little compilation of short stories
, essays, and a short play
written by J.R.R. Tolkien
foreward by Peter Beagle
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son: a short play by tolkien. it is based on the battle of malden, which is an epic poem describing an actual battle (10th centry or so) between viking invadors and the english.
Tree and Leaf: a short book that was previously published stand-alone. it contains two parts:
-on fairy-stories: an essay on the various forms and archetypes of a fairy story or fairy tale. he speaks mostly on the particular characteristics of fantasy, recovery, escape, and consolation.
-Leaf by Niggle: a story which *illustrates* the previously stated principles. a fascinating tale which for some reason at moments brings to mind 1984, in a gentler, greener universe. very much unlike most of tolkiens work in theme, but still written in his particular and wonderful style.
Farmer Giles of Ham: a "history", spun as to convince the reader it was set in not too distant past somewhere in europe or somewhere else very like europe, describing the rise to power of a completly ordinary and non-eventful man, Farmer Giles, into a position of wealth and respect after his capture of a dragon that had been wreaking havoc on the town.
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and other verses from The Red Book: a set of verse, describing mostly the ways and life of tom bombadil, but including random lore of middle earth, some poetry by bilbo and sam gamgee and other assorted writings.
a charming book, and a wonderful addition to a tolkien collection, but it is also quite capable of standing on its own to the point that someone who's never touched tolkien before can fully enjoy this book.