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Christopher Tolkien (1924–2020)

Author of The Fall of Arthur

18+ Works 3,396 Members 27 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Christopher Reuel Tolkien was born on November 21, 1924 in Leeds, England. He is author J.R.R. Tolkien's youngest son and is known for having edited and published much of his father's work posthumously, including The Children of Húrin. Christopher Tolkien, who grew up in Oxford, U.K., listening to show more tales of the Bagginses and their adventures, set to work as his father's editor far earlier than that. He was an editor from the age of 5, catching inconsistencies in his father's bedtime tales, and was promised tuppence by his father for every mistake he noticed in "The Hobbit". As a young man he was typing up manuscripts and drawing maps of Middle-earth and around the time he was commissioned an officer in the [Royal Air Force] in 1945, his father was already calling him his chief critic and collaborator. He was also responsible for composing the original map of Middle-earth included with the The Lord of the Rings series when it was first published in the mid-1950s. Christopher also brought us The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, The History of Middle-earth series and many others. Christopher Tolkien passed away on January 16, 2020 at the age of 95. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Do not combine with J.R.R. Tolkien.

Works by Christopher Tolkien

The Fall of Arthur (2013) — Editor — 1,268 copies
The Complete History of Middle-earth (2002) — Editor — 160 copies
La caída de Númenor (2000) — Editor — 29 copies
The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (1250) — Translator — 22 copies

Associated Works

The Hobbit (1937) — Introduction, some editions — 94,927 copies
The Silmarillion (1977) — Editor — 35,119 copies
The Children of Húrin (2007) — Editor — 11,418 copies
Unfinished Tales Of Numenor And Middle-Earth (1980) — Editor — 10,623 copies
The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (1917) — Editor — 5,656 copies
The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (1984) — Editor — 3,821 copies
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Pearl / Sir Orfeo (1330) — Editor, some editions; Preface, some editions — 3,470 copies
The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) — Editor — 2,746 copies
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009) — Editor — 2,520 copies
The Lays of Beleriand (1985) — Editor — 2,510 copies
Beren and Lúthien (2017) — Editor — 1,954 copies
The Lost Road and Other Writings (1987) — Editor — 1,908 copies
The Fall of Gondolin (2018) — Ed. lit. — 1,800 copies
The Return of the Shadow (1988) — Editor — 1,689 copies
The Treason of Isengard (1989) — Editor — 1,546 copies
The War of the Ring (1990) — Editor — 1,419 copies
Sauron Defeated (1992) — Editor — 1,080 copies
Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion, Part One (1993) — Editor — 1,073 copies
Tree and Leaf: Including "Mythopoeia" (2001) — Preface — 761 copies
The History of Middle-earth, Part One (1983) — Editor — 663 copies
The History of the Lord of the Rings (1988) — Editor — 566 copies
A Tolkien Miscellany (2002) — Preface — 560 copies
Tree and Leaf (1947) — Preface, some editions — 533 copies
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (1979) — Editor — 479 copies
The History of Middle-earth, Part Three (1993) — Editor — 225 copies
The Book of Lost Tales (History of Middle-earth, 2) (1984) — Editor; Editor — 206 copies
Die Sagen von Mittelerde (4 Bände im Schuber) (1999) — Editor — 128 copies
The Nun's Priest's Prologue and Tale (1996) — Editor, some editions — 111 copies
The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection (1992) — some editions — 98 copies
Tuor und seine Ankunft in Gondolin (1994) — Foreword — 78 copies
Gute Drachen sind rar. Drei Aufsätze (1983) — Herausgeber, some editions — 20 copies
Hervarar Saga Ok Heidreks (1250) — Introduction, some editions — 19 copies
Die Geschichte der Kinder Hurins. Sonderausgabe. (2002) — Foreword, some editions — 19 copies

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Reviews

In all honesty this is 3.5 stars for me but due to things I learned about the Arthur's myth I gave it additional 0.5 star.

Book was not what I expected. Actual poem (or better said finished parts of it) make maybe 20 percent of the book. Rest is more academic discussion about the actual myth, variations (and evolution) of it and the way it affected Tolkien's stories from the Lord of the Ring world. I enjoyed these sections, especially parts about old epics in old English. Considering I know some German I enjoyed reading these verses (and figuring the meanings phonetically - some words were really ... strange until you read them out loud) and then checking the footnotes for any meanings that I missed - which was almost always related to the words no longer in use:)

While these parts of the book were great last part is something that only hard-core student of literature can enjoy. I don't shrink from reading materials I am not well versed in but this was too .... academic I guess for me to fully comprehend it. After reading this part I read a few similar analysis (related to my mother tongue) and I have to say I was happy - literature academics talk in their own codes (like every profession I guess) and can be equally impenetrable no matter the language or culture :)

If you aim only to read the poem book is somewhat of an overkill. If you want to learn some more about roots of Arthurian myth and how it evolved and influenced Tolkien's works (I especially liked the idea of the story very similar to Cloud Atlas) then do read the book - I enjoyed this part very much, it got me interested in re-reading some of the books related to the subject. And if you are literature analysis aficionado then this book is definitely for you. You will enjoy the last part of the book.
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Zare | 19 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
I read this book because I watched the Amazon Prime series "Rings of Power" and I wanted to know the "real" story behind the series. There is a lot to unpack here. Everything ever written by Tolkein about Numenor and its history is told here in sequential order.

Some of the passages were extremely beautifully written. I was especially moved by the scene were Tar-Miriel faces the waves as the island of Numenor is reclaimed by the sea. However, some of the passages can become a little boring.

Still, this was a lot easier to read than the "Lord of the Rings" series. And, the book is very beautifully illustrated.
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briandrewz | 2 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
Vol. 11. Christopher Tolkien systematizes his father's papers.
 
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Mama56 | 2 other reviews | Dec 4, 2023 |
Not only did I very much enjoy the poem about King Arthur, but the follow up by Christopher Tolkien was informative and interesting. I had never read much of the legend of Arthur as written by the early English writers. It is quite different from the chivalrous stories written by the French. This is a warrior king, not a gallant who sits at the Round Table quaffing mead and listening to tall tales of his other knights.
½
 
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MrsLee | 19 other reviews | Jul 24, 2023 |

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