HarperCollins is proud to announce the publication in November 2022 of THE FALL OF NÚMENOR by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by writer and Tolkien expert, Brian Sibley, and illustrated by acclaimed artist, Alan Lee. The book will be published globally by HarperCollinsPublishers and in other languages by numerous Tolkien publishers worldwide.
Presenting for the first time in one volume the events of the Second Age as written by J.R.R. Tolkien and originally and masterfully edited for publication by Christopher Tolkien, this new volume will include pencil drawings and colour paintings by Alan Lee, who also illustrated The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and went on to win an Academy Award for his work on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
J.R.R. Tolkien famously described the Second Age of Middle-earth as a ‘dark age, and not very much of its history is (or need be) told’. And for many years readers would need to be content with the tantalizing glimpses of it found within the pages of The Lord of the Rings and its appendices.
It was not until Christopher Tolkien presented The Silmarillion for publication in 1977 that a fuller story could be told for, though much of its content concerned the First Age of Middle-earth, there were at its close two key works that revealed the tumultuous events concerning the rise and fall of the island-kingdom of Númenor, the Forging of the Rings of Power, the building of the Barad-dûr and the rise of Sauron, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
Christopher Tolkien provided even greater insight into the Second Age in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth in 1980, and expanded upon this in his magisterial 12-volume History of Middle-earth, in which he presented and discussed a wealth of further tales written by his father, many in draft form.
Now, using ‘The Tale of Years’ in The Lord of the Rings as a starting point, Brian Sibley has assembled from the various published texts in a way that tells for the very first time in one volume the tale of the Second Age of Middle-earth, whose events would ultimately lead to the Third Age, and the War of the Ring, as told in The Lord of the Rings.
The Hobbit was first published in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings in 1954–5. Each has since gone on to become a beloved classic of literature and an international bestseller translated into more than 70 languages, collectively selling more than 150,000,000 copies worldwide. Published in 1977, The Silmarillion sold more than one million copies in its first year of publication and has gone on to be translated into almost 40 languages.
Brian Sibley says: ‘Since the first publication of The Silmarillion forty-five years ago, I have passionately followed Christopher Tolkien’s meticulous curation and scholarship in publishing a formidable history of his father’s writings on Middle-earth. I am honoured to be adding to that authoritative library with The Fall of Númenor. I hope that, in drawing together many of the threads from the tales of the Second Age into a single work, readers will discover – or rediscover – the rich tapestry of characters and events that are a prelude to the drama of the War of the Ring as is told in The Lord of the Rings.
Alan Lee says: ‘It is a pleasure to be able to explore the Second Age in more detail, and learn more about those shadowy and ancient events, alliances and disasters that eventually led to the Third Age stories we are more familiar with. Wherever I had the opportunity when working on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I tried to imbue pictures and designs with an appropriate antiquity, an overlayering of history and of echoes of those older stories, and The Fall of Númenor has proved a perfect opportunity to dig a little deeper into the rich history of Middle-earth.’
The Fall of Númenor will be published by HarperCollins with a simultaneous global publication date of November 2022, and subsequently in translation around the world.
The streaming series, The Rings of Power, set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, will be released by Amazon Prime in September 2022.
Over more than four decades J.R.R. Tolkien’s son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, published some twenty-four volumes of his father’s work, much more than his father had succeeded in publishing during his own lifetime. Standing on the mountain of his son’s colossal publishing effort and extraordinary scholarship, readers today are therefore able to survey and understand the vastness of the landscape of Tolkien’s legendarium.
This collection of essays by world-renowned scholars, together with family reminiscences, sheds new light on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, his son Christopher’s unique gifts in communicating and interpreting that work and the debt owed to Christopher by the many Tolkien scholars who were privileged to work with him. What was Tolkien’s intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? Did it leave echoes in the stripped-down version that was actually published? What was the audience’s response to the first ever adaptation of The Lord of the Rings – a radio dramatization that has now been deleted forever from the BBC’s archives? What was the significance of the extraordinary array of doorways which confronted the hobbits as they journeyed through Middle-earth?
