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  • Why Tolkien’s books are so popular Among the Students
    If you are a newbie in Tolkien s collection of books we give you a glimpse of what constitutes Tolkien s work that often leave students enthralled From there we bet you will understand why this author stands out as the best in the children s fantasy world Let s now go through the three popular books mentioned above to unravel the secrets used to capture the entire attention of students The Hobbit This is one of the most successful pieces of work in Tolkien s collection having sold more than 100 million copies and translated into close to sixty languages across the world But what is it that has made this book to remain successful for many decades Is it the poetry used the character s demeanor or the imagery employed The main character Bilbo Baggins just a little child but he assumes a role than no other child would like to be associated with He displays a rare sense of moral courage that not one can He teases a giant man eating creature without fear and even accepts to be sent into a deep tunnel with pitch darkness where he hears the snores of the dreaded dragon This symbolizes extraordinary courage that Tolkien presents to his readers and requires them to be part of it The storyline of Hobbit is so easy to follow and equally charming The language used is so simple that even the dumbest of all can still connect the dots and be on the course of the flow The use of vivid pictures throughout the novel leaves a lasting impression in the minds of the readers Tolkien creates an imaginary world that no one has ever been to a place characterized by wonder fascination and magic The Silmarillion One thing that distinctively distinguishes Tolkien

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1185-why-tolkien-books-are-so-popular-among-students.php (2016-04-26)
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  • The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Story of Kullervo
    his father J R R Tolkien s The Story of Kullervo will be released in an edition edited by Verlyn Flieger on 27th August this year The Story of Kullervo was written by Tolkien in 1914 and was his own reworking and re imagining of part of the tale of the Finnish saga Kalevala The story is significant in the development of Tolkien s legendarium as it provided the basis for Túrin Turambar a tragic hero of The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin The Story of Kullervo was written when Tolkien was at Oxford at age 22 though it was never completed It was his first piece of prose fiction Verlyn Flieger who has also edited Smith of Wootton Major and Tolkien On Fairy stories first published The Story of Kullervo in 2010 in Tolkien Studies Volume 7 This expanded edition available in hardback on the 27th August follows the similar publications of The Fall of Arthur and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún The Story of Kullervo which is only a few thousand words long will be brought out this August by HarperCollins The cover features one of Tolkienâ s own illustrations John Garth a Tolkien biographer was quoted as saying It s a very important and significant book but more for being vital in Tolkien s development as a writer Most crucially it led to his Elvish languages for Middle earth So this book is key to him inventing languages of his own for later works But interestingly he deliberately never completed it He just knew he could write but wanted to move on Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J R R Tolkien s characters Hapless Kullervo as Tolkien called him is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1184-the-story-of-kullervo-by-jrr-tolkien.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Rare The History of Middle Earth, Part 1, 2 & 3 Limited Deluxe Editions in Publishers Slipcase
    Christopher Tolkien Enquire about this book Harper Collins Publishers the 1st printings of 2000 2001 The History of Middle Earth Deluxe Limited Edition limited to 1000 copies of each book worldwide These 3 books contain the original 12 books of the History of Middle Earth Series edited by Christopher Tolkien Most limited editions come each in an individual slipcase but this set is one of the very few sets that was released with all three volumes together in one slipcase The set was given away by HarperCollins during a contest held in 2014 It is a one of a kind collectable These Limited Edition books are printed on India Paper with all edges gilded Quarter Bound in Black Leather with Gilt title Author Publisher and Tolkien Monogram to the spine Matching in size and design the Harper Collins Limited Editions of the Lord of the Rings The Silmarillion and The Hobbit Has the large Tolkien Monogram to the front boards Housed in original publishers slipcase with the Tolkien Monogram on the exterior matching the gilt design on the book All edges gilded A beautiful example of the rare one slipcased Limited Deluxe Editions in Near Fine condition only the slightest

