A NEW JRR Tolkien epic is being published today.

The Oxford University professor wrote The Fall of Arthur in the 1930s, before he started work on The Hobbit.

The story starts with the legendary King Arthur going to war in ‘Saxon lands’ before returning home.

Its existence was revealed in the 1970s but its publication was then overtaken by other posthumous releases.

Shaun Gunner, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said: “We’re all used to seeing Tolkien’s stories set in Middle Earth, but this is the first time we’ve ever seen Tolkien write about legendary Britain.

“We know Tolkien loved the powerful verse of Anglo-Saxon epics, so his own reimagining of Arthur’s downfall in this format makes for an interesting read.

“This is fundamentally important in terms of considering Tolkien’s academic career and his wider creative process.”

Tolkien, best known for The Lord of The Rings, died in 1973 and is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, North Oxford.

The Fall of Arthur is published by HarperCollins, priced £14.99.