'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

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'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Otaku-sempai » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:30 pm

The Fall of Gondolin Paperback(Large type edition)
By J. R. R. Tolkien, Illustrated by Alan Lee

Available for pre-sale now.

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar.
Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo's desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Trin, the instrument of Ulmo's designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon's daughter, and their son is Erendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Trin and Idril, with the child Erendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Erendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same 'history in sequence' mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lthien and The Children of Hrin, he regarded it as one of the three 'Great Tales' of the Elder Days.

ISBN: 9780008302771
Imprint: HarperCollins
On Sale: 2018-08-30
Format: Paperback
Trimsize: 15.300
Pages: 336
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Otaku-sempai » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:14 am

A new article from the Tolkien Society has added Alan Lee's cover art with trade dress:

Image
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Denethor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:30 am

The standard edition is listed with 304 pages.

Interestingly, if you add up the 1917 Lost Tales version, the Unfinished Tales rewrite, and the Silmarillion chapter, you get 138 pages, including commentary. To that one can add the short and unfinished Lay of the Fall of Gondolin.

How does one get from 138 pages to 304? There's either loads of padding (font and massive introduction) or potentially some new material in there. Fingers crossed.
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Elmtree » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:05 pm

I just heard the news and ran over here. Very exciting. I do wonder about the 304 pages.

EDIT- someone just asked me for a timeline... chronologically where do each of the stories published post Silm (CoH, B&L, and FoG) fit with each other? I have an inkling (ouch), and did an internet search for a timeline, but couldn't find one.
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:44 am

They overlap some, but generally speaking it would be: (1) Beren and Luthien; (2) Children of Hurin; (3) Fall of Gondolin.

The book is now listed at amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Gondolin-J- ... 8&qid=&sr=
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Mithfânion » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:52 pm

It's a surprising move. You want to hope for the best, which is a story that is more complete, a continuation of Tuor's coming to Gondolin from UT.
We may not get that, but what will we get?

It was previously assumed there was nowhere near enough material
Chris Tolkien stating in "Beren and Luthien" last year that this would be the final book.
The synopsis of this Gondolin book referring back to the style of Beren and Luthien.

However, something happened that not only changed CT's mind and made him decide to go ahead and publish, which is one thing, but where does a 300 plus page count ( 320 even on US edition) come from? If I look at my copies of BolT 2 and UT, I come to some 115 pages, and only one of those is in the hardcover format that Fall of Gondolin will be. Add 10 more pages from the Silmarillion and a short poem, we are far, far away from 320 pages.

So the big question is, is this a more rounded story, what else is added? The synopsis' suggestion that the Tale of Earendil is also presented, even though not written by Tolkien, might mean more has been added to flesh out the Fall of Gondolin itself as well. Or will that be a copy paste job from what is in BolT II ( there is a separate chapter on Tale of Earendil but very little in it IMO) ?
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:35 am

It certainly is a mystery. The material from the published Silmarillion will not be included because it isn't really written by Tolkien. There will certainly be some of what is included in HoMe 4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth, from the Sketch of the Mythology, and the Quenta Noldorinwa, from which much of the Silmarillion narrative is taken (the first part of the chapter in the published Silmarillion actually appears to be simply a very short summary taken from the long narrative published in Unfinished Tales as Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin). But that certainly does not seem to bring it anywhere close to 320 pages.

We shall see!
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Galin » Sat May 05, 2018 1:45 pm

300 full page illustrations?

:!: :D :!:
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Mithfânion » Wed May 09, 2018 2:39 pm

Haha, that is evil.

Come on CT, please us!
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Linden » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:55 pm

Interesting news. CT has not been prone to invention or wholesale embelishment in the past.... A 200 page introduction?
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby heliona » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:59 am

Wilko and I are going to "An Evening with Alan Lee" where he'll talk about his work and sign "The Fall of Gondolin". Very much looking forward to it!
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:22 pm

Cool!

I'll be reviewing the book for The Journal of Tolkien Research (as I did for Beren and Luthien).
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:07 am

My review is up at The Journal of Tolkien Research.

https://scholar.valpo.edu/cgi/viewconte ... enresearch

It's a bit long, but I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts.
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:56 am

I did buy the book, just because I like to have a full Tolkien collection, but it would have been nice if Christopher had put in some new material. But he's not much of an inventor, so I wasn't really expecting that. Like most of the more recent books from CT, it's probably most notable for a group of stunning Alan Lee illustrations.
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Re: 'The Fall of Gondolin' listed for August 2018

Postby Denethor » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 am

A repost of my review:

The Fall of Gondolin brings Tolkien’s mythos full circle. It was the first story of his secondary world to be written, the earliest version dating from 1917 – and it is the last posthumous story to be released by his son, Christopher, just over a century later. Before I get to the book itself, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christopher for his forty-five years’ worth of work in managing and editing his father’s creation (one can imagine a less scrupulous heir taking advantage of the situation, in order to push his own “original” work. Not so Christopher Tolkien, who at 93 has now earned his retirement).

