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J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Beren and Lúthien' to be published in 2017

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Beren and Lúthien are getting their own book.

The mortal man and immortal elf are important figures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth mythology – they appear in The Silmarillion and are referenced by Aragorn, whose star-crossed romance with the elf princess Arwen in The Lord of the Rings is a purposeful echo of Beren and Lúthien’s story. Now, HarperCollins has announced plans to release Beren and Lúthien in 2017, 100 years after Tolkien first wrote it.

Tolkien tinkered with the story of Beren and Lúthien several times over the years. In addition to the version that first appeared in the 12-volume The History of Middle-Earth series, the new book will feature passages from various different iterations alongside illustrations by Alan Lee. Like all of Tolkien’s posthumous publications, Beren and Lúthien is edited by the author’s son Christopher Tolkien.

The story of Beren and Lúthien is important – both to readers of The Silmarillion, who find it a compelling, character-driven tale to grab on to amidst that book’s abstract mythology, and to Tolkien himself. The author’s grave, in fact, refers to Tolkien as Beren and his wife Edith as Lúthien. “She was the source of the story,” Tolkien once wrote in a letter to Christopher after Edith’s death.