Having been enjoying reading over things elvish and otherwise at Singulare Ingenium, and being only able to potter around to-day while I slowly get over a nasty cold, I thought I'd make a little catalogue of my books by and about the late great J.R.R. Tolkien, whose anniversary of death was yesterday (he died in 1973 - God rest his soul evermore).
The very first book of Tolkien's that I read must have been The Hobbit, which I surely read whilst at primary school; but strangely I never owned a copy until recently, when I picked one up secondhand: I had aways just borrowed one from whatever library was handy. I bought a second copy while in W.A., since most of my books were back in Tasmania.
Next, my well-beloved, terribly worn-out boxed set of The Lord of the Rings, given me as a birthday present when I was in Grade 3 (and devoured over the long Christmas holidays that year, while I was laid up with a severe dog bite to my right leg), and which I've read over cover-to-cover (especially the Appendices - what does that say about me?!) three or four times at least as I grew older, until their increasingly fragile condition made me buy a new set for reading from (especially as I was in W.A. at the time, without most of my books).
Finally, after reading LOTR, while still a young 'un, the family doctor lent me his hardback copy of The Silmarillion, but I found this rather different from what I expected, and only came to appreciate it much later, once I was all grown up. Again, I only bought a secondhand copy of it in 2001, and a second copy while over in Western Australia.
Here is my little list of Tolkien's books:
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Pauline Baynes, illus. Bilbo's Last Song (hardback), London: Random House, 2002.
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, edd. Farmer Giles of Ham (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 1999.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, trans.; Christopher Tolkien, ed. Sir Gawain and the Green Night, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (paperback), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983. [secondhand]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Night, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (paperback), New York: Ballantine, 1980. [secondhand - acquired while I was in W.A.]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (paperback), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978. [2 copies, both secondhand]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (3 volume paperback boxed set), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (3 volumes, paperback), London: Harper Collins, 2001. [Two of these I bought secondhand.]
- J.R.R. Tolkien; music by Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On (hardback, with CD), London: Harper Collins, 2002. [Includes "Lúthien Tinúviel" and "Bilbo's Last Song".]
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Christopher Tolkien, ed. The Silmarillion (paperback), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979 [1st copy] & 1984 [2nd copy]. [both secondhand]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf, including Mythopoeia and The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 2001. [Contains On Fairy Stories and Leaf by Niggle.]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales (paperback), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
And here is my list of Tolkieniana, books about Tolkien and his œuvre:
- Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography (paperback), London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978. [secondhand]
- Patrick Curry, Defending Middle Earth: Tolkien: Myth & Modernity (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 1998.
- David Day, The Hobbit Companion (hardback), Milsons Point: Random House Australia, 2002.
- Colin Duriez, The Tolkien and Middle-Earth Handbook (paperback), Pymble, Harper Collins, 1992. [secondhand]
- Jude Fisher, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Visual Companion (hardback), London: Harper Collins, 2003. [A present from a Dominican friend.]
- Daniel Grotta, The* Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle-Earth (paperback), Philadelphia: Running Press, 1978. [secondhand] [*How immodest!]
- Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 2005.
- Randel Helms, Tolkien and the Silmarils (hardback), London: Thames and Hudson, 1981. [secondhand]
- Paul Kocher, Master of Middle-Earth: The Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien (paperback), London: Pimlico, 2002.
- Joseph Pearce, Tolkien: Man and Myth (hardback), London: Harper Collins, 1999.
- Joseph Pearce, ed. Tolkien: A Celebration: Collected Writings on a Literary Legacy (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 1998.
- Tom Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (paperback), London: Harper Collins, 2001.
- Michael N. Stanton, Hobbits, Elves and Wizards: Exploring the Wonders and Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (paperback), New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Some of these books are at the embarrassing hippie-devotee end of the spectrum, but most others are solid, sympathetic and Catholic.
(I also have the DVD's of the recent films made of LOTR.)
I really must get a copy of Tolkien's letters, as edited by Humphrey Carpenter, which I've read through before but ought read again; I am surprised to find I don't have a copy of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil nor of Smith of Wootton Major (both of which I first eagerly read long years past, while at primary school); and I wouldn't mind some of the History of Middle Earth series that Christopher Tolkien has brought out, particularly the parts detailing his philosophical speculations.
[UPDATE: I've just bought these desiderata online, except for the last-named!]
And finally there is my own signal contribution to Tolkien studies - a cassette tape of my lecture to the Newman Society of the University of Tasmania, given 28th July 2002! I may one day get around to transcribing this brilliant jewel of erudite exposition...