The definitive collection of Tolkien's four acclaimed modern classic fairy tales.
The five tales are written with the same skill, quality and charm that made The Hobbit a classic. Largely overlooked because of their short lengths, they are finally together in a volume which reaffirms Tolkien's place as a master storyteller for readers young and old.
* Roverandom is a toy dog who, enchanted by a sand sorcerer, gets to explore the world and encounter strange and fabulous creatures.* Farmer Giles of Ham is fat and unheroic, but - having unwittingly managed to scare off a short-sighted giant - is called upon to do battle when a dragon comes to town;* The Adventures of Tom Bombadil tells in verse of Tom's many adventures with hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls;* Leaf by Niggle recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle who sets out to paint the perfect tree;* Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the Land of Faery thanks to the magical ingredients of the Great Cake of the Feast of Good Children.
This new collection is fully illustrated throughout by Oscar-winning artist, Alan Lee, who provides a wealth of pencil drawings to bring the stories to life as he did so memorably for The Hobbit and The Children of Hurin. Alan also provides an Afterword, in which he opens the door into illustrating Tolkien's world.
World-renowned Tolkien author and expert, Tom Shippey, takes the reader through the hidden links in the tales to Tolkien's Middle-earth in his Introduction, and recounts their history and themes.
Lastly, included as an appendix is Tolkien's most famous essay, "On Fairy-stories", in which he brilliantly discusses fairy-stories and their relationship to fantasy.
Taken together, this rich collection of new and unknown work from the author of The Children of Hurin will provide the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father's death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.