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First publication of early Tolkien work

06 July 2018

The Fall of Gondolin, in which JRR Tolkien (1911) depicted the earliest phase of his mythology, will be published as a standalone book for the first time this summer.

Edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher and illustrated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee, The Fall of Gondolin is the second ‘new’ Tolkien work to be released in two years, following the release of Beren and Lúthien in 2017. 

Described by Tolkien as the “first real story” set in Middle-earth, it is believed that he started writing The Fall of Gondolin in early 1917 while convalescing in hospital following the Battle of the Somme. The book, which tells the story of an elven city sacked by the Dark Lord, Morgoth, acts as a missing link, chronicling the history of Middle-earth many years before the events in The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien Society chair, Shaun Gunner, said: “We never dared to dream that we would see this published. The Fall of Gondolin is, to many in the Tolkien community, the Holy Grail of Tolkien texts as one of Tolkien’s three Great Tales alongside The Children of Húrin and Beren and Lúthien

“This beautiful story captures the rise and fall of a great Elven kingdom, taking place millennia before the events of The Lord of the Rings. This book brings all the existing work together in one place to present the story in full.”

The Fall of Gondolin, published by HarperCollins, is due to arrive in bookshops on 30 August 2018.