J. R. R. Tolkien

It is a peculiarly British slice of history that our greatest works of fantasy should have emerged from a group of academics sitting in a smoke-filled local pub. The group was, of course, the Inklings and the pub was the Eagle and Child (known colloquially as the Bird and Baby) in Oxford.

The group included the bard of myth and children’s fable Roger Lancelyn Green, the creator of Narnia, C.S. Lewis and, perhaps most famously of all, the Lord of Middle Earth himself, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.

Read on

£150.00
Hardback
5+ in stock
UK delivery within 2 weeks

Sumptuous slipcased edition of Tolkien's classic epic tale of adventure, fully illustrated in colour for the first time by the author himself. This deluxe volume is quarterbound in leather and includes many special features unique to this edition.

  • This item has been added to your basket
View basket Checkout
£25.00 £21.99
Hardback
Coming soon - 10/11/2022
Awaiting publication

Collecting J.R.R. Tolkien's writings on the Second Age of Middle-earth into one volume for the first time, The Fall of Númenor is an immersive dive into the boundless imagination of one of fantasy fiction's pioneering spirits.

  • This item has been added to your basket
View basket Checkout

'One Ring to Rule Them All'

Published in 1937 and now regarded as a children’s fantasy classic, The Hobbit introduced iconic characters such as Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf and the dragon Smaug as well as the fictional realm of Middle-earth. Twelve years in the writing, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings deepened and expanded this beautifully realised universe. Published in three volumes – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King - in the mid-1950s, Tolkien’s epic quest narrative tells of Bilbo’s nephew Frodo and company’s perilous mission to destroy the One Ring in the Cracks of Doom, thus thwarting the evil Sauron’s plans for dominion over Middle-earth. Here you will find our paperback editions of both The Hobbit and all iterations of The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
£25.00   £22.00
Paperback
The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Return of the King
Added to basket
The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Return of the King
Added to basket
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Colour Illustrated Hobbit
Added to basket
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set
Added to basket
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Return of the King
Added to basket
The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Return of the King
Added to basket

See More

‘All that is gold does not glitter.’

Whilst Tolkien’s magnum opus garnered mixed notices upon publication (in a 1956 review for The Nation, Edmund Wilson dismisses it as ‘juvenile trash’ and that ‘Dr Tolkien has little skill at narrative and no instinct for literary form’), retrospective positive analysis coupled with its adoption amongst the ‘heads’ of the 1960s counterculture have ensured The Lord of the Rings’ immense popularity over the decades. Its awesome reputation has resulted in numerous sumptuous gift editions of both the fantasy touchstone itself and other iconic works from the pen of the master. Discover the most exquisite here.

The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£16.99
Hardback
The Return of the King
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Fall of Numenor
Added to basket
The Nature of Middle-earth
Added to basket
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien
Added to basket
Unfinished Tales
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set
Added to basket
The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£75.00
Hardback
The Art of the Lord of the Rings
Added to basket

‘Home is behind, the world ahead and there are many paths to tread.’

From the elvish haven of Rivendell to the fiery pits of Mordor, and from the rolling hills of the Shire to the ‘industrial hell’ of Isengard, Middle-earth is full of stunningly realised locations described by Tolkien in breathtaking, richly evocative detail. It is no surprise, therefore, that his work has inspired many artists to craft stunning visual interpretations of Middle-earth’s geography and inhabitants as well as producing volumes of maps, language, lore and more. Delve deep into the background of Middle-earth with these gorgeous books.

The Making of Middle-earth
Added to basket
The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien
Added to basket
The Art of the Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Added to basket
An Atlas of Tolkien
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Ring Legends of Tolkien
Added to basket
The Battles of Tolkien
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
A Dictionary of Tolkien
Added to basket
The Heroes of Tolkien
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Hobbits of Tolkien
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Dark Powers of Tolkien
Added to basket
The Atlas of Tolkien's Middle-earth
Added to basket
Tolkien: Treasures
Added to basket
A Dictionary of Sources of Tolkien
Added to basket
The Art of the Hobbit
Added to basket
The Hobbit Sketchbook
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
Added to basket
The Science of Middle-earth
Added to basket

£45.00
Hardback
Coming soon - 10/11/2022

The majestic forerunner of The Lord of the Rings saga, this stunning edition of The Silmarillion is adorned by J.R.R. Tolkien’s own full-colour illustrations, complete with commentary on the posthumous publication process by the editor and author's son, Christopher Tolkien.

  • This item has been added to your basket
View basket Checkout
See More

After the grey havens

Such was Tolkien’s fame at his death in 1973 that the demand for fresh material continued unabated. Fortunately, his son Christopher proved a worthy custodian of his father’s literary canon, overseeing the posthumous publication of several previously unpublished manuscripts and unfinished stories, collected here.

