Tolkien Collector's Guide
Dec 16, 2020
2020/12/16 20:49:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Quite enjoying this thread, carry on!

How does Road to Middle Earth compare to Author of the Century? Any reason to own both?
Dec 16, 2020
2020/12/16 22:05:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The History of the Hobbit from John Rateliff, originally published as two parts (see covers below) in May and June 2007 offers readers a blow by blow account of how The Hobbit was written from its beginnings through to Tolkien's revisions as he was writing The Lord of the Rings. In 2011 it was released as a one volume revised edition which added yet more previously unpublished material. Readers can enjoy for the first time the entire manuscript of the published text and a look into Tolkien's ill-fated 1960 rewrite which was also previously unpublished.

Blackwell's (affiliate)
The History of 'The Hobbit'
John D. Rateliff, J. R. R. Tolkien
9780007440825
(hardback)
$42.01
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
The History of the Hobbit: One Volume Edition
Tolkien, J.R. R.
9780007440825
(Hardcover)
£21.57
Availability: Now

Amazon.com (affiliate)
History of the Hobbit
Rateliff, John D.
9780007440825
(Hardcover)
$51.79
Availability: Now


If one is less interested in long analysis then A Brief History of the Hobbit published in 2015 offers the complete Hobbit manuscript along with Rateliff's lively commentary.

Blackwell's (affiliate)
A Brief History of The Hobbit
John D. Rateliff (author), J. R. R. Tolkien
9780007557257
(paperback)
$18.65
Availability: Unknown

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
A Brief History of the Hobbit
Rateliff, John
9780007557257
(Paperback)
£7.49
Availability: Now


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Dec 16, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/16 22:24:45 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
If editions of Tolkien's own works are "in scope" (which wasn't clear to me), then by far the work I consult most is Christopher's Tolkien monumental History of Middle-earth series (and its compiled Index). The best investments I ever made for research purposes were the latter and the collected (three-volume) version of the former. (I'll let someone more savvy than I provide the links).

Trotter Edit
HoMe Link : https://www.amazon.com/dp/0358381746?t ... 0&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
HoMe Index Link : https://www.tolkien.co.uk/products/ind ... nd-book-13-9780007365371/
Dec 16, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/16 22:31:26 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

If editions of Tolkien's own works are "in scope" (which wasn't clear to me), then by far the work I consult most is Christopher's Tolkien monumental History of Middle-earth series (and its compiled Index). The best investments I ever made for research purposes were the latter and the collected (three-volume) version of the former. (I'll let someone more savvy than I provide the links).

Thanks Aelfwine, yes I should have been clear at the start that Christopher Tolkien's work is indeed welcome. I planned to add The History of Middle-earth series (in my opinion the greatest work in modern literary analysis) as the final addition before Christmas given its size and scope. And given it is 12 (plus index) I thought it a worthy 12 day post.

And please, others are very welcome to post their picks.
Dec 16, 2020
2020/12/16 22:43:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
onthetrail: 👍
Dec 17, 2020
2020/12/17 16:40:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'd like to call attention to a title that not many may not have, or I haven't seen it on many bookshelves. I suspect most members here know of it, however.

My pick (for today) is The Song of Middle-earth by David Harvey.

It's among the first great analytical books on Tolkien, given the go-ahead by the Estate (the JRRT monogram is often associated with sanctioned projects, though there are some that are sanctioned don't feature it on occasion) as well as being published by one of the official publishers of Tolkien. It exists in both paperback, and a facsimile hardback edition.

Here's the product description, followed by links for both paperback and hardback:

Available again after being long out of print, this is the pre-eminent critical study, and exploration, of how myth and legend played such a significant role in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Song of Middle-earth takes a fresh look at The Lord of the Rings, digging deep into the foundations of Tolkien's world to reveal the complex tapestry of history and mythology that lies behind his stories.

The charge that Tolkien's work was merely derivative - that he extracted elements from other mythologies and incorporated them into his own fiction - is dismissed in favour of a fascinating examination of the rich historical background to Middle-earth.

From the mythic tradition of the Tales told in The Book of Lost Tales: I to the significance of oral storytelling throughout the history of Middle-earth, this book examines the common themes of mythology found within Tolkien's work.

In doing so, The Song of Middle-earth demonstrates how Tolkien's desire to create a new mythology for England is not only apparent in his writing, but also realised.


Paperback: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Song-of-Middle-Earth-by-David-Harvey-author/9780008184810
Hardback: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Song-of-Middle-Earth-by-David-Harvey-author/9780008184834

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Dec 17, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/17 22:21:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My next pick is the excellent The Lord of the Rings: A Readers Companion by Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond. It won't be surprising to the group here that they will have a few entries among these 'Twelve Tolkien's of Christmas'. Their work is priceless after all.

Published in 2005, revised in 2008 and then again in 2014 the companion is a fantastic companion to The Lord of the Rings. "Examining The Lord of the Rings chapter by chapter, it offers insights into the evolution, structure, and meaning of Tolkien's greatest work. Highlighting influences on its development, connections between that work and other writings by Tolkien, errors and inconsistencies, significant changes to the text, and archaic and unusual words used by Tolkien. Thousands of notes, keyed to standard editions of The Lord of the Rings but universally accessible, reveal the richness and complexity of one of the most popular works of fiction in our time."

