The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
|The Adventures of Tom Bombadil|
and Other Verses from the Red Book
|Editor||Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull (2014 edition)|
Roger Garland (1990 edition)
|Publisher||George Allen and Unwin (UK)|
Houghton Mifflin (US)
|Released||22 November 1962 (UK)|
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book is a 1962 collection of poetry by J.R.R. Tolkien. The book contains 16 poems, two of which feature Tom Bombadil, the rest of the poems are an assortment of bestiary verse and fairy tale rhyme. Three of the poems appear in The Lord of the Rings as well. The book is part of Tolkien's legendarium.
The book was originally illustrated by Pauline Baynes. The book, like the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, is presented as if it is an actual translation from the Red Book of Westmarch, and contains some background information on the world of Middle-earth that is not found elsewhere: e.g. the name of the tower at Dol Amroth and the names of the Seven Rivers of Gondor. There is some fictional background information about those poems, linking them to Hobbit folklore and literature and to their supposed writers, in some cases Sam Gamgee.
The poems are all supposedly works that Hobbits enjoyed; all are in English. Several are attributed in a mock-scholarly preface to Hobbit authors or traditions. Three are also among the many poems in The Lord of the Rings.
- I. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
- II. Bombadil Goes Boating
- III Errantry
- IV. Princess Mee
- V. The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late
- VI. The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon
- VII. The Stone Troll
- VIII. Perry-the-Winkle
- IX. The Mewlips
- X. Oliphaunt
- XI. Fastitocalon
- XII. Cat
- XIII. Shadow-Bride
- XIV. The Hoard
- XV. The Sea-Bell
- XVI. The Last Ship
The order of the poems form a thematical progress: two poems with the titular character, two "faerie" poems, two with the Man in the Moon, two with Trolls; three "bestiary", and four "atmospheric/emotional". The Mewlips doesn't fit to a category, and placed in the middle as a divider.
Some of the proposed poems that were eventually omitted were:
- Kortirion among the Trees — (later included in The Book of Lost Tales: Part One)
- The Dragon's Visit — (later included in the revised edition of The Annotated Hobbit)
- You and Me — (possibly revisited, later included in The Book of Lost Tales: Part One)
Two other poems are included in the extended edition of the book (2014):
- Once upon a Time, a poem related to Tom Bombadil.
- An Evening in Tavrobel, recounting an evening in Tavrobel, a place in Tol Eressëa in the early version of the legendarium.
J.R.R. Tolkien's aunt Jane Neave enjoyed the figure of Tom Bombadil and asked him if he could make a book out of him that would make an affordable Christmas present. Tolkien didn't feel that anything more could be told about Tom, but considered his earlier poem about him, that would be made into an illustrated booklet,[note 1] thinking about Pauline Baynes. Rayner Unwin suggested to him to collect more poems with it so as to be a more publishable book, and Tolkien researched some older, half-forgotten poems the value of which he doubted but as he wrote to his aunt, he enjoyed rediscovering and rubbing them up and took a lot of work to re-write them.
Tolkien thought (and Baynes agreed) that the poems didn't fit together as a collection. Tolkien worked a lot to make them fit with each other and into Hobbit-lore; he decided including a Foreword that would make this connection, and wrote a second poem with Tom in order to fit him better into the world of the Shire and Hobbits.
- The Illustrations
Despite Baynes suggested that his poems were rather "felt", Tolkien insisted that his images were definite, clear and precise. He instructed Baynes that the illustrations "shouldn't be comical". Then she collaborated with art editor Ronald Eames, and finished six illustrations by August 1962. Though there were some criticism from Tolkien to Baynes' work, in the end, Tolkien credited for a large part Baynes for the commercial success of the book.
The new edition includes: an introduction by the editors, earlier versions of 13 poems with textual notes, a later 'Bombodil' poem Once upon a Time, a previously unpublished text The Bumpus — the predecessor of Perry-the-Winkle, and the complete fragment of a prose story featuring Tom Bombadil.
- Poem history
Many of the poems have been revised by Tolkien in the past, some even several times. The details are shown below.
- Not revised
- Bombadil Goes Boating
- Revised, title unchanged
- The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
- Errantry (eventually became The Lay of Eärendil)
- Revised, title changed
- The Princess Ní —> Princess Mee
- The Cat and the Fiddle —> The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late
- Why the Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon —> The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon
- Pēdo & Pōdex —> The Root of the Boot —> The Stone Troll
- The Bumpus —> Perry-the-Winkle
- Knocking at the Door —> The Mewlips
- Iumbo, or, Ye Kind of Ye Oliphaunt —> Oliphaunt
- The Shadow Man —> Shadow-Bride
- Iúmonna Gold Galdre Bewunden —> The Hoard
- Looney —> The Sea-Bell
- Firiel —> The Last Ship
Publication history and gallery
- UK Editions
- George Allen & Unwin hardcover (1962), pp. 64. ISBN 0048210196
- Unwin Hyman hardcover (1990), pp. 75. ISBN 0044407270
- Unwin Paperbacks paperback (1990), ISBN 0044407262
- HarperCollins hardcover (2014), pp. 304. ISBN 0007557272 (also included in the 2015 Tolkien Treasury pocket set)
- Audio performances
- Addenda and Corrigenda (2014) by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond
- Richard C. West, Review of the extended edition, Tolkien Studies. 12
- Review at thetablet.co.uk
- Review at Tolkien Library
- Bilbo's Last Song was published years later in such a format.
- Richard C. West, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (Review), Tolkien Studies: Volume 12
- Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 233, (dated 15 November 1961)
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 234, (dated 22 November 1961)
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 237, (dated 12 April 1962)
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 235, (dated 6 December 1961)
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, "New Tolkien Projects, Part One" dated 15 January 2014, Wayneandchristina.wordpress.com (accessed 19 January 2014)
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