I was twelve years old when I first read The Lord of the Rings. Throughout most of my adolescence I reread it every year. I used to dream I was in Middle-earth walking through the dark paths of Mirkwood or staying in Rivendell and listening to songs and stories being told in the Hall of Fire.
In my adult life I’ve read it less frequently. I think the last time I read it was in 2014. For the moment I’m just reading a chapter before I go to sleep as I like taking my time and meandering through it. Middle-earth is always a good place to escape to when I’m feeling troubled or in need of a journey.
Though the films were shot in my country I’ve never really liked them that much: too many odd changes and condensing for my liking I guess. Also there have been decades of Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth inspired art, yet these days all the images seem to be ones based on the films. So much for imagination. To be honest I’ve never been a great fan of film adaptations.
Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings in 1938 when Allen and Unwin asked for a sequel to The Hobbit. As he wrote it, the story got longer and darker. He eventually finished it in the late 1940s. He first sent the manuscript to Collins, along with a version of The Silmarillion (as he felt the book couldn’t be understood without knowledge of the events of the First Age) in 1950, but it was rejected. In the end he gave The Lord of the Rings (without The Silmarillion) to Allen and Unwin, though he felt it wasn’t the sequel they had initially asked for. Many people refer to The Lord of the Rings as a trilogy, but it isn’t true technically. It was a single book that was split into three by the publishers due to a paper shortage at the time. It was eventually published during 1954-55.
At the moment the Fellowship has just set out from the safety of Rivendell and I am happily following them as they approach the Misty Mountains unaware of the troubles they will encounter. Once I finish this I’m planning to read The Silmarillion again.
Do you have any books you like to read regularly?
©️2021 Joanne Fisher