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/tolkien-book-store/IGORB01.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Tolkien book shop and store updates, promotions and announcements
    collection includes 4 JRR Tolkien letters written in 1966 and 1967 Read article Tuesday 19 October 2010 A one page handwritten letter signed J R R Tolkien to BBC Radio Producer Terence Tiller In this letter Tolkien gives his permission in principle to Mr Tiller to produce a radio adaptation of The Two Towers and The Return of the King Read article Thursday 5 August 2010 The Silmarillion London George Allen and Unwin 1977 First Edition Publisher salemans dummy copy used in advance of the books publication The usual sample book prints the half title title pages copyright page and the first 32 pages of the text followed by a couple of hundred blank pages to fill out the book This copy is different since it is completely filled with blank pages Read article Thursday 5 August 2010 The Hobbit 1987 Super Deluxe Signed Limited Edition 51 of 100 Signed Copies The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J R R Tolkien Published by Unwin Hyman in 1987 this Limited Numbered Signed Edition was published to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the original publication of The Hobbit Bound in dark green leather and housed in the original publishers slipcase as issued This copy is numbered 51 of 500 and is signed on the Limitation Notice by the Editor Christopher Tolkien Only the 1st 100 copies areâ Read article Saturday 7 November 2009 Major Tolkien book store update In the last couple of days I have been working on a major update in the Tolkien Book Shop adding a lot of nice custom rebound editions as well as all major deluxe editions india paper limited editions and folio society numbered editions Some very unique pieces will be added in the next few weeks I have acquired some signed Lord of the Rings sets and signed The Hobbit books so keep an eye on the store or enquire about these now Read article Sunday 28 June 2009 Rare signed Super Deluxe Edition of The Hobbit now for sale at Tolkien Library Store Added to the Tolkien Book Store The Hobbit 1987 Super Deluxe Signed Limited Edition 13 of 100 Signed Copies A wonderful copy of an extremely collectable book In unread condition a must for the serious collector Read article Monday 10 December 2007 December 2007 Tolkien Library Store Update Added a lot of original cloth bindings to the Tolkien Library Store including some very nice works like Farmer Giles of Ham Smith of Wootton Major and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil There is now a lot of nice books in the shop that would make perfect Christmas gifts Read article Saturday 22 September 2007 Rare George Allen and Unwin 1937 Catalogs Announcing Publication of the Hobbit for sale at Tolkien Library Store In the Tolkien Library Store you can now see and buy if you wish some very rare Tolkien ephemera Two catalogs from 1937 by Allen and Unwin Publishers who very likely include the first announcements in print of

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/store.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Signed copy of the Hobbit sells for record at auction
    Old English identified by John D Rateliff author of The History of The Hobbit as an extract from Tolkien s The Lost Road see J R R Tolkien The History of Middle Earth Vol 5 published in 1987 This time travel story in which the world of Númenor and Middle earth were linked with the legends of many other times and peoples was abandoned incomplete Within a set of page proofs of The Hobbit Tolkien wrote a list of family members colleagues friends and students to whom he wished to present copies of the book see Appendix V within John D Rateliff s second edition of his The History of The Hobbit published in 2011 Intended recipients were E V Gordon C S Lewis Elaine Griffiths K M Kilbride Marjorie Incledon Mary Incledon R W Chambers Aileen and Elizabeth Jennings Mabel Mitton Aunt Mabel Florence Hadley Aunt Florence C L Wrenn Simone d Ardenne Helen Buckhurst Jane Neave Rattenbury thought by Rateliff to be R M Rattenbury a lecturer in Classics at the University of Leeds Livesleys possibly the couple who ran a guest house in Sidmouth A H Smith Jennie Grove Stella Mills W R Childe George S Gordon and Hilary Tolkien Rateliff notes that copies were also to go to the Oxford Magazine and the Book Soc In the last decades many of these association copies of The Hobbit have been sold on auction and several were sold directly to collectors They remain the most precious books any Tolkien lover or collector could desire Prices have now risen so high that they have become accessible for the lucky few Doubling the previous price record however indicates a very strong interest Many had expected that with the release of The Hobbit movies many rare copies would have been brought

