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Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  3,665 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
This encyclopaedia offers guidance to Tolkien's world of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands. It draws together every important aspect of his vast cosmology in over 500 alphabetic entries covering five subject areas - history, geography, sociology, natural history anad biography.
Paperback, 279 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by Collier Books (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 25, 2012 Allison rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Tolkien Enthusiasts
Shelves: tolkien
I always wanted to say that I had read an entire encyclopedia. Well, now I can say that I have. However, it is as much fun as I thought it would be. Luckily, this was a Tolkien-/Middle-earth-focused encyclopedia so the fun and interest factor were considerably higher than any other type of encyclopedia out there. I really enjoyed the first parts. This book really helped me to conceptualize and visualize the creation of Arda and Middle-earth, in particular, and to understand the changes in the wo ...more
Nicholas Whyte

As an encyclopedia of Middle-Earth it doesn't hold a candle to Foster's Complete Guide; odd things like mis-spellings of'Rivendell' on the second page, of Éothéod in the title of the relevant entry, etc; separate entries (just to pick the first of very many such examples that caught my eye) in the geographical section for Amon Amarth, Mount Doom and Orodruin despite them all being the same mountain (and not explaining what languages the first and third n
1) Deutsche Rezension
2) Englisch Review

Deutsche Rezension
Eigentlich gibt es über dieses Buch nicht viel zu sagen. Wenn man es sich durchliest so klingt es durchaus sehr gut, wie eine Enzyklopädie auch sein sollte, wenn die Illustrationen auch zwischen annehmbar und schlecht hin und her schwanken.
Aber leider kann man nicht leugnen, dass sie nicht nur vieles gar nicht drin haben was in den Büchern sehr wohl erwähnt und mitunter sogar wichtig war(view spoiler)
Jan 04, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, tolkien
This is a work that attempts to live up to its title: it includes an introduction to Tolkien’s published works (not just related to Middle Earth), then rushes straight into chapters on history, geography, peoples and nations (pretentiously called sociology here), natural history and a Who’s Who in Middle Earth, finally ending with indices and acknowledgements. Because David Day doesn’t just limit himself to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, there are charts and maps that help to place the Wa ...more
A great reference book to have onside whilst reading The Silmarillion or The Lord Of the Rings. Tolkien did not just imagine characters and events, he created worlds, whole histories. Far too many names and events to remember hence why I'm glad I have this book to come back to.
Apr 09, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-r-r-tolkien
This is a book that any fan of JRR Tolkien should not be without, as it is an indespensible guide that covers everything within Tolkien's world of Middle-Earth and the undying lands. This volume is filled with beautiful illustrations both paintings and origional sketches (from the Tolkien Bestiary) that transport you to the heart of middle-earth, bringing his captivatingly creative and unique creatures to life. Tolkien's cosmology is explained in extrordinary depth and detail, covering all aspec ...more
Nov 18, 2008 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fantasy
My childhood was screwed up to say the least. Not in a serious sorta way, but in a way that destined me to a life where I would be sitting here and happily reviewing Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia. This situation is even more screwy because my screwy love of all things academic was caused by having this book.

I'll admit, when I first read Lord of the Rings I was totally confused. First, I read the Fellowship THEN read The Hobbit, before ever picking up the others (which I did not for seve
Jul 19, 2016 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien
There are a lot of mistakes and misinformation throughout this book. Merry was never a knight of Gondor, he was knighted by Theoden of Rohan. The Noldor did not make the Silmarils, only Feanor did that.
There are also a lot of entries that are redundant and don't offer much new information. The illustrations are really nice though. My favorite is the Caves of Menegroth.

If you're looking for a reference book you're better off getting the Complete Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler. If you're a col
Benjamin Duffy
Pro: the art. The book is absolutely loaded with illustrations, and each of the half dozen or so artists has an extremely distinct style, ranging from etching to watercolor. It's an amazingly beautiful collection.

