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The Return of the Shadow Hardcover – 4 Nov 1991


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (4 Nov. 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0261102036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261102033
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.6 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,634,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

'The Return of the Shadow' is the first part of the history of the creation of 'The Lord of the Rings', a fascinating study of Tolkien's great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, 'The Fellowship of the Ring'.

In 'The Return of the Shadow' (the abandoned title of the first volume of 'The Lord of the Rings') we see how Bilbo's 'magic' ring evolved into the supremely dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord; and the precise, and astonishingly unforeseen, moment when a Black Rider first rode into the Shire. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed, though his true identity seems to be an insoluble problem. Frodo's companions undergo many changes of name and personality; and other major figures appear in unfamiliar guises: a sinister Treebeard, in league with the Enemy, and a ferocious, malevolent Farmer Maggot.

This book comes complete with reproductions of the first maps and facsimile pages from the earlier manuscripts.

”The pure imaginative power of J.R.R.Tolkien shines through…an excellent example of the creative imagination at work.”
BALTIMORE SUN

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.

Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.

Vol 1 & 2, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 ( 1983) & 2 (1984). The Book of Lost Tales was written during the 1910s and 1920s. Wikipedia describes it this way: "The framework for the book is that a mortal Man visits the Isle of Tol Eressëa where the Elves live. In the earlier versions of the `Lost Tales' this man is named Eriol, of some vague north European origin, but in later versions he becomes Ælfwine, an Englishman of the Middle-ages."

Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (1985). These are collections of poems, many of them incomplete, written between the 1920s and the late 1940s.

Vol 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on 26 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
"I squandered so much on the original `Hobbit' (which was not meant to have a sequel) that it is difficult to find anything new in that world" (RotS pg. 44). Tolkien wrote this to Stanley Unwin in the late 1930s when Unwin had approached Tolkien to do a sequel, and when Tolkien was struggling with writing the first portion of what would be come his masterpiece.

The Return of the Shadow deals with the earliest extant texts of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, dealing exclusively with Book 1 and the first part of book II up to Balin's tomb in Moria.

Christopher Tolkien divides this writing up into three phases, with the first phase taking Bingo (who would later become Frodo) and company to Rivendell. There are no less than SIX versions of the opening chapter, with only a few notes regarding the Ring. It was not until the introduction of the Black Riders (who in the first draft written was actually Gandalf surprising the four journeying hobbits) and Gollum's back story did the story take on more of its more familiar, canonized versions. The first phase stopped when Tolkien got to Rivendell.

The second phase is Tolkien rewriting and redrafting the material and even the introduction of a new chapter. It is basically Tolkien going back to the earlier material and incorporating all the different changes that had came long.

The third phase is Tolkien reordering the rather chaotic body of manuscripts that had accumulated into a fair working copy. At one point during this phrase Tolkien even considered abandoning the work already completed and making Bilbo the main character again.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By RH on 31 May 2001
Format: Paperback
I knew that I had hit upon something special when I first read 'The Lord of the Rings'. 'The Return of the Shadow' allows the reader to explore the background to Tolkien's writing and the development of his epic, and it makes fascinating reading. To see how the charcters of Frodo, Sam and most notably, Strider unfold, helps one appreciate the labour that went into Tolkien's masterpiece. The false starts and revisions enable the reader to see how the story might have progressed were it not for the authors care in delivering a story that both follows on from 'The Hobbit' but also builds a more complete story which ties in with his privately developing 'Silmarillion', covering the earlier times in middle earth. Christopher Tolkien, as editor and recipient of many letters during the writng of LOTR has researched his father's work expertly. It is necessary to continue with the other volumes of the 'History of Middle Earth' series, but it is rewarding and well worth the effort. This book is a fascinating insight into the development of the greatest book of the 20th century (allegedly), and why it took nearly 2 decades to complete.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
The Return of the Shadow is the first volume of the history of the Lord of the Rings. It is an essential addition not only to the Tolkien lover's library but also to that of anyone who is interested in litterature and wants to discover how the book that was voted best novel of the 20th century in the UK, was conceived and written. It is followed by the Treason of Isengard and Sauron Defeated.
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