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New about elves, hobbits and gnomes: Tolkien's unknown essays are to be published in 2021
20 November 2020, 10:21
New about elves, hobbits and gnomes: Tolkien's unknown essays are to be published in 2021
A previously unpublished collection of J.R. Tolkien's essays on the world of Middle-earth to be published next summer

Irina Ziganshina

The Nature of Middle-earth will cover topics such as elven immortality and the geography of Gondor, according to The Guardian.

The book will be called The Nature of Middle-earth - "The Nature of Middle-earth". Publishing house HarperCollins, which is preparing the publication, promises that the collection will "take readers back to the world of The Silmarillion, unfinished fairy tales and The Lord of the Rings". Over the past ten years, this publishing house has already released many previously unknown works of Tolkien, who died in 1973, including Children of Hurin, Beren and Lúthien, and The Fall of Gondolin.

The Hobbit, Tolkien's first work on Middle-earth, was published in 1937, The Lord of the Rings in 1954 and 1955. However, according to Chris Smith, deputy director of HarperCollins, Tolkien continued to write about Middle-earth in the following decades, almost until his death. "For him, Middle-earth was part of a whole world to explore," Smith says, "and his writings on the nature of Middle-earth reflect his efforts to better understand his unique creation." The new collection, Smith continues, is "a treasure trove, offering readers the opportunity to look over Professor Tolkien's shoulder at the most interesting moment: on every page, Middle-earth comes alive again and lives its extraordinary life".

Among the topics explored by the author are elven immortality and reincarnation; the nature of the Valar, the godlike spirits of Middle-earth; the lands and animals of Numenor; geography of the kingdom of Gondor. And also beards - is the question of whether elves, hobbits, and even female gnomes can grow beards has long been a matter of controversy among fans.

The editor of the new book is Carl F. Hostetter, a Tolkien expert who previously worked with the writer's youngest son. Christopher Tolkien, also a writer, worked on his father's drafts, refining them and preparing them for print. He died in January of this year at the age of 95.