In the beginning Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Ilúvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before himTolkien wrote the heart of this material very early in his career, and continued to work on it throughout his life. It fell to his son, Christopher Tolkien, to edit it into book form, and such proved the unquenchable public appetite that he subsequently oversaw 12 volumes of The History of Middle-Earth. This edition features 20 highly evocative colour plates by Ted Nasmith, themselves worth the price of admission, while reinforcing the sense of a historical work are genealogical tables, an extensive index, appendix and colour map. Far removed from the genial style of The Hobbit, this is Tolkien at his most formal, his prose austere, poetically beautiful, his storytelling capturing the epic scale, high drama and melancholy wonder of myth. These stories of elves and heroes and old gods are quite literally the foundation of the entire modern fantasy-publishing revival, and are therefore essential reading. --Gary S. Dalkin
The Silmarillion is a gloriously realised story of rebellion, exile, war and the heroism of elves and men. But to gain an insight into the staggering complexity of Tolkien's world, however, the shorter works also included are must-reads. Dealing with the myth of creation, the nature of the Gods, the fall of Númenor and the Rings of Power, they paint a vivid picture not only of Middle Earth but also of the author's soaring imagination.
Tolkien was born of English parents in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 and died in England in 1973. He worked on The Silmarillion from as early as 1917 but the work was not published until after his death. This edition, richly illustrated by Ted Nasmith, is both collector's item and source of reference and fascination for every follower of Tolkien. --James Barclay