Books by J.R.R. Tolkien
This book list has only been partially revised. It is, however, complete as far as books by
Tolkien himself are concerned (except for Morgoth's Ring, Vol X of the The History of
Middle-earth Series series, which is due out "any day now" in the U.S.). This version also
contains some expanded comments on the The History of Middle-earth Series series, which people
have been asking about. The fully revised list will contain many more secondary sources and
much other book-related information.
The following list is complete with respect to books containing material written by J.R.R.
Tolkien as of September 1993. It is (intentionally) not complete with respect to secondary and
biographical sources, but does contain 1) those which I consider best and 2) those which are
generally highly regarded (overlapping but not identical groups). This list is not limited to
books in print; indeed, a number of the best are out of print.
There is a lengthy introductory note on the state of the accompanying maps as currently
presented by the publishers, which I urge you to read if you or anyone you know are about to
obtain LotR (Tolkien himself considered the maps to be of primary importance). [The beginning
of the actual book listings is marked with a double line of "="'s for skipping ahead purposes.]
- No attempt has been made to include in this list either Tolkien's academic journal articles
or poems that were published in various literary magazines. For further information, see
Appendix C of Humphrey Carpenter's Tolkien: A Biography.
- There have been numerous special editions of both The Hobbit and LotR; only generic
editions have been included here.
- This list is composed primarily of American editions. In general there is an equivalent
British edition in each case, usually published by Unwin Hyman (formerly Allen & Unwin). It
is very difficult to get British editions in the US (and vice-versa?).
- In many cases two paper edition have been listed, one from Houghton Mifflin and one from
Ballantine. In all cases the Houghton Mifflin editions are trade paperbacks (i.e. larger size)
while the Ballantine editions are mass-market paperbacks.
- The following errors in Books in Print have been corrected. The major one: The Magical
World of the Inklings was NOT written by J.R.R. Tolkien; rather, it's about
the Inklings (the Big Four: Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, Barfield). Minor errors: it's the Book of
Lost Tales, not "Last" Tales; and a number of the books listed are in fact out of print.
- The following abbreviations have been used: HM =Houghton Mifflin op =out of print
A WORD ON MAPS
Because of Tolkien's extraordinarily careful attention to details of geography, landscape, and
the lengths of the various journeys, the maps have always been extremely important - without
them it would have been impossible either to write the story or to follow it in any detail. The
best maps available are those made by Christopher Tolkien (CJRT) for his father. Originally, all
US editions contained the same set of maps, but for some reason Ballantine has substituted
horrible redrawn maps for the originals in their current printings. Thus, if you or anyone
you know is acquiring The Lord of the Rings, make sure you or they get a copy with the original
maps. The Editions so graced are
1) either of the current Houghton Mifflin editions or
2) a sufficiently old secondhand printing of the Ballantine edition.
The best compromise between cost and quality is probably the Houghton Mifflin trade paperback
edition, which has the maps as endpapers - as such, the maps are large enough to be useful.
Given the escalating cost of mass market paperbacks, the difference in price ($9.95 (Houghton
Mifflin) vs. $5.95 (Ballantine)) is reasonably small and well worth it (the trade edition is
also a nicer edition in general).
For those who wish to identify which Ballantine printings are sufficiently old, here are the specifics:
The first edition contained three maps:
1) the small map of the Shire which precedes Chapter 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring,
2) the main map of the western lands of Middle-earth which accompanies The Fellowship of the
Ring and The Two Towers, and
3) the large-scale map of Rohan and Gondor which accompanies The Return of the King.
In 1980 Christopher Tolkien presented an enhanced main map to accompany Unfinished Tales,
which included many place-names not on the original. Unfinished Tales also included a previouly
unpublished map of Númenor.
Now, the current Houghton Mifflin hardcover contains the Shire map in its traditional place,
the (original) main map in fold-out form with The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers,
and the large-scale map in fold-out form with The Return of the King. That's fine. The Houghton
Mifflin trade paper-cover edition contains the Shire map in its traditional place, the main map
as an endpaper (extending over two pages) to The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and
the large-scale map as an endpaper (also extending over two pages) to The Return of the King.
That's fine, too. The Ballantine edition originally had exactly the same arrangement, with the
maps reduced only to the extent required by the smaller size of the books (but still quite
adequate, being spread over two pages).
