The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One
Christopher Tolkien, son of a famous father, has edited the rough drafts of The Lord of the Rings and presents (in every possible detail) the history of the ...more
This book (#6) covers part from beginning of LOTR to Mines of Moria, when Company discovers Balin's tomb, though there are glimpses of future events such as siege of Minas Tirith and destruction of the Ring.
Throughout the book you can see two processes working. One is evolution of ch ...more
"The Return of the Shadow" is so much fun. It contains descriptions of the way Tolkien fumbled his way along as he wrote LTRs. We get to see characters drawn differently, some with different names [So very, very many differnt names]. We see Tolkien discover the story tha ...more
Tolkien wasn’t particularly keen on the writing a sequel to The Hobbit, but accepted to do it. He wrote the first chapter three times before he found any traction and in this first volume of the four dedicated to The Lord of the Rings we can read the first three dra ...more
Although I have always read "The Lord of the Rings" in English, I have read this ...more
Of course this means that such a work is largely boring and not nearly as exciting as it s ...more
“Make return of ring a motive." (41)
The Return of the Shadow, the first volume of Christopher Tolkien's History of the Lord of the Rings series, tells the story of the early development of The Lord of the Rings, taking the narrative from the beginning up to the Mines of Moria. I love how the little penciled note above shows just how uncertain the beginning of The Lord of the Rings was. The story might have gone anywhere, no matter how inevitable it now seems. This is what makes The Fellowship...more
I am listening to the audiobook at the same time, and it is fascinating comparing the final version to the story development.
Here you get all the different drafts that Tolkien wrote in chronological order of their development with commentary by Christopher ...more
Even for a Tolkien fanatic like me, the book does get a little dense in places (Middle-Earth geography, dates, some of the footnotes) but those sections are very easy to skip over if you start losing interest.
One interesting side note: the four titles that make up The History of The Lord of the Rings (Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring and The End of the Third ...more
Unless you're a die-hard Tolkien fan, you might have no idea what this book is.
But it's a Tolkien fan's wet dream, basically.
One of his children, Christopher Tolkien, took it upon himself to give readers the most intense glimpse into his father's life and works as he could, creating a 12-volume series coined as "The History of Middle-earth," detailing the journey Tolkien underwent writing one of the greatest sagas of all time. It's an incredible s ...more
Now we come to the end of the 1930's and the beginning of the writing of The Lord Of The Rings. Tolkien himself was of a mind to continue to work on the Silmarillion but his publisher was pleading with him for a sequel to The Hobbit. Tolkien began writing a sequel, but what The Return Of The Shadow demonstrates is that slowly, as ...more
There was a time when the Fellowship of the Ring was mostly Hobbits, when Treebeard was an evil giant and when Tom Bombadil was… still the same old merry fellow! The first of the volumes dedicated to the genesis of the Lord of the Rings holds a mesmerizing tale of narrative evolution through rewrites as the author himself calls into question his work in light of the Silmarillion mythology he was creating. An engrossing read for the Third Age enthusiast.
Here below my revie ...more
The real reason I'm writing this is to point out a coincidence. In a rejected genealogy reproduced in this volume, Bilbo has a first cousin named Vigo.* And as all the world knows, in Jackson's film trilogy there is an actor named Viggo. Not an unbelievable coincidence--Tolkien drew many othe ...more
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lang ...more