Christian Bourgois (Photo by Mélanie Morand)

Christian Marie Henri Bourgois (born September 1933; died December 20, 2017) was a French publisher, and founder of his company Christian Bourgois éditeur. He published the French translations of most of J.R.R. Tolkien's primary literature.


Bourgois was born in Antibes, France.

He founded his personal publishing house in 1966, after and while working for other groups. In 1970 he authored Admirations, a collection of articles intended to acquaint the general French readership to J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and eight other authors.

Coming into need of a major publishing output, Bourgois signed a contract with Allen & Unwin, and became set on releasing the French translations of J.R.R Tolkien's works in the 1970's. In 1972, the French translation of The Lord of the Rings was published by his company. Most other fantasy works and fairy tale stories of Tolkien's were soon translated and followed in publication, such as Unfinished Tales in 1982, the first two volumes of The History of Middle-earth in 1995 and 1998, Roverandom in 1999, and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien in 2005.[1]

During these years, Bourgois also took the endeavor of also publishing works of dozens of obscure or foreign authors.

Bourgois died in 2007, at age 74, but his company afterwards would continue to release the French translations of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur in the 2010's.[2]

In 2011, the scholarly essay compilation Tolkien aujourd'hui (Tolkien Today) was dedicated to him.


  1. Vincent Ferré, "La réception de J.R.R. Tolkien en France / The Reception of J.R.R. Tolkien in France", 1973-2003. Tolkien, trente ans après (1973-2003), Christian Bourgois, editor, pp.17-35, 2004. <hal-00664050>

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