Unfortunately, sometime in the 80's Ballantine removed the originals. Their first deranged
act was to take Christopher's new main map from Unfinished Tales, reduce it to microscopic size,
cut it into quarters, and place the quarters on four separate pages. They've now gone one step
beyond even that and have redrawn all the above maps. These redrawn maps are among the
most horrible and appalling creations I've ever seen. The mountains and trees are too large for
the scale; not only do they look silly but they also are placed carelessly, thereby fuzzing the
geographical details. The mode of lettering is too large: the place names run over each other,
and some are left off altogether. The coastlines and many other places have been copied less
carefully than they might have been. Finally, both maps (the main map and the large-scale map)
have been squeezed onto one page each, whereas originally each was spread over two. [The redrawn
maps are signed "Shelly Shapiro 88".]
Worst of all is the Shire map: it's presented in reduced form in the lower lefthand corner of
the main map, with most of the features and 90% of the place names left off. This last is
especially tragic since Tolkien expended enormous care and effort on the place names of the
Shire (it was a grand simulation of the place-names of England) - a number of them do not appear
either in the narrative nor in the appendices.
Thus, what were five pages of maps have been reduced to two. Finally, and inexplicably, a
similarly redrawn version of the map of Númenor mentioned above is shown on a third page.
This last is particularly inane, since this map, taken from Part II of Unfinished Tales, has no
connection at all with LotR. The wasted page might have been used for a larger version of the
Shire map. What's amazing about the new maps is that they're worthless from every point
of view. Not only are they aesthetically inferior (which only fanatics might be expected to
worry about) but they also destroy the (generally) tight fit between the story and the originals.
It's a performance of exceptional ineptitude, even for a book publisher.
The situation in the current printing, then, is this. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two
Towers contain the three pages of redrawn maps described above; The Return of the King still
contains the new main map from Unfinished Tales cut into quarters. For those who prefer the
cheaper Ballantine editions, anything before 1980 is probably alright. However, if it's not
clear from the above description, I urge you strongly to spend a minute examining the Houghton
Mifflin editions so you'll know what the maps should look like.
Having covered LotR so carefully, I should also mention the state of the maps in the other works:
- The Hobbit
- is fine: both Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine have included the two original maps in
- Unfinished Tales:
- the Houghton Mifflin trade edition has Christopher's redrawn map on the insides of the
covers, which is adequate; the Ballantine edition, on the other hand, has the same horrible set
of maps that The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers have.
- The Silmarillion:
- the HM hardcover has the map of Beleriand as a foldout; the HM trade edition doesn't have
this map at all, which is silly since the Table of Contents lists it as an endpaper (it isn't
there); the Ballantine edition, on the other hand, does have it in a suitable form: spread over
Principal Works - The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
- The Hobbit.
- Originally published by Allen & Unwin in 1937 (2nd ed. 1951, 3rd ed. 1966, 4th ed. 1978)
and by HM in 1938 (2nd Amer. ed. 1951 [cloth] and 1965 [paper], 3rd Amer. ed. 1966); many
editions are currently available, including special 50th anniversary editions; standard ones are:
HM, 1966 (ISBN 0-395-28265-9) (paper); Ballantine, 1966 (ISBN 0-345-33968-1) (paper).
- The Annotated Hobbit.
- Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson; HM, 1988
- The Lord of the Rings.
- Originally published by Allen & Unwin in 1954-55 and by HM in 1955-56; revised edition
in 1965; sometimes published as one volume but generally as three; the 1987 HM editions referred
to below are the most recent attempt to correct the many textual errors that have crept in over
the years. [See the Note on the Text, by Douglas A. Anderson, at the beginning of The Fellowship
of the Ring of that edition.]
- The Fellowship of the Ring.
- HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-48931-8); HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-27223-8) (paper); Ballantine,
1965 (ISBN 0-345-33970-3)(paper).
- The Two Towers.
- HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-48933-4); HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-27222-X) (paper); Ballantine,
1965 (ISBN 0-345-33971-1)(paper).
- The Return of the King.
- HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-48930-X); HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-27221-I) (paper); Ballantine,
1965 (ISBN 0-345-33973-8)(paper).
- Lord of the Rings.
- Centennary edition, with 50 illustrations by Alan Lee. HM, 1991 (ISBN 0-395-59511-8)
[$60.00]; HM, 1991 (ISBN 0-395-60423-0) [Signed edition (by the artist) - $250.00].
Related Middle-earth Works:
Any writing by J.R.R. Tolkien which extends our knowledge of Middle-earth (excluding the History
of M-e series). The Letters are included because of the many strange and wonderful
insights into M-e that they contain, which indeed is why most people read them. A Tolkien
Compass is included because it contains "The Guide to Names in LotR", a fascinating but far
too little known compilation, also by JRRT himself.
