"This collection of abridged, previously published essays provides sophisticated analyses of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The introductory essay presents solid biographical background on Tolkien. Tom Shippey's concluding essay, which identifies Tolkien's sources in developing Middle-earth, is perhaps the most useful in the collection. The editor also includes a thorough chronology of Tolkien's life, times, and work." 1st edition. Hardback (no dustjacket issued).