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The Best Tolkien Books of 2007

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2007 was a year most Tolkien fans will remember since it marked the release of the new Tolkien book The Children of Hurin, the 70th anniversary of the Hobbit, the 30th anniversary of The Silmarillion, the 25th anniversary of the Mr. Bliss and was the year The Hobbit Movie was announced.

In this article I will look back on the year 2007 and tell all about the editions any Tolkien collector should know about. There have been so many nice releases and special editions that this will be a long list and I have opted to put them in chronological order. I will not mention all Tolkien publications of this year, but will show the most important onces.

The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context - published Janurary 30

The first interesting publication of 2007 was The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context by Ernest Mathijs by Wallflower Press on the 30th of january; we know him from From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context brings together leading scholars in the fields of media and film studies to explore the various strategies and implications underlying the global presence of Lord of the Rings. Chapters address how the trilogy has been planned and received as a media business; how it was received by critics and fans, and how spin-offs, franchises, associated media, and indeed the text itself have been affected by its success and appeal. The book covers different national contexts and presents a lively and diverse combination of textual, historical and empirical study.

Type: Paperback Estimate: 341 pagesPublisher: Wallflower Press Publication Date: 30 Jan 2007Language: EnglishISBN-10: 1904764827ISBN-13: 978-1904764823Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 inches

Tree of Tales: Tolkien, Literature and Theology - published February 15

The second interesting new book was Tree of Tales: Tolkien, Literature and Theology by Trevor Hart and Ivan Khovacs (Editors). This title examines the theological relationship between creation and creativity in the works of J R R Tolkien. It provides a fresh reading of these important themes in Tolkien and highlights the multi-faceted nature of Tolkien's own vivid theology and literary imagination.

Type: Paperback Estimate: 146 pagesPublisher: Baylor University Press Publication Date: 15 Feb 2007Language: EnglishISBN-10: 1932792643ISBN-13: 978-1932792645Product Dimensions: 6 x 8.9 inches

The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community - published March 1

Fans of Tolkien, Lewis, Charles Williams, and the other lesser-known Inklings will be excited by this book... This important study challenges the standard interpretation that Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and the other Inklings had little influence on one another’s work, drawing on the latest research in composition studies and the sociology of the creative process. Diana Glyer invites readers into the heart of the group, examining diary entries and personal letters and carefully comparing the rough drafts of their manuscripts with their final, published work.

Her analysis not only demonstrates the high level of mutual influence that characterized this writers group but also provides a lively and compelling picture of how writers and other creative artists challenge, correct, and encourage one another as they work together in community. A review of this book can be found here.

Type: HardcoverEstimate: 288 pagesPublisher: Kent State University PressPublication Date: 1 March 2006Language: EnglishISBN: 0873388909Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.3 inches

Diana Glyer is intrigued by the creative process, particularly the way that creativity thrives within small groups and creative clusters. She holds degrees in art, education, literature, and composition. She has published extensively on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Joy Davidman, and the Inklings. This is one of my favorite books of the last year and it seems a lot of people think the same since she won this years' Impersihable Flame Award for Tolkien / Inkling Scholarship.

Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language - published March 28

Tolkien and Shakespeare: one a prolific popular dramatist and poet of the Elizabethan era, the other a twentieth-century scholar of Old English and author of a considerably smaller body of work. Though unquestionably very different writers, the two have more in common than one might expect.

These essays focus on the broad themes and motifs which concerned both authors. They seek to uncover Shakespeare’s influence on Tolkien through echoes of the playwright’s themes and even word choices, discovering how Tolkien used, revised, updated, “corrected,” and otherwise held an ongoing dialogue with Shakespeare’s works.

Type: Paperback Estimate: 304 pagesPublisher: McFarland & CompanyPublication Date: 28 March 2007Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0786428279 ISBN-13: 9780786428274

Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review, Volume 4 - published April 15

“Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review” is the first scholarly journal published by an academic press for the purpose of presenting and reviewing the growing body of critical commentary and scholarship about Tolkien's writings.

