The Silmarillion 1984 Paperback (A Tribute to Christopher Tolkien)



The Silmarillion is the book that launched the popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, bringing us a greater understanding of Arda, Tolkien’s secondary world. The Silmarillion really demonstrates how developed and realized Middle-Earth truly is. While The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, are without a doubt Tolkien’s greatest achievement, which is demonstrated by their longevity, this publication is his son, Christopher Tolkien’s greatest achievement. It led to the publication of all twelve volumes of The Histories of Middle-Earth, and pretty much everything else we know that was published posthumously. Christopher Tolkien (age 92 at the moment) has dedicated his life to editing together his father’s incomplete writings of Middle-Earth to ensure his father’s fans to have endless adventures of their own into his father’s world. While strengthening his father’s legacy, Christopher Tolkien has made it absolutely clear that he cares about his father’s work having dedicated his life to editing and publishing (and not interested in the monetary incentive associated with it, although I’m sure the money does help), having dedicated his life to his father’s legacy. It is a labor of love. It helps to emphasis the idea that Tolkien really created Middle-Earth for the amusement of him and his children. This is a long-winded passage that anyone reading is more than likely familiar is meant to serve as a tribute to Christopher Tolkien and all he has done for us fans. The preface to Beren and Luthien, published this year, would somber anyone’s thought when his age and all he has done comes to mind. We will and have no choice but to forever be in his debt. Thank you.

This paperback copy of The Silmarillion, was published in December of 1984 by Ballantine Books. The book was originally published in 1977, just four years after Tolkien’s death.The first Ballantine Edition, however, was published in 1979, according to the information page. My copy is the sixth printing of the Ballantine books. Being only 21, I’m ecstatic to have a copy of the book that is such an early printing. In reality, sixth isn’t early at all, especially given it’ starting year in this case was 1979. However, when taking into account the initial publication of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and the editions of the books I have in my collection, I believe this is the earliest printing I own out of the five texts. If I was any good at math, I would try to sort out the ratio of initial publication and which printing is in my collection, and so on. Seeing as I’m not at all good at math, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I purchased this book on my way back from college at a quaint used bookstore in Kingston, Rhode Island. Of all the used bookstores I’ve been to, it’s easily my favorite. It’s run by Allison B. Goodsell and you can check her store out here. I’ve rambled on enough (perhaps even too much).  If you haven’t, next time you pick up a copy of any Middle-Earth book. Don’t just think of J.R.R. Tolkien, but Christopher Tolkien also. As always, happy reading and collecting!



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