The forerunner to "Lord of the Rings", "The Silmarillion" fills in the background which lies behind the popular work, and gives the earlier history of Middle Earth, introducing some of the key characters.
The tales of 'The Silmarillion' tell of the First Age of Tolkien's world, long before the time of 'The Lord of the Rings', when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-earth and the High Elves made upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the precious jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.
When Morgoth destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor, their light lived on only in the Silmarils. This second tells how Morgoth seized the jewels and set them in his iron crown, guarded by Orcs in the fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. Fëanor, the jewels' creator, sets out with the Deep Elves to recover them, and their quest brings the Noldor to the realm of Beleriand.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.