The book is illustrated with colour reproductions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts, maps, drawings and letters and, with the kind permission of his estate, photographs of Christopher Tolkien and extracts from his works, some of which have never been seen before, making this volume essential reading for Tolkien scholars, readers and fans.
Richard Ovenden OBE is Bodley’s Librarian. Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
Includes essays by: Maxime H.
Pascal; Priscilla Tolkien; Vincent Ferré; Verlyn Flieger; John Garth;
Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull; Carl F. Hostetter; Stuart D. Lee;
Tom Shippey; Brian Sibley
- 232 pages, 234 x 156 mm
- 51 colour illustrations
- ISBN: 9781851245659
- Publication June 2022
Brian's new book, Joseph and the Three Gifts: An Angel's Story is out –– just in time for Christmas!
Described by Frank Cottrell Boyce as 'A little masterpiece', it takes a new, quizzical, look at the person of Joseph the Carpenter of Nazareth: that character who is an ever-present (but marginal) presence in the Christmas story –– as seen through the eyes of the Archangel Gabriel.
This moving (yet often humorous) tale also provides an answer to the question: 'What became of the Magi's gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh?'
Joseph and the Three Gifts: An Angel's Story is published by Darton Longman and Todd @ £9.95. Purchase your copy HERE
Brian David Sibley (born 14 July 1949) is the author of over 100 hours of radio drama and has written and presented hundreds of radio documentaries, features and weekly programmes. He is widely known as the author of many movie 'making of' books, including those for the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Other major radio dramatisations by Sibley include: John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress; Tolkien's Tales from the Perilous Realm; Roald Dahl's Danny, the Champion of the World; Lucy M. Boston's The Children of Green Knowe, P. L. Travers' The Fox at the Manger, Laurens van der Post's The Night of the New Moon, J. B. Priestley's The Thirty-First of June, Jeffrey Archer's A Matter of Honour, Frank Baker's Miss Hargreaves, James Thurber's The Wonderful O, Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man (as well as two series of Bradbury's Tales of the Bizarre) and a six-part dramatisation of T H White's The Once and Future King starring David Warner as Merlyn.
2016 saw the broadcasting by the BBC of his two-part dramatisation of Richard Adams's Watership Down and the J. G. Ballard short story Track 12, starring Anton Lesser.
More recent books include The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – The Official Movie Guide, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – The Official Movie Guide, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The Official Movie Guide,The Making of The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Harry Potter Film Wizardry, The Golden Compass: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen if You Let It (with Michael Lassell) and a retelling of 50 Favourite Bible Stories selected and read on CD by Cliff Richard and illustrated by Stephen Waterhouse.
His story introduced a new character, Penguin, inspired by a vintage photograph of A. A. Milne and his young son, Christopher Robin, playing with the original teddy bear who became Winnie-the-Pooh and a plush toy penguin. The same month saw the publication of Taschen Books' The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968 to which he contributed five critical essays on Disney films.
ORDER your copy here
THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING
Brian's most recent radio dramatisation was an adaptation of T H White's fantasy classic, The Once and Future King...
The series of six one-hour plays were based on White's idiosyncratic retelling of the Arthurian legends that was also the inspiration for the Lerner and Loewe Broadway musical, Camelot, and the Walt Disney animated film, The Sword in the Stone.
The dramatisation followed Arthur's story from his boyhood as an adopted orphan to his miraculous revelation as 'Rightwise King of All England', the creation of the Round Table and its eventual collapse in the ruins of forbidden love, hatred, deceit and revenge.
The Once and Future King starred David Warner as Merlyn...
...and Paul Ready as King Arthur with Lyndsey Marshal as Queen Guenever
You can discover more about the series and its cast here
Brian's latest book The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Official Movie Guide was published on 20 November in paperback and in a limited edition signed by the author...