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1183-most-expensive-hobbit-book-sold-on-auction.php (2016-04-26)
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  • On the shores of the shoreless sea - Simon J. Cook
    the night before he left the Shire Actually in trying to think about our tower and its view this passage sows only confusion at least in the first instance In commenting upon the meaning of the words hæleð under heofenum Tolkien introduces us to the bleakness that he finds at the heart of the old paganism of the North a mood of despair in which the hero fights with the offspring of the dark without hope of victory His image of this hopelessness is constructed by way of juxtaposition of the small circle of life within which men live their brief lives the unreachable heaven above and the shoreless sea that surrounds it The sea from this perspective is an endless expanse deep and cold with the chill of despair Which compels the question of why anyone would strive to build a tower from the top of which they could look not inwards at the small circle of light that is our mortal life but outwards over the surface of the deep What is so appealing about gazing into the horizon where the empty abyss of the shoreless ocean touches the unreachable heaven above An answer or at least the glimmerings of the beginning of one is again to be found in Beowulf indeed in the very first lines of this Old English poem Here is Tolkien s translation Lo the glory of the kings of the people of the Spear Danes in days of old we have heard tell how those princes did deeds of valour Oft Scyld Scefing robbed the hosts of foemen he who first was found forlorn a good king was he Then at his allotted hour Scyld the valiant passed into the keeping of the Lord and to the flowing sea his dear comrades bore him high above his head they set a golden standard and gave him to Ocean let the sea bear him Sad was their heart and mourning in their soul None can report with truth nor lords in their halls nor mighty men beneath the sky who received that load Beowulf p 13 These opening lines set the scene for the first part of Beowulf s story his victorious fight with the monster Grendel in the legendary golden mead hall called Heorot The poet begins his poem by building up a stirring image of the background to this story which he achieves by describing the genealogy of the Danish royal house down to King Hrothgar and then telling how this king built the great but doomed mead hall doomed because as all once knew Heorot would be destroyed in the ultimately futile assault upon King Hrothgar by his son in law Ingeld last king of the Heathobards This is all splendid stuff but for now we must pass over the great part of it permitting ourselves to pause only over the first name that we find in the genealogy with which the poem begins the name of Scyld Scefing For Scyld Scefing came from and returned over the shoreless sea This is suggested in the poem with regard to his death or rather his sea burial But Tolkien tells us that when the poet sang of Scyld Scefing as he who first was found forlorn his original audiences would have known this for a reference to a great king the founder of his people who came as an infant over the ocean alone on a boat And Tolkien goes further asserting in his commentary that in the image of the king who arrives and departs over the sea the Beowulf poet has hinted of a further shore on the other side of the shoreless sea a mysterious land in the uttermost West beyond the cold circle of darkness that surrounds our mortal life And this is very interesting For here surely is the glimmer of a view across the sea for even a glimpse of which it might be worth building and then climbing a great tower We have a lead and must follow it Let us unpack Tolkien s scholarly reflections on Scyld Scefing In his commentary on Beowulf Tolkien explains that as he appears in the poem this good king is a composite figure produced by the blending of two distinct traditions the one concerning Scyld the warlike and no doubt fictitious founder of the Danish royal house the other a much older myth bound up in traditions concerning the ancient Vanir gods of fertility and the coming of agriculture to the North It was the ancient pagan myth of the corn god Ing or his descendant the culture hero Scef which contained the idea of the infant child alone on a boat that arrives on the shore And in general it was this ancient Vanir myth rather than the Danish royal genealogy that fascinated Tolkien Indeed from his commentary on Beowulf it is clear that Tolkien believed the historical Heorot to have been built upon the very site of an ancient sanctuary sacred to the Vanir fertility cult associated with Ing and Scef We must discover more about the traditions of this cult or at least of Tolkien s understanding of them As it happens we have a pretty good idea of how Tolkien conceived of the ancient tradition of Scef the culture hero associated with the cult This is because around 1937 he