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Tolkien library comparisons

Plato to MacDonald to Chesterton, Tolkien and the Boys in the Pub.

Tolkien library comparisons

Postby Adam Linton » 18 Aug 2008, 17:59

It's time, I think for some renewed Wardrobe attention to J. R. R. T.

Accordingly, I invite a Tolkien library comparison.

Here's my list of Tolkien works (including posthumous):


Beowulf and the Critics
The Children of Hurin
[The History of Middle-earth, Volumes I through XII:]
The Book of Lost Tales, Part One
The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two
The Lays of Beleriand
The Shaping of Middle-earth
The Lost Road and Other Writings
The Return of the Shadow
The Treason of Isengard
The War of the Ring
Sauron Defeated, The Notion Club Papers and the Drowning of Anadune
Morgoth’s Ring
The War of the Jewels
The Peoples of Middle-earth

The Hobbit
Letters from Father Christmas
The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays
The Silmarillion
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo
Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham
The Tolkien Reader
Tree and Leaf including the poem Mythopoeia, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth
Unfinished Tales


And here...
Secondary literature (selective list):

Humphrey Carpenter, J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography
Patrick Currey, Defending Middle-earth
Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion
Verlyn Flieger, Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology
Verlyn Fleiger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World
Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
Neil Isaacs and Rose Zimbardo, Tolkien and the Critics
Paul Kocher, Master of Middle-earth: The Fiction of J. R. Tolkien
Fleming Rutledge, The Battle for Middle-earth
[Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond, The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide:]
Chronology
Reader’s Guide


Tom Shippey, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-earth
Christopher Tolkien, The History of Middle-earth Index
Ralph Wood, The Gospel According to Tolkien

Oh, and also Hammond and Scull's J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator--as well as Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Altas of Middle-earth.

How about others?
Last edited by Adam Linton on 18 Aug 2008, 22:42, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Karen » 18 Aug 2008, 18:18

I saw the movies. :cool:
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Postby Adam Linton » 18 Aug 2008, 18:19

Karen wrote:I saw the movies. :cool:


And?...

With your lovely (really quite remarkable) collection of first and early Lewis editions, you've got to have some interesting J. R. R. T. volumes...
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Postby john » 18 Aug 2008, 18:35

I have The Lord of the Rings and saw the movies, too. :)
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Postby Adam Linton » 18 Aug 2008, 18:44

Surely I am not alone in my level of Tolkienian bibiographic devotion?
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Postby Karen » 18 Aug 2008, 18:49

Adam Linton wrote:With your lovely (really quite remarkable) collection of first and early Lewis editions, you've got to have some interesting J. R. R. T. volumes...


Nope. I don't much like fantasy. Even as a child, it bored me. You'll notice that in my CSL library there's no Narnia or Space Trilogy. But John lets me stay on here anyway. :wink:
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Postby Adam Linton » 18 Aug 2008, 19:06

Karen wrote:I don't much like fantasy. Even as a child, it bored me. You'll notice that in my CSL library there's no Narnia or Space Trilogy. But John lets me stay on here anyway.


Odd thing, but come to think of it, other than Lewis and Tolkien's writings of these sorts, I can't really say that I've ever been that much into fantasy or science fiction, as genres, myself.

The Wind in the Willows, though, has to be one of my all time favorite books.
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Postby john » 18 Aug 2008, 19:18

Karen wrote:But John lets me stay on here anyway. :wink:


I figure if you're staying here after everything you know about me, it's the least I can do.
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Postby Karen » 18 Aug 2008, 19:24

john wrote:I figure if you're staying here after everything you know about me, it's the least I can do.


:toothy-grin:
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Postby A#minor » 19 Aug 2008, 03:03

Come on, people! Let's step up to the plate here!
My list isn't particularly impressive, but it's a good start, I think.
Here's my list:

The Children of Hurin
Book of Lost Tales
Book of Lost Tales 2
The Lost Road and Other Writings
The Tolkien Reader:
(including Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Tree and Leaf, Farmer Giles of Ham, and Adventures of Tom Bombadil)
The Tolkien Reader (again in another edition)
The Silmarillion
Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
(again in paperback)
The Hobbit (again the third one)
Lord of the Rings (again in paperback)
Smith of Wooton Major
Farmer Giles of Ham
(again in another edition)
Lays of Beleriand
Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
(edited by Humphrey Carpenter)
Unfinished Tales of Numenor

Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues
by Mark Eddy Smith
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter



I have to say that Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues is an amazing book! I cried and laughed all through it. Marvelous insight into the depths of LotR. Loved it.
And I like how Carpenter writes his biographies. More like a story than a lot of boring facts.
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Postby Stanley Anderson » 19 Aug 2008, 15:12

We also have the following books:

Roverandom (a fantasy about a dog -- published in 1998)

Mr Bliss (a guy in a tall hat that drives a car around, illustrated by Tolkien -- published in 1983)

The Letters of JRR Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter -- published in 1981 (edit: didn't see this or Father Christmas Letters on Fr. Adam's list first time around -- slipped by my notice I guess)

The Father Christmas Letters, illustrated by Tolkien -- published in 1976

Pictures by JRR Tolkien, collected drawings, edited by Christopher Tolkien -- published in 1979

The Road Goes Ever On, A Song Cycle -- poems and songs of Tolkien, music by Donald Swann -- originally published in 1962 or 1967 (hard to tell -- words 1962 and music 1967 but there is no publishing date that we can see). We also have a second copy (different cover) that says it is third printing (but can't find a publishing date either)

About Tolkien:

Guide to Middle Earth (second printing 1971, with wonderful slip cover illustration by Tim Kirk, my favourite illustrator)

Complete Guide to Middle Earth (1978 -- so it includes entries for The Silmarillion which the one above did not since S had not come out yet)

The Languages of Middle Earth, by Ruth S. Noel, published in 1980.

