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ABOUT J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S WORKS


J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth is a rich cosmography of cultures, languages, and peoples, but his imaginative writing spans an even greater world.


Tolkien's masterworks, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, are essential stories for every reader. Fans craving more tales of Middle-earth should explore related tales in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. And, finally, fans and students will find a wealth of biography and reference titles to enhance their understanding of Tolkien's genius.


Tolkien's Masterworks

Following the resounding success of The Hobbit in 1938, J.R.R. Tolkien's publisher warned him that "a large public will be clamoring next year to hear more from you about Hobbits." In 1950, Tolkien wrote to his publisher, "My work has escaped from my control, and I have produced a monster . . . it is not really a sequel to The Hobbit, but to The Silmarillion." The first volume of The Lord of the Rings reached bookstore shelves in 1954. Not until four years after Tolkien's death, before The Silmarillion appeared, did his "monster" captivate millions of devoted readers all over the world.

The Hobbit — Prelude to The Lord of the Rings
Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of exhiled dwarves, and soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo — alone and unaided — who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside.

The Lord of the Rings

    The Fellowship of the Ring — Part One
    Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be destroyed—in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom.

    The Two Towers — Part Two
    The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor — the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme. Their guide was Gollum, slave to the corruption of the Ring.

    The Return of the King — Part Three
    Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron's power. But the way was impossibly hard, and Frodo was weakening. Meanwhile, the people of Gondor and Rohan prepared to face the full assault of Sauron's forces.

Additional Works About Middle-earth

The Silmarillion
A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, The Silmarillion precedes The Hobbit in the ancient drama that builds up to The Lord of the Rings.

Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth
A New York Times bestseller for twenty-one weeks upon publication, Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and further relates events as told in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.

The History of Middle-earth
Christopher Tolkien's twelve-volume account of the origins and evolution of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth provides an invaluable resource for those who wish to explore Tolkien's creation in greater depth.


J.R.R. Tolkien Biography

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien's papers, and he interviewed Tolkien's friends and family. Using these sources, he follows the long and painful process of creation that produced The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and offers a wealth of information about the life and work of the twentieth century's most cherished author.

Tolkien and the Great War
In the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977 — meticulously researched and distilled from his personal wartime papers and other sources — John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle-earth's enduring power.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the twentieth century's most prolific letter writers. Now expanded with a detailed index, this collection provides an invaluable record that sheds much light on Tolkien's creative genius, his thoughts and feelings about his own work, and the evolution of his grand design for the creation of a whole new world: Middle-earth.


Reference and Criticism

J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
Prominent scholar, Tom Shippey presents a companion to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, focusing in particular on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. The core of the book examines The Lord of the Rings as a linguistic and cultural map and as a response to the meaning of myth.

The Road to Middle-earth: Revised and Expanded Edition
Tom Shippey explores J.R.R. Tolkien's creativity and the sources of his inspiration, showing in detail how Tolkien's professional background led him to write his masterworks.

Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism
Collected here are the definitive essays about Tolkien, spanning fifty years of critical reaction and offering insights and guidance.

Defending Middle-earth
This is a classic of Tolkien criticism, now with a new afterword.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator
This volume of over 200 full-color illustrations explores Tolkien's art at length, from his childhood paintings and drawings to his final sketches. The illustrations he created for his books, especially his tales of Middle-earth, are at the heart of the collection that also examines pictures he made for his children, his calligraphy, and more.

The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth
This book includes all fourteen of Tolkien's invented languages, spoken by hobbits, elves, and men of Middle-earth. It includes an English-Elvish glossary, all the runes and alphabets, and material on Tolkien the linguist.

On Tolkien: Interviews, Reminiscences, and Other Essays
This collection offers a rare glimpse into Tolkien's world through his own words and the words of those closest to him.

The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
The definitive handbook to one of the most popular authors of the twentieth century, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, by the internationally acclaimed scholars Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, presents the most thorough analysis possible of Tolkien's work within the important context of his life.
The Reader's Guide is an indispensable introduction to Tolkien's life, writings, and art. It includes brief but comprehensive alphabetical entries on a wide range of topics.

The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide is the ultimate resource for fans and scholars who wish to gain a complete understanding of Tolkien's life and works.