Timothy and Samuel West narrate audio of Tolkien's Beren and Lúthien

Timothy and Samuel West narrate audio of Tolkien's Beren and Lúthien

HarperCollins is releasing an unabridged audiobook of J R R Tolkien's Beren and Lúthien in April, the latest to be read by father and son acting duo Timothy and Samuel West.

The tale, posthumously published in an edition prepared by Tolkien's son Christopher in 2017, is the third and final of the three Great Tales of Middle-earth begun with The Children of Húrin in 2007.

Released on 30th April through all audiobook retailers, the title follows Beren, a mortal man, and Lúthien, an immortal Elf. Lúthien's father, a great Elvish lord, is deeply opposed to Beren, and imposes on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed his daughter.

The synopsis explains: “Undaunted by Lord Thingol’s challenge, Beren and Lúthien embark on the supremely heroic attempt to rob Morgoth, the greatest of all evil beings, of a Silmaril, one of the hallowed jewels that adorn the Black Enemy’s crown.”

Written by Tolkien in 1917 after he returned from the Battle of the Somme, he regarded the tale of Beren and Lúthien as one of the three 'Great Tales' of the Elder Days and it became an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, which would be edited for posthumous publication by his son.

Deputy publishing director Chris Smith said: “I am delighted that, with the release of the third of J R R Tolkien’s Great Tales of the Elder Days in spoken word format, read so compellingly by two of the most talented actors of our generation, we will be able to bring this powerful and moving work to a new audience. Furthermore, those already familiar with Beren and Lúthien will have the chance to appreciate anew the literary brilliance of Christopher Tolkien, who so skilfully brought his father’s tale to a final, published form.”

The Fall of Gondolin, also read by Samuel and Timothy West and published by HarperCollins in November 2019, has been nominated for Best Narration — Ensemble at the New York Festival Radio Awards 2020.