The Fall of Gondolin was written while the author was in hospital following the Battle of the Somme.
The Fall of Gondolin will be the second “new” Tolkien work to be released in two years, following the release of Beren and Lúthien in May 2017. Edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, and illustrated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee, its announcement came as a surprise even to Tolkien scholars.
Christopher Tolkien, who is now 93, had described Beren and Lúthien in a preface as “(presumptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings”.
Garth said the story was written by Tolkien while he was in hospital and convalescing directly after the Battle of the Somme. “It’s a quest story with a reluctant hero who turns into a genuine hero – it’s a template for everything Tolkien wrote afterwards,” he said. “It has a dark lord, our first encounter with orcs and balrogs – it’s really Tolkien limbering up for what he would be doing later.”
The book is said to be the biggest narrative Tolkein wrote outside of the Lord of the Rings