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1001 Stories Collection

The Lord of the Rings

1001 lordoftherings
Added on 09th September 2020

Author J R R Tolkien
First published 1954
Publisher George Allen & Unwin Ltd

A hugely influential epic fantasy.

Story

Frodo, a young hobbit, discovers that the gold ring he was given by his uncle Bilbo is the powerful ‘One Ring to rule them all’ and that he must save civilisation by destroying it in the fires of Mount Doom.

He sets off with his friend Sam and cousins Merri and Pippin, on a long and perilous journey across Middle Earth. They are joined by elves, dwarves, humans and eventually an army of the dead in what becomes an epic struggle between good and evil.

Why we chose it

The Lord of the Rings has been described as the most influential fantasy series ever written and one of the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century.

It was voted the nation’s favourite book in Britain, Germany and Australia and has gained cult status across the world. Its many famous fans include J K Rowling (Harry Potter) and George R R Martin (Game of Thrones).

Where it came from

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford. His deep interest in ancient languages prompted him to invent an Elvish runic language, then other languages and an entire mythology to underpin them. This drew on his extensive knowledge of folklore, myths and fairy tales as well as his experiences in the First World War, and is considered a masterpiece of world-building.

Written as a sequel to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings is set in the same legendary world but is darker, more complex and suited to older readers.

Where it went next

The Lord of the Rings has sold an estimated 200 million copies and inspired dramatisations, parodies, computer games, music and a large body of fantasy literature as well as record-breaking films. In 2017 Amazon bought the rights to create a five-season television series based on events before The Lord of the Rings. This is due to start screening in 2021.

Associated stories

After Tolkien’s death his son Christopher continued to edit his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, until his own death in 2020. These include The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and a 12-volume history of Middle Earth.

Added on 09th September 2020

Author J R R Tolkien
First published 1954
Publisher George Allen & Unwin Ltd