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J.R.R. Tolkien

May 19, 2009

[tweetmeme source=”mypassionisbooks” only_single=false]J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

These are a definitely “a few of my favorite things” (with thanks Mary Poppins).

Here are few quotes — and these are only a few of the many quotes — still relevant today from J.R.R. Tolkien:

All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.

The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them.

It needs but one foe to breed a war, and those who have not swords can still die upon them.

I do not love the bright sword for it’s sharpness, nor the arrow for it’s swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

We have a green hardcover edition (no paper cover on it) of The Hobbit. And the Lord Of The Rings books (The Fellowship of The Rings, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) in paperback. One day we would love to have a set of The Lord Of The Rings in hardcover as well.

They are all wonderful books. And all well worth reading. I would at some point also like to get the Silmarillion.

Tolkien Online says about J.R.R. Tolkien:

JRR Tolkien, creator of Middle-earth, was one of the greatest writers and scholars of the twentieth century. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his most famous creations–The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Scholars, meanwhile, have debated the true greatness (or lack) of these popular novels. Many have deemed it “mere escapism” and worse.

Many others (including C.S. Lewis and W.H. Auden) found the books – and in particular The Lord of the Rings – to be masterpieces.

Scholarly stalemates aside, Tolkien’s work remains as popular and vital today as when it first appeared.

I agree with C.S. Lewis (another of my favorite authors that I will write about at a later time) and W.H. Auden (whom I wish to learn about because of his fancy of Tolkien).

Tolkien’s work is really timeless, I believe. Wikipedia has much to say about Tolkien, but here’s the first paragraph of the J.R.R. Tolkien entry:

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

And if you were not familiar with the Silmarillion:

After his death, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings

We have read through The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings many times; literally. And it’s always a treat! I can’t get enough of it!

There is an Official Tolkien Estate site too and they recently released a new, previously unpublished work of Tolkien:

Welcome to this temporary version of the JRR Tolkien Estate’s official website…

We are still at work preparing the launch of the complete website a little later in 2009 but we’ve renewed this “mini-site” a little in anticipation of the publication of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, the latest work by J.R.R. Tolkien to be published by HarperCollinsUK on the 5th of May.

Apparently, this book has been out there before if you go by all the copies available on Amazon, but I guess it’s a new edition being published by HarperCollinsUK?

Amazon says about the book, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun:

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is a previously unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien, written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920s and ‘30s, before he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It makes available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and The Fall of the Niflungs. It includes an introduction by J.R.R. Tolkien, drawn from one of his own lectures on Norse literature, with commentary and notes on the poems by Christopher Tolkien.

Because of the writing style of the poems in the book, Christopher Tolkien has provided this synopsis on the Tolkien Estate website.

This sounds like it will be a great book to add to the collection! It is in the My Passion Is Books Store J.R.R. Tolkien section (starts on page 9 of the J.R.R. Tolkien section). Includes hardcover, deluxe, audio CD. (I am hoping to get the audioCD as well as at least a paperback version).

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