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Invisible writings of JRR Tolkien that shed new light on his creations in Middle-earth

LONDON – Fans of the famous British author JRR Tolkien, known for the fantasy trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”, expect an unexpected treat.

Unprecedented collections of the author’s writings will be published next year and will shed new light on the works, including The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, US publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said on Thursday.

“This new collection is a real treasure, offering readers a chance to peek over Professor Tolkien’s shoulder,” said Deb Brody, vice president of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in a statement.

“On every page, Middle-earth is once again brought to an extraordinary life.”


Brody said it was not well known that the author continued to write about Middle-earth until the years before his death in 1973. “For him, Middle-earth was part of a whole world that needed to be explored,” she added. .

The book – entitled “The Nature of Middle-earth” – will be published in the United States on June 24, 2021 and in the UK by HarperCollins, also in June.

It was edited by Carl F. Hoster, who had previously worked closely with Tolkien’s late son, Christopher, and was a member of the Elven Linguistic Scholarship, a non-profit study of Tolkien’s invented languages.

The scriptures will touch on ideas, including elven immortality and rebirth, the forces of the Valar, the beasts of Numenor, and the geography of the rivers and hills of Gondor.

The Tolkien mansion did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A selection of JRR Tolkien books for sale.File of Clarence Williams / Getty images

Born in South Africa to English parents, Tolkien, an ardent Catholic, moved to Britain at the age of three. Later an orphan, he and his brother live in a boarding school in Birmingham, where he attends school, speaks Latin and Greek, and shows remarkable language talents before studying at Oxford University.

He later served on the front lines during the Battle of Soma in World War I, before returning to Oxford as an Anglo-Saxon professor of Old and Middle English.

Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings in three parts between 1954 and 1955.

He died in 1973 at the age of 81, but his work continues to attract fans with more than 150 million copies of “The Lord of the Rings” sold worldwide and major film adaptations of his work, which raised more than $ 5 billion in global box office. .

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Indiana-based Tolkien fan Matt Graf, 36, who runs the YouTube fan site Nerd of the Rings, told NBC News that the revelations were an exciting development.

“For those of us who dive into Tolkien’s writings, having something completely new and fresh that no one has read before is very exciting,” he said.

The new collection will even touch on which characters had beards, which for Graf is proof that the meticulous author “did not leave a stone unturned” in the “rich world” he created.

During a grim year of pandemic coronavirus social restrictions, Graf said he was encouraging “an escape to Middle-earth when our world gets a little crazy.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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