wrote his story down today it can be found in volumes five and nine of the History of Middle earth series under the title King Sheave This story begins with the arrival on the Atlantic shore of an infant boy with a sheaf of corn beneath his head after which he is called The boy becomes king and teaches his people not only the art of agriculture but also runecraft and song and verse craft and many other new things and new words The children of King Sheave become kings of the Northern tribes and in their day there is peace in the North and a man might cast a golden ring upon the highway and it would remain until he took it up again On reaching old age Sheave lay upon his bed and became as one in deep slumber his people placed him upon a ship where his golden banner flew above his head and the sea took him and the ship bore him unsteered far away into the uttermost West out of the sight or thought of men Nor do any know who received him in what haven at the end of his journey Lost Road pp 94 5 see also Sauron Defeated pp 273 76 These last lines of King Sheave echo those opening lines of Beowulf that tell of the funeral boat that bore Scyld Scefing And here is a conundrum In the main Tolkien s King Sheave is clearly a conjectural reconstruction That is knowing that there was once a story like this and based upon what fragmentary evidence can be pieced together Tolkien creates an as if story of how the original tradition might have been told And yet he introduces into his story an element that he was certain did not belong to the original tradition This is the ship burial which he found in the story of Scyld Scefing in Beowulf but which we know from his commentary that Tolkien held an innovation introduced by the Beowulf poet So we have a conjectural reconstruction of ancient pagan tradition that includes a known innovation from Christian times What is going on here Engaging with this last question brings us face to face with the beating creative heart of Tolkien s scholarly and artistic imagination Let us start with what he has to say about Scyld Scefing s sea burial in his commentary on Beowulf With this artistic innovation observes Tolkien the Beowulf poet is making the suggestion no more for the idea was probably not fully formed in the mind of the poet that Scyld Scefing had come out of the Unknown beyond the Great Sea and returned into it a miraculous intrusion into history which nonetheless left real historical effects Beowulf 151 Singling out the lines as to how no man knows to what haven came the funeral boat quoted above from both the poem and Tolkien s echo of the poem in King Sheave Tolkien declares that here in this Old English but nevertheless Christian poem we catch an echo of the mood of pagan times A mood in which what we should call the ritual of a departure over the sea whose further shore was unknown and an actual belief in a magical land or other world located over the sea can hardly be distinguished It was a murnende mód mourning mood filled with doubt and darkness Beowulf pp 151 2 emphasis in original So if the sea burial is an addition to actual pagan tradition such artistry believes Tolkien captures a profound truth concerning the spirit of ancient English paganism itself Such artistry combines two distinct elements the hint of a land of mystery an idea of a place beyond death and a mood or feeling that saturates the vision of such a land To the ancient Northern tribes the Atlantic Ocean was an uncrossed expanse of sea encompassing the middle earth upon which lived mortal men The further shore beyond the ocean surrounds mortal life yet is of immeasurable distance from it a distance that places this shore out of mortal reach Any songs and stories that recall this further shore surely descend from very long ago and have grown dim and ragged in the telling The image of Faërie is not only suffused with doubt and sorrow but has faded to the very edge of memory Further Shore On his second night at the house of Tom Bombadil either in his dreams or out of them he cannot tell which Frodo hears in his mind a sweet singing a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain curtain and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver until at last it was rolled back and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise Fog on the Barrow Downs The Fellowship of the Ring Here surely is the rolling away of the grey gloom of paganism the mourning mood that suffuses the vision of the further shore in ancient English pagan story And if there is any doubt that Frodo in the house of Tom Bombadil has caught a glimpse of Faërie in the west that doubt is dispelled at the end of The Lord of the Rings when having kissed Merry Pippin and Sam goodbye Frodo sails away on an Elvish ship And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil the grey rain curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise The Grey Havens The Return of the King Of course Frodo s is hardly the only crossing of the shoreless sea