Just over one week until Tolkien's unfinished alliterative poem The Fall of Arthur is released! While the contents of this book fall well outside his realm of Middle-earth, this is a poem that has been known to exist for many years, and fans are excited to finally get the chance to read it along with notes, fragments, and some very interesting essays by Christopher Tolkien.
From the publisher:
The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.
Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, "You simply must finish it!" But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he "hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur," but that day never came.
Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem’s structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and significant tantalizing notes. In these notes can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.
I was just digging around on the Amazons, and still having trouble finding the deluxe edition through 'normal' search terms. I had to go look up the ISBN and search on that to find it on Amazon.co.uk. Sheesh!
The deluxe pre-order price on Amazon.com is not discounted but for us Americans it is a pretty good price on Amazon.com (including free shipping to the USA) if you are wanting a copy when it comes out.
Bibliotrivia: Just over 50,000 copies of the UK trade edition are being printed, and 2,000 copies of the deluxe slipcased edition. I do not yet have the US print run size. [UPDATE] Unofficially heard that the US trade print run is also 50,000 copies.
David Bratman, co-editor of Tolkien Studies, has published the contents for the tenth issue over on his website, Kalimac's Corner. The next issue is due to be released sometime in July or August, and is already available for pre-order at the West Virginia University Press website.
As a side note, Volumes 1-4 and 6 are sold out, and the press confirmed with me that there are no plans to reissue any volumes. All of the volumes are still available in electronic format, however.
Tolkien Studies 10 (2013)
Editors: Michael D.C. Drout, Verlyn Flieger, and David Bratman E-ISSN:1547-3155 Frequency: Annual
Institutional: $120.00 Individual: $60.00 International Institutional: $130.00 International Individual: $70.00
Claudio A. Testi, "Tolkien's Work: Is it Christian or Pagan?: A proposal for a 'synthetic' approach"
Nils Ivar Agøy, "Vague or Vivid?: Descriptions in The Lord of the Rings"
Hope Rogers, "No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien's Works"
Thomas Honegger, "My Most Precious Riddle: Eggs and Rings Revisited"
Michael Organ, "Tolkien's Japonisme: Prints, Dragons and a Great Wave"
Renée Vink, "'Jewish' Dwarves: Tolkien and anti-Semitic stereotyping"
Derek Shank, "'The Web of Story': Structuralism in Tolkien's 'On Fairy-stories'"
Benjamin Saxton, "Tolkien and Bakhtin on Authorship, Literary Freedom, and Alterity"
Notes and Documents
Kris Swank, "Tom Bombadil's Last Song: Tolkien's 'Once Upon A Time'"
An Hobad, translated by Nicholas Williams, and Hobbitus Ille, translated by Mark Walker, reviewed by Harley J. Sims
The Quenya Alphabet, edited by Arden R. Smith, reviewed by Edith L. Crowe
The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, reviewed by Sarah Beach
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, by Corey Olsen, and There and Back Again, by Mark Atherton, reviewed by Jason Fisher
Green Suns and Faërie, by Verlyn Flieger, reviewed by John D. Rateliff
The Broken Scythe, edited by Roberto Arduini and Claudio A. Testi, reviewed by John Garth
A Hobbit Journey, by Matthew Dickerson, and A Hobbit Devotional, by Ed Strauss, reviewed by Donald T. Williams
Merlin DeTardo, "The Year's Work in Tolkien Studies 2010"
Rebecca Epstein, David Bratman, and Merlin DeTardo, "Bibliography (In English) for 2011"
The Art of the Hobbit edited by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull has been listed as a finalist for the 2013 Locus Award for Art Book (see below). Congratulations to both of you! Your contributions to the field of Tolkien studies, including sharing your vast knowledge and expertise here with fellow collectors, is very much appreciated and an honor such as this is well deserved.
The winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 28-30, 2013. Wayne and Christina will also be presenting a paper on the art in The Hobbit at the 2013 Mythopoeic Conference (Mythcon) 44, July 12-15 in East Lansing, MI.
If you don't already have a copy, it is well worth the investment.
