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Tree and Leaf

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,724 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Repackaged to feature Tolkien's own painting of the Tree of Amalion, this collection includes his famous essay, 'On Fairy-Stories' and the story that exemplifies this, 'Leaf by Niggle'. Fairy-stories are not just for children, as anyone who has read Tolkien will know. In his essay 'On Fairy-Stories', Tolkien discusses the nature of fairy-tales and fantasy and rescues the g ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published December 1964 by George Allen & Unwin (first published 1964)
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Julie Davis
Nov 29, 2013 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where do you go after The Lord of the Rings? To the heart of the matter ... Tolkien's famous essay on fairy stories, Leaf by Niggle, and Mythopoeia (which was written as a response to C.S. Lewis saying that myths were lies).

As one would expect the essay on fairy stories is rich and deep. I would really like to hear it read aloud but I don't see an audio version anywhere of the entire thing ... so I may just have to record it for myself. When paired with this essay, Leaf by Niggle takes on simila
I've actually read everything except 'Mythopoeia' from this volume before: I needed it to do references to 'The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth'. 'Homecoming' is an interesting commentary on 'The Battle of Maldon'. I daren't comment more without plagiarising my essay, but it's definitely worth reading, and it's interesting to see so clearly how strongly his academic and creative work were bound together. 'Homecoming' is part-essay, part-drama, part-poetry.

'Mythopoeia' is lovely, too. 'Leaf by Niggle' i
Narges Moini
Jan 27, 2016 Narges Moini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Narges by: پگاه
Shelves: فانتزى
تالکین از نویسندههاییه که به قول هولدن
you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.
در طول کتاب هی به این فکر میکردم که چی میشد اگر تالکین پدربزرگم بود.
Aug 24, 2015 Melda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loooved "On Fairy-Stories". Fantasy readers & writers should definitely read it.

"Fantasy is, I think, not a lower but a higher form of Art, indeed the most nearly pure form, and so (when achieved) the most potent."

Mairéad (is exploring a floating city)
***Read for University***

4.75 stars.

I found the first part dealing with Faerie Stories was rather spot on with the thinkings of what I've always wondered about. Certainly is a thrill to see someone, especially when that someone happens to be Tolkien who crafted the world of MiddleEarth and its inhabitants, that they share similar views on certain aspects. It only made my heart swell with something deep and heartfelt since I've been working on a 5 year project that questions where everything begi
Hermione Laake
Sep 24, 2012 Hermione Laake rated it really liked it
This book is now a little dated. However, it is an inspiring and interesting bite-sized look at fairy tales as literature. The second story: Leaf and Niggle is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant. It is very well written and has some wonderful moments, which make those of us writers' who try to work alone smile and determine to hide away less.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
There are various collections of Tolkien's shorter works, sometimes published under the same title but with different stories. Look carefully at the contents of any work that you choose, but find at least "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son" and "Leaf by Niggle." I give each of these my highest rating, the former because of Tolkien's excellent commentary on the Old English word (and concept) "overmod" and the latter because it's one of the few largely allegorical works that Tolkien pr ...more
Apr 13, 2013 Gene rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
First let me clearly state, hats off to Mr. Tolkien. The man is simply brilliant and so immersed himself in his art that I one could reasonably argue that he is the father of the modern fantasy.

If you choose to read this book, I think you'll enjoy it if you want to understand this great author's way of approaching his craft. If you're just looking for another good Tolkien story, just read "Leaf by Niggle" and skip the other parts.

Tree and Leaf is composed of four parts. An essay - "On Fairy Stor
"Tree and Leaf" contains Tolkien's profound and moving short story, "Leaf by Niggle," and Tolkien's academic essay "On Fairy-Stories," notably a rather poor essay in some regards yet one of Tolkien's most quoted sources (the essay's content and structure is highly idiosyncratic, and yet where Tolkien's points are good and well-constructed they are VERY good, and stated with tremendous force). This volume also collects two other works: Tolkien's poem "Mythopoeia," which as verse is just fine, and ...more
Dec 26, 2009 cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tree and Leaf brings together a few shorter works that help illuminate Tolkien's thoughts on the uses and purposes of myth and story. The essay "On Fairy-stories" outlines Tolkien's thoughts on what exactly makes up a fairy-story, as opposed to a fairy-tale, etc, and how story does not tell a beautiful lie, but a better truth that speaks to who we are. Mythopoeia, a poem in response to detractors, is in many ways the same thoughts from Tolkien's essay but in poetic form. "Leaf by Niggle" draws o ...more
Daniel Facchini
Tendo lido, anteriormente, 13 livros de J.R.R. Tolkien (sendo alguns publicados em vida e outros postumamente), e tendo-o como referência pela inspiração à leitura, Árvore e Folha é uma interessante obra que ajuda a compreender a paixão pela mitologia, pelo fantástico e pelo "mundo encantado".
Dividido em duas partes, a primeira delas (Sobre Histórias de Fadas) é uma excelente exploração sobre o que atrai a mente humana a essas histórias, além de ser uma crítica ao julgamento de relegá-las apenas
Jacopo Piermattei
Aug 06, 2015 Jacopo Piermattei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sognare non sempre è vanità.non sempre invano vorremmo aver ragione di un dolore vero..."