The author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien was also an Oxford scholar deeply versed in medieval literature. Articles in Tolkien Studies reflect that dual capacity, with writers studying Tolkien’s narratives and academic work, along with recent movie adaptations and international translations.

I’m happy to see that Volume IV has reprinted “The Name 'Nodens',” by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published int the Appendix to "Report on the excavation of the prehistoric, Roman and post-Roman site in Lydney Park, Gloucestershire", Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, in 1932; and now also in Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review, Vol. 4, 2007. This is great, since the original version can be hard to find and is a real collectors item.

The Children of Hurin hardback & deluxe editions - published April 17

The Children of Hurin, which came out April 17, has topped numerous best-seller lists. For the release of the book there where held two official publication events, one in London and one in New York. For these events there where made signed bookplates which where glued inside the books. Collectors pay a lot of money for copies of The Children of Hurin featuring bookplates, since these where signed by both the editor Christopher Tolkien and the illustrator Alan Lee. More info on this here. All info on The Children of Hurin can be found here.

Publication Date: 16/04/2007 (UK)Price: £18.99 (UK)Binding: Hardback Format: 5.9 x 9 inchesISBN-10: 0007246226ISBN-13: 978-0007246229Estimate: pagesImprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperEntertainment.
Publication Date: 16/04/2007 (UK)Price: £60 (UK)Binding: Hardback, De Luxe Edition Format: 222x143mmISBN-10: 0007252234ISBN-13: 978-0007252237Estimate: 320 pagesImprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperEntertainment.

Roots and Branches - published April 30

Professor Tom Shippey is best known for his books 'The Road to Middle-earth' and 'J.R.R. Tolkien. Author of the Century'. Yet they are not the only contributions of his to Tolkien studies. Over the years, he has written and lectured widely on Tolkien-related topics. Unfortunately, many of his essays, though still topical, are no longer available. The current volume unites for the first time a selection of his older essays together with some new, as yet unpublished articles. It is an amazing book, which explores all roots and branches Tolkien used and explored to build his Middle-earth; this book is a MUST have for all serious Tolkien fans.

Publication Date: 30/04/2007

Binding: Paperback

ISBN-10: 390570305XISBN-13: 978-3905703054Estimate: 432 pagesImprint: Walking Tree Publishers

The Frodo Franchise - published August 1

This is one of the books that I enjoyed a lot. It was even hard to put down and I had to read it until the end before I could let it go. On the inside flap of the book The Frodo Franchise, to be published on the 1st of August 2007, we read these words by Tom Shippey and this is exactly how I feel about this book:

"This is the best all-around view of the Tolkien phenomenon. Thompson understands the books, she understands the movies--she also understands the money and the franchising. Best of all, she understands the people. Thompson offers cultural criticism of the highest order, examining one of the most significant shifts in contemporary popular media." It is a must read for any Tolkien fans. I have always been very much against the movie adaptions, but now have changed my view almost completely - thanks Chrisitine Thompson! Read an interview with the author here.

Title: The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern HollywoodAuthor: Kirstin Thompson

Hardcover: 421 pagesPublisher: University of California PressPublication date: August 1, 2007

Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0520247744ISBN-13: 978-0520247741Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches

The Children of Hurin Large Type edition - published September 3

Publication Date: 03/09/2007 (UK)Price: £20 (UK)Binding: Hardback, Large type e. edition Format: not known yet ISBN-10: 0007252250ISBN-13: 978-0007252251Estimate: 320 pagesImprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperEntertainment.

The Hobbit - 70th Anniversary Edition - published September 22

This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Hobbit. For this reason there was made a new edition of The Hobbit with a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien’s own drawings and color illustrations, including the rare “Mirkwood” piece. Read my review of this book here. A Hobbit is always a nice present, especially this new fantastic looking celebration edition!
The new Hobbit matches my favorite editions of The Lord of the Rings (boxed set with Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion), The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and even with the already published The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins and The History of the Hobbit: Return to Bag-End. Here is a picture of how a set will look like with this new addition.

