Kirsten's Reviews > The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One

The Return of the Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien
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's review
Feb 16, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-pre-12-07, own, fiction
Read in February, 2006

This is volume one of The History of the Lord of the Rings. I loved this, but I'll tell you right now that this is beyond nerdy, and if you aren't deeply interested in Tolkien and his creative process, it will be beyond boring to you. That said, it's an amazing trove of information on the development of The Lord of the Rings and of Middle-earth in general. Christopher Tolkien provides annotated exerpts from various drafts of The Lord of the Rings , starting with Tolkien's earliest conceptions. It provides one with loads of great trivia -- did you know that Strider was originally a hobbit with wooden shoes known as Trotter? And Frodo's name was originally Bingo, and Merry was Marmaduke? What was fascinating to me, as well, is how comparatively late in the writing process Tolkien seems to have hit upon the idea of the Rings of Power and the themes that became integral to the novel. Fascinating stuff.

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