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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Slightly yellowing pages. / Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: Open Court / Pub. Date: 1975; c1975 Stock#: 2021509 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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A Tolkien Compass Paperback – February 18, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0875483030 ISBN-10: 0875483038 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court; 2nd edition (February 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875483038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875483030
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Tolkien Compass" was long out of print, along with a lot of other good books on and by J.R.R. Tolkien. Now with the release of the live-action movie trilogy, virtually all the Tolkien-related books are being pulled off the shelves and rereleased -- this among them. It's a good, insightful collection of essays, but there's something vital missing...
It's a compilation of essays, by various people. Among them are Bonniejean Christensen's
study of Gollum in "The Hobbit" -- there were two versions of the "Riddles in the Dark"
chapter; Walter Scheps's "Fairy-Tale Morality of Lord of the Rings," which studies the ethics
of Tolkien's trilogy as well as traditional fairy-tales; Agnes Perkins and Helen Hill's essay on
power, corruption, the lust for power, and the One Ring; Deborah C. Rogers's study of
humanity both in the "everyman" hobbits and in the noble Aragorn; Robert Plank's study of
the Scouring of the Shire and how it reflects fascism; and several others. On the downside, Dorothy Matthews' "The Psychological Journey of Bilbo Baggins" is okay, but rather off-balance because it explains a hobbit's mind in complex jargon -- those don't go together.
But there is a major problem. I was fortunate enough to find a first-edition paperback of this book, from the 1970s, and the last part of it is a special meaning and pronunciation guide by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. It's a wonderful bonus, and worth the price of the book alone. But for some reason, the chapter has been removed from the reprinted "Tolkien Compass." It's just essays, no Tolkien -- I'm not sure why it was removed, but it was.
"Tolkien Compass" is a good collection of scholarly essays on various facets of Tolkien's
work, which aren't dumbed down but also aren't too hard to understand. If the extra guide chapter had been included, this would have been a reissued treasure. As it is, it seems very incomplete.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By San Valentino on March 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Reviewer la solinas complains that the new edition fails to include Tolkien's "Notes on Nomenclature," which the 1975 edition offered. A glance at page 157 would have explained why. The Tolkien Estate would not permit its reprinting, because the Estate plans to republish it another book. "A Tolkien Compass" is a splendid book. Jared Lobdell appreciated the depth of Tolkien's genius long before most Americans.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Fans of Tolkien and his fantasy will thrill to A Tolkien Compass, a handbook which provides reflections on his political, religious, and psychological principles. Ten writers explore these concepts, offering very different backgrounds of expertise and approaches to Tolkien's art. The result is a literary analysis excellent in its scope.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I glanced through "...Compass" just today. I was particularly interested in the chapter on "The Scouring of the Shire." To make it short, that particular author's arguments went in a totally different direction as my own thoughts on the significance and meaning of The Scouring. To me, Tolkien was making a general, overarching slam of industrialism and technology, to be sure, from an angle rarely heard today. In my opinion, Tolkien blended the oppressive methods of both capitalism and communism in fairly equal parts, although on the surface it would seem he meant only communism. I consider myself a "neo-Luddite" similar to Tolkien, and as I back up to view the issue, I do not see but superficial differences between the "big C's" in the Scouring chapter. The true issue is industrialism itself, in contrast to the cottage industry-based Shire. The issue was industrialism, not the brand of syringe with which it was being injected. In fact the Shire was being colonized and cold-dunked into industrialism just as in real life the entire world has been, and the methods used by the imperialist, Stalinist or "free market," differ little in the long run. I believe the "...Compass" author missed this angle entirely.
What on earth am I talking about? Tolkien was a genius at keeping his hand out of philosophical discussions; hence, the ferocity of all of us latter-day "Besserwisser." Still, some of his quotes make clear at least a significant part of his underlying belief system. Here's my favorite:
"Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil."
This is my Tolkien speaking.
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