ORDER your copy here
Also out a new edition of Brian's book, Three Cheers for Pooh...
ORDER your copy here
Click here to order your copy
Brian's third volume, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies - Official Movie Guide, will be published in November 2014.
The fascinating, fact-filled, behind-scenes story of the making of Aardman Animation's most ambitious feature-length film, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (or for American readers, The Pirates! A Band of Misfits)
THE HISTORY OF TITUS GROAN wins Award
Brian's six-part dramatisation of the 'Gormenghast' novels of Mervyn Peake, The History of Titus Groan received the Best Adaptation Award in the inaugural BBC Audio Awards.
The award was presented by David Tennant. at a ceremony in the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House on Sunday 29 January,2012.
The judges described this as "a brilliant piece of radio drama. It was a hugely ambitious undertaking to adapt the darkly comic, surreal and visual world of Mervyn Peake's novels for sound and this adaptation is faithful to both the spirit and the landscape of the originals."
THE HISTORY OF TITUS GROAN available as a DOWNLOAD...
Followers of Brian's recent cycle of radio plays (for more details, see below), may care to know that the complete six-hour series can now be purchased and downloaded from AudibleGo
Over six weeks, BBC Radio 4 broadcast Brian's dramatisation, The History of Titus Groan, based on Mervyn Peake's trio of novels Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone with elements of the recently published Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore (see item below).
The cycle of radio plays began with 'Titus Arrives' in which Titus, the 77th Earl of Gormenghast is born to the royal house of Groan and the ruthlessly ambitious kitchen boy, Steerpike, makes a bid for freedom. Here are Carl Prekopp (left), as Steerpike, Hugo Docking, (right), as young Titus and Luke Treadaway, (centre), as the narrator Titus. The series concludes on Sunday 14 August (repeated Saturday 20 at 21:00) with 'Titus Alive', concluding Mervyn Peake's Titus Alone and an episode from Maeve Gilmore's Titus Awakes.
The plays featured a terrific cast including David Warner, Miranda Richardson, James Fleet, Adrian Scarborough, Paul Rhys, Mark Benton, William Gaunt, Tamsin Greig, Fenella Woolgar, Claudie Blakeley, Maureen Beattie and Gerard Murphy.
Here is Brian with members of the cast on the first day of recording...
The plays are now available for purchase on download.
The series' producer, Jeremy Mortimer, writes about project (with a sound clip of Brian talking about the production) on the BBC Radio 4 Blog.
Photos: Islay Bell-Webb and David Hunter
BBC Radio 4 broadcast a half-hour documentary, A Hundred Years of Mervyn Peake, exploring the life of the artist and writer and, in particular, his connection with the island of Sark and its fictional counterparts in Peake's illustrations to Treasure Island (left), The Hunting of the Snark, Swiss Family Robinson and other works.
The programme was presented by Mervyn's son, Sebastian Peake, and featured his brother and sister, Fabian and Clare as well as novelist, Joanne Harris and Gormenghast's dramatist, Brian Sibley.
You can listen to the programme again on BBC iPlayer
Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore based on a fragment by Mervyn Peake from Vintage Books (Random House) with an introduction by Brian Sibley
Mervyn Peake's widow, the late Maeve Gilmore, wrote a conclusion to her husband's cycle of novels about Titus Groan. Lost for many years, the book is now finally published to coincide with Mervyn Peake's centenary.
DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE...
Brian appears on the Blu-ray 60th Anniversary Edition release of Walt Disney's 1951 animated feature, Alice in Wonderland in a fascinating 76-minute picture-in-picture documentary, Through the Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland.Also... Don't miss Brian's feature-length audio commentary on the Blu-ray release of Walt Disney's 1940 classic, Fantasia.
In the PAPERS...
On the BOX...
Brian can also be seen on the extras to just-out 70th Anniversary DVD release, Pinocchio
At the MOVIES...
Brian is currently to be seen in a new documentary film, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story which examines the career and the strained sibling relationship between songwriting brothers, Richard M Sherman and Robert Sherman.