I gained so much reading The Lord of the Rings with this at hand and I would suggest it to readers of any experience.

[from tolkiengateway contents include]

A newly transcribed version of Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings.
Part of Tolkien's 1951 letter to Milton Waldman, previously unpublished in the UK.
A reproduction of a manuscript page showing a synoptic time scheme used while writing The Lord of the Rings. It summarizes the movements of characters between the 8th and the 12th of March.
Formerly unpublished parts of "The Hunt for the Ring" and "Index questions"
Notes on significant changes made by the author and by Christopher Tolkien after his father's death
Brief references to illustrations, maps, and earlier versions of the text
References to people, places, and events that appear in other books by Tolkien
Explanations of archaic and unusual words
Translations and primers on how to use Tolkien's invented languages

Blackwell's (affiliate)
The Lord of the Rings
Wayne G. Hammond (author), Christina Scull (author)
9780007556908
(hardback)
$37.61
Availability: Usually dispatched within 24 hours

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion
Hammond, Wayne G.
9780007556908
(Hardcover)
£21.99
Availability: Now

Amazon.com (affiliate)
Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
Wayne G. Hammond , Christina Scull
9780007556908
(Hardcover)
$44.47
Availability: Now

Amazon.com (affiliate)
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
Hammond, Wayne G.
9780618642670
(Hardcover)
$35.00
Availability: Now

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Dec 18, 2020
2020/12/18 14:43:58 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My suggestion for today is The Maps of Middle-earth by John Howe and Brian Sibley.

You get four (Wilderland, Middle-earth, Beleriand and the exclusive Numenor one) maps plus a booklet written by Sibley, with a bit more of Howe's artwork.

This somewhat reminds me of the Pauline Baynes map poster, though by another artist. The set is quite handy when used with any editions of the Middle-earth books (especially if your copies don't have fold-out maps). They can also be framed. The product description follows, with a Blackwell's link (fee free to edit it or feature it as an affiliate). I would also like to add that the map of Wilderand and the map of Beleriand have appeared in gift sets of The Hobbit (black box) and The Silmarillion (grey box).

Available together for the first time, Tolkien's Maps of The Hobbit, Beleriend and Middle-earth are beautifully presented in an exquisite box-set illustrated by John Howe. This special edition includes a unique map of Numenor.

Written by the writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, a foremost expert on The Lord of the Rings (he adapted the novel for the award-winning BBC radio dramatisation in 1980), this slipcase features Tolkien's Maps of The Hobbit, Beleriand and Middle-earth, available together for the first time.

Each map is a real labour of love, presented in a box-set stunningly illustrated by world-renowned Tolkien artist John Howe, the conceptual artist employed by Peter Jackson to work on his $300 million Lord of The Rings film trilogy.

The maps, presented with individual books and wallets, are larger than those previously published, showing Tolkien's mythical lands in perfect detail - they are also expertly bound with fewer folds, making them perfect for portfolios or framing.

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Maps-of-Tolkiens-Middle-Earth-by-Brian-Sibley-John-Howe/9780007169702

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Dec 18, 2020
2020/12/18 20:57:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
A recent publication and a wonderful one by renowned Tolkien scholar John Garth is The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth. I can't say it better than the publisher.

This book takes you to the places that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to create his fictional locations in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other classic works. Written by renowned Tolkien expert John Garth, The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien features a wealth of breathtaking illustrations, including Tolkien’s own drawings, contributions from other artists, rare archival images, and spectacular color photos of contemporary locations across Britain and beyond, from the battlefields of World War I to Africa.

Garth identifies the locales that served as the basis for Hobbiton, the elven valley of Rivendell, the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep, and many other settings in Middle-earth, from mountains and forests to rivers, lakes, and shorelands. He reveals the rich interplay between Tolkien’s personal travels, his wide reading, and his deep scholarship as an Oxford don. Garth draws on his profound knowledge of Tolkien’s life and work to shed light on the extraordinary processes of invention behind Tolkien’s works of fantasy. He also debunks popular misconceptions about the inspirations for Middle-earth and puts forward strong new claims of his own.

An illustrated journey into the life and imagination of one of the world’s best-loved authors, The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien provides a unique exploration of the relationship between the real and the fantastical and is an essential companion for anyone who wants to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps.

I will add that John Garth has left no stone (or more to the point internet forum, webpage, government website, local tourist information) unturned in researching this book. One can't help but marvel at the research done for this work.

Blackwell's (affiliate)
The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien
John Garth (author)
9780691196947
(hardback)
$34.25
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours

Amazon.co.uk (affiliate)
Tolkien's Worlds: The Places That Inspired the Writer's Imagination: The Places That Inspired Middle-Earth
Garth, John
9780691196947
(Hardcover)
£15.23
Availability: Now

Amazon.com (affiliate)
The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth
Garth, John
9780691196947
(Hardcover)
$29.95
Availability: Now

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Dec 18, 2020
2020/12/18 22:18:11 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'd be suggesting a nice second hand purchase. The sadly-out-of-print Michael Hague Hobbit. I had to save up my pocket money/odd job money for this one when I was a teen.

http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=161
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