The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien
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“Every page brings forth the elegiac tone of JRR Tolkien’s work… It is a beautiful book, including many wonderful pictures by Tolkien himself… Garth’s book made me realise the impact that Tolkien has had on my life.”
A lavishly illustrated exploration of the places that inspired and shaped the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of Middle-earth. This new book from renowned expert John Garth takes us to the places that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to create his fictional locations in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other classic works. Featuring more than 100 images, it includes Tolkien’s own illustrations, contributions from other artists, archive images, maps and spectacular present-day photographs.
Inspirational locations range across Great Britain – particularly Tolkien’s beloved West Midlands and Oxford – but also overseas to all points of the compass. Sources are located for Hobbiton, the elven valley of Rivendell, the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep, and many other key spots in Middle-earth, as well as for its mountain scenery, forests, rivers, lakes and shorelands.
A rich interplay is revealed between Tolkien’s personal travels, his wide reading and his deep scholarship as an Oxford professor. Garth uses his own profound knowledge of Tolkien’s life and work to uncover the extraordinary processes of invention, to debunk popular misconceptions about the inspirations for Middle-earth, and to put forward strong new claims of his own.
Organised by theme, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien is an illustrated journey into the life and imagination of one of the world’s best-loved authors, an exploration of the relationship between worlds real and fantastical, and an inspiration for anyone who wants to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps.
"A fascinating, gorgeously illustrated and thought-provoking examination of the landscapes, cities and architecture that inspired Tolkien during his lifelong creation of Middle-earth. Garth, a journalist as well as a Tolkien scholar, proves an exceptional guide to Middle-earth.... [A] masterful book." -- Elizabeth Hand * Washington Post * "Every page brings forth the elegiac tone of JRR Tolkien's work. Ostensibly it's about the landscapes that inspired Middle-Earth; but it's also, unavoidably, a history of the man and his ideas.... for me this book was irresistible. ... It is a beautiful book, physically speaking - bound in rich textured hardback and filled with beautiful illustrations, including many wonderful pictures by Tolkien himself... Garth's book made me realise the impact that Tolkien has had on my life." -- Tom Chivers * The Times * "I marvel at many things - the very substantial research, the sheer number of associations and links between places and text, (unequalled in any other single book), the perceptive observations about process - about how Tolkien responded to places and changed them for his own purposes (as all artists do), and the generous inclusion of perceptions by other Tolkien specialists. I think the book really is a fine achievement, wonderfully well supported by the gallery of illustrations and notes. The picture of Lauterbrunnen made my heart ache. There's scarcely a page margin that I haven't pencil marked, and I'll certainly be revisiting the book. I've ended by learning a great deal and thoroughly enjoying myself." -- Kevin Crossley-Holland * author of 'The Penguin Book of Norse Myths' * "Five stars. This wonderful book is a collectable must. Packed to the covers with glorious illustrations, maps and photos old and modern, it's a scholarly work of art.... Heart-warming as well as revealing, it shows there are still surprises hidden in Tolkien's books." -- Jon Wise * Weekend Sport * "Although it is coffee table size it is designed to be read in order and works best this way, but with over one hundred illustrations, some from Tolkien himself, there is much to enjoy if you just want to browse random pages. While there is still room for debate about some of [Tolkien's] ideas, this is probably the most authoritative book you are likely to find." * SciFi Online * "I just bought The Worlds of JRRT. It's magisterial and beautiful, and the book I've been waiting for since I was 9. Thank you." -- James McConnachie "Gorgeous, with dozens of photos, maps, illustrations and Tolkien's own artwork. Garth, who wrote the award-winning Tolkien and the Great War, does a deep subterranean dig into the places, events and cultural influences that would later shape those immortal novels... This book, as a piece of scholarship, is a really fine addition to the Tolkien canon; aficionados will lap it up." -- Darragh McManus * Irish Independent * "Beautifully produced and laid out, the book features a nice mix of landscape photographs, maps, period photos and illustrations, and Tolkien's own paintings ... Basically, if you love Tolkien's work and want to know more about where it came from, this book is for you. And if you know anyone else who is, and does, their next birthday or Christmas present is sorted." -- Philip Reeve * author of "Mortal Engines" * "John Garth's masterful study belongs on every Middle-earth scholar's shelf. Encyclopedic in its scope, it melds Tolkien's biography with his imagined worlds. From Morgoth to the Mewlips, no sub-created stone is left unturned. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps of both real and imagined lands, and art and illustrations by Tolkien and others, many hitherto unpublished, Garth's guidebook to the geography and history of Middle-earth is boggling in its breadth and depth. Its command of scholarship enhances it immeasurably. Each page illuminates with insights and dazzles with details. Time and again, the reader will marvel at how much knowledge Garth fits into 208 pages. The large (eight by ten inches) format amplifies the impact of the illustrations, whose reproductions here are of the highest quality. The two-column layout enhances readability. A weighty tome at two and three-quarters pounds, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien does not skimp on words or pictures...In all, Garth's command of the life and works of the maker of Middle-earth make this book an essential work for those who wish to increase their understanding of the author. Tolkien scholarship is much the richer because of it." -- Mike Foster * Mythlore * "An extensive new study" -- Vanessa Thorpe * The Observer *
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