Considered to be Bilbo Baggins' epilogue to The Lord of the Rings
sequence, Bilbo's Last Song
is his short but beautiful farewell poem to Middle-Earth. The lyrical text in this new gift edition is accompanied by some stunningly detailed colour illustrations by Pauline Baynes
that are worth the cover price alone. Baynes, who famously illustrated CS Lewis
, was much admired by Tolkien as well as a good friend of his.
Bilbo Baggins, the famous Hobbit adventurer, composed his last song after arriving at Grey Havens to board the White Ship on its journey west. He reflects on the leaving of Middle-Earth and the voyage that would take him to the Undying Lands at the end of the sunset. Like Elrond, he had indicated to Frodo that his thoughts were turning towards departure.
There are extensive notes contained within about Baynes' illustrations, which depict two journeys. The larger ones depict the journey that brings the ring-bearers and the company of elves to the Grey Havens and the beginning of the final voyage. Another sequence of smaller vignettes show scenes from The Hobbit as Bilbo remembers his first journey on the eve of his last.
Interestingly, the copyright of Bilbo's Last Song was a gift from Tolkien to a young woman seconded from his publisher in the 1970s to help him with his correspondence--which was vast. He used to joke that if ever a diamond bracelet fell out of an envelope it would be hers. Once, when she was helping him pack up his office before he moved house, Bilbo's Last Song fell out of a book and she loved it so much that Tolkien said it could be her diamond bracelet. It was never published in his lifetime.
Suitable for readers aged 10 and over, this is a stunningly beautiful book that collectors will treasure. --John McLay
--This text refers to the
"A must for all fans of Tolkien's vast, epic fantasy"-"Publishers Weekly
"From the Hardcover edition.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.