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Tolkien's World from A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth Paperback – December 4, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ever wonder what the difference between the Maiar and the Istari? Want to know a brief history of Morgoth, the original poison in Middle Earth? This is the book for you. I had to work VERY hard to find any obscure term not included in this book. Not only is this book complete but it is cross-referenced and multiple terms are listed. For instance both Melkor and Morgoth are listed separately so you will find him regardless of which name you look him up under.
What a wonderful piece of work. This book has furthered my reading enjoyment of the Lord of the Rings and opened the Silmarillion to me in a entirely new light. A definite A+ recommendation.
Unlike some early Tolkien indexers, Foster usually refrains from mixing his opinions with the facts he is reporting. His occasional guesses and interpretations may be wrong but given the information available when the book was written they are solid and well-considered. Many more recent books have contained unforgivably egregious errors because those later authors had access to material Foster didn't.
The sources that Foster covers include some of Tolkien's private correspondence, and the research has been vindicated by Humphrey Carpenter's Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Foster's other sources include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Pauline Baynes' 1969 map of Middle-earth (on which she was advised by Tolkien himself), and the first edition of The Road Goes Ever On.
The most impressive section, however, is Foster's attempt to devise a chronology of the First Age. Such a chronology could be achieved with any hope of accuracy only after Christopher Tolkien published The War of the Jewels in 1994, 16 years after Foster published the Complete Guide. Foster's guesswork was off by no more than a few years. I still glance through his chronology for a quick reference when I just need to be reminded of critical dates.
My only regret is that this book was never updated, although I heard a rumor that HarperCollins was looking for someone to revise it. It would be good to see a much fuller guide published, but only if Foster's impeccable standard was adhered to.
When I need to know some fact about Middle-earth and don't feel like hauling out the appropriate book, I turn to Foster's Guide -- you should, too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My thirteen-year-old daughter has become a solid Tolkien fan, and picked up this book for further study. Read morePublished 28 days ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
It is what it is, a guide/encyclopedia reference to the series.
If you are totally into Middle-Earth and don't already own it, this should make a fine addition to your... Read more
great purchase. All transactions should be like this.....
A good handbook for those who are easily lost in Middle Earth. It's a glossary of terms, so the description of it as a guide, etc. is missleading.Published 6 months ago by Angel
THE Middle Earth encyclopedia, beautifuly illustrated, and is in the same style and format as the other Ilustrated Tolkien classics by Houghton Mifflin(US versions) and Harper... Read morePublished 6 months ago by K
Oh my gosh, this book is a MUST HAVE for serious lover's of Tolkien!
I actually picked this book up many, many years ago when I was in elementary school at a book fair. Read more
This reference guide is very well written and was essential for my reading of The Silmarillion. Recommended to any Tolkien fan, but especially those who want a deeper understanding... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon customer