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13th August 2015

JRR Tolkien’s first fantasy story to be published this month

The Story of Kullervo, written by JRR Tolkien in 1914/15 while he was studying at Exeter College, will be published in August 2015. The story was inspired by a 19th-century Finnish poem, and influenced his later novel The Silmarillion.

The Story of Kullervo is a dark retelling of a Finnish epic poem, which features a young man sold into slavery who unknowingly seduces his sister before killing himself. This will be the first time the story has been published.

As well as adapting Finnish words within the story, Tolkien also invents new words – tentatively beginning the invention of a new language. This had been a hobby for Tolkien since childhood, but it was a radical new step for him to place the language in a story and this can be seen as a significant step towards the invented languages and mythologies of Middle-earth.

The Story of Kullervo is published by Harper Collins and edited by Verlyn Flieger. It will be released on 27 August 2015.

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