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Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia Paperback – 25 Nov 1993

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; New edition edition (25 Nov. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857323467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857323467
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 1.8 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,183,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Day is the author of A Tolkien Bestiary which has sold more than 350,000 copies in nine languages since publication. He has published more than 20 other books in the fields of poetry, ecology, natural history, fantasy and mythology, and a number of award-winning children's books. His lavishly illustrated book on myth and fantasy lore, Castles, includes tales of the castles of Middle Earth.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't like to give products one star reviews, but David Day's Tolkien 'reference' works unfortunately deserve them. The basic problem is that he makes stuff up - that is, he says stuff about Tolkien's world that has no basis in anything Tolkien actually wrote (or often as not, contradicts it). Some of what he says is accurate, but far too much isn't, and unless you already know it's pretty hard to tell the difference (and if you already know, you probably don't need a book like this anyway). Day's work is very notorious among Tolkien fans for being sloppy, error-ridden, and fairly pointless since there are much better Tolkien references out there.

I strongly recommend getting a real reference work instead of this. Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: The Definitive Companion to the World of J.R.R. Tolkien is probably the best guide to Middle-earth itself. If you want a reference that's more about Tolkien as a writer and literary figure, then you should definitely get the meticulously researched J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 2: Reader's Guide by Scull and Hammond (the encyclopaedia is the second volume in a set; the first volume is a detailed chronology of Tolkien's life). There's also the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment edited by Michael Drout, which is set to be released in a more affordable paperback edition later this month (June 2013). Drout's Encyclopaedia has some problems, and not all the articles are as good as they could be, but it's worlds better than Day's.

But whatever you go for, don't buy this book, or any of Day's other Tolkien books (many of which have the same content, released under different titles). Really, don't.
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Format: Paperback
David Day has created an excellent and entertaining resource for fans of Middle Earth with this well-produced encyclopedia. It is not, as the title misleadingly declares, a TOLKIEN encycopedia, as such - after all, it only covers Tolkien's Middle Earth creation and does not touch upon his other (less well known)works aside from a brief bibliography at the beginning - but this slight nitpick aside, I wholehearedly recommend this book as a quality 'Middle Earth encyclopedia'. It has rich detail, is very user-friendly and although the illustations were not all to my liking (I found some to be a little sketchy or child-like. I would have preferred Alan Lee illustrations) the overall immpression is very favourable. This will sit nicely on your bookshelf among your Tolkien collection and will be invaluable when reading 'The Silmarillion', 'Unfinished Tales' or 'The History of Middle Earth' series as a reference. In short, you can buy this book with confidence if you are looking for a quality encyclopedia of Tolkien's 'Middle earth' - The Valar, Balrogs, Gandalf, Hobbits, Morgoth - all here at your fingertips in one handy, well produced volume.
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Format: Paperback
This is an attractive volume and there's a lot of information packed into it, but sadly there's also some very sloppy writing and laughable errors, such as that which marries Elrond off to Celeborn! The illustrations are also pretty dire in places, but it's still probably worth space on the Tolkien shelf.
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By A Customer on 24 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Tolkien: The Illustrated Encylopaedia, to give it it's proper name, is a fairly watertight guide to the mythos. The text cannot be faulted for accuracy (most of the time it quotes directly from Tolkien, in other places it paraphrases him) and covers everything, but beware of the frequent typos. The art seems to have been thrown in at the eleventh hour and the quality varies wildly, most of the paintings being lazy and amateurish, but fortunately there's a great slew of sinister, stuning inkwork by the fantastic Ian Miller, the world's least-renowned and most underrated fantasy artist.
Not essential, by any means, but nice to have regardless.
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