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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
New illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales
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VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 5, 6:34pm

Post #1 of 36 (910 views)
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New illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales Can't Post

An Illustrated Edition of J.R.R. Tolkienís Unfinished Tales is Coming

There has never been an illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales, and so far as I know, there has never been a work with illustrations by all of arguably the three leading Tolkien artists, Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith.

I'm not usually one to collect different editions of the same book, but I might have to make an exception here.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 5, 6:41pm

Post #2 of 36 (846 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I need to replace my completely falling apart old 1980 copy anyway.


squire
Half-elven


Mar 5, 8:34pm

Post #3 of 36 (842 views)
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Certainly the artists are the leading ones in the popular media. [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder how the assignments will be done: by Age of the World? By Silm v. LotR? By topic, story, or essay? Catch as catch can? Artists' choice?

And as much as I admire the work of these three painters, I get the feeling this is almost pure marketing to move one of Tolkien's less well-known books to fans who know at least one of the three illustrators from other works in the Tolkien Industry. I know it's not a realistic dream, but I would be much more inclined towards editions that search out new artists, especially those whose visions do not intersect so much with the films by Howe and Lee, or with the pure Romantic naturalism of Nasmith.



squire online:
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Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 5, 8:46pm

Post #4 of 36 (839 views)
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Say it ain't so! [In reply to] Can't Post

A publisher, trying to make money? Well, put me in a skirt and call me Loretta!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 6, 4:07am

Post #5 of 36 (809 views)
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How about an expanded edition? [In reply to] Can't Post

Throw in some stuff that was relegated to The History of Middle-earth like "The Wanderings of Hķrin" and "The New Shadow".


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 6, 2:12pm

Post #6 of 36 (764 views)
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That would be wonderful! [In reply to] Can't Post

But I doubt it would happen.

Interestingly, I just got an email yesterday through my publisher from someone asking how likely it was that there would ever be an expanded and/or corrected edition of The Silmarillion. I doubt that anyone would try to "correct" the text (who could possibility decide what was "correct" now that Christopher has gone into the West?), but perhaps an edition that included additional appendices, including the Athrabeth would be possible some day.

There are certainly both commercial and artistic reasons to issue expanded editions of both books!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


ArdamŪrŽ
Valinor


Mar 6, 5:57pm

Post #7 of 36 (750 views)
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I would love to be able to read the fully revised Lay of Leithian [In reply to] Can't Post

Itís such a shame that Christopher didnít present it like that in Beren and Luthien.

Besides that, I think it would be wonderful if the Wanderings of Hurin was added to Unfinished Tales, especially since all the first age material in UT has now been made more readily available in other books.

As far as an expanded Silmarillion goes, it hasnít ever made sense to me why Christopher didnít do that in the late 90ís/ early 2000ís after heíd completed HOME. He states multiple times that he was unaware of certain texts when originally putting the book together. But I agree with you that it probably will never be done now (and I donít personally think it should be done without Christopher anyway).

"Behold! the hope of Elvenland,
the fire of FŽanor, Light of Morn
before the sun and moon were born,
thus out of bondage came at last,
from iron to mortal hand it passed."
-The Lay of Leithian


ArdamŪrŽ
Valinor


Mar 6, 6:09pm

Post #8 of 36 (743 views)
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Iím wondering what this book will look like [In reply to] Can't Post

Will is be the size and style of the recently released Great Tales? Or will it match the previously illustrated (by Nasmith) Silmarillion? Iím hoping it matches one or the other and isnít a completely separate thing.

I also wonder if all the illustrations will be new. The announcement I saw on facebook says each artist will be doing new works, but doesnít specify that all the illustrations will be new, and the picture of the two blue wizards is not new. Iím sure the book will be stunning regardless, but Iíd definitely like all new illustrations.

No matter what, Iím hugely excited for this!

"Behold! the hope of Elvenland,
the fire of FŽanor, Light of Morn
before the sun and moon were born,
thus out of bondage came at last,
from iron to mortal hand it passed."
-The Lay of Leithian


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 6, 6:32pm

Post #9 of 36 (740 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Throw in some stuff that was relegated to The History of Middle-earth like "The Wanderings of Hķrin" and "The New Shadow".


I suggested that once to Christopher and he politely but firmly said "no." Of course, he's no longer the one making the decisions.


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 6, 6:59pm

Post #10 of 36 (734 views)
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Other the Athrabeth I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Given Tolkien's clear intention and the vast value of the work, I think adding it as an appendix could and should be done.

But I doubt it will.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 6, 9:08pm

Post #11 of 36 (724 views)
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Christopher Tolkien's "History of The Silmarillion". [In reply to] Can't Post

As I recall, in response to the publication of your Arda Reconstructed, Christopher Tolkien gave permission to Carl Hostetter to publicly quote some of his comments on how Christopher had created, for his own use and before he began The History of Middle-earth series, a "History of The Silmarillion" in which he conducted much the same exercise as your valuable book provides.

