A NEVER-before-seen book by Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien has been published 100 years after it was first conceived.
Beren and Lúthien, a story that Tolkien recounted in a chapter of his posthumously published The Silmarillion, was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien.
According to BBC, the novel has been described as a “very personal story” the Oxford author created after returning from the Battle of Somme.
The book also features illustrations by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for his work on Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.
Lee was recognised in 2004 for art direction on The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
It was published on Thursday by HarperCollins on the 10th anniversary of the publication of Tolkien’s last Middle Earth book, The Children of Húrin.
The author died in 1973.
Tolkien biographer John Garth told the BBC that the author conceived the story while recovering from trench fever contracted while serving in World War I.
“He’d lost two of his dearest friends on the Somme, and you can imagine he must have been inside as much of a wreck as he was physically,” Mr Garth said.
It’s believed the story was meant as a tribute to Tolkien’s wife, Edith.
The headstone that marks the grave where Tolkien and his wife are buried is engraved with the names of Beren and Lúthien.
Originally published as One Tolkien book to rule them all