An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography

The Return of the King
Dustwrapper - Front Flap
Search the Site
 Advanced Search

Links to Bibliography Pages

The Bibliography


Publishing The Lord of the Rings

The First Impression of RotK

Back to previous page Record Number: 91150
Dustwrapper - grey wove paper.

Front flap.


The Lord of the Rings is not a book to be described in a few sentences.  It is an heroic romance - 'something which has scarsely been attempted on this scale since Spenser's Faerie Queene, so one can't praise the book by comparisons - there is nothing to compare it with.  What can I say then?'  continues RICHARD HUGHES, 'for width of imagination it almost beggars parallel, and it is nearly as remarkable for its vividness and for the narrative skill which carries the reader on, enthalled, for page after page.'
   By an extraordinary feat of the imagination Mr. Tolkien has created, and maintains in every detail, a new mythology in an invented world.  As for the story itself, 'it's really super science fiction', declared NAOMI MITCHISON after reading the first part,
The Fellowship of the Ring, 'but it is timeless and will go on and on.  It's odd you know.  One takes it completely seriously: as seriously as Malory'.
   C.S. LEWIS is equally enthusiastic.  'If Ariosto rivalled it in invention (in fact he does not) he would still lack its heroic seriousness.  No imaginary world has been projected which is at once as multifarious and so true to its own inner laws; none so seemingly objective, so disinfected from the taint of an author's merely individual psychology; none so relevant to the actual human situation yet so free from allegory.  And what fine shading there is in the variations of style to meet the almost endless diversity of scenes and characters - comic, homely, epic, monstrous, or diabolic.'
   Spenser, Malory, Ariosto or Science Fiction?  A flavour of all of them and a taste of its own.  Only those who have read The Lord of the Rings will realise how impossible it is to convey all the qualities of a great book.

21s net

Dustwrapper - Front Flap
Text © Neil Holford and 2003-2018 --- Images and quoted text remain copyright of the respective publishers and authors