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The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings

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Chosen by the public through a survey to coincide with the 10th birthday celebrations of World Book Day 2007, this title is one of ‘the ten books the nation can’t live without’. Have you read them all? Below are links to each title and position on the list.

1. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
4. Harry Potter JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations Charles Dickens

If you like J. R. R. Tolkien you might also like to read books by Kenneth Grahame, J. M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll.


The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike. One hundred million copies of its many editions have been sold around the world, and occasional collectors’ editions become prized and valuable items of publishing.

Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first publication, the text has been fully restored with almost 400 corrections – with the full co-operation of Christopher Tolkien – making it the definitive version of the text, and as close as possible to the version that J.R.R. Tolkien wanted.


`The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.
Sunday Times

`A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness.
New Statesman

`Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.
Evening Standard

About the Author

J. R. R. Tolkien

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.

His mother died when he was only twelve and both he and his brother were made wards of the local priest and sent to King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where Tolkien shone in his classical work. After completing a First in English at Oxford, Tolkien married Edith Bratt. He was also commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought in the battle of the Somme. After the war, he obtained a post on the ‘New English Dictionary’ and began to write the mythological and legendary cycle which he originally called The Book of Lost Tales but which eventually became known as The Silmarillion.

In 1920 Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds which was the beginning of a distinguished academic career culminating with his election as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. Meanwhile Tolkien wrote for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit. It was his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who asked for a sequel to The Hobbit and gradually Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, a huge story that took twelve years to complete and which was not published until Tolkien was approaching retirement. After retirement Tolkien and his wife lived near Oxford, but then moved to Bournemouth. Tolkien returned to Oxford after his wife’s death in 1971. He died on 2 September 1973 leaving The Silmarillion to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 1995


J. R. R. Tolkien

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Harpercollins Publishers


Paperback (b Format)
1216 pages


Top 10 reads
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Fantasy & magical realism (Children's / Teenage)



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