The Sherman Brothers wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose and provided songs for countless Disney movies - Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Jungle Book, Winnie-the-Pooh to name but a few - as well as many of the Disneyland attractions such as 'It's A Small World'.
On the WEB...
Read Brian's entry on Wikipedia
Read Brian on the BBC Today website talking about Mickey Mouse at 80
Several of Brian's photographs of Venice are now appearing on the website of his favourite hotel in the city, Hotel Ala
In addition to those on the Home Page, others will be found on the pages devoted to 'Location' and 'Reservation'.
Now, scroll down here to the Galleries to see even more photos of this incomparable city.
Brian's book of 50 Favourite Bible Stories (see below) is discussed on the Official Cliff Richard Website and the book gets a nice on-line review at The Good Bookstall
Read Brian's interview on Winnie-the-Pooh's iconic status on ICONS: A Portrait of England
Off the PRESS...
Out of print for several years, Brian's guide to J R R Tolkien's map-making will be republished on 28 May as The Road Goes Ever On and On: The map of Tolkien's Middle-earth.
The revised hardback edition will have new illustrations by John Howe as well as John's colour version of the map in a pocket at the back of the book.
On his web-site, the artist writes: "I did new black-and-white illustrations for the booklet, since I couldn't locate the ones I'd done for the first edition (they were pretty bad; had I located them, I might well have chucked them out and done new drawings anyway)."
You can order your copy here
A new paperback edition of Phantastes, George MacDonald's 1858 novel of the fantastic is published at £7.99 by Paternoster with Arthur Hughes' original illustrations and an introduction and annotations by Nick Page. The book carries endorsements from C S Lewis, W H Auden, G K Chesterton - and Brian Sibley who writes: 'Phantastes is a haunting, provocative and disquieting novel that links the dreams of medieval romance with the new awakenings of the Victorian era and - in opening a long-lost door to the realm of Faerie - stands as a daringly challenging forerunner to the modern fantasy novel.'
The Golden Compass: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion Brian's book tells the behind-the-scenes story of The Golden Compass, the first film based on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.
Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen If You Let It This book chronicles the journey of everyone's favourite nanny from page to stage: P L Travers immortal character as she appeared in the original books, in Walt Disney's unforgettable film and, most recently on the Broadway and West End stage...
The LIFE and TIMES
Brian Sibley's biography: all you've never needed to know!
How (and Why) those books got written
All the Sibley tomes and volumes brought to book -- and listed!
The SHOW REPORT
The back-stage, off-air story of Brian Sibley's shows and programmes
The PRODUCTION NOTES
A full schedule of the Sibley output for stage, radio and television
Sibley appearances and commentaries on DVD
Sibley Works on CD and Cassette
A series of Photo-Essays by Brian Sibley & David Weeks
The VENICE ALBUMS
Venice Observed View...
Snapping the Cliché-Ridden View...
Venice: The Bizarre Bazaar View...
Observed by Venice View...
MORE ALBUMS COMING SOON!
The Ring Goes Ever OnThe Making of the BBC Lord of the Rings
...And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree
The script of Brian's popular Christmas monologue
Meeting Mr Wonka
Memories of encountering Roald Dahl
How I Got Walt Disney's Autograph
A book-collector's dream story
Remembering the Bear Necessities
Recollections of Disney's The Jungle Book
Heaven on Earth
In Praise of Emporios on the Island of Kalymnos
Brian Sibley: the blog
Random Thoughts on the Ups-and-Downs & Round-Abouts
of the Carousel of Life
Brian Sibley's Likely Stories
A Collection of Terrible Tales and
Ex Libris: Brian Sibley
Volumes taken at idle moments
from my bookshelves
A gallery of images looking at, into,
or out of windows...
button's blog: a rabbit's ramblingsmemorable photo-moments from his globe-hopping life
Original images © Brian Sibley and David Weeks, 2008/15
All rights reserved