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The Silmarillionby J R R Tolkien
Synopses & Reviews
A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, The Silmarillion is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before The Hobbit.
Tolkien considered The Silmarillion his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. 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 Feanor, 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 Feanor 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.
The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration and source of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing; he worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to a final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the RIngs look back and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part.
The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, "The History of the Silmarils," the three great jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them and set them in his crown, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all the heroisim of Elves and Men, against the great Enemy.
The book includes several other, shorter works beside The Silmarillion proper. Preceding it are "Ainulindale," the myth of Creation, and "Valaquenta," in which the nature and powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is "Akallabeth," the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age; completing the volume is "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion.
This new edition of The Silmarillion contains the revised and corrected "second edition" text and, by way of introduction, a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, which provides a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages. It also contains almost fifty full-color illustrations by the artist Ted Nasmith, many of which appear for the first time.
The background to the entire Lord of the Rings epic, and the world of middle-earth. The Silmarillion is Tolkien's first book and his last, the core of his imaginative work that underlies all his writings about Middle-earth. Here are the legends of the Elder Days, the central stories that give meaning to the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien began The Silmarillion in 1917 and worked on it, changed it, and continued it throughout his life. Edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, the book finally appeared four years after the author's death, in 1977. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feonor, the most gifted of the Elves, and within them gleamed the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. But they were stolen by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, setting off the major war of the First Age. The Silmarillion includes several other works besides the main story: Ainulindale, the myth of Creation; Valaquenta, on the nature and power of the gods; Allakabeth, recounting the downfall of Numenor; and "Of the Rings of Power and the third Age," the link to The Lord of the Rings. As Christopher Tolkien describes it: "The entire history is set forth from the Music of the Ainur in which the world began to the passing of the ringbearers from the Havens of Mithlond at the end of the Third Age." Now illustrated for the first time with original paintings by the renowned artist Ted Nasmith, this gift edition is a companion to the illustrated editions of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
About the Author
J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892-1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
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