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by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Majestic! . . . readers of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings . . . will find in The Silmarillion a cosmology to call their own, medieval romances, fierce fairy tales, and fiercer wars that ring with heraldic fury." — Time

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.

The Silmarillion is both Tolkien's first book and his last, and the core of his imaginative work that underlies all his writings about Middle-earth. Tolkien began The Silmarillion in 1917 and worked on it, changed it, and continued it throughout his life. Edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, the book finally appeared four years after the author's death, in 1977.
The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feonor, the most gifted of the Elves, and within them gleamed the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. But they were stolen by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, setting off the major war of the First Age. The Silmarillion includes several other works besides the main story: Ainulindale, the myth of Creation; Valaquenta, on the nature and power of the gods; Allakabeth, recounting the downfall of Numenor; and "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," the link to The Lord of the Rings. As Christopher Tolkien describes it, "The entire history is set forth from the Music of the Ainur, in which the world began, to the passing of the ringbearers from the Havens of Mithlond at the end of the Third Age."

The Silmarillion is also available in illustrated editions published by Houghton Mifflin, including:

The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
Edited by Christopher Tolkien, illustrated by Ted Nasmith
Now expanded to include forty-eight full-color paintings, this gift edition is a companion to the illustrated editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

A complete listing is available in our catalog.