The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Fall of Numenor
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.99
Hardback
The Fall of Gondolin
Added to basket
Unfinished Tales
Added to basket
Unfinished Tales
Added to basket
Beren and Luthien
Added to basket
The Children of Hurin
Added to basket
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Added to basket
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Added to basket
The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Silmarillion
Added to basket
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
Added to basket
The Nature of Middle-earth
Added to basket
Beowulf
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Story of Kullervo
Added to basket
The Fall of Arthur
Added to basket
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
Added to basket

‘Speak friend and enter.’

There have been a vast array of adaptations of Tolkien’s work over the decades from radio dramatisations to Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy between 2001 and 2003 and the epic new series The Rings of Power. But nothing beats the original texts delivered on audiobook by some of the best voice actors around; the perfect way to engage with the world of ring-wraiths, orcs and trolls wherever you may be.

The Hobbit
Added to basket
£24.99
CD-Audio
The Fellowship of the Ring
Added to basket
The Two Towers
Added to basket
£35.00
CD-Audio
The Return of the King
Added to basket
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£22.50
CD-Audio
The Fall of Numenor
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings CD Gift Set
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
The Lord of the Rings
Added to basket
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Added to basket
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Added to basket
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£23.00
CD-Audio
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£24.99
CD-Audio
The Silmarillion Gift Set
Added to basket
£30.00
Mixed media product
The Hobbit
Added to basket
£19.99
CD-Audio

The Making of the Fellowship

From the battlefields of the Somme to his time as an Inkling at Oxford University alongside C.S. Lewis, much has been written about J.R.R. Tolkien’s life and work and how he was inspired to build the meticulously envisioned worlds of Middle-earth. The selection below ranges from biography to critical studies to Tolkien’s own writings on aspects of fantasy lore and language.

J. R. R. Tolkien
Added to basket
Tolkien and the Great War
Added to basket
The Inklings
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
J. R. R. Tolkien
Added to basket
A Secret Vice
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War
Added to basket
Tolkien On Fairy-Stories
Added to basket
J. R. R. Tolkien
Added to basket
The Real JRR Tolkien
Added to basket
J.R.R. Tolkien: Inspiring Lives
Added to basket
There and Back Again
Added to basket
A Well of Wonder
Added to basket
£21.99
Hardback
Tolkien's Lost Chaucer
Added to basket

J. R. R. Tolkien Biography

Before the Beginning

The childhood landscape that influenced Tolkien’s later fantasy world was a mixture of the gentle, rolling countryside of the West Midlands, the industrial hub of Birmingham, and the wilder hills of the Welsh borders.

A keen linguist, Tolkien showed an early proficiency in Latin, Greek and Finnish, as well as making up his own languages for fun. During active service in the First World War, having lost all but one of his close friends, he started to pull together stories ‘in huts full of blasphemy and smut, or by candle light in bell-tents’, a collection which later became the posthumously published Book of Lost Tales.

Returning from the front, he began a career in academia, first in Leeds where he and his colleague E.V. Gordon collaborated on their translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and then at Oxford, where he wrote his version of Beowulf.


‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit’

Some of Tolkien’s earliest stories began life as tales for his children, including The Pocket Roverandom, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Farmer Giles of Hamalongside his treasured Letter from Father Christmas.

Having idly come up with the idea of a creature living in a hill, Tolkien found himself needing a world and a story to put him in and so Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf and the first pieces of the Middle Earth puzzle were realised in The Hobbit. A modest success, several critics dismissed the book, with one commenting,‘this is not a work which many adults will read through more than once,’ - a view he was perhaps later forced to concede that was somewhat short-sighted.

Tolkien’s second foray into the world was The Silmarillion but publishers rejected it as too dense – Tolkien agreed ‘they were quite right’ and later revised the text. He returned to his earlier notes for the three volumes (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) that would become The Lord of the Rings, a book that was to take him fourteen years to write.

Early modest sales and critical reception in Britain were aided by a hedonistic, 1960s counter-cultural following in the United States, its nororiety accelerated by a pirated paperback edition, forcing one University of California, Berkeley official to describe The Lord of the Rings as ‘more than a campus craze; it’s like a drug dream’. It was a following Tolkien had mixed views about, describing it as an ‘absurd frenzy’; it was nevertheless a frenzy that would make him not only famous, but wealthy.


‘The road goes ever on and on…’

Tolkien died in 1973 having achieved the status of a cult hero, enjoying considerable commercial success. Many Waterstone’s booksellers began their reading lives with his books and were delighted when he came top in our poll to find the greatest book of the twentieth century.

Despite being against dramatizing the books – he famously said ‘it would be easier to film The Odyssey,’ – they have nevertheless become some of the most watched (and profitable) films of all time.

Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien (himself a former Inkling and writer) has overseen the posthumous editing and publishing of many of Tolkien’s early works and drafted stories including The Children of Húrin, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur and, in 2017, The Tale of Beren and Lúthien.

Tolkien insisted to the last that his books couldn’t be updated and shouldn’t be seen as allegories but as what he intended them to be – fairy tales designed not to imagine our own world but to create another. ‘The reader must approach Faerie with a willing suspension of disbelief. If a thing can be technologically controlled, it ceases to be magical.’