As Peter Jacksonís film of the first book of The Lord of
the Rings, The Fellowship of the Rings continues to ring box office tills,
so too does the book continue to sell well. Harper Collins are having to reprint
their hardback illustrated edition and I hope to review this magnificent edition
shortly on this site.
In the meantime keener readers and Tolkien fans will no doubt
be drawn to this remarkable piece of useful Middle Earth/Hobbit scholarship.
With admirable perspicacity Barabara Strachey, who is not a cartographer, has
by virtue of meticulous study of the texts of all three books and logic calculations
using clues like Tolkienís references to full, waning and waxing moons, compiled
an atlas of some 50 maps in chronological order starting from Frodoís departure
from Hobbiton on 23rd September. Each map is reproduced in 2 colours:
a red line tracing the route of the Hobbits and on later maps other characters
such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas. Roads, rivers, marshes, woods forests
and mountains (in contour lines to indicate heights) are all marked. Every thing
is based on the detailed descriptions and maps in the original books.
The only thing missing is Tolkienís collection of maps that
are reproduced in The Lord of the Rings. One can argue that these are already
in the books but how much more handy they would be if they were separate so
that one does not have to interrupt oneís reading and concentration to hunt
for them. Nevertheless a most valuable aid to a deeper appreciation of Tolkienís