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Selected and Edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien.
HM, 1981 (ISBN 0-395-31555-7).
- The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle.
- Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien set to music by Donald Swann. HM, 1967, 1978 (ISBN 0-395-24758-6)
[op]. Allen & Unwin, 1968, 1978 (ISBN 0-04-784011-0) (British edition).
- A Tolkien Compass.
- Including J.R.R. Tolkien's "Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings" (prepared for
publication by Christopher Tolkien). Edited by Jared Lobdell. Open Court Publishing Company,
1975 (ISBN 0-87548-316-X); Open Court Publishing Company, 1975 (ISBN 0-87548-303-8) (paper);
Ballantine, 1980 (ISBN 0-345-28855-6) (paper).
- The Silmarillion.
- Edited by Christopher Tolkien. HM, 1977 (ISBN 0-395-25730-I); HM, 1983 (ISBN 0-395-34646-0)
(paper); Ballantine, 1985 (ISBN 0-345-32581-8) (paper).
- Unfinished Tales.
- Edited by Christopher Tolkien. HM, 1980 (ISBN 0-395-29917-9) [op]; HM, 1982 (ISBN 0-395-32441-6)
(paper); Ballantine, 1988 (ISBN 0-345-35711-6)(paper).
- Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- HM, 1979 (ISBN 0-395-28523-2) [op].
The History of Middle-earth Series
Since 1984 Christopher Tolkien has been presenting his father's unpublished writings: his
editing is both very careful and extremely detailed. These books are admittedly not for
everyone, but being as they are rather a mixed bag, neither should they be dismissed without
consideration. Brief descriptions have therefore been provided to aid individual decisions. It
must be said up front that, rumors to the contary notwithstanding, these are not new
stories (though they arguably approach being new stories in several cases).
- The Book of Lost Tales is the earliest version of the Silm - the storyline is much the same
but the style is very different indeed (extremely archaic). Compared to the Silm (which is to
some extent a compression of The Book of Lost Tales, Part One) these tales read more like
stories and less like annals. A significant minority appear to prefer these versions to the
published Silm. [The Book of Lost Tales, Part One was begun in 1916-17 while Tolkien was in
hospital after serving in the Battle of the Somme.]
- The Lays of Beleriand consists of two long poems, each one an expansion of a Lost Tale.
"The Lay of the Children of Hurin" is 2300 lines of alliterative verse (unfinished). "The Lay
of Leithian" (the Beren and Luthian story) is in rhymed couplets and runs to some 4000 lines.
Included is a revision of the Lay made around 1950 (i.e. post-LotR). For those who have a taste
for such things the poems are wonderful, with the result that this is perhaps the most popular
of the The History of Middle-earth Series volumes. An added bonus is a commentary on the Lay
written by C.S. Lewis in 1929. Lewis pretended that the Lay was an ancient manuscript and made
numerous references to divergent texts and the opinions of ponderous nineteenth century scholars
with absurd names. He nevertheless included much thoughtful criticism, which Tolkien took
- The Shaping of Middle-earth returns to the development of the prose Silm, presented
chronologically. Contained herein are
1) Tolkien's plot summary of The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (labelled "the earliest Silm" by
2) the re-expansion of the summary in both narrative (the Quenta Noldorinwa) and annalistic
(the Earliest Annals of Valinor and of Beleriand) forms; and 3) The Ambarkanta (or "Of the
Fashion of the World"): Tolkien's musings on the physical construction of Middle-earth,
accompanied by diagrams.
- The Lost Road contains the rest of Tolkien's M-e work up to 1937 (when LotR was begun), a
somewhat diverse set of writings presented in three major sections. The Lost Road is an
unfinished time-travel story, conceived in the same impulse as were C.S. Lewis' space-travel
stories. A re-telling of the Atlantis story, it involved a father and son who were reincarnated
during various time-periods significant in Germanic legend (Anglo-Saxon, Lombardic, etc.). In
their most ancient incarnation their names were Amandil and Elendil and they lived on Atlantis
itself, called "Númenor" in this story and already linked to the world of the Silm.
Tolkien's intention was to explicitly link M-e with many different Germanic legends, and these
manuscripts are therefore significant in the context of Tolkien's wider literary interests.
