The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
|The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion|
|Author||Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull|
|Illustrator||J.R.R. Tolkien (cover)|
Houghton Mifflin (US)
|Released||27 December 2005|
The book examines The Lord of the Rings chapter by chapter, offering insights into its evolution, structure, and meaning. It discusses important influences on its development, connections between that work and other writings by Tolkien, errors and inconsistencies, significant changes to the text, and archaic and unusual words used by Tolkien.
It contains many rare or formerly unpublished writings by Tolkien, including excerpts from the "Chronology", an unfinished index, and the important "Nomenclature" for the use of translators, first appeared in 1975 and now newly transcribed.
Contents[edit | edit source]
- A Brief History of The Lord of the Rings
- Chronologies, Calendars, and Moons
- The Maps of The Lord of the Rings
- Foreword to the Second Edition
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King
- Extracts from a Letter by J.R.R. Tolkien to Milton Waldman, ?Late 1951
- Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Changes to the Editions of 2004-5
- List of Works Consulted
Rare or new writings[edit | edit source]
- The newly transcribed "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings", originally published as "Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings" in A Tolkien Compass in 1975.
- A portion (omitted from Letters) of Tolkien's important letter to publisher Milton Waldman, written probably in late 1951, which describes The Lord of the Rings as part of his larger mythology.
- A glossary-index Tolkien began to prepare for The Lord of the Rings probably in 1953 but never finished, it includes only place-names.
- Quotations from Tolkien's check copies of The Lord of the Rings.
- A series of time-schemes Tolkien used to keep track of the locations and actions of the characters.
- The plot outlines and time-schemes that comprises "The Hunt for the Ring" (some of which is published in Unfinished Tales).
Reception[edit | edit source]
David Bratman, reviewing the work for Tolkien Studies, described it as "simply ... an Annotated Lord of the Rings that for reasons of space omits the text of the work being discussed", by contrast with Douglas A. Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit. He notes that the omission makes keying the notes to the text difficult: page numbers are given for the three-volume Allen and Unwin 1954-1955 edition, and the HarperCollins/Houghton Mifflin one-volume 2004 edition. Since many readers have neither of those, it also provides the first words of every cited paragraph, which in his view is at least workable. As an annotated edition, it succeeds "admirably", Bratman writes, in documenting many words and phrases "worthy of specific relevant commentary", and in providing a scholar capable of doing such a task justice. He notes that at 900 pages "of small type" it is similar in length to the text, while the comments range from brief glosses to "a five-page essay" on the Elf-lady Galadriel, which he calls "by itself a major essay on the subject".
Laura Schmidt, reviewing the book for VII, writes that the husband and wife scholarship team of Hammond and Scull offer inside information on how The Lord of the Rings was constructed through many stages, and assist with difficult passages. They note that although there are many other Tolkien references, having all the information in one affordable volume is "remarkable", and that it well complements Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume History of Middle-earth and the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings.
Publication history and gallery[edit | edit source]
- First edition
[edit | edit source]
- Addenda and corrigenda to the first edition (2005)
- Addenda and corrigenda to the first revised edition 2008)
- Addenda and corrigenda to the second revised edition (2014)
- Bratman, David (2006). "The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (review)". Tolkien Studies. 3
- Schmidt, Laura (2008). "[Review] Wayne. G. Hammond and Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion". VII: Journal of the Marion E.