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The Lord of the Rings. 1957
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Back to previous page Record Number: 21200
The Lord of the Rings. 1957 The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
First Boxed Edition 1957
George Allen & Unwin
ISBN: None
Three hardbacks in dust jackets
Issued in a slipcase
Jacket illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien
424, 352, 416 pages
Price: 63s

The Lord of the Rings, a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien – issued in three parts:

First published in October 1957.

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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