Spectrum 19: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
Trolls, Brian Froud & Wendy Froud (Abrams)
Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, Scott Tracy Griffin (Titan)
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, eds. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Steampunk: An Illustrated History, Brian J. Robb (Aurum)
If you have twenty minutes to spare for a nice fictional short film about the last bookshop, I quite enjoyed this. The Hobbit makes a brief appearance (non-speaking role) - can you find it?
Be sure to visit their website at http://thelastbookshop.wordpress.com/ if you are interested in the film, the shops used, etc. Quite a nice effort and well worth watching I think. A bleak view of what might come to pass if the world continues with certain trends.
Doyle New York (auction house) has a combined book set/signed letter going up for auction next week. There are certain issues with this auction that may keep the lot from realizing the estimate, since the signed letter is emphatically taped into the books, which are second edition copies and have some minor issues - "good overall" is not inspiring, if they are using the technical definition of "good" condition. I think they are using layman's terms meaning "it looks good" rather than meaning that the books fall between "Very Good" and "Fair" condition. Hard to tell, and I would suggest seeing the books and letter in person if you are considering bidding.
Still, not a letter that I believe has shown up before. No content to speak of but it appears to be a nice signature specimen.
Estimate $2,000-3,000 [UPDATE] Sold for $2,250 (Includes Buyer's Premium)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10am
TOLKIEN, JOHN RONALD REUEL The Lord of the Rings comprising The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. London: George Allen and Unwin, (1966-66-66). The first printing of second edition (with "Second Edition 1966" on the copyright page with no other printings listed), with a typed letter signed affixed to the front pastedown. Three volumes, publisher's red cloth in original dust jackets. 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches (22.5 x 15 cm); with three maps bound at end of each volume. The letter affixed with clear tape to the pastedown but otherwise fine, jackets with chips to tips and extremities, short closed tear into one front panel but good overall, the volumes sound. With a letter of authenticity from Lion Heart Autographs. The letter present here, on one sheet of Tolkien's stationery, is dated 2 January 1967 and presents an American autograph seeker with "three signatures for your son/Yours sincerely, [signed] J.R.R. Tolkien". The second edition of Tolkien's trilogy was needed to close a loophole in its American copyright, which had the book in the public domain allowing a pirated paperback edition to be been released in 1965. Excited at the prospect of this new edition, Tolkien wrote an updated forward and heavily revised and corrected the text.
The current accepted bid is $2040 (17 bids so far) with two days remaining.
UPDATE: The letter sold for a final bid of $3,259.20. With the 20% buyer's premium, this means someone paid $3911.04 for this letter.
Previously, this letter was offered for sale by University Archives for $3,900 back in 2008 (see this TolkienGuide post from Findegil, though the item link there is no longer valid.)
TLS, one page, 5.25 x 7, blindstamped personal letterhead, January 12, 1966. Letter to an admirer. In full: “Thank you very much for your birthday greetings. I am, in fact, writing more about the world of The Lord of the Rings, though the time I have to spare, which is not much, is much cut into by my correspondence. I am herewith sending back to you the pictures you kindly let me see. Some of them interested me; none of them enraged me.” In fine condition, with a few light creases. Tolkien’s stories grew to be extremely popular by the 1960s, leading him to be inundated with fan mail. However, he continued to write, publishing The Tolkien Reader and The Road Goes On in the years following this letter. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
The last few months of news articles were modified to spam content, and I am currently not able to replace them from backup. I am in the process of making sure that the site is locked down a little better, but there have been instances of valid user accounts posting spam so
PLEASE - Change your password for your account if it is something simple to guess. Change your password on other sites if you use the same password here.
Hopefully we can keep TCG up against this current onslaught! I may have to disable new account creation for a little while, if I see a need for that. Please email me if you see anything strange on the site, and I will be emailing some of you if I think your account has been compromised.
UPDATE: all articles have been replaced (by hand, from the RSS feed cache) and backed up again. Fingers crossed, [this] hole is plugged!
ADC Books are staging a new book launch on Saturday 11th August 2012 from 10am till 5pm at the Redesdale Hall Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 0AW, Elizabeth Stephen will be signing copies on the day of her book "Hobbit to Hero: the Making of Tolkien's King". Stalls covering Tolkien and other books on sale, Tolkien art by Ted Nasmith, Jewellery and Memorabilia.