So what to make of The Fall of Gondolin, the new book? In one sense, it is a disappointment. There is no new material here – my hopeful hypothesis from April, which attempted a page-count analysis of existing material, and concluded there might be something new, has been thwarted by font and commentary. In fact, it is an even bigger disappointment than I had expected – I had at least assumed that we would see the hitherto unpublished Lay of the Fall of Gondolin included, on the basis that this (short, incomplete) poem would help pad out the length. However, it seems Christopher’s views on it haven’t changed since he made the following comment in The Lays of Beleriand:

I do not give this poem in extenso here, since it does not, so far as the main narrative is concerned, add anything to the Tale; and my father found, as I think, the metrical form unsuitable to the purpose.

Which is a shame, even if it is considered surplus to requirements – it is still Gondolin material, as written by Tolkien Senior.

But enough about what isn’t in there. What is, and what can we make of it?

Apart from Christopher’s notes and commentary, the book contains the following:

The complete 1917 original version.
The unfinished 1951 rewrite.
Another brief re-write of the 1917 version (Turlin and the Exiles of Gondolin).
A very brief pre-emptive note leading up to 1917.
The 1926 condensed version (Sketch of the Mythology).
The 1930 condensed version (Quenta)
Think Beren and Lúthien (minus the poetry), rather than a coherent narrative in the vein of The Children of Húrin.

The heart of this volume is therefore 1917 (previously featured in The Book of Lost Tales Volume II) and 1951 (previously featured in Unfinished Tales). For people who are hesitant about dipping into the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth, The Fall of Gondolin is a godsend in terms of making the original story more accessible.

1917 is the (slightly whimsical) version with mechanical dragons, underpowered Balrogs, and a cowardly overweight Elf called Salgant – Maeglin’s lackey. It also features a throwaway hypothesis that Maeglin has Orc blood (it promptly dismisses the idea), and a certain minor character named Legolas Greenleaf, a re-used name that would have been altered had the thing been re-written in full. As I have said, the piece has a strange whimsy to it – but it is also complete. In fact, it is the most thorough treatment of a Tolkienian battle you will see outside Helm’s Deep and Pelennor Fields, culminating in Glorfindel’s duel with the Balrog, and given that it is written in a higher style than Rings, the only comparison I can give is E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros (which The Fall of Gondolin pre-dates!).

1951 is the darker, more detailed, and more polished re-write, that, alas, remains unfinished. Already featured in Unfinished Tales, this is the story of Tuor from his boyhood, to his adventures in Nevrast, to his encounter with Ulmo, to his winter trek to Gondolin with Voronwe, and then finally his (frosty) initial reception at the seven gates of the city – the story cuts off just as Tuor looks down upon Tumladen for the first time. Tuor the character does not change much from the 1917 version – he is still the pious, decent protagonist of the piece, and everything his darker cousin is not (aforementioned cousin has a cameo). The Elves of Gondolin, however, have more than a bit of paranoia about them when first encountered, which in conjunction with the imagery of the Fell Winter, creates a quite foreboding atmosphere. Excellent stuff – and a literary tragedy that Tolkien abandoned it when he did.

Also included in the book:

A follow-up account, following Tuor’s son Eärendil on his pilgrimage across the Sea, and his role in the defeat of Morgoth – which serves to give a sense of closure to the mythology. It’s, alas, a thin account, since whereas at least Gondolin proper has a complete story to go with it, Eärendil’s tale is a matter of notes and sketches.
A glossary of names, and a fold-out map of Beleriand.
Eight gorgeous colour illustrations from Alan Lee.
So is the book worth getting? Rather depends on who you are. As I have said, this book is really aimed at people who have read The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin, and have at least toyed with Unfinished Tales, but who haven’t read The History of Middle-earth. If you are after a coherent narrative (which we were never going to get) or new material, you are going to be disappointed – for people who have read The Book of Lost Tales, the only real selling point is completeness (this is Christopher’s last hurrah), and Lee’s excellent artwork.
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