The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

By: J. R. R. Tolkien
Published by: George Allen and Unwin
Publication Date: 1954
Series: The Lord of the Rings
Series Number: 1

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In 1937 J. R. R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, which won the Herald Tribune prize for the best children's book of the year. The Fellowship of the Ring takes up where The Hobbit left off, but is not, properly speaking, a sequel to it, for, just as the children who loved Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit have grown up, so has the story grown with them.

This book is the first part of The Lord of the Rings, which will recount in full the history of the great War of the Ring. In that war, comparable to the great wars of our own time both in magnitude and in the issues involved, the Third Age of Middle-earth came to an end. The Ring is the link with the earlier tale; for the ring that the Hobbit brought back from his adventure is discovered to be the One Ring, the Master of all the Rings of Power, now eagerly sought by the Enemy who made it. To its wearer it gives mastery over all living creatures, but since it was devised by an evil power, in the end it will inevitably corrupt anyone who attempts to wield it.

This part opens with the discovery of the nature of the Ring, and the flight of Frodo, heir of Bilbo and now possessor of the Ring, pursued by the emissaries of the Enemy. It tells of the great Council at which it was decided to destroy the Ring in the only way in which this could be achieved; to take it back to the Fire in the land of the Enemy himself, where it was first forged. Frodo is appointed the Ring-bearer, and he and eight companions set forth on the long journey, beset by terrible dangers, not least of which is the temptation to use the power of the Ring and so be corrupted by it. 

Mr. Tolkien says in his foreword: "This book speaks more plainly of those darker things which lurked on the borders of the earlier tale, but have troubled Middle-earth in all its history. It is, in fact, not a book written for children at all, though many children will, of course, be interested in it, or parts of it, as they still are in the histories and legends of other times (especially in those not specially written for them)."

From the dust jacket
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