It would be amazing to see that. (If not published, at least in an archive for researchers!)


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 6, 9:33pm

Post #12 of 36 (725 views)
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My understanding of the "History of the Silmarillion" is different [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't get the sense from Carl's (Aelfwine both here and at the Hall of Fire) quoting of Christopher's comments that "The History of the Silmarillion" was similar to what I did in Arda Reconstructed. Here's what Carl quoted:


Quote
A further, but quite distinct, consideration in this connection lies in the relation of The History of Middle-earth to the original writings. In my Foreword to The Peoples of Middle-earth, pp.ix-x, I referred to the forerunner of the History as 'an entirely "private" study, without thought or purpose of publication: an exhaustive investigation and analysis of all the materials concerned with what came to be called the Elder Days, from the earliest beginnings, omitting no detail of name-form or textual variation.' This work, which I called The History of the Silmarillion, and which I began after the publication of my 'constructed' text, runs to more than 2600 very closely typed pages, and it does not even touch on the Second and Third Ages. When the possibility arose of publishing at least part of this work, in some form, it was obvious that it would have to be heavily reduced and curtailed, and the part of The History of Middle-earth dealing with the Elder Days is indeed a new presentation of The History of the Silmarillion, and a severe contraction of it, especially in respect of the sheer quantity of variant manuscript material reproduced in full.


http://www.thehalloffire.net/....php?f=28&t=2250

The impression that I have from those comments, as well as the statements in PoMe that he refers to in that statement and the statement that he made in an interview in the Guardian that I quoted that began the discussion with Carl/Aelfwine, was that Christopher's "The History of The Silmarillion" was not so much a detailing of his own work in creating the published text but rather a more detailed compilation of all of the manuscripts that his father created, which was then edited down to what we got in HoMe.

Nonetheless, it certainly would be a valuable resource if ever made available. Though I doubt it will ever happen.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Elthir
Grey Havens


Mar 7, 8:03pm

Post #13 of 36 (700 views)
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expansion [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As far as an expanded Silmarillion goes, it hasnít ever made sense to me why Christopher didnít do that in the late 90ís/ early 2000ís after heíd completed HOME. He states multiple times that he was unaware of certain texts when originally putting the book together.


Hmm . . . while I'm not saying you can't make this argument, without checking myself (yes, I'm lazy), can you make an argument that these texts would necessarily lead to an expanded Silmarillion?

And I mean "expanded" in notable enough sense here -- for example, not simply the addition of a few sentences here and there.

For example, CJRT was aware of the Athrabeth, if I recall correctly.


Elthir
Grey Havens


Mar 7, 10:41pm

Post #14 of 36 (685 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

 . . . that that's what CFH meant.

With respect to Tolkien's clear intentions: for example, in a post-Lord of the Rings source [WPP] JRRT notes that all refences to the term Noldor meaning "wisdom, lore" should be deleted, and that the name should rather refer to hair colour.

Of course the stance that "Tolkien didn't publish X so don't be so sure he would have" is so sweepingly easy that it's arguably not very compelling, but in this case*. . . maybe it needs keeping in mind here, as this much appears clear enough to me: despite the draft notes that Tolkien intended the Athrabeth as an appendix to The Silmarillion, CJRT did not do this, and in Morgoth's Ring he raises at least two concerns:

A) Tolkien's somewhat perplexing "parody of Christianity" note, which I think could/might reflect upon even the suggestion of the Incarnation in the Sub-created World.

B) Tolkien's ultimate intentions with respect to the Fall of Man, in light of which CJRT quotes material from Letters, notably an excerpt in which his father remarks unfavorably about the Christian elements in Arthuriana, for example.

These could be seen as important matters, and the doubt raised by CJRT appears, at least, to have outweighed what otherwise might be thought of as clear intentions.

As I've blathered before: we know Tolkien will do X . . . when he puts it in print [ignore suggested canon argument].

Or, something else.

__________

*although this sweeping argument is somehow not to be used against me when I argue that Tolkien wanted/intended The Drowning of Anadune to be published at some point, based on a relevant "draft note" that accompanies DA.

An argument that I have never made and won't continue to make. Ahem. Cough.

Wink


Morthoron
Gondor


Mar 8, 2:23am

Post #15 of 36 (674 views)
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Will the drawings be finished? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 8, 2:51pm

Post #16 of 36 (613 views)
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I'm not aware of there being any "drawings" [In reply to] Can't Post

From the Tolkien Estate's posting about the book:

"John Howe, Alan Lee & Ted Nasmith will each be contributing brand new paintings that depict the Three Ages of Middle-earth in glorious colour. This new edition will be published in October 2020 and will feature 18 full-colour paintings together with a stunning brand-new dustjacket."

So paintings, not drawings. Presumably, six each, though that is not clear.

