Harper Collins and Houghton Mifflin have announced that Christopher Tolkien has completed his fathers unfinished tale The Children of Hurin and that it will be published next spring.
Portions of the tale have been previously published in The Lays of Beleriand, The War of the Jewels and Unfinished Tales.
"It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the Children of Húrin as an independent work, between its own covers," Christopher Tolkien said in a statement. The original press release is quoted here.
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006
J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S THE CHILDREN OF HÚRIN TO BE PUBLISHED IN 2007
Houghton Mifflin has acquired US rights to publish the first complete
book by J.R.R. Tolkien since the posthumous Silmarillion in 1977 .
HarperCollins UK acquired the project from The Tolkien Estate in a
world rights deal. Presented for the first time as a fully
continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of
Húrin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, and the rich landscape and
characters unique to Tolkien.
The Children of Húrin , begun in 1918, was one of three "Great Tales"
J.R.R. Tolkien worked on throughout his life, though he never
realized his ambition to see it published. Though familiar to many
fans from extracts and references within other Tolkien books, it has
long been assumed that the story would forever remain an "unfinished
tale". Now reconstructed by Christopher Tolkien, painstakingly
editing together the complete work from his father's many drafts,
this book is the culmination of a tireless thirty-year endeavor by
him to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's vast body of unpublished work to a wide
Christopher Tolkien said: "It has seemed to me for a long time that
there was a good case for presenting my father?s long version of the
legend of the Children of Húrin as an independent work, between its
own covers, with a minimum of editorial presence, and above all in
continuous narrative without gaps or interruptions, if this could be
done without distortion or invention, despite the unfinished state in
which he left some parts of it."
Having drawn the distinctive maps for the original The Lord of the
Rings more than 50 years ago, Christopher has also created a detailed
new map for this book. In addition, it will include a jacket and
color paintings by Alan Lee , illustrator of The Hobbit and The Lord
of the Rings Centenary Edition and Oscar ® -winning designer of the
The Lord of the Rings was already acclaimed worldwide as the most
popular book of the 20th Century before the blockbuster films in
2001-3 broke new ground and inspired millions more to read J.R.R.
Tolkien's books -- an additional 50 million copies were sold, leaving
new fans wanting more. The Children of Húrin will be published by
HarperCollins UK in April 2007, and on the same day in the United
States by Houghton Mifflin.
Victoria Barnsley , CEO and Publisher of HarperCollins Publishers UK
said: "This epic story of adventure, tragedy, fellowship and heroism
stands as one of the finest expressions of J.R.R. Tolkien?s skills as
a storyteller. With a narrative as dramatic and powerful as anything
contained within The Lord of the Rings , it can now be read and
enjoyed as Tolkien originally intended, and will doubtless be a
revelation for millions of fans around the world."
Janet Silver , Vice President and Publisher of Houghton Mifflin,
said, "As J.R.R. Tolkien's original American publisher, dating back
to The Hobbit , we are extremely proud to be bringing this project
to Tolkien's devoted readership in the United States. Christopher
Tolkien has done a great service in realizing his father's vision for
The Children of Hurin."