Eventually, both Númenor and Elendil became important elements in the history of the
Second Age of M-e. The Silmarillion continued. Included are the next versions of the three
parallel presentations: the Quenta Silmarillion, and the Later Annals of Valinor and of
Beleriand. Also the first version of the Ainulindale (the Creation myth) and the Lhammas
(The Account of Tongues), the latter accompanied by complicated charts depicting the
evolution of a large number of related Elven languages.
The Etymologies. This was Tolkien's working dictionary of Elvish words and roots. Although he of
course never stopped developing the languages, this remains a useful reference today: he was
still working on it during the early stages of writing LotR, as is shown by the notes on some of
the Shire names which accompany various entries.
- These are the rough drafts of LotR, very carefully analysed and annotated. They are most
likely only for those who are interested both in Tolkien's work and in the craft of writing. Vol
VI is perhaps the most interesting, since the early drafts are those which differ most from the
final form. However, certain aspects of the drafts of Book VI of LotR (i.e. the second half of
The Return of the King), which comprise the first third of Vol IX, are also surprisingly
different from the final version (e.g. Frodo's actions during the Scouring of the Shire).
- Two thirds of Vol IX consist of the Notion Club Papers, a muchaltered re-telling of The
Lost Road. The Notion Club was said to have been loosely based on the Inklings, although there
was no attempt to depict Inkling personalities. Tolkien took a long sabbatical from writing LotR
during 1945-46 to work on this story; a necessary part of this work was the development of
Adunaic, the language of Númenor.
- The current (Fall, 1993) plan is for volumes X and XI to deal with the later development of
the Silmarillion, X with the Valinorean half and XI with the Beleriandic half. The series is to
continue at least through volume XII, which will contain miscellaneous pieces, such as "The New
Shadow", Tolkien's quickly-abandoned sequel to LotR.
- The Book of Lost Tales, Part One.
- (HoM-e Vol I). HM, 1984 (ISBN 0-395-35439-0) [op]; HM, 1986 (ISBN 0-395-40927-6) (paper);
Del Rey (Ballantine), 1992 (ISBN 0-345-37521-1) (paper).
- The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two.
- (HoM-e Vol II). HM, 1984 (ISBN 0-395-36614-3) [op]; HM, 1986 (ISBN 0-395-42640-5) (paper);
Del Rey (Ballantine), 1992 (ISBN 0-345-37522-X) (paper).
- The Lays of Beleriand.
- (HoM-e Vol III). HM, 1985 (ISBN 0-395-39429-5); HM, 1988 (ISBN 0-395-48683-1) (paper).
- The Shaping of Middle-earth: The Quenta, The Ambarkanta, and The Annals.
- (HoM-e Vol IV). HM, 1986 (ISBN 0-395-42501-8).
- The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend Before 'The Lord of the Rings'.
- (HoM-e Vol V). HM, 1987 (ISBN 0-395-45519-7).
- The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One.
- (HoM-e Vol VI). HM, 1988 (ISBN 0-395-49863-5).
- The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two.
- (HoM-e Vol VII). HM, 1989 (ISBN 0-395-51562-9).
- The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Three.
- (HoM-e Vol VIII). HM, 1990 (ISBN 0-395-56008-X).
- Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Four.
- (HoM-e Vol IX). HM, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60649-7).
These could arguably have been placed with the "Short Works". My reasons for making a separate
1) they are children's stories in a way that the other short works are not, and
2) for convenience - each has appeared in one form, whereas the other short works exist in a
multitude of combinations.
- Bilbo's Last Song.
- Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. HM, 1990 (ISBN 0-395-53810-6). Dragonfly Books,
1992 (ISBN 0-679-82710-2) (paper). (Published originally as a poster in 1974 by Allen & Unwin
and by HM).
- The Father Christmas Letters.
- Edited by Baillie Tolkien. HM, 1976 (ISBN 0-395-24981-3) [op]; HM, 1977,
1991 (ISBN 0-395-59698-X) (paper). Allen & Unwin, 1976 (ISBN 0-04-823130-4) (British edition).
- Mr. Bliss.
- HM, 1983 (ISBN 0-395-32936-1) [op]. Allen & Unwin, 1983 (ISBN 0-04-823215-7).
(Facsimile edition reproduced from Tolkien's illustrated manuscript.)
- Oliphaunt (Beastly Verse Board Book).
- Illustrated by Hank Hinton. Calico Books (Contemporary Books, Inc.),
1989 (ISBN 0-8092-4353-9). (An illustrated version of the well-known poem.)
