Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

August Books 9) Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, by David Day

I picked this up pretty cheap in Chapters a couple of years ago, and I'm glad I didn't pay too much for it. As an encyclopedia of Middle-Earth it doesn't hold a candle to Foster's Complete Guide; odd things like mis-spellings of "Rivendell" on the second page, of Éothéod in the title of the relevant entry, etc; separate entries (just to pick the first of very many such examples that caught my eye) in the geographical section for Amon Amarth, Mount Doom and Orodruin despite them all being the same mountain (and not explaining what languages the first and third names are in); and absolutely no cross-referencing at all.

But the point probably isn't the text but the art, scenes and places and people from Middle-Earth (not from other works) as imagined by nineteen different illustrators, all of them excellent; I hope it isn't invidious to name Rachel Chilton as particularly grabbing my attention with her Window of the Sunset (Henneth Annûn), Zirak-Zigil and Dead Men on Dunharrow because I liked pretty much all the rest. So if I look at it as an inexpensive book of very good Tolkien illustrations, rather than a cheap and bitty encyclopedia, I actually rather like it.
Tags: bookblog 2010, writer: tolkien
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