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Tolkein’s last tale up for release

A new novel by author J R R Tolkien is to be released 89 years after he started writing it.

books Updated: Apr 05, 2007 20:11 IST

A new novel by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is to be released 89 years after he started writing it.

The Children of Hurin, which will be available in hardback next month, was completed by Tolkien's son Christopher, himself now 82.

The book, details of which are being fiercely guarded by publisher Harper-Collins, is described as an "epic story of adventure, tragedy, fellowship and heroism".

The tale featured briefly in Tolkien's last book, The Silmarillion, but the long version was left unfinished when he died in 1971.

Christopher took 30 years to prepare the book for publication using piles of notes left by his father.

It will be the first "new" Tolkien book since The Silmarillion was published posthumously in 1977.

"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 Hurin as an independent work, between its own covers," Christopher was quoted by the Daily Mail, as saying.

The publication comes four years after the final instalment of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which earned £1.5 billion to become one of the biggest box office successes in history despite the opposition of the Tolkien family.

The book, certain to be a best seller, is illustrated by Alan Lee, who won an Oscar for art direction in The Return of the King.

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