Mr. Bliss - 25th anniversary edition - published October 15

On the 15th of October 2007 HarperCollins published a revised Anniversary Edition of the long unavailable children’s story Mr. Bliss, written and illustrated by Tolkien himself.

Originally published in 1982, the book has been out of print since the 1990s. This slipcased hardcover edition marks the 25th anniversary of publication. It has now a completely different look as the first edition, and has been completely redesigned to make it the definitive edition, ideal for collectors and newcomers to the story. Read more here.

Type: Hardback Estimate: 112 pagesPublisher: HarperCollins Publication Date: Revised edition - 15 October 2007 (UK) Language: EnglishFormat: 189x246 mm ISBN-10: 0007255330ISBN-13: 978-0007255337

THE HOBBIT, MR BAGGINS AND THE RETURN TO BAG-END: Boxed Set - published October 17

The History of the Hobbit presents, in two volumes, the complete unpublished text of the original manuscript of J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Hobbit, his draft of the revision of the Gollum encounter for the second edition, and the fragment of what, if he'd completed it, would have been the third edition of 1960 (a very small amount of which he did use for the actual third edition of 1966), accompanied by John Rateliff's lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. As well as recording the numerous changes made to the story both before and after publication, it examines - chapter-by chapter - why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien's ever growing concept of Middle-earth.It provides extensive commentary on the appearance in THE HOBBIT of elements that had already appeared in his earlier 'Silmarillion' writings and the ways in which Bilbo's story draws from the already existing legendarium (and of course ultimately contributed greatly to it).

This new book includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for The Hobbit by Tolkien himself. The History of the Hobbit as a paperback editionLike Christopher Tolkien’s The History of The Lord of the Rings before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book now celebrating 70 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time. This book is one of the most important publications of this year! It is a must read (have) for any serious Tolkien fan.

Publication Date: 17/09/2007 (UK)Price: £40.00 (UK)Binding: HardbackFormat: 222x143mmISBN: 978-0-261-10291-0Extent (approx.): 960 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperEntertainment

The Silmarillion - 30th Anniversary Edition - published November 5

To celebrate 30 years of the Silmarillion there was made a new de luxe edition of The Silmarillion, featuring the revised, reset text, a colour frontispiece illustration, bound in special materials and presented in a matching slipcase. Here is an article on this book.

The Silmarillion - Thirty Years On - published November 11

The six articles presented here hope to give a picture of some of the areas of investigation that have established themselves in the 30 years after the publication of The Silmarillion: mythopoeia, theology, the legacy of the ancient North, and the ways in which a text is created.

The editor, Allan Turner, has had a keen interest in the works of Tolkien for many years. His areas of specialization include linguistic characteristics of literary texts and translation. His recent book Translating Tolkien: Philological Elements In The Lord Of The Rings (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005) investigates the problems posed to translators by philological features such as nomenclature and archaism, outlines some of the solutions actually adopted and considers their effect on the consistency of the texts thus created.

The Silmarillion - Thirty Years On  Publisher: Walking Tree Publishers Editor: Allan G TurnerSeries: Cormarë No. 15Publication Date: 19/11/2007 (UK)Type: PaperbackEstimate: 176 pages ISBN-10: 3-905703-10-6ISBN-13: 978-3-905703-10-8

Children of Hurin Signed Limited Deluxe Edition - Published November 19

To please the Tolkien collectors there was published a limited edition of The Children of Hurin. Only 500 copies were made and the utmost personal care and attention was taken in the production of every single copy to ensure that the aesthetic appearance of the book is of the highest possible quality. Every book is hand bound in the finest quality leather from genuine first edition pages, secured to the spine through hand sewing and meshing in order to ensure lasting durability and strength. Read all about it here. If you are in the US and want to find early numbers, I can provide some.

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