The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

Illustrator Linda Garland
Author Robert Foster
Year 1988 (first published 1978)
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
ISBN 0-04-803001-5

J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy works, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion have delighted millions of readers in recent years.

Middle-earth, the world in which the stories take place, is as real and complex as our own. Events, geography and names were created with care and loving attention by Tolkien, who wanted every single detail of his books to fit into their total pattern. A belief in perfection, the fun of the sub-creation and the desire to create something so totally convincing that the reader could believe in it (in a sense) as actual history, involved him in map-making, endless charts of dates and events and the development of his many invented languages. Continue reading

The Hobbit or There and Back Again

The Hobbit or There and Back Again

Illustrator J. R. R. Tolkien
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Year 1980 (first published 1937)
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
ISBN 0-04-823154-1

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves, in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving, unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of the Five Armies are some of the adventures that befall Bilbo. But there are lighter moments as well: good fellowship, welcome meals, laughter and song.

Continue reading for more about the book and to view the cover painting in more detail! Continue reading

The Lord of the Rings

Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Year 1977 (first published 1954, 1955)
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
ISBN 0-04-823087-1

“For this marvellous story Tolkien has created his own mythology, and woven a spell-binding tale around the momentous struggle for the magic Ring; the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. He gives us a fantastic diversity of scene (wars, migrations, even whole epochs), and of characters – dwarves, elves, dragons, as well as races of men. And never for a moment during the 1,000-page tale does his inspiration flag, and nor does the reader’s belief in the magical world Tolkien has created.” (from the inside dust jacket)

The back cover to this edition Continue reading