The Return of the Shadow

From Tolkien Gateway
The Return of the Shadow
Return of the Shadow 1988.png
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorChristopher Tolkien
PublisherUnwin Hyman (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Released25 August 1988 (UK)
5 January 1989 (US)
FormatHardcover; paperback
Pages480
ISBN0044401620
Preceded byThe Lost Road and Other Writings (1987)
Followed byThe Treason of Isengard (1989)

The Return of the Shadow, published in 1988, is the sixth volume of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume book series, The History of Middle-earth, in which he analyzes the unpublished manuscripts of J.R.R. Tolkien.

It is also the first volume of The History of The Lord of the Rings, which documents the writing process of The Lord of the Rings.

This book covers a larger part of the content of The Fellowship of the Ring. It encompasses TLotR's three initial stages of composition or, as Christopher Tolkien calls them, "phases", including what Tolkien later called "the crucial chapter" which sets up the central plot, "The Shadow of the Past"[1]. It finishes with the Fellowship of the Ring entering the Mines of Moria.

The title The Return of the Shadow was a discarded title for The Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien also conceived titles for each of the six Books of TLotR, which he later discarded. Some of these were used as titles for the following volumes.

Contents[edit]

  • Foreword
The First Phase
The Second Phase
  • XIV. "Return to Hobbiton"
  • XV. "Ancient History"
  • XVI. "Delays Are Dangerous"
  • XVII. "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"
  • XVIII. "Again from Buckland to the Withywindle"
The Third Phase
  • XIX. "The Journey to Bree"
  • XX. "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
  • XXI. "To Weathertop and Rivendell"
  • XXII. "New Uncertainties and New Projections"
The Story Continued
  • XXIII. "In the House of Elrond"
  • XXIV. "The Ring Goes South"
  • XXV. "The Mines of Moria"

Inscriptions[edit]

There is an inscription in the Tengwar characters in the first pages of every History of Middle-earth volume, written by Christopher Tolkien and describing the contents of the book. The inscription in Book VI reads:

"In the Return of the Shadow are traced the first forms of the story of the Lord of the Rings; herein the journey of the Hobbit who bore the Great Ring, at first named Bingo but afterwards Frodo, is followed from Hobbiton in the Shire through the Old Forest to Weathertop and Rivendel, and ends in this volume before the Tomb of Balin, the Dwarf-lord of Moria."

From the Publisher[edit]

The first part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety.

The Return of the Shadow is the story of the first part of the history of the creation of The Lord of the Rings, a fascinating study of Tolkien’s great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring.
In The Return of the Shadow (the abandoned title of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings) we see how Bilbo’s magic ring evolved into the supremely dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord; and the precise, and astonishingly unforeseen, moment when a Black Rider first rode in to the Shire. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed, and Frodo’s companions undergo many changes of name and personality.

The book comes complete with reproductions of the first maps and facsimile pages from the earliest manuscripts.

Publication history and gallery[edit]

UK Editions
1988 hardcover  
1990 paperback  
1994 paperback  
2002 paperback  
2010 hardcover  

External links[edit]

A detailed list of unique writings and works by Tolkien in this volume, at Tolkienbooks.net

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 2nd edition, "Foreword"


The History of Middle-earth series
i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated ·
x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth ·
Index


A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictions The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference book The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books containing Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journal containing Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issues 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issues 1-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here