Luna Press Publishing has announced the forthcoming publication of a new book on Tolkien: Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist by Oronzo Cilli with a Foreword by the esteemed Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey.
This new book does something never attempted before: it provides an annotated list of the books Tolkien owned, or consulted for his academic research. In this manner it provides a unique insight into the mind of both Tolkien the reader, and scholar.
From the publisher
Which books did Tolkien read? What subjects was he interested in? What books found a place in his library, and which did he cite in his academic writings and many letters? Finally, where are the books from his personal library preserved now? In “Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist”, Tolkien scholar Oronzo Cilli endeavours to answer these and many other questions. By reading his work, you will have a chance to enter Tolkien’s studio and consult his books, learn if and where he cited from each of them and discover if a particular book was cited by Tolkien in his academic writings or his fiction. A unique and extensive guide, with information on over 2,000 titles, it was conceived as a personal research tool, but will soon be available to both scholars and the general public.
It’s a work that doesn’t aim to ‘reconstruct’ a physical library that once existed, but rather charts an imaginary collection, including books or other printed items which Tolkien once owned (and may or may not have read). Along with this, it includes works he didn’t own but is known to have read or consulted (such as the run of Andrew Lang fairy books he used at the Bodleian), and works he referred to in his writings but may not have owned or directly consulted. It’s worth noting that, of the items he did own at one time or another, he may not have kept them all, as many had to be disposed of, like when he left Merton, or moved to Poole, and when he returned to Oxford. In addition, there were other books in the Tolkien household which were not, strictly speaking, part of his own personal library; indeed, some of these belonged to his children, though Tolkien sometimes consulted them.
Tom Shippey: “Such study will throw up many new insights into Tolkien’s thoughts, his life-experience, and the way that experience expressed itself in his fiction. The best guide to an author’s mind is through his books, and in the work of Oronzo Cilli we have now the best and most valuable guide to Tolkien’s books. It is a devoted and enduring work of scholarship.”
Dimitra Fimi: “This book is a labour of love and will surely prove to be an important research tool for established and new Tolkien scholars alike.
To discover more about the forthcoming book, please see the Luna Press Publishing website.