The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Christopher Tolkien
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977. First American Edition. Hardcover. 365 pages ; map ; 25 cm. $10.95 dust jacket with a small chip at the tail end of the dust jacket spine and a lot of small tear around the dust jacket edges. A good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
The Silmarillion is the core of J. R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work that he could not publish in his lifetime because it grew with him. Its origins stretch back to a time long before The Hobbit. But The Hobbit was caught up in what Tolkien called "the branching acquisitive theme" begun in The Silmarillion, and eventually The Lord of the Rings emerged from this as well.
Tolkien considered The Silmarillion his most important work, and, though published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other works. For this is the story of the creation of the world and the happenings of the First Age. This is the ancient drama to which 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 Féanor, 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, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Féanor 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 book includes several other, shorter works, in addition to "The Silmarillion" itself. Preceding it are "The Ainulindalé," a myth of the Creation, and "The Valaquenta, " in which the nature and power of the gods is set forth. After "The Silmarillion" comes "The Akallabéth" a tale of the downfall of the Kingdom of Nfimenor; and finally, "Of the Rings of Power," the connecting link to The Lord of the Rings.
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