Con: the accuracy. The book is almost as loaded with errors as it is with pictures, including boneheaded stuff like mislabeling a picture of Merry as Pippin and vice versa - in other words, things that reflect a fault not in research, but in editing.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
Although the entries in this encyclopedia are helpful, you get more than your purchase-price value from the excellent maps and chronology in the beginning of this comprehensive resource. I consider it an essential companion, along with the revised edition Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle-earth, to a reading of The Silmarillion; and even though the maps in The Atlas of Middle-earth are indispensable, they don't replace the maps and the chronology at the beginning of David Day's book.
Well, this is something of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it includes a lot of useful information. On the other, it is poorly organized and doesn't use cross-referencing, so there's a lot of repetition. There are also occasionally misleading entries. Furthermore, the illustrations are of highly variable quality, with some quite poor indeed. And it was edited with a spatula. Overall, this is not a creditable performance from a usually reliable Tolkien scholar.
Scott Hayden
Jul 08, 2016 Scott Hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reference
Picked this up at a used book shop in Chiang Mai. In excellent condition for the price! What else are vacations for?

David Day attempts to bring together Tolkien's mythology from multiple Tolkien works and catalog the chronology, geography, societies, biology, and biographies of Middle Earth. Includes many fascinating illustrations and explanations.
Mar 28, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
i don't even like tolkien and i liked this book. for my reference use i'd of liked all the entries in order instead of broken into five sub-catagories.
having just read several of the goodreads reviews i find now know this book has many errors, but it still has really cool art and for three bucks at half-price books i don't feel bad
Oct 03, 2011 TheDenizen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The art is beautiful, and the summary time lines are actually quite a useful aid when reading through The Silmarillion. However, several entries are plagued by minor spelling errors...points off for that.
May 19, 2012 Drea85 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a rather nice compendium with beautiful illustrations. It is illuminating about Tolkien's inspiration and sources, yet serves only as an introductory work. For more thorough studies regarding Tolkien's Middle Earth Cycle is it, however, not suitable.
Oct 06, 2010 Aline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Shelves: fantasy, non-fiction
The best Guide to Tolkien, written by a specialist of Elvish. Every Tolkien fan should have it in his/her bookshelves. It give precious data about the people of Middle-Earth, the places, the animals, the languages,... All these are easy to find, because of the alphaberical order used by the author.
Feb 11, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an amazing collection of histories, maps, and character profiles. this is a wonderful guide with some really great artwork. usually these aren't the kinds of books you read cover to cover, but this is an exception. i thoroughly enjoyed it.
Malvin Christo
Dec 16, 2012 Malvin Christo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was great, amazing illustration. Though some of the concepts of Tolkien's perilous realms a bit different from mine
Edu Dethklok
Mar 27, 2016 Edu Dethklok rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos
Como enciclopedia genial, aunque las ilustraciones no me gustan mucho. Poseo la edición de Circulo de Lectores.
Oct 17, 2009 Sofia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my first Tolkien reference book so it has a special place in my heart. I particularly enjoy the chronology tables and the geography charts.
May 11, 2010 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An inferior and cut-down reworking of 'Tolkien Bestiary'. Buy that instead if you can.
Jun 05, 2015 slaveofone rated it it was ok
Shelves: partial-read
Good reference material for reading (or re-reading) Tolkien's Middle-Earth masterpieces--especially for those unfamiliar with "The Silmarillion." Rather uninspiring drawings and artwork, however.
OK - I haven't read this book cover to cover. It's not that kind of book really. I am a Tolkien fan and I love to dip into and browse through it
April Hockenberry
April Hockenberry rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2015
Mario Hyman
Mario Hyman rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2014
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Dec 21, 2014
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  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
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David Day (b. 14 October 1947 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian author of over forty books: poetry, natural history, ecology, mythology, fantasy, and children's literature. Internationally he is most notably known for his literary criticism on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works.

After finishing high school in Victoria, British Columbia, Day worked as a logger for five years on Vancouver Isla
More about David Day...

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