Houghton Mifflin has acquired U.S. rights to publish the first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien since the posthumous Silmarillion in 1977. HM bought American rights to The Children of Húrin from HarperCollins UK, which acquired the project from The Tolkien Estate in a world rights deal.
Húrin, begun in 1918, was reconstructed by Christopher Tolkien, painstakingly editing together the complete work from his father’s many drafts, this book is the culmination of a 30-year endeavor by him to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s vast body of unpublished work to a wide audience.
HM will publish Húrin in April 2007.
This is interesting. The versions of the tales written in 1918 were previously collected in THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, Volumes 1 and 2 of THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE EARTH. Although Tolkien worked on a longer version of the Narn i Hîn Húrin as he called it, bits and pieces of this were printed in both UNFINISHED TALES and HoME. Christopher Tolkien, now 82 himself, has been laboring over his father’s papers for decades, and the Tokien scholars here at Stately Beat Manor will be very curious to see the results. To our knowledge there is no existing unpublished “complete book” by Tolkien, unless it is C. Tolkien’s redacted version of various texts, some written when Tolkien was recovering from trench fever received in the Battle of the Somme. If this is the case, we hope Christopher doesn’t make another boner like making Gil-Galad the son of Fingon in the published Silmarillion.