The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies, Paperback Book

The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


J.R.R. Tolkien's novels of Middle Earth "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and "The Silmarillian" have become some of the most famous, and most beloved, literary works of the twentieth century. And "The Lord of the Rings" films by director Peter Jackson have re ignited interest in Tolkien and his works, as well as introduced his stories to a new generation of fans.

Even if you've never read the novels and have only seen the films, you know that the world of Middle earth is a complicated one.

Tolkien took great care in representing this world, from creating new languages to including very particular cultural details that add to the richness of the world's fabric.

Many other books have been written about Tolkien and his works, but none have come close to providing the kind of reference needed to comprehend the world of Middle earth.

That's what veteran "Dummies" author and unabashed Tolkien fan Greg Harvey attempts to do in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies".

As the author says in his introduction to the book, this is not an encyclopedia or quick guide to all the diverse beings, languages, and history that make up "Tolkien's Middle Earth."Nor is it a set of plot outlines for the novels.

Rather, what you'll find in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies" is a basic guide to some of the possible linguistic and mythological origins of Middle earth, plus a rudimentary analysis of its many themes and lessons for our world.

This book can help enrich your reading (or re reading) of Tolkien's novels, and it will challenge you to think about the themes inherent in Tolkien's Middle earth and their implications in your own life. Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find covered in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies": exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, including immortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will; and faith and redemption; investigating the diverse lands of Middle earth including the Shire, Gondor, and Mordor and their significance; examining the different cultures of Middle earth, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily Wizards; touring the history of Middle earth; understanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich the story of Middle earth; top ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, online resources, and the ways the films differ from the novels.

So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching the films for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years and are looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth For Dummies" can help you enhance your reading or viewing experience for years to come.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 360 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780764541865



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I highly enjoyed this book. I was on a big Tolkien fan kick for a while the past month, partly due to the new release of The Hobbit movie, which sparked a re-watching of all the other movies as well, which then caused a domino effect of moving further out in fanfiction and eventually to reference books when I came across too many references I was curious about. That all led me to the the 823 decimal place in the library where I found this book. I needed something simple that would explain the history behind the references and that's exactly what this book gave me, in addition to all the other interesting facts that I didn't even know to look for. I had no idea there was so much history behind the stories I had read (barely) and watched. Another thing this book did for me was to get me excited to read The Silmarillion, which is on my TBR-Best 20th fantasy list. It also makes me want to look into rereading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Now that I know the history and can understand the references I feel like I would get a lot more out of the books, and even the movies. I'm actually really looking forward to it. One problem I had with the book with it's many typos. Bad editing on the publisher/editors part there. If you don't know the intricate history in Tolkien's world, I recommend this book. It explains it all in a fairly interesting and easily understandable way.