It’s not often that I write about books that are currently in or soon to be in print. My bookselling specialty is the hard-to-find and the out-of-print book. However, since it is fairly often that I write about my own nerdiness, I thought I would just go ahead and tell you how excited I was to read this today. That’s right. In May, 2013, a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit), will be published. What I’m most excited about is the title: The Fall of Arthur. It’s about Britain’s legendary, amazing King Arthur.
Here’s where the nerdy part comes in: I love Arthurian legend. When I was majoring in English during my college years, I took an entire course on Arthurian Legend. Really. (And I can still hear my parents right now, begging me to consider taking something practical, like Business. Clearly they did not know I was destined to be a teacher and then a bookseller and that Arthurian legends are just one small part of our stock-in-trade.) I loved that course and the reading that went along with it. Here’s a page from my textbook from college, written in Middle English (The Alliterative Morte Arthure). If you want to see for yourself how different Middle English is from modern English, click on the photo below and the print will be bigger.
Tolkien is not only a great storyteller; he is a master of language. One of his early jobs was writing for the Oxford English Dictionary, where he wrote specifically about the history and etymology of words. He even created his own language, Elvish, as shown in this book, below:
I think it’s high time we revive interest in King Arthur and I think Tolkien may just be the perfect author to do it! I’m looking forward to the publication of The Fall of Arthur next spring.
See you in the stacks!