There is no need to introduce J.R.R. Tolkien as most of us reading this will without a doubt know the most legendary of fiction and literary masters ever to have lived. His son Christopher Tolkien have taken to the task to finish the massive amount of unfinished work that Tolkien was busy with. We would primarily recognize these as the ‘Unfinished tales of middle-Earth‘ and the most recent ‘Children of Hurin‘.
Then there was the poetic work Tolkien did on the tale and legends of King Arthur, which he never finished. This has been brought to completion thanks to the work by his son Christopher Tolkien. Tolkien’s ‘Fall of Arthur’ is described as some of his best work, beginning even before there was a hole, and in the hole there lived a Hobbit.
The full description below:
The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.
Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him ‘You simply must finish it!’ But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that ‘he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur’; but that day never came.
Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem’s structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.
This is the perfect Christmas gift. Keep in mind that most of Tolkien’s work turns into highly collectible and valuable pieces of art. So, its not only a great read, it’s an investment as well!