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J.R.R. Tolkien's novels of Middle-earth – TheHobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and TheSilmarillian – have become some of the mostfamous, and most beloved, literary works of the twentieth century.And the Lord of the Rings films by director Peter Jacksonhave re-ignited interest in Tolkien and his works, as well asintroduced his stories to a new generation of fans.

Even if you've never read the novels and have only seen thefilms, you know that the world of Middle-earth is a complicatedone. Tolkien took great care in representing this world, fromcreating new languages to including very particular culturaldetails that add to the richness of the world's fabric. Many otherbooks have been written about Tolkien and his works, but none havecome close to providing the kind of reference needed to comprehendthe world of Middle-earth. That's what veteran Dummiesauthor and unabashed Tolkien fan Greg Harvey attempts to do inThe Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies.

As the author says in his introduction to the book, this is notan encyclopedia or quick guide to all the diverse beings,languages, and history that make up Tolkien's Middle-earth. Nor isit a set of plot outlines for the novels. Rather, what you'll findin The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies is abasic guide to some of the possible linguistic and mythologicalorigins of Middle-earth, plus a rudimentary analysis of its manythemes and lessons for our world. This book can help enrich yourreading (or re-reading) of Tolkien's novels, and it will challengeyou to think about the themes inherent in Tolkien's Middle-earthand their implications in your own life.

Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find covered inThe Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies:

  • Exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, includingimmortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will;and faith and redemption
  • Investigating the diverse lands ofMiddle-earth – including the Shire, Gondor, andMordor – and their significance
  • Examining the different cultures of Middle-earth, such asHobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily Wizards
  • Touring the history of Middle-earth
  • Understanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich thestory of Middle-earth
  • Top Ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, onlineresources, and the ways the films differ from the novels

So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching thefilms for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years andare looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, The Origins ofTolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies can help you enhance yourreading or viewing experience for years to come.

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