envisaged in Tolkien s fairy stories Journeys of the Elves between the Great Lands and Valinor the undying lands in the uttermost West movements of an immortal race in and out of exile provide the overarching structure to the various tales of the First Age eventually published as The Silmarillion At the heart of the Second Age stands the realm of Númenor situated on an island midway between Faërie and Middle earth the home of mortal Elf friends but destroyed when these men of the West seek immortality and set sail toward the further shore The Third Age is bound up in the line of the kings the descendant of Elendil who escaped the deluge of Númenor arriving like Scef on the shores of Middle earth from over the western ocean And the end of the Third Age sees the departure back into the West of the remaining Elves of Middle earth together with Gandalf and also the ring bearers These various arrivals and departures across the Great Sea frame the mythical histories of the first ages of our Middle earth There is no gloom or sorrow in Tolkien s image of the undying lands Indeed the rolling back of the grey rain curtain to reveal a sunrise over white shores and a green country provides an image of the turning of sorrow to joy As such this is an image of that unlooked for happy ending that Tolkien declared one of the functions of fairy stories today in our modern age In the epilogue to his essay On Fairy Stories Tolkien discusses the joy of the Christian who discovers that the story of the gospels is true that Christ really has conquered death One can hardly avoid the conclusion that in Frodo s vision of the further shore Tolkien has self consciously transformed a pagan into a Christian mood There in the opening lines of Beowulf we find an image shrouded in uncertainty identified by Tolkien with an echo of a bygone paganism here in the lines penned by Tolkien himself is a joyous vision unveiled behind a curtain of sorrow Frodo and with him all readers of The Lord of the Rings discover with joy what the unknown poet who composed Beowulf and his pagan English forefathers glimpsed only dimly and with sadness The difference of mood is a contrast of paganism and Christianity And yet this cannot be the whole story Frodo does not only encounter the further shore with joy he also sees it clearly This greater clarity of vision cannot be explained in terms of a switch from a pagan to a Christian perspective The Christian may have faith and faith is the conquest of doubt but faith by definition is not certain knowledge Faith may bring joy to the heart but it does not reveal to the mind s eye that which is above or beyond The faithful Christian who climbs the tower and gazes out over the shoreless see still sees but through a glass darkly More importantly perhaps beyond the shoreless sea is not God s kingdom the road to fairyland is not the road to Heaven nor even to Hell OFS 28 The pagan is no doubt confused about what lies upon the further shore but the Christian should not mistake the immortality of the Elves who dwell in the undying lands for the eternity of heaven the realm of mortals who have conquered death In short the traditions of paganism belong to a realm of myth and fairy story distinct from that of true religion The clarity of vision with which Frodo and through him ourselves see Faërie has nothing to do with Christianity So while Tolkien certainly worked to remove the heathen elements from English paganism the lucidity of his image of Faërie was not an obvious facet of his Christianity The key to the clarity of Frodo s vision is to be found in a concern with pagan tradition that on the surface at least has little to do with religion Tolkien was long associated with the study of English at Oxford The roots of Oxford English lie in the nineteenth century study of Classics and ancient Greek tragedy had been taken as a benchmark of literary excellence in the establishment of a canon of English literature around the turn of the century Tolkien resisted this idea of literature pointing out that tragedy is a form of drama and as such a visual as much as a spoken art Real literature he insisted begins and ends with stories and the origins of literature are the oral traditions recorded by the folklorist and the anthropologist and discerned within extant but ancient texts by the philologist In other words the origins of the national literature were to be found in the traditions of ancient English paganism Tolkien did not only value Beowulf as a tower with a view of the sea like the critics he criticized he was also intensely interested in the many allusions it contained to older oral traditions stories told by the English before their migration to the British Isles But this was not only to advance an unconventional notion of the origins of English literature it was also to coopt into English studies material that might otherwise be considered the preserve of the student of comparative religion The ancient traditions of the English were bound up in