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The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 6) Paperback


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The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 6) + The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 7) + The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Three (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 8)
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Product Details

  • Series: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part 1
  • Paperback: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061808357X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618083572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Collectively, these volumes are marketed as "The History of The Lord of the Rings" and tell alternate stories of the siege of Middle-earth and Sauron's defeat.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.


J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892-1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to all Tolkien fans, but especially for those who loved LOTR.
olorin69@hotmail.com
It is a fascinating look at how J. R. R. Tolkien began the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy, which should intrigue not only his fans, but literary scholars as well.
John Kwok
Every version a new character will show up, somebody will turn from good to evil, or maybe their words will be given to some one else.
morgoth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Ian McLeod on October 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the forward of the Return of the Shadow, Christopher Tolkien writes "My father bestowed immense pains on the creation of The Lord of the Rings, and my intention has been that this record of his first years of work on it should reflect those pains." Well he has succeeded immeasurably. By taking the time to sift through all the old manuscripts, some only half finished and written in fading pencil, and putting them into a coherent order Christopher not only tells the story of how the Lord of the Rings came to be, but he provides aspiring writers like myself with a textbook, if you will, on how great books are written. As the quote above implies, writing a story can be like an intellectual child birthing during which the writer experiences great pains and frustrations to achieve what he hopes will become a wonderful new creation that others will enjoy. Perhaps the realization that a master storyteller and obvious genius like J.R.R. Tolkien first put pen to paper without even knowing what the story would be about, or where it would go, and then suffered through hundreds of revisions, alterations, and conflicting ideas to produce his masterpiece of literature should not be surprising. But it is, and therefore, such knowledge is a great encouragement for some who is currently going through the same process. Thank You very much Christopher Tolkien for this wonderful work.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael Haughey on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
For a Tolkien enthusiast, I think this is an extremely interesting work. Much like the relationship between The Silmarillion and the Books of Lost Tales, The Return of the Shadow is an in depth exploration of the development of The Fellowship of the Ring. The book gives an account of each chapter in the Fellowship of the Ring, from the Long-Expected Party to the Mines of Moria. Each section includes the various versions of the chapter that Professor Tolkien wrote and rejected. Notes and comments are included for each chapter. I was impressed by the research that went into compiling this book, as every stage of development was discussed in detail. While the Return of the Shadow is similar in format to the Books of Lost Tales I and II, one should not expect the dramatic differences between the Silmarillion and its embryonic tales. The early versions of the Fellowship of the Ring are not completely alien to the product that was produced. However, the development of characters and elements of the tale prove most interesting indeed. For someone who is unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, this book would most certainly be a poor choice to read. But for those who cherish the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of The Shadow is a wealth of information which I would recomment as being indispensable.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on December 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
. . .for anyone who wants to understand the thought processes behind the greatest exercise in fantasy fiction of all time.
In preparing this volume (and the others in the series) Christopher Tolkien has permitted us access to the inner workings of his father's thought, as the story which ultimately became "The Lord of the Rings" gradually evolved and took shape.
Any aficionado of "The Lord of the Rings" will delight at the early character portrayls of characters like Farmer Maggot and Treebeard (and not the least, Trotter the hobbit whose character ultimately morphs into that of Aragorn).
This book is also highly recommend for any student of language and literature and any budding novelist.
Thank you, Christopher, for your labor of love on behalf of your father.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By olorin69@hotmail.com on September 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the sixth volume of The History of Middle Earth, Christopher Tolkien begins to show us the developement of The Lord of the Rings. This volume reaches the point where Tolkien himself stopped his writing for a long time--the Mines of Moria. Although most of the basic themes remain the same throughout Tolkien's creation, one difference in the early version certainly stands out. Not only is there no mention of the Dunedain, but Aragorn himself is now a hobbit called Trotter whose real name is none other than Peregrin. Also, many of the hobbit names were different and continued to shift back and forth until the present names were finally accepted. I recommend this book to all Tolkien fans, but especially for those who loved LOTR.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
`The Return of the Shadow' is the first of a four volume series (`The History of the Lord of the Rings') within a series, (volume VI of `The History of Middle Earth') edited by Christopher Tolkien, from the unpublished writings of his father, J. R. R. Tolkien, most famous as the author of `The Hobbit' and `The Lord of the Rings'.

For those who have been slogging through the previous three volumes dealing with fragments from the composition of `The Silmarillion', this volume is a great pleasure, as it deals entirely with early drafts of what becomes the first two-thirds of `The Fellowship of the Ring' (FR), the first volume of the great `The Lord of the Rings' (LotR). It begins at the beginning of FR and ends as the fellowship stand in the mines of Moria over the grave marked `Balin Son of Burin, Lord of Moria' (The dramatic encounter between Gandalf and the Balrog will have to wait until the next volume).

For those of you who may have read `The Lord of the Rings' only once or twice, this and the next three volumes in this series are an enormous treat, as reading this is far more rewarding than a second or third reading of LotR, and will make that second or third reading even more interesting. For those of us who have read LotR for ten or twelve times, and have seen Peter Jackson's films of same more times than I care to count, the interest tends to wane just a bit, as the percentage of entirely new material is small compared to early versions of text which appeared in the final volumes.

What I really looked forward to in these volumes was some insight into my second most favorite character, after Gandalf, and this would be the perpetual Middle Earth hippie, Tom Bombadil and his consort, Goldberry.
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