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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Unfinished Tolkien due in April
JRR Tolkien
Tolkien is considered by many to be the first fantasy author
An unfinished book by JRR Tolkien will be published in April after being completed by the late author's son.

Christopher Tolkien has spent 30 years working on The Children of Hurin, which The Lord of the Rings author started in 1918 and later abandoned.

Extracts from the novel, which is set before the events of the Rings trilogy, have been published before.

It has been illustrated by Alan Lee, who won an Oscar for his artwork on The Return Of The King film in 2004.

It is not the first time Christopher Tolkien has completed one of his father's projects.

He compiled various drafts to produce The Silmarillion in 1977, four years after JRR Tolkien died, aged 81.

The book was followed by Unfinished Tales in 1980 and the 12-volume History Of Middle Earth, which was published between 1983 and 1996.

'No film plans'

The latter contains several fragments of the story of The Children Of Hurin, but the new book is the first time JRR Tolkien's multiple variants, unfinished pieces, and outlines have been condensed into a complete text.

It will be published on 17 April in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy has sold more than 50 million copies and was adapted into three hugely successful films.

But director Peter Jackson has been ruled out of making a film of Tokien's other classic, The Hobbit.

Jackson is locked in a legal battle with film company New Line over money from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Tolkien's estate says it has "no plans for the foreseeable future" regarding a film of The Children of Hurin.

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