Farmer Giles of Ham

Farmer Giles of Ham

By: J. R. R. Tolkien
Published by: George Allen and Unwin
Publication Date: 1949

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Here is a tale by the author of The Hobbit, a fairy story which was acclaimed by discerning critics as possessing an imaginative vitality as rare as genius. Farmer Giles, rather than a fairy story of any usual kind, is an imaginative history of the distant and marvellous past. Its scene is the valley of the Thames and this island of Britain, while it was "still happily divided into many kingdoms," in the days before King Arthur or the Seven Kingdoms.

Here is a new hero, unheroic, but fortunate and shrewd, Farmer Giles of Ham, and his mare, and his dog. Here also for dragon-fanciers, is another dragon, less terrible perhaps than Smaug, but no less wealthy or wily: Chrysophylax of imperial line.

The story was not written for children in particular, but many of them will enjoy it all the more for that, as some already have. Its imaginative atmosphere and magic are best captured when it is read aloud, when it will live with all the force of "a tale that holdeth children from play and old men from chimney corner."

The delightful embellishments by Pauline Diana Baynes include two plates in colour.

From dust jacket
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