The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

Hardback

By (author) J. R. R. Tolkien

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 218mm x 42mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0261102427
  • ISBN 13: 9780261102422
  • Edition: 6000
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Illustrations note: With index
  • Sales rank: 15,376

Product description

A new hardback edition with a cover design by Tolkien himself, to complement the popular Hobbit and Lord of the Rings hardbacks. Includes new Preface by J.R.R. Tolkien unique to this edition. The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's World. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor. Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings.

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Author information

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

Review quote

'How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?' The Guardian 'Demanding to be compared with English mythologies... at times rises to the greatness of true myth' Financial Times 'A creation of singular beauty... magnificent in its best moments' Washington Post 'A grim, tragic, brooding and beautiful book, shot through with heroism and hope... its power is almost that of mysticism' Toronto Globe & Mail

Editorial reviews

The total volume of Tolkien's Middle-Earth manuscripts is vastly greater than that of the completed Lord of the Rings, but it seems to be a near-hopeless tangle of variants and unfinished reworkings in both prose and verse. From the great body of material dealing with the "First Age" of Middle-Earth, Tolkien's son Christopher has compiled a prose narrative of the events surrounding the making and eventual loss of the three jewels called the Silmarils, many centuries before the Wars of the Ring. The protagonists are chiefly Elves. They appear here not as the steadfast, transcendent figures of the Ring books, but in their youth as a fiery and much-divided race capable of uglier passions than any of the "good" characters in the trilogy. The telling is uniformly solemn and distanced, compressing a great range of events into a schematic summation that is a far cry from the varied, immediate narrative of the Ring story. Taking a negative view, one might say that this is not a book or even a fragment of one; it is a grandiose outline showing the Tolkien style at its most determinedly pseudo-biblical. But the alternative view is more to the point: even these truncated materials shed an astonishing amount of "historical" light on The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion proper is the largest single chunk of "history," but it is accompanied by four shorter chronicles which first establish the foundations of Middle-Earth (an explicit Creation-myth) and then convey the great sweep of history from the Silmaril wars to the Wars of the Ring. Turning back to the trilogy from this new prologue, one finds the intrinsic grandeur of Tolkien's design re-illuminated at every stage. It is now sadly clear that we shall have no more Middle-Earth books - that is, books in their own right. But thanks to the efforts of Christopher Tolkien, we may be privileged in coming years to follow a progressive and dazzling enrichment of the book we all thought we knew. (Kirkus Reviews)