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Bilbo's Last Song Paperback – 25 Oct 2012
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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'sNarnia Chronicles, 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Bilbo Baggins, famous Hobbit adventurer and savior of the One Ring, arrives at the Grey Havens at the end of the Third Age to board the White Ship on its journey West. It is here that he composes his last song, reflecting on the leaving of Middle-Earth and the voyage that will take him to the Undying Lands at the end of the sunset. (This representation of JRR Tolkien's ideals on death and/ or immortality is pleasantly harmonius and it is nice that you are left in the unknown). Poignant and lyrical, the song is both a longing to set forth on his ultimate journey and a tender farewell to his friends left behind.
"Farewell friends! The sails are set, the wind is east, the moorings fret..."
Bilbo's last song is a must for all fans of Tolkien's vast, epic fantasy as it offers closure to one of the most significant character's stories.Read more ›
In the end, I must say that this book truly conveys part of the emotion of "The Lord of The Rings" and "The Hobbit", so it should appeal to anyone who's already a lover of these books.
Add to the mix the readability factor which means it'll be requested again and all round a definite sure fire hit so much so that when my Dad saw that I had a copy he not only half hitched it but decided on an impromptu reading for his Grandchildren who sat enraptured around his feet.
Each stanza is allocated an entire left-hand page. Framing the twelve verses are twelve different pairs of overarching trees, painted in colour by Tolkien's favourite artist, the late Pauline Baynes. Beneath, on and above the trees are a wonderful variety of creatures lent by the British countryside - fox and badger, beaver and stoat, hedgehog and otter, frog and squirrel, weasel and rabbit, bat, blackbird and owl, all animated by the keenly observed spirit so characteristic of Pauline's work.
Opposite each stanza, on the right-hand page, is a colour vignette of a stage of Bilbo's last journey. We see him in his room at Rivendell, speaking to Elrond, mounting his pony, riding through woodland, encountering Frodo and Sam, coming to the Far Downs, meeting Cirdan the Shipwright, arriving at the Grey Havens, greeting Merry and Pippin, setting sail, passing the horizon and coming at last to the glory of the Undying Lands.
At the foot of each page are a series of smaller colour vignettes depicting the great adventure of Bilbo's that Tolkien recorded in The Hobbit. In the edition which I own - a hardback published by Hutchinson in 2002 - there is also a frontispiece showing Bilbo at his writing desk, together with a title page portrait of Bilbo resting after a walk and an inexpressibly lovely endpaper painting of Elrond's company watched by fox, deer, badger and squirrel as they ride through a golden-leaved autumn. Six pages of notes relate each illustration to the relevant passage in Tolkien's stories.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Illustrations are charming. BUT, it is a very short poem - it is comprised of 10 sentences. It's not substantial and cannot be accurately described (as it is on Amazon) as the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Penelope
not what i thought it would be but can't complain for the amazingly low price! as described and delivered before date. i recommend this seller.Published 18 months ago by Scott Innes
I liked it, it will make a lovely 'extra' gift to put in stockings at Christmas...( yes,, I am already thinking ahead and books always figure large on my Christmas list.)Published 22 months ago by D. L. Ashcroft-nowicki
I would love to write a review but although it turned up on my Kindke for Mac.. it refuses to download saying it does'nt work with my device.. funny .. Read morePublished on 21 May 2015 by D. L. Ashcroft-nowicki
I have had a hard back copy for some time, then bought the Kindle edition. I found this most disappointing as I cannot open it on either my Kindle or my PC. Read morePublished on 9 April 2015 by ALC