Tolkien Bestiary

Discussion in '"The History of Middle-earth"' started by bok, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. bok

    bok Guest

    Creature "Bible"

    Was wondering if anyone knows of a detailed FAQ/bible of all the creatues of Middle Earth.
    With pictures and some short info, habits and so on.
     
  2. Ciryaher

    Ciryaher Witch of Resurrection

    I don't think there is, but you could try something in the Histories of Middle Earth [HoME]; particularly in The Peoples of Middle Earth, book XII, although I haven't read it.
     
  3. Gothmog

    Gothmog Lord of Balrogs

    There is "A Tolkien Beastiary" by David Day published by Mitchell Beazley Publishers.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. The Mormegil

    The Mormegil Registered User

    There is "Tolkien: The illustrated Encyclopaedia" by David Day. Macmillan Publishing New York, Maxwell Macmillan Canada Toronto.
    Copyright 1991 Mitchell Beazley publishers 1991
    ISBN 0-02-533431-X.

    Macmillan Publishing Co.
    866 Third Ave.
    New York, NY 10022

    Maxwell Macmillan Canada Inc.
    1200 Eglinton Avenue East
    Suite 200
    Don Mills, Ontario M3C 3N1

    Much of the artwork in this book is lame in my opinion, but it has a great wealth of information. It was written with the intention being used as a reader's guide. It even contains a chronology of significant dates in the life of J.R.R. Tolkien. :D
     
  5. The Mormegil

    The Mormegil Registered User

    There is "Tolkien: The illustrated Encyclopaedia" by David Day. Macmillan Publishing New York, Maxwell Macmillan Canada Toronto.
    Copyright 1991 Mitchell Beazley publishers 1991
    ISBN 0-02-533431-X.

    Macmillan Publishing Co.
    866 Third Ave.
    New York, NY 10022

    Maxwell Macmillan Canada Inc.
    1200 Eglinton Avenue East
    Suite 200
    Don Mills, Ontario M3C 3N1

    Much of the artwork in this book is lame in my opinion, but it has a great wealth of information. It was written with the intention being used as a reader's guide. It even contains a chronology of significant dates in the life of J.R.R. Tolkien. :D
     
  6. Telchar

    Telchar Someone out there?

    You'll be looking in the wrong books.. HoME XII is mostly about Men, there are some texts about Elves and Dwarves, a short text about the Istari and the matter of Glorfindel.. But nothing about beasts..
     
  7. Aerin

    Aerin Halfway out the door

    I bought the Tolkien Bestiary about a week ago. What a fabulous book! It describes in detail people and races, and it answering many of my questions. For someone wanting to know the basics, or even for someone who has a fairly firm grip on the history of the peoples of LOTR, it's a fantastic book.
     
  8. Walter

    Walter Flamekeeper

    Robert Foster's "The Complete Guide To Middle Earth" is also a good source to find information about creatures as well as about names, places or events.

    ...and welcome to this Forum, bok :)
     
  9. Eternal Phoenix

    Eternal Phoenix Overseer of the Guilds

    The Complete Guide to Middle Earth is very good.
     
  10. Mad Adski

    Mad Adski Registered User

    I've got a number of Tolkien guides and in my mind, the Beastiary is by far the best. But I wasn't aware that it was still in print, the edition I've got is from the early seventies.
     
  11. Arthur_Vandelay

    Arthur_Vandelay Hipster Doofus

    David Day's Tolkien Bestiary is certainly one of the only illustrated Tolkien encyclopaedias I have seen around, but it can be fairly unreliable (in that Day takes a bit of licence with some of the entries e.g "Kraken" for the Watcher in the water at the gate of Moria).

    I'd recommend Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth (as others have), and also J.E.A. Tyler's Complete Tolkien Companion (which has recently been updated and covers Unfinished Tales material as well). No pictures, but quite thorough.
     
  12. meneldor

    meneldor one very large bird

    The New Tolkien Companion by J.E.A Tyler is aTolkien dictionarywith everything from A to Z from Eru creating till the last day written about in the fourth age. I find it an outstanding book for the quick lookup and lengthy description of everything middle-earth. Truly an outstanding and well done dictionary. I find myself just plain reading it for fun.
     
  13. Arthur_Vandelay

    Arthur_Vandelay Hipster Doofus

    And of course, your own contributions to our growing online Tolkien encyclopaedia, The Tolkien WIKI, are always welcome :)
     
  14. Melko Belcha

    Melko Belcha Registered User

    I never trust anything writen by David Day. He makes up alot of stuff and tries to fill in many of the holes in Tolkien's work. I have seen three books of his and each one contains many things that are found nowhere in Tolkien's work. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth by Robert Foster is much better the anything by David Day, while not correct all the time, Foster does not make stuff up like Day does.
     
  15. jallan

    jallan Registered User

    Meneldor posted:
    The older editions had problems and there is a certain stigma associated with, namely too many minor errors in his entries were exactly the same errors made by Foster which made on suspicious that Tyler had not done much research himself. There were also many other errors and Tyler did not give sources for his information.

    I browsed through the new book casually in a bookstore. I found the Ingwë is said to be one of the first-awkened Elves, which is almost certainly not true in Tolkien’s late thought and that the island of Eressëa is shaped like a ship, again not true so far as I know.

    I find that Seuward Jensen at Google Cache: Notes on J.E.A. Tyler's The Tolkien Companion also found a number of errors and oddities just in the pages visible on amazon.com.

    The fact that no references are given means you can’t even look up what Tyler says. I don’t recommend it.
     
  16. jallan

    jallan Registered User

    Meneldor posted:
    The older editions had problems and there is a certain stigma associated with Tyler’ book, namely too many minor errors in his entries were exactly the same errors made by Foster which made one suspicious that Tyler had not done much research himself. There were also many other errors and Tyler did not give sources for his information.

    I browsed through the new book casually in a bookstore. I found the Ingwë is said to be one of the first-awkened Elves, which is almost certainly not true in Tolkien’s late thought and that the island of Eressëa is shaped like a ship, again not true so far as I know.

    I find that Seuward Jensen at Google Cache: Notes on J.E.A. Tyler's The Tolkien Companion also found a number of errors and oddities just in the pages visible on amazon.com:
    The fact that no references are given means you can’t even look up what Tyler says. I don’t recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2004
  17. Arthur_Vandelay

    Arthur_Vandelay Hipster Doofus

    I must confess I like Tyler's book simply because it offers the most comprehensive coverage of Tolkien material in a single volume (that I have seen at any rate), but I take your point that--as it is poorly referenced--it is too easy for the unsuspecting reader to accept the veracity of Tyler's entries.

    Perhaps what is needed is an encyclopedia of the scope and comprehensiveness of Tyler's book, but meticulously referenced and with greater attention paid to getting the facts right. I'd also like to see something that touches on HOME material--if only to shed more light on some of the more difficult and "never asked" questions of the kind that tend to pop up now and then on TTF.
     

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