Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced it acquired U.S. rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's previously unseen translation of Beowulf. The work, entitled Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, will be edited by Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, and is slated for a May publication.
"A translation of Beowulf was completed by J.R.R. Tolkien before he became professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford," said Christopher Tolkien. "He returned to it only for hasty and cursory correction in later years, yet much light would be shed on this translation in his University lectures that were expressly devoted to the text, and from them a commentary has been devised for this book. From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a pervading sense of his vision."
The translation is the first book from J.R.R. Tolkien, who died in 1973, sinceThe Fall of Arthur.