Hope that answers your question.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Morthoron
Gondor


Mar 8, 3:52pm

Post #17 of 36 (609 views)
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Will the paintings be "unfinished"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I was joking. Wink

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



squire
Half-elven


Mar 8, 3:56pm

Post #18 of 36 (608 views)
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That would be quite clever! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would love to see these artists sketch out their illustrations and then progressively paint in and 'finish' only selected parts of the overall compositions. What a wonderful artistic comment on the problem of illustrating a book called "Unfinished Tales".

Given the prestige of "new illustrations by Lee, Howe, and Nasmith" among Tolkien collectors, who typically have a low tolerance for artistic experimentation in visualizing Tolkien's works, I admit I don't expect this to be the book's approach. But it would be the only version that I myself would consider buying.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Elthir
Grey Havens


Mar 8, 4:23pm

Post #19 of 36 (599 views)
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Drawings [In reply to] Can't Post

Joking, or not, I like the idea too.

And I wish there would be "drawings". For me, some of Lee's pencil work in the latest Tolkienian volumes outshine many of his watercolours.

Not a big Nasmith fan myself, in any case. Love Howe and Lee . . .

. . . but that said, I think this would could have been a good vehicle to introduce some newer blood.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 8, 5:20pm

Post #20 of 36 (592 views)
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New Blood [In reply to] Can't Post

Speaking of newer blood, I wouldn't mind seeing contributions from Jon Hodgson, former art director at game company Cubicle 7 who was also a key artist for The One Ring Roleplaying Game.



#FidelityToTolkien


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 8, 5:21pm

Post #21 of 36 (597 views)
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I like Lee's drawings too [In reply to] Can't Post

But just to be contrary, Nasmith is my favorite of the three.

(Sorry I didn't get the "finished/unfinished" joke, Morthoron.)

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 8, 5:42pm

Post #22 of 36 (597 views)
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Tastes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Joking, or not, I like the idea too.

And I wish there would be "drawings". For me, some of Lee's pencil work in the latest Tolkienian volumes outshine many of his watercolours.

Not a big Nasmith fan myself, in any case. Love Howe and Lee . . .

. . . but that said, I think this would could have been a good vehicle to introduce some newer blood.


...vary. I like Lee, find some Nasmith pretty good but am completely unmoved by Howe.


ArdamŪrŽ
Valinor


Mar 9, 4:58pm

Post #23 of 36 (552 views)
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Sure! [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it wouldnít be extremely expanded (Iím not talking doubling the length of the book or anything), but I can definitely think of things that should be added back in, along with other things Iíd just like to see added.

First and foremost, the entire chapter of Finwe and Miriel needs to be there. It was clearly a very important part of Tolkienís later ideas about Feanorís origin, not to mention the spiritual aspects of his works. Iíd even include Laws and Customs as an appendix (especially the debate of the Valar about the statute of Finwe and Miriel).

I also think the new material about the darkening of Valinor should be included. That includes the extended account of Morgoth and Ungoliant in Avathar, Morgoth desecrating the thrones of the Valar, and the report of Maedhros about the sack of Formenos.

The actual words of the oath of Feanor from the Annals of Aman have no business being excluded.

Those are the biggies that I can think of off the top of my head. Of course, a sentence here or a phrase there that were either inadvertently left out or mistakenly so should also be put back where they belong (such as the fountain of Tinuviel and the reference to her divine mother as part of the reason sheís given a choice between mortality and immortality).

There are also little things that could be expanded upon that donít necessarily ďbelongĒ to the Silmarillion tradition. Personally, I would include the story of the death of Amrod (Amras?) in the ship at Losgar, and the legend of the awakening of the elves (omitting the references to the sun).

Mostly, though, my original point was supposed to be (and was not clearly stated) that I personally feel the 1977 Silmarillion was published too soon after Tolkienís death, and before Christopher had done his supremely in-depth analysis of his fatherís work. What I meant by a revised 2000ís version is more this - a complete re-doing from scratch after having studied everything in such detail.

"Behold! the hope of Elvenland,
the fire of FŽanor, Light of Morn
before the sun and moon were born,
thus out of bondage came at last,
from iron to mortal hand it passed."
-The Lay of Leithian


Dunadan of North Arnor
Rivendell

Mar 10, 4:17am

Post #24 of 36 (508 views)
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If itís essentially to accompany the upcoming LotR series... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Throw in some stuff that was relegated to The History of Middle-earth like "The Wanderings of Hķrin" and "The New Shadow".


Then Iíd suggest the additions of ĎThe Lost Roadí and ĎTal-Elmarí in the Second Age section, and ĎLast Writingsí in Part Four. If the new executor of the Estate complies of course...


(This post was edited by Dunadan of North Arnor on Mar 10, 4:21am)


Dunadan of North Arnor
Rivendell

Mar 10, 4:40am

Post #25 of 36 (495 views)
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the Numenorean chapters of the Lost Road of course// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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