Tolkien, A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings, by Lyn Carter, third printing published in 1970 (with on of the nifty Ballantine Adult Fantasy covers)

We also have various special editions of H and LotR -- the "Redbook of Westmarch" (as I like to refer to it) version of LotR with the single volume red leather cover. I have the original hardbound "black" cover sets with the wonderful orange, red, and purple Eye of Mordor engraved on the covers (with slipcovers and box!). I horribly lament having lent out my large paperback three volume set with the white covers and the circular image on the front -- they have disappeared but I have good memories of them.

We also have the "companion to the redbook" (as I refer to it) special edition version of the Hobbit with green leather cover. And the version illustarated by Michael Hague, and the British edition that I ordered from Blackwells back in the 70's (third printing, 5th impression 1970). I always remember getting nice handwritten replies from them addressed to Stanley Anderson, esq. Just like in 84 Charing Cross Road!:-). We also have a "graphic novel" of the Hobbit which though not the complete text, has a very good portion of it and is fairly impressive in its extent and illustration.

I also have various records of Tolkien reading poems and excerpts from LotR, Christopher Tolkien reading from Silmarillion and LotR, the Donald Swann recordings of the songs from the book The Road Goes Ever On.

I also terribly lament that long ago I had a full poster-size map of Middle Earth with all the place names written in Elvish, but alas, I don't know where it is now.

And finally (I think, other things may pop into my memory) I have virtually the complete set (up to a certain date when I stopped subscribing -- late 90's I think, not sure) going back to 1968 of Tolkien Journal, Mythlore and its associated newsletter "Mythprint" (publication of the Mythopoeic Society focussing on Tolkien, Lewis, and Charles Williams), and various side publications like Parma Eldalamberon (Quenya for "Book of the Elven-tongues") which is a journal of linguistic studies of Tolkien's languages, Mythic Circle (publication of fictional works from members -- Angelee had a couple things in there, as well as my own "Humano-Arboreal Transmogrification" short story) and various journals of collections of papers presented at Mythcons over the years.

What I cherish most in these journals is the collection of drawings by Tim Kirk, as I mentioned above, my favourite illustrator. That includes his map of Narnia and also a map of Edgstow and the surrounding areas from That Hideous Strength. I have meant for some time to scan more of his images but here are two (they are Lewis related, but Tim Kirk has many wonderful Tolkien illustrations too). The first is Jadis showing the children Charn, and the second is Tashbaan (the place the images are stored has monthly bandwidth limits -- if you can't see them at some point, I can try putting them somewhere else). I saw these (and other) Kirk illustrations before I had read the books and they are some of my strongest and earliest examples of Lewis' Joy -- I didn't know what the books were like but seeing the images created that intense, almost painful, longing and I simply HAD to find out what books the images were from, especially the one of Charn. Anyway here are the two I have available :

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--Stanley
…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 fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Postby Tuke » 19 Aug 2008, 19:30

I've dumped most of my Tolkien library except for the Silmarillian, Beowulf: the Critics & Mosnsters, and Sir Orfeo/Green Knight. Why? . . . I've read all XII volumes of professor Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-Earth. I've gleaned most of the Tolkien I'll need for this life, but life's too short for Lewis alone, along with U.S. Reconstruction history, JG Whittier, and Edmund Spenser (as Jack meant Spenser to be studied, that is).
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
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Spencer's Fairy Queen

Postby arthur111 » 20 Aug 2008, 19:49

I am reading Spencer's Fairy Queen, or rather listening to it on disk. I thought hearing would facilitate my reading experience. Love it and it will last a life time to finish. Can you recommend any biographies on Spencer?[/i]
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Re: Spencer's Fairy Queen

Postby Adam Linton » 20 Aug 2008, 22:50

arthur111 wrote:I am reading Spencer's Fairy Queen, or rather listening to it on disk. I thought hearing would facilitate my reading experience. Love it and it will last a life time to finish. Can you recommend any biographies on Spencer?


First, which edition are your reading; mine is the Penguin--I don't that it can be beat for quality and price. Good notes in back, too.

Not a huge fan of much secondary literature; nor, in the case of The Faerie Queene do I think that an extensive Spenser bio will really add that much. But some broader awareness can help--and a good resource (and I'm not talking about the sort of thing that replaces one's own reading!) can be valuable.

I do like Elizabeth Heale's The Faerie Queene: A Reader's Guide (second edition), Cambridge University Press. Also the appropriate section in Lewis' Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century (orginally published as English Literature of the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama as a volume of the O.H.E.L. series).

I'd say save Lewis' Allegory of Love, if you can, 'till after you've read Spenser himself.

I've found that reading The Faerie Queene, aloud, oneself, to be both enjoyable and of great value in getting into things.

Hope this is helpful.
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Postby Tuke » 21 Aug 2008, 01:31

Yes, I concur with Adam. It's not necessary to read a bio of Spenser. What I mean when I say I've turned it into a lifetime of study is reading all the bibliographical material that Spenser drew upon, e.g., Homer, Sir Thomas Malory, Virgil, Tasso, Sidney, Dante, Ovid, Sophocles, Ariosto, Boiardo, Euripides, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Jack's Spenser's Images of Life, well, everything Jack ever wrote about Spenser, including The Allegory.
You're listening to disk, so if you don't have a bibliography, then go to the library and get the Penguin edition with its Bibliography.
Lewis seemed to think this stuff important. Like Shakespeare drawing upon sources.
Last edited by Tuke on 24 Sep 2008, 03:53, edited 2 times in total.
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