The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien
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Tolkien Collector's Guide

The Twelve Tolkien's of Christmas

Dec 13, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/13 22:50:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hi all, depending where we all are in the world we are roughly 12 days until Christmas so I wanted a fun simple thread listing our most useful books related to Tolkien research with links for UK and US for anyone who happens by the site. I am sure we have had more traffic of late and some may well benefit from a quick and easy guide to useful publications. It doesn't have to be anything lengthy or too complicated. Just a brief note and the publication, or go wild and give us a full on review.

So with that I will start off with an obvious one. I hope others will list theirs too.

The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide (2017 revised 3 volume edition) by none other than Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond. We all know this work but for those not familiar Scull and Hammond open their preface saying

THIS BOOK has been designed, in both its original edition (2006) and the present revised and expanded edition, to serve as a reference of (at least) first resort for the study and appreciation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is meant to be a companion to his readers, and a basic guide to his writings and ideas, his life and times, his family, friends, and colleagues, and the places he knew and loved.

It has become a box I use almost daily and I am still finding new and exciting pieces of information as my research continues into Tolkien's writings, life and times. Having these 3 volumes is like having a library at ones fingertips. Unlike most writers Scull and Hammond are never content to stop at the published texts and add updates to their WEBSITE where readers can find corrections and most impressive, updates and new additions. They also maintain a fantastic blog with a wealth of Tolkien related posts.

Blackwell's (affiliate)
The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide
Christina Scull (author), Wayne G. Hammond (author)
9780008214548
(hardback)
$140.79
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Boxed Set
Hammond, Wayne G.
9780008214548
(Hardcover)
£81.46
Availability: Now

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The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Boxed Set
9780008214548
(Hardcover)
$152.98
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Dec 13, 2020
2020/12/13 23:15:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
TWELVE days - as usual, the rest of the world is lagging behind!

Good idea, and great choice for the first entry.
Dec 14, 2020
2020/12/14 1:23:51 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

TWELVE days - as usual, the rest of the world is lagging behind!

Good idea, and great choice for the first entry.

You really are one step ahead of us Stu 😊
Dec 14, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/14 2:03:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Great idea!

And I also use S&H's Companion and Guide almost daily, so great choice to kick off the thread.

I'll add Karen Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth as a great resource for all ages of Middle-earth. I believe it is out of print in the UK, but still widely available in the USA, and of course through used markets like AbeBooks or eBay.

Amazon.com (affiliate)
The Atlas of Middle-Earth (Revised Edition)
Karen Wynn Fonstad
9780618126996
(Paperback)
$22.50
Availability: Now
Dec 14, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/14 9:17:00 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
There was a new edition of the atlas available from June’17 and appears to still easily be available.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlas-Tolkien ... collsguid-21&linkCode=osi

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
The Atlas of Tolkien’s Middle-earth
Fonstad, Karen Wynn
9780008194512
(Paperback)
£15.63
Availability: Now
Dec 14, 2020
2020/12/14 16:16:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
It's not really 'new' at all - different cover art, and ISBN (hence the somewhat-recent release date) but it hasn't been further revised or otherwise altered since the previous revision. Its contents are identical to Houghton Mifflin's current offering, in other words.

Thanks for pointing it out, though I wanted to say that there's nothing 'new' in this particular edition
Dec 14, 2020
2020/12/14 16:58:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:

It's not really 'new' at all - different cover art, and ISBN (hence the somewhat-recent release date) but it hasn't been further revised or otherwise altered since the previous revision. Its contents are identical to Houghton Mifflin's current offering, in other words.