Various shorter pieces, all of them fiction except for 'On Fairy Stories', a lecture, and 'The
Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son', which includes scholarly commentary. All appeared
during Tolkien's lifetime and thus presumably were completed to his satisfaction. A variety of
combinations exists; the list below is not complete.
- Farmer Giles of Ham.
- HM, 1950, 1978 (illustrated by Pauline Baynes) (ISBN 0-395-07121-6) [op];
HM, 1991 (illustrated by Roger Garland) (ISBN 0-395-57645-8).
- The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son,
- in Essays and Studies by members of the English Association, New Series Volume VI, 1953,
pp 1-18. (London, John Murray).
- The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses From the Red Book.
- HM, 1963 (illustrated by Pauline Baynes); HM, 1991 (illustrated by Roger Garland)(ISBN 0-395-57647-4).
- Tree and Leaf.
- HM, 1965, 1989 (ISBN 0-395-50232-2). (The 1989 edition includes the poem 'Mythopoeia'.)
- The Tolkien Reader.
- Ballantine, 1966 (ISBN 0-345-29881-0) (paper). [Contains The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth
Beorhthelm's Son, Tree and Leaf, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and
Other Verses From the Red Book.]
- Smith of Wooton Major.
- HM, 1967 (illustrated by Pauline Baynes) [op] ; HM, 1991 (illustrated by Roger Garland)
- Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham">Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham.
- Illustrated by Pauline
Baynes. Ballantine, 1969 (ISBN 0-345-33606-2) (paper).
- Poems and Stories.
- Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. Allen & Unwin, 1980 (ISBN 0-04-823174-6) (Deluxe Edition).
[Contains The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses From the Red Book, The Homecoming of
Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son, Tree and Leaf, Farmer Giles of Ham, and Smith of Wooton Major.]
Such scholarly work of Tolkien's as has appeared in book form. Tolkien in his own lifetime
produced only the Middle English Vocabulary and the editions of Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight and the Ancrene Wisse. The others were edited by Christopher Tolkien
or other former students. The book of Essays in Memoriam contains only one piece by
Tolkien but this seems a suitable place to list it.
Songs for Philologists strictly speaking is not a work of scholarship, but it is
certainly of that flavor. This is the category it comes closest to fitting; since only about 15
copies are in existence it hardly matters where it is listed. It contains poems by Tolkien and
colleagues in Old, Middle, and Modern English, Icelandic, and Latin, plus the only existing poem
in Gothic (by Tolkien). Some have been reprinted, most notably the one that became Sam Gamgee's
Troll Song. Three of Tolkien's Old English poems and the one in Gothic are printed with
translations in an appendix to The Road to Middle-earth by T.A. Shippey (see Section I).
- Songs for Philologists.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, E.V. Gordon, and others. Privately printed in the Department of English at
University College, 1936.
- A Middle English Vocabulary.
- Clarendon Press, 1922. (Designed for use with Kenneth Sisam's Fourteenth Century Verse
and Prose, Clarendon Press, 1921; subsequently published as a glossary to Sisam.)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight;
- Edited by J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon. Clarendon Press, 1925. (2nd edition revised by
Norman Davis, 1967).
- Ancrene Wisse: The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle.
- Edited by J.R.R. Tolkien. Oxford University Press, 1962. Early English Text Society,
Original Series No. 249.
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo.
- Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien; edited by Christopher Tolkien. HM, 1975 (ISBN 0-395-21970-1)
[op]; Ballantine, 1980 (ISBN 0-345-27760-0) (paper). Allen & Unwin, 1975 (ISBN 0-04-821035-8).
- The Old English Exodus.
- Text, translation, and commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien; edited by Joan Turville-Petre. Oxford
University Press, 1981 (ISBN 0-19-811177-0).
- Finn and Hengest: the Fragment and the Episode.
- Edited by Alan Bliss. HM, 1983 (ISBN 0-395-33193-5).
- The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays.
- Edited by Christopher Tolkien. HM, 1984 (ISBN 0-395-35635-0).
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller: Essays in Memoriam.
- Edited by Mary Salu and Robert T. Farrell. Cornell University Press, 1979 (ISBN 0-8014-1038-X).
Books about Tolkien's life rather than his literary or scholarly work
- Tolkien: A Biography;
- by Humphrey Carpenter. HM, 1977 (ISBN 0-395-25360-8) [op]; HM, 1988 (ISBN 0-395-48676-9) (paper);
Ballantine, 1985 (ISBN 0-345-32729-2) (paper).
