)

A previously unpublished epic poem by The Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is slated for release in May 2013.

It doesn't fall within the realm of Middle Earth, falling instead in the realm of the legend that inspired Tolkien's world: that of King Arthur.

Called The Fall of Arthur, HarperCollins acquired the over-200-page poem, which was previously believed to be unfinished. The publishing house will be readying to release it in May of next year, with essays and editing by Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien.

Inspired by accounts of the legendary king by Geoffrey of Monmouth in The History of the Kings of Britain and Thomas Malory's famous Le Morte D'Arthur, the poem had been known about through letters, but never seen.

Chris Smith, who edited the book from HarperCollins' end, told The Guardian that the work "breathes new life into one of our greatest heroes, liberating him from the clutches of Malory's romantic treatment, and revealing Arthur as a complex, all-too human individual, who must rise above the greatest of betrayals to liberate his beloved kingdom".

The Guardian also printed a short excerpt from the poem:

Arthur eastward in arms purposed
his war to wage on the wild marches,
over seas sailing to Saxon lands,
from the Roman realm ruin defending.
Thus the tides of time to turn backward
and the heathen to humble, his hope urged him,
that with harrying ships they should hunt no more
on the shining shores and shallow waters
of South Britain, booty seeking

Via www.guardian.co.uk

 

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