their pagan worldview but Tolkien took them not as documents in the history of religious belief but as stories Writing introduces permanence the most certain thing that can be said about a body of oral tradition is that it will change in time An obscure but strangely relevant illustration of what this meant for Tolkien can be found in an outline of a story that he composed as a young man about a mysterious figure called Ingwë found today in the second volume of the History of Middle earth series The story was intended to begin with and branch out from the greater story of Eärendel the half Elven mariner at the center of Tolkien s conception of the passing of what came to be called the First Age At one point in his travels Eärendel was to take refuge with Ingwë and give to him an enchanted Elven drink that bestowed upon him immortality implying we should note that Ingwë was born a mortal man Ingwë is subsequently shipwrecked at sea rescued alone on a raft and then taken as king of the Angles Saxons Jutes and Frisians who adopt the title of Ingwaiwar He teaches them

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  • Giulio Torlai, medical doctor and Tolkien collector, collects unique and rare Tolkien books
    a certain point I started collecting the Tolkien books I didn t already have and I found out that Italia has both numerous and incredibly rare editions something I really didn t expect I consider myself an uncommon Tolkien collector I never focus myself on particular editions I buy what I like But this is just the surface I realize that there will always be someone that will have more complete collections or who has untouched mint 1st editions of every Tolkien book what I really want when I see my books is to feel that they are only mine Something which other people simply cannot have For this reason I have many common editions some of them even quite rare but the real core of my collection are the books which have something that makes them unique maybe because they are signed or because I customized them How big is your collection I don t keep my Tolkien books altogether Probably something like 300 400 books Tell us about your website It is very difficult to say which is the greatest find in an uncommon collection I can describe the 2 3 most particular books I have which aren t necessarily the most expensive For sure my favorite one is a 1967 Astrolabio Fellowship of the ring every Italian collector knows what I am talking about that underwent a complete transformation One of the best bookbinder in the World turned its binding into a beautiful Moria gate enriching the wonderful stone color leather with silver details and creating a perfect slipcase with the Middle earth maps Another wonderful piece is a copy of The Silmarillion that I wanted to represent on its binding the Middle earth map In this case the leather used was an old parchment colored piece

    Original URL path: http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/collecting/collectors/giulio-torlai.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Back to the past - Simon J. Cook on Tolkien and History
    of Middle earth as reconstructions of the traditions of the ancient English which they brought with them to the British Isles but began to forget in the days of Alfred the Great One of the ways Tolkien created his sense of history involved the development of the mythology and traditions of the different races of his subcreated world Much Tolkien scholarship has been devoted to tracing mythological and folklore sources for Tolkien s works Simon J Cook s exciting new paper J R R Tolkien s Lost English Mythology looks into the views of history and modes of historical thought that influenced Tolkien The development of historical ideas and writings about England the concepts of Englishness that have prevailed in the past are discussed situating Tolkien s creative writing in relation to his scholarship which developed in the scholarly context of contemporary discoveries about European prehistory These transformed Edwardian ideas of English origins turning their gaze from the settlement of Britain back to a far more ancient homeland in the North of the Western world Cook centres in on Chadwick as the strongest candidate for having shaped Tolkien s own view of history The young Tolkien did find one reputable guidebook to aid his navigation through one area of this still undisciplined and wild terrain prehistory Hector Munro Chadwick s The Origin of the English Nation This seminal study traced the history of the English back before their settlement of Britain and did so by way of reconstructing the ancient traditions of the Continental English Still authoritative today Origin was first published in 1907 Two key themes of this ancient mythology were identified by Chadwick the marriage of a mortal man to an immortal goddess and the miraculous origin of the first great king of the North Tolkien s writings

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