Monday, October 20, 1975

J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: Last Book Published 20 Years Ago Today

Last updated 7/5/2020.

The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

First Publication: 7/29/1954 (Fellowship of the Ring)

First Publication: 11/11/1954 (The Two Towers)

First Publication: 10/20/1955 (The Return of the King)

Category: fantasy fiction

Sales: 150 million (trilogy)

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

The Lord of the Rings was written in stages between 1937 and 1949 as a sequel to The Hobbit (1937). For economic reasons, it was published over the course of a year in three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. WK The trilogy “has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into 38 languages.” WK

“Lord of the Rings” is a reference “to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth.” WK “After it was taken from him, he gathered the rest of the rings, but continued to search for the One Ring to complete his dominion.” AZ

“After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins,” AZ who, on his eleventy-first birthday, bequeathed it to his nephew Frodo. A party is assembled to “journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.” AZ Accompanying Frodo are Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.” AZ

Tolkien, who “was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford,” AZ crafted his works out of his interest in classic language as well as “philology, mythology, religion and the author’s distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I.” WK “Frodo and friends journey to Mordor to destroy the ring, making the young Hobbit one of the greatest fictional heroes of all time. More than 100 million copies have been sold of the trilogy that brought fantasy to a mainstream literary audience.” TG

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