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The Return of the King. 1955
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Alan Dean Foster

Eddie Jones

The Big Three
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J.R.R. Tolkien
--- Introduction
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Philip E. High

Richard C. Meredith

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Record Number: 21180
   
The Return of the King. 1955 The Return of the King
by J.R.R. Tolkien
First Edition 1955.
George Allen & Unwin.
London.
ISBN: None.
Hardback in dust jacket.
Jacket illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien.
416 pages.
Price: 21s.

Notes
The Return of the King, a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien – Part Three of The Lord of the Rings.

Published on 20 October 1955.

A map of Gondor, Rohan and Mordor, designed by J.R.R. Tolkien and redrawn by Christopher Tolkien, is pasted to the rear endpaper.

Details of all British editions of The Lord of the Rings can be found at TolkienBooks.net.

Blurb – Dust Jacket 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 scarcely been attempted on this scale since Spenser’s Fairie 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, enthralled, 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.

 
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