J.R.R. Tolkien, the highly revered author of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit," has a new book coming out next spring.
This may seem peculiar given that the writer died in 1973, but British publisher HarperCollins has confirmed that the unseen "The Fall of Arthur" will be released in May.
The book will be comprised of a long epic poem set in ancient Britain, as well as three essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur. The poem, written in narrative verse, will chronicle the final days or Arthur's reign, as he attemps to defend his kingdom from attack.
Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the book. He told The Guardian, "It is well known that a prominent strain in my father's poetry was his abiding love for the old 'Northern' alliterative verse," or poems structured by alliteration rather than rhyme. J.R.R.'s 2009 posthumous release, "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún," was also written in this style.
Chris Smith, the book's editor at HarperCollins has said that the book will more closely resemble "Sire Gawain and the Green Knight," a 14th century tale that Tolkien revamped for modern readers, than the author's beloved triology. "In 'The Fall of Arthur' we find themes of lost identity, betrayal, and sacrifice for greater glory, which have their echoes in other works, such as The Lord of the Rings, but anyone looking for closer connections will find no wizards or magic swords," Smith said.
Related on HuffPost:
It was when he was working as an academic at Oxford that Tolkien wrote <em>The Hobbit </em>and the first two volumes of <em>The Lord of the Rings</em>. A blue plaque was placed on his house in North Oxford in 2002. PICTURE: Wikimedia
In 2008, The Times ranked Tolkien sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Together with his close friend C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien was a member of The Inklings, an literary discussion group at Oxford University that met in a The Eagle and Child pub and encouraged fantasy writing. PICTURE: Wikimedia
As a small boy, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event which some commentators think had later echoes in his stories. PICTURE: Wikimedia
Tolkien was a devoted father and would write his four children illustrated letters from Father Christmas when they were little, full of drawings of goblins and elves. PICTURE: PA
When his wife died Tolkien had her gravestone engraved with the name 'Lúthien' and when he died nearly two years later he included 'Beren' alongside his own name, after two lovers who feature in his myth of Middle-earth, <em>The Silmarillion</em>. PICTURE: Wikimedia
His first civilian job was working for the Oxford English Dictionary, where he worked mainly on Germanic words. PICTURE: Wikimedia
When Tolkien was working as a signals officer during the First World War, he and his wife Edith developed a special code so that she could track his movements on a map of the Western Front. PICTURE: PA
Today there is a professorship in Tolkien's name at Oxford, the J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language. PICTURE: Wikimedia
Tolkien worried about the being too popular with the Nazis, who liked his celebration of Germanic themes and language. When a German publisher asked him to confirm his Aryan origin, he wrote them a furious letter, objecting to the Nazi "race-doctrine". PICTURE: Wikimedia
When Tolkien was working as a signals officer during the First World War, he and his wife Edith developed a special code so that she could track his movements on a map of the Western Front. PICTURE: Wikimedia