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The Poetic Edda- Illustrated
(Tolkien's Bookshelf)

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Margaret Armour
Olive Bray
Lucy Crane
Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Damien Davis
Lord Dunsany
E.R. Eddison
Christine Eddy
Cecilia Egan
P.V. Eyre-Walker
James L Gibb
H. Rider Haggard
Farrah Knight
Andrew Lang
Tanith Lee
George MacDonald
William Morris
Howard Pyle
Elizabeth M Reed
Linda Swainger
Margaret Thornton


Elizabeth Alger
Trish Hart
W.G. Collingwood
Walter Crane
H.J. Ford
Keith Henderson
W.B. MacDougall
Howard Pyle
Sidney Sime
Lancelot Speed
Jessie Wilcox-Smith
Ran Valerhon
Elena Vizerskaya
Peter Petrovic
Dianne Vanderee
Christine Eddy
Marina McAllan


Prairie: A Canadian Autobiography
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Tolkien's Bookshelf
The books that inspired "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"

Tolkien's Bookshelf - the full set

Welcome to Tolkien’s Bookshelf, a collection of books that inspired the imagination of Professor JRR Tolkien; creator of Middle-earth, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

All these titles have informed the professor’s writings in one way or another. Either the man himself revealed their influence in his essays or interviews, or his biographers and researchers uncovered the evidence, or the books were widely obtainable and popular in his literary circles, so that he certainly knew of them and there is little doubt he read them.

Tolkien’s own drawings adorn the pages of The Hobbit and it is easy to imagine him as a boy, long before the invention of television, poring for hours over the images in his favourite volumes - images that helped shape his creation of Middle Earth.

Where possible we have selected illustrated editions available in his lifetime. Both texts and pictures have been reproduced, and our books are mostly copies of the editions the professor held in his own hands.

Tolkien's books, the books he read throughout his lifetime, include titles by notable authors such as William Morris, Lord Dunsany, George MacDonald and H. Rider Haggard.

Each Tolkien’s Bookshelf classic opens with an introduction by fantasy author Cecilia Dart-Thornton, about whose acclaimed Bitterbynde Trilogy Grand Master of Science Fiction Andre Norton wrote: ‘Not since Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings fell into my hands have I been so impressed by a beautifully spun fantasy.’

Literary scholars have studied the texts in the Tolkien’s Bookshelf collection, finding threads and motifs linking them to the professor’s famous works. On reading Tolkien's books - the books he owned or borrowed or lent, the books he loved, the books that shaped his inner world - you will be awakened to that vast library of myth, magic, legend and fantasy whose legacy inspired the great English writer, poet and philologist, J.R.R. Tolkien.

> See more at: www.tolkiensbookshelf.com         > Buy the full set
tolkien's books
the song of the nibelungs the red fairy book the book of wonder retro cookbook the princess and the goblin
THE SONG OF THE NIBELUNGS - illustrated Translated by Margaret Armour, illustrated by W.B. MacDougall.

The Song of the Nibelungs, a thirteenth century Germanic Epic, greatly inspired JRR Tolkien.

THE RED FAIRY BOOK - illustrated
Andrew Lang, illustrated by H.J. Ford and Lancelot Speed.

Andrew Lang's Fairy Books captured the imagination of a generation of children and were sold worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s. J.R.R. Tolkien read and enjoyed every book in the series, and they had a marked influence on his imagination.
Written by Lord Dunsany, illustrated by S. H. Syme.

Numerous accoutrements of fantasy are found within the realms of The Book of Wonder, as they are in Middle Earth; talismans, precious metals, jewels, horns, dark, dangerous woods infested with evil spiders and more.
THE STORY of the GLITTERING PLAIN - illustrated
William Morris, illustrated by Walter Crane.

This edition includes Morris's essay collection 'The Art and Craft of Printing'.
‘William Morris was an enormous influence on J.R.R. Tolkien.
THE PRINCESS and the GOBLIN - illustrated.
George MacDonald, illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a great admirer of George MacDonald’s fairy-stories.

the poetic edda the-worm-ouroboros
eric brighteyes grimms fairy tales king arthur
THE POETIC EDDA - illustrated
Translated by Olive Bray, illustrated by W G Collingwood

A magnificent and magical collection of thirty-four Icelandic poems, interwoven with prose, dating from the 9th century to the 12th. J. R. R. Tolkien readily acknowledged his debt to this source

THE DRAGON OUROBOROS- illustrated Written by E.R. Eddison, illustrated by Keith Henderson

J.R.R. Tolkien read this story, and praised it in print. Eddison, he stated, was ‘the greatest and most convincing writer of “invented worlds”’ he had ever read.
THE SAGA of ERIC BRIGHTEYES - illustrated Written by H. Rider Haggard, illustrated by Lancelot Speed, first published 1891.

Rider Haggard is one of a handful of Victorian and Edwardian writers whom Tolkien acknowledged by name.
GRIMMS' FAIRYTALES - illustrated
Translated by Lucy Crane, illust. Walter Crane.

Tolkien mined the folklore of the Grimm brothers for literary gems

THE STORY of KING ARTHUR and HIS KNIGHTS - illustrated Written and illustrated by Howard Pyle.
J.R.R. Tolkien greatly enjoyed Arthurian stories, which he called ‘powerful’


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