- The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends;
- by Humphrey Carpenter. HM, 1979 (ISBN 0-395-27628-4). [op]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle-earth;
- by Daniel Grotta. Running Press, 1976 (ISBN 0-89471-034-6); Running Press,
1978 (ISBN 0-89471-035-4) (paper).
- A Tolkien Family Album;
- by John and Priscilla Tolkien. HM, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-59938-5).
Secondary Works I - Middle-earth Lore:
These books are compilations of various kinds of information about Middle-earth. How helpful any
given one may be depends on the needs of the individual reader. In general they are labors of
love by people who genuinely care about Middle-earth and thus are generally well done. Some are
enjoyable even when unneeded and more than one is impressive merely from the truly phenomenal
amount of detailed study it represents. Two works on the following (incomplete) list (Strachey,
Foster) have been referred to positively by Christopher Tolkien in his various commentaries and
a third (Allan) by several people knowedgable in Middle-earth languages. I can personally attest
to the quality of the others.
- The Atlas of Middle-earth;
- by Karen Wynn Fonstad. HM, 1981 (ISBN 0-395-28665-4) [op];
HM, 1991 (revised edition) (ISBN 0-395-53516-6) (paper).
- A Tolkien Bestiary;
- by David Day. Crescent Books, 1979 (ISBN 0-517-47325-9). [op]
- The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth;
- by Ruth S. Noel. HM, 1974, 1980 (ISBN 0-395-29129-1) [op]; HM, 1980 (ISBN 0-395-29130-5) (paper).
- An Introduction to Elvish: and to other tongues and proper names and writing systems of the
Third Age of the Western Lands of Middle-earth as set forth in the published writings of
Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
- Edited and compiled by Jim Allan from his own researches and from those of Nina Carson [and
others]; as authorized by the Mythopoeic Linguistic Fellowship, a discussion group of the
Mythopoeic Society. Bran's Head Books Ltd., 1978 (ISBN 0-905220-10-2). [US - op ; England - in
- Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings;
- by Barbara Strachey. Ballantine, 1981.
- The Complete Guide to Middle-earth;
- by Robert Foster. HM, 1971, 1978 (ISBN 0-345-27520-9) [op]; Ballantine, 1974,
1979 (ISBN 0-345-32436-6) (paper).
Secondary Works II - Critical Works:
A small sampling of the voluminous body of critical works which have attempted to address the
"Lord of the Rings phenomenom". Except for the last two, the ones listed are those studies which
I have read and which I have reason to think are above average (which is to say, they
don't miss the mark entirely). The last two: the Knight book (which may indeed be interesting
though only one quarter about Tolkien, the other three-quarters being about Lewis, Williams, and
Barfield) is included because it's listing was so garbled in Books in Print (Tolkien is NOT
the author); the Johnson book (a bibliography) is included to help those who have a taste for
such things to pursue the literature (it takes us up through c. 1985).
A word on The Road to Middle-earth. I recommend it unreservedly - there's no
question that it's the best study of Tolkien available, being primarily philological and
medievalist rather than literary in perspective. Shippey, a friend of both J.R.R. Tolkien's, father and
son, is himself a philologist and medievalist who holds the chair at Leeds University that
Tolkien once held himself.
- The Road to Middle-earth;
- by T.A. Shippey. HM, 1983 (ISBN 0-395-33973-1). [op]
- Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World;
- by Verlyn Flieger. Eerdmans, 1983 (ISBN 0-8028-1955-9) (paper) [op]. (a facsimile version
of the original hardcover is available for an outrageous sum.)
- Tolkien and the Silmarillion;
- by Clyde S. Kilby. Harold Shaw, 1976 (ISBN 0-87788-816-7). [op]
- Master of Middle-earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien;
- by Paul Kocher. HM, 1972 (ISBN 0-395-14097-8) [op]; HM, 1972 (ISBN 0-395-17701-4) (paper).
- J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality, and Religion;
- by Richard L. Purtill. Harper & Row, 1984 (ISBN 0-06-066712-5). [op]
- The Magical World of the Inklings;
- by Gareth Knight. Element Books, UK (Tempest Books, US), 1990 (ISBN 1-85230-169-4) (paper).
- J.R.R. Tolkien: Six Decades of Criticism;
- by Judith A Johnson. (Bibliographies & Indexes in World Literature Series No. 6). Greenwood
Press, 1986 (ISBN 0-313-25005-7).
Here you can find pages concerning J.R.R. Tolkien's life, work, what other people said about him and his books...
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