raccoglie fiabe,una poesia,un saggio e un racconto epico. Appare subito chiaro il perchè questo libro non venga più stampato e distribuito. Racchiude poca narrativa a fronte di molti approfondimenti sulla fiaba,il mito ecc ecc. Un libro più di studio che di piacere (non che le 2 cose non possano coincidere) che racchiude in se un'altro grave difetto editoriale. 2 dei racconti che propone sono oggi stampati
Nicholas Whyte
May 16, 2015 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A collection of Tolkien short pieces, including his aesthetic manifesto, "On Fairy Stories"; the allegorical story "Leaf by Niggle"; and his verse drama "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son".

I wonder what possessed the publishers to combine these very different pieces by Tolkien together between the same set of covers? I was a little baffled when I first read them, I don't think I was more than twelve at the time.

I now find it much easier to gr
Feb 27, 2014 Emilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The poem Mythopoeia and the essay On Fairy Stories alone is enough to give this collection five stars. The essay On Fairy Stories is for writers/storytellers who write fantasy/fairy stories, and for scholars or readers who are curious about the nature of fairy stories and want to learn more. Tolkien approaches it by talking about the Middle English poems and epics like the Faerie Queene and Thomas the Bard and others. I recommend this to anyone who loves Tolkien's fiction (the books, not just th ...more
Alexei Russell
Aug 13, 2015 Alexei Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is not your usual Tolkien. It isn't hobbits and dragons. This is what you read if you want to know what motivated Tolkien to write and what processes he used to create his unforgettable universes, which have captivated the minds and enthralled the senses of millions. It outlines how he humbly looked upon himself as the "sub-creator" of worlds. This is, in fact, a complex philosophy that only authors or hopeful authors will entirely understand. It is the blueprint for Tolkien's creative inve ...more
Tracy Terry
A book with four elements to it. Beginning with an essay on fairy stories, before moving onto Tree and Leaf, then, Smith of Wootton Major and, finally, The Homecoming Of Beorthnoth.

I have to say I had difficulty in rating this book as a whole as for me, as I'm sure it will be for many others, there were aspects that I enjoyed more than others.

Perhaps more for those wishing to study the works of Tolkien, for those wishing to understand his views on the use of imagination in literature - after all
Hope N
Jan 18, 2016 Hope N rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, essay
I bought this book for the story at the end and read the essay on fairy stories because it was in there too, but I recommend it the other way around. The essay is very well-written, clear and, though a bit dated, still gives a very strong argument for the reading, writing, general enjoyment of fairy stories by people of all ages, but especially adults, who have more need of them. Written before his famous trilogy, in describing what makes a good fairy story, he is pretty much describing Lord of ...more
Oct 03, 2010 Olivia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not too too bad. "On Faerie Stories" was a little hard to follow because there were so many different definitions given that it was hard to keep track of what was what.
I did like Niggle's short story though. The protagonist grows on you and becomes another one of Tolkien's very memorable characters.
Artnoose Noose
Mar 16, 2016 Artnoose Noose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Artnoose by: Corey Olsen
This book contains a few short pieces that I have been hearing the Tolkien Professor discuss in his podcasts for years: the essay "On Fairy Stories," the poem Mythopoeia, and the short story "Leaf by Niggle." It is an informative bit of side reading for anyone who is moving on past just reading Tolkien's canonical works and is interesting in knowing more about his philosophy on the creative process.