Thanks for pointing it out, though I wanted to say that there's nothing 'new' in this particular edition

It was a new revision to the UK market so was a welcome addition from HarperCollins.
Dec 14, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/14 18:25:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For my next choice I am actually choosing two books that compliment each other perfectly. Both drawing on the fantastic Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition that ran at the Bodeian in Oxford from June to October 2018. From their website the Bodleian says that the

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explored Tolkien’s amazing legacy from his genius as an artist, poet, linguist, and author to his academic career and private life. The exhibition took you on a journey through Tolkien’s famous works, The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, displaying an array of draft manuscripts, striking illustrations and maps drawn for his publications. Discover Tolkien’s early abstract paintings from The Book of Ishness, the touching tales he wrote for his children, rare objects that belonged to Tolkien, exclusive fan mail; and private letters.

This impressive exhibition bore two excellent publications that have enriched Tolkien readers the world over and deserve a place on any fans bookshelves.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth with its richly illustrated pages presents over 300 images from Tolkien's manuscripts, drawings, maps, and letters and expertly its editor and author Catherine Mcilwaine leads the reader on a journey through the creative process from Tolkien's earliest writings through his most famous works. And with a wealth of information contained in introductory essays from Tolkien experts and scholars John Garth, Verlyn Flieger, Carl F. Hostetter, Tom Shippey, and Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull there is something for everyone. From casual readers wanting to learn the basics about Tolkien to many of us who desire new nuggets about his life and creative process, every reader no matter how advanced will find exciting facts to enjoy.


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Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
9781851244850
(Hardcover)
$59.39
Availability: Now

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Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
Mcilwaine, Catherine
9781851244850
(Hardcover)
£27.99
Availability: Now

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Tolkien
Catherine McIlwaine (author)
9781851244850
(hardback)
$49.99
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Tolkien: Treasures while not as extensive as its big brother Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth it is every bit as useful. A great gift idea and a wonderful introduction to Tolkien's life and career. If Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is the full exhibition brought into book form then Tolkien: Treasures is the very best of the highlights. Though don't be fooled, Treasures may be small but it includes many illustrations that get up close and personal demonstrating how Tolkien was not only a brilliant writer but also a gifted artist.

Amazon.com (affiliate)
Tolkien: Treasures
McIlwaine, Catherine
9781851244966
(Paperback)
$20.00
Availability: Now

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Tolkien: Treasures
Mcilwaine, Catherine
9781851244966
(Paperback)
£9.17
Availability: Now

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Tolkien Treasures
Catherine McIlwaine (author), J. R. R. Tolkien
9781851244966
(paperback)
$15.81
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Dec 14, 2020
2020/12/14 21:19:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

insurrbution wrote:

It's not really 'new' at all - different cover art, and ISBN (hence the somewhat-recent release date) but it hasn't been further revised or otherwise altered since the previous revision. Its contents are identical to Houghton Mifflin's current offering, in other words.

Thanks for pointing it out, though I wanted to say that there's nothing 'new' in this particular edition

It was a new revision to the UK market so was a welcome addition from HarperCollins.

Fair enough, though I was certain it was identical to the HarperCollins edition from the '90s. You are right - Houghton Mifflin kept theirs in print, the HarperCollins one went out of print, so it's great to see it back!
Dec 15, 2020
2020/12/15 15:11:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My next choice moves from the nature of reference but is no less informative. Tom Shippey's The Road to Middle-earth is in this readers opinion a vital volume that all interested in Tolkien simply must read. Exploring Tolkien's creative journey and his sources Shippey shows how Tolkien came to write his best known works published in his lifetime along side those after his death edited by Christopher Tolkien and published as The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and the monumental The History of Middle-earth series. First published in 1982 it has been reprinted a number of times, and in the revised and expanded edition from 2005 film lovers will find Shippey discussing the impact of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings adaptations on the Tolkien world.


Amazon.com (affiliate)
The Road to Middle-Earth (How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology)
T. A. Shippey
9780261102750
(Paperback)
$18.15
Availability: Now

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The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien created a new mythology (How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology)
Shippey, Tom
9780261102750
(Kindle Edition)
£7.99
Availability: Now

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The Road to Middle-Earth
T. A. Shippey
9780261102750
(paperback)
$14.71
Availability: Usually dispatched within 7 days

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