J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 60 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide. Christopher Tolkien, born on 21 November 1924, is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot. At the end of the war he returned to Oxford University and became a Fellow and Tutor in English of New College in 1964, lecturing in the University on early English and northern literature. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself since his father's death in 1973 to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and Beowulf, and the collections entitled Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Since 1975 he has lived in France with his wife Baillie.
"Deserves to eclipse all his other posthumous writings, and stand as a worthy memorial to the imagination of Tolkien" The Times
"I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology" Independent on Sunday
"The darkest of all Tolkien's tales. Alan Lee's illustrations complement the writing splendidly" Times Literary Supplement