"On Fairy Stories" encompasses about half the book and relates Tolkien's approach to the purpose o
Feb 05, 2008 Desclian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Contains "Leaf by Niggle" and "On Fairy Stories," two of the most important books I've ever read as a writer, a reader of novels, and an appreciator of humanity. These two writings of Tolkien really represent just why I deeply love this man.
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Δυστυχώς παρά το θέμα του μ' έκανε να το βαρεθώ.
Farzaneh Doosti
داستان اولش برگ ِ نیگل داستان فوق العاده ای است که آدم را درگیر آن سوال همیشگی ازلی ابدی می کند، راستی هنر برای چه؟ هنر به چه فایده؟ آیا هنر باید مفید باشد یا زیبا؟

این زیباترین داستانی بود که درباره زیباشناسی هنر خواندم
Nádia Batista
Mar 20, 2014 Nádia Batista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mais um livro que li durante a Maratona Literária de Fevereiro, escolhido por J.R.R. Tolkien ser da África do Sul (relembro que a maratona consistia em ler livros de autores de diferentes nacionalidades). Sendo um dos escritores da minha preferência, este Árvore e Folha pareceu-me uma boa escolha para conhecer um pouco mais do seu mundo, e estava curiosa em ler sobretudo o seu ensaio sobre contos de fadas.

Mais uma vez, Tolkien esteve à altura das minhas expectativas. O conto Folha, de Migalha, é
Feb 16, 2008 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tolkien's exegesis on the fairy tale, the realm of Faerie, its inhabitants, their magic, the origin of fairy tales, and who the stories are intended for. A must-read for anyone who desires to write fantasy.
Dec 17, 2009 Krelsk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite bit in this book: the short story "Leaf by Niggle". Sounds odd but grows from a strange beginning to a glorious joyful tale. Typical, wonderful Tolkien.
Jan 03, 2014 Lydia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is actaully a collection of Tolkien's work, covering a broad range and for specifyings sake, I'll rate each one.

On Fairy-Stories (*****) was actually one of Tolkiens lectures that he expanded for print and is a marvelous look at the origins, common themes, weeding out false fairy-tales from "real" ones (the difference between "fairy tales", "beast fable", "traveler's tales", "dream", etc.) and even the need for fairy-tales in society. The literature geek and true fairy tale lover (I totall

Mar 15, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A menagerie of fun things for Tolkien fans, all connected to the common theme of sub-creation.

On Fairy Stories: Fantasy explained (and defended). Gold here.
Mythopoeia: A poem on how man's creative nature as namer is necessary to comprehending anything. Great stuff.
Leaf by Niggle: Easily one of the best short stories ever written, on the fate and purpose man's labor.
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth: A good media res fragment of a poem (after a battle in the dead of night), followed by an intriguing e
João Batista
Jun 27, 2009 João Batista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful opinions on the genre Fantasy/ Fairy-stories. It helped me a lot to understand a little of this so vast a world...
Aug 22, 2007 Fatma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tolkien literature lovers
Shelves: the-uk, jrr-tolkien
my best pick from this book would be Tolkien's poem, "Mythopoeia", and of course Tolkien's story about death, "Leaf by Niggle" ...
Nov 29, 2015 daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Tolkien's philosophical treatment of the importance of myth.

Part 1: essay
Part 2: short story
Part 3: poem
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  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Tolkien's Ring
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
  • Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
  • The Journeys of Frodo
  • The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends
  • The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-Earth
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth
  • The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship
  • There and Back Again: The Map of the Hobbit
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator
  • The Complete Fairy Tales
  • Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • All Hallows' Eve
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lan
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...

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“Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons, 'twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we're made.”
“Not long ago-incredible though it may seem-I heard a clerk of Oxford declare that he 'welcomed' the proximity of mass-production robot factories, and the roar of self-obstructive traffic, because it brought his university into 'contact with real life.' He may have meant that the way men were living and working in the twentieth century was increasing in barbarity at an alarming rate, and that the loud demonstration of this in the streets of Oxford might serve as a warning that it is not possible to preserve for long an oasis of sanity in a desert of unreason by mere fences, without actual offensive action (practical and intellectual). I fear he did not. In any case the expression 'real life' in this context seems to fall short of academic standards. The notion that motor-cars are more 'alive' than, say, centaurs or dragons is curious; that they are more 'real' than, say, horses is pathetically absurd. How real, how startlingly alive is a factory chimney compared with an elm tree: poor obsolete thing, insubstantial dream of an escapist!” 8 likes
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