The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies

The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies

Paperback For Dummies

By (author) Greg Harvey

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  • Publisher: Hungry Minds Inc,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 232mm x 22mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Foster City
  • ISBN 10: 0764541862
  • ISBN 13: 9780764541865
  • Sales rank: 519,103

Product description

J.R.R. Tolkien's novels of Middle Earth "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and "The Silmarillian" have become some of the most famous, and most beloved, literary works of the twentieth century. And "The Lord of the Rings" films by director Peter Jackson have re ignited interest in Tolkien and his works, as well as introduced his stories to a new generation of fans. Even if you've never read the novels and have only seen the films, you know that the world of Middle earth is a complicated one. Tolkien took great care in representing this world, from creating new languages to including very particular cultural details that add to the richness of the world's fabric. Many other books have been written about Tolkien and his works, but none have come close to providing the kind of reference needed to comprehend the world of Middle earth. That's what veteran "Dummies" author and unabashed Tolkien fan Greg Harvey attempts to do in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies". As the author says in his introduction to the book, this is not an encyclopedia or quick guide to all the diverse beings, languages, and history that make up "Tolkien's Middle Earth." Nor is it a set of plot outlines for the novels. Rather, what you'll find in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies" is a basic guide to some of the possible linguistic and mythological origins of Middle earth, plus a rudimentary analysis of its many themes and lessons for our world. This book can help enrich your reading (or re reading) of Tolkien's novels, and it will challenge you to think about the themes inherent in Tolkien's Middle earth and their implications in your own life. Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find covered in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies": exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, including immortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will; and faith and redemption; investigating the diverse lands of Middle earth including the Shire, Gondor, and Mordor and their significance; examining the different cultures of Middle earth, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily Wizards; touring the history of Middle earth; understanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich the story of Middle earth; top ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, online resources, and the ways the films differ from the novels. So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching the films for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years and are looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies" can help you enhance your reading or viewing experience for years to come.

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Author information

Greg Harvey is a language scholar who has traced the roots of Tolkien's work in European folklore and pre-Christian religious beliefs. He has studied 12 languages, including Elvish, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon.

Review quote

"...a great book...helps readers make sense of the creatures, language, geography and richly-detailed history of Middle earth..." (Shields Gazette, Dec 03) "...a mine of information a must-have for anyone interested in exploring the epic tales of the four ages of Middle earth..." (Dundee Evening Telegraph and Post, Dec 03)

Back cover copy

Demystifies key players, their relationships, and their motivationsUnderstand the mythology, characters, and themes of Middle-earthDon't know Gollum from Gandalf? This plain-English guide helps you make sense of the creatures, language, geography, and richly detailed history of the fascinating world of Middle-earth. From the Shire to Mount Doom, from the hobbits to the Ringwraiths, you'll discover the varied sources and inspirations behind Tolkien's stories and comprehend the meanings that lie beneath the surface.Discover: The differences between the books and the moviesThe historical background of Middle-earthThe origins of Tolkien's mythology in European folklore Middle-earth's diverse languagesWhy the Elves were Tolkien's favoritesThe Dummies WayExplanations in plain English"Get in, get out" informationIcons and other navigational aidsTear-out cheat sheetTop ten listsA dash of humor and fun

Table of contents

Foreword.Introduction.Part I: The Geography of Middle-earth.Chapter 1: The Worlds of Middle-earth.Chapter 2: The Lands of Middle-earth and Beyond.Part II: The Beings of Middle-earth.Chapter 3: The Divine Ainur.Chapter 4: The Fair Race of Elves.Chapter 5: The Mortal Race of Men.Chapter 6: The Hardy Race of Dwarves.Chapter 7: Those Homespun Hobbits.Chapter 8: The Wily Wizards.Chapter 9: Beorn, Tom Bombadil, and Treebeard.Chapter 10: The Enemy and His Minions.Part III: The History of Middle-earth.Chapter 11: The Valarian Ages.Chapter 12: The First Three Ages and Then Some.Part IV: The Languages of Middle-earth.Chapter 13: Tolkien and Language.Chapter 14: The Tongues of Tolkien.Part V: The Themes and Mythology of Middle-earth.Chapter 15: The Struggle Between Good and Evil.Chapter 16: Immortality and Death.Chapter 17: The Heroic Quest.Chapter 18: Chivalry and True Love.Chapter 19: Fate and Free Will.Chapter 20: Faith and Redemption.Chapter 21: Ring-related Myths.Chapter 22: Ecological Themes.Chapter 23: Sex and Gender.Part VI: The Part of Tens.Chapter 24: Top Ten Battles in the War of the Ring.Chapter 25: Top Ten Online Middle-earth Resources.Chapter 26: Top Ten Ways the "Lord of the Rings" Books Differ from the Movies.Index.