‘Magnificent. The commentary is great, really thoroughly researched; the pictures are stunning’ — Tom Shippey, author of The Road to Middle-earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
From world-renowned Tolkien expert John Garth comes the authoritative exploration of the real-world locations behind the legendarium, and the wider inspirations behind Middle-earth’s incomparably rich landscapes, realms, towers, and more.
Packed with insights and gorgeous images, including many artworks by Tolkien.
◼︎ Read an excerpt at LitHub.
◼︎ Unboxing video by John Garth with chapter-by-chapter comments.
◼︎ John Garth talks about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien with the Prancing Pony Podcast, the Marion E. Wade Center for the study of Tolkien and others, AbeBooks’ Behind the Bookshelves podcast, and the German Tolkien Society (in English apart from the brief introduction).
◼︎ Available now or soon in English (UK and US), French, Russian, Czech, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Hungarian, German, Chinese and Japanese (see below for links).
What readers and critics say
◼︎ ‘A fascinating, gorgeously illustrated and thought-provoking examination of the landscapes, cities and architecture that inspired Tolkien during his lifelong creation of Middle-earth. Garth, a journalist as well as a Tolkien scholar, proves an exceptional guide to Middle-earth … Masterful book.’ — Elizabeth Hand, Washington Post.
◼︎ ‘Magnificent. The commentary is great, really thoroughly researched; the pictures are stunning.’ — Tom Shippey, author of The Road to Middle-earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
◼︎ ‘John Garth is the leading Tolkien critic of the present generation as T.A. Shippey is in his. Garth … fills this new book with beautiful, opulent maps and photographs that animate the lush atmosphere of Tolkien’s real and conjured worlds and yield great visual pleasure. At the same time Garth provides deep access to Tolkien’s craft.’— Nicholas Birns, American Library Association’s Choice magazine.
◼︎ ‘If you love Tolkien’s work and want to know more about where it came from, this book is for you. And if you know anyone else who is, and does, their next birthday or Christmas present is sorted.’ — Mortal Engines author Philip Reeve.
◼︎ ‘From tree-woven lands to waterworlds, if you like Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings then you need this book on your shelves. A beautiful tome, crammed with fantastic images & research beyond excellence … Landscape history meets literature.’ — Mary-Ann Ochota, broadcaster and authoer of Secret Britain: Unearthing Our Mysterious Past
◼︎ ‘Masterful study … Each page illuminates with insights and dazzles with details.’ — Mike Foster, Mythlore.
◼︎ ‘This wonderful book is a collectable must … a scholarly work of art.’ — Weekend Sport.
◼︎ ‘Really is a fine achievement, wonderfully well supported by the gallery of illustrations and notes … There’s scarcely a page margin that I haven’t pencil marked, and I’ll certainly be revisiting the book. I’ve ended by learning a great deal and thoroughly enjoying myself.’ — Norse Myths author Kevin Crossley-Holland.
First published in 2020
Published in 2021
China: YoYoYo iDearBook, September (provisional date)
Translated by Joy Teng and Ecthelion
Japan: Hyoronsha, autumn 2021