Best Selling Books by Christopher Tolkien

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release date: Aug 30, 2018
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The Fall of Gondolin
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.
 
Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.
 
Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.
 
At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.
 
Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.
release date: Jun 01, 2017
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Beren and Lúthien
The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.
 
Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal elf. Her father, a great elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.
 
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
 
Published on the tenth anniversary of the last Middle-earth book, the international bestseller The Children of Húrin, this new volume will similarly include drawings and color plates by Alan Lee, who also illustrated The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and went on to win Academy Awards for his work on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
 
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release date: Oct 23, 2018
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The Great Tales of Middle-earth: Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and The Fall of Gondolin
Just in time for holiday gift-giving, The Great Tales of Middle-earth is a beautiful boxed set of the final novels of Middle-earth: Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and The Fall of Gondolin, packaged together for the first time. Completing Christopher Tolkien’s lifelong achievement as the editor and curator of his father J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts, The Great Tales features handsome color plates and maps by famed illustrator Alan Lee.
release date: Apr 17, 2007
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The Children of Hurin
TOLKIEN'S NEW WORK:  A Parable on Humanity's Inability to Conquer Evil Without a Redeemer "Already the reviews are pouring in, and most are favorable for J. R. R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin.  Rather than focus on the usual stuff of criticism, I want to look directly at Tolkien the Catholic author and what he does with this material.  The man who talked about the necessity for a happy ending and the triumph of good over evil has produced a tale of woe, betrayal, and tragedy that turns the most optimistic  of us to tears.  Therein lies the genius of this work.  Born out of the despair of World War I, treasured in his heart for his entire life but never really given final form, a window into the complex heart of this Catholic author,  The Children of Hurin is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil even in the midst of God's providence and ultimate conquest of this dark force.  Almost a century old in its genesis, the tale is parable for our times and a cautionary warning about the pride of humanity. In our world, we like to think of ourselves as the masters of creation, flawed but not really sinful.  Ask a friend if he or she sins and they will tell you they make mistakes but "sin?"--not so much.  The Western world values "niceness" above all other virtues and raises tolerance to an almost oppressive  level.  We must accept anything and everything because each of us is the ultimate decider of what is right and wrong.  Ambiguity rules our hearts and assuages our consciences.  What is good for you may be wrong for me and vice versa.  Too much reflection and we may think badly of ourselves.  The problem is:  not enough reflection and when our sins come home to roost and we must face them, then we may just give in to despair. Critics will say our world is nothing like the one Tolkien created in his mythology, but they wo
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release date: Oct 07, 2014
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The Silmarillion
“Majestic! . . . Readers of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will find in The Silmarillion a cosmology to call their own, medieval romances, fierce fairy tales, and fiercer wars that ring with heraldic fury . . . It overwhelms the reader.” — Time

The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this 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 three Silmarils were jewels created by Fëanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Fëanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.

“A creation of singular beauty . . . magnificent in its best moments.” — Washington Post

“Heart-lifting . . . a work of power, eloquence and noble vision . . . Superb!” — Wall Street Journal
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release date: Sep 21, 2007
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The Hobbit
This deluxe hardcover edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic prelude to his Lord of the Rings trilogy contains a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien’s own drawings and full-color illustrations, including the rare “Mirkwood” piece.

J.R.R. Tolkien's own description for the original edition: "If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) -- if you do not already know all about these things -- much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise."
release date: Aug 04, 2015
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Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary

New York Times bestseller

“A thrill . . . Beowulf was Tolkien’s lodestar. Everything he did led up to or away from it.” —New Yorker
 
J.R.R. Tolkien completed his translation of Beowulf in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition includes an illuminating written commentary on the poem by the translator himself, drawn from a series of lectures he gave at Oxford in the 1930s.
 
His creative attention to detail in these lectures gives rise to a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if Tolkien entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beach their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to Beowulf’s rising anger at Unferth’s taunting, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.
 
“Essential for students of the Old English poem—and the ideal gift for devotees of the One Ring.” —Kirkus
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release date: Oct 07, 2014
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Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth
"The tone is heroic, both the heroes and the villains greater than life-size." -- New York Times Book Review

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth concentrates on the lands of Middle-earth and comprises Gandalf's lively account of how he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the story of the emergence of the sea god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand, and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan and the journey of the Black Riders during the hunt for the Ring. It also contains the only surviving story about the long ages of Númenor before its downfall, and all that is known about the Five Wizards sent to Middle-earth as emissaries of the Valar, about the Seeing Stones known as palantíri, and about the legend of Amroth.

Edited and with an introduction, commentary, index, and maps by Christopher Tolkien.

"An indispensable volume illuminating many unknown stories and details of Middle-earth unavailable elsewhere." -- Douglas A. Anderson, author of The Annotated Hobbit
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release date: Sep 21, 2017
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The Complete History of Middle-earth
This special collector's edition features all 12 parts of the series bound in three volumes. Each book includes a silk ribbon marker and is quarter-bound in black, with grey boards stamped in gold foil, and the set is presented in a matching black slipcase. J.R.R. Tolkien is famous the world over for his unique literary creation, exemplified in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. What is less well known, however, is that he also produced a vast amount of further material that greatly expands upon the mythology and numerous stories of Middle-earth, and which gives added life to the thousand-year war between the Elves and the evil spirit Morgoth, and his terrifying lieutenant, Sauron. It was to this enormous task of literary construction that his Tolkien's youngest son and literary heir, Christopher, applied himself to produce the monumental and endlessly fascinating series of twelve books, The History of Middle-earth. This very special collector's edition brings together all twelve books into three hardback volumes - over 5,000 pages of fascinating Tolkien material - and places them in one matching box.
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release date: Jun 06, 2000
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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
'...If you wanted to go on from the end of The Hobbit I think the ring would be your inevitable choice as the link. If then you wanted a large tale, the Ring would at once acquire a capital letter; and the Dark Lord would immediately appear. As he did, unasked, on the hearth at Bag End as soon as I came to that point. So the essential Quest started at once. But I met a lot of things along the way that astonished me. Tom Bombadil I knew already; but I had never been to Bree. Strider sitting in the corner of the inn was a shock, and I had no more idea who he was than Frodo did. The Mines of Moria had been a mere name; and of Lothlorien no word had reached my mortal ears till I came there.' -- J.R.R. Tolkien to W.H. Auden, June 7, 1955

J.R.R. Tolkien, cherished author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was one of the twentieth century's most prolific letter writers. Over the years he wrote a mass of letters -- to his publishers, his family, to friends, and to fans of his books -- which record the history and composition of his works and his reaction to subsequent events.

By turns thoughtful, impish, scholarly, impassioned, playful, vigorous, and gentle, Tolkien poured his heart and mind into a great stream of correspondence to intimate friends and unknown admirers all over the world. From this collection one sees a mind of immense complexity and many layers -- artistic, religious, charmingly eccentric, sentimental, and ultimately brilliant.

Now newly expanded with a detailed index, this collection provides an invaluable record that sheds much light on Tolkien's creative genius, his thoughts and feelings about his own work, and the evolution of his grand design for the creation of a whole new world -- Middle-earth.
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