Well, since the holidays are coming up quite quickly, I thought it’d be interesting to do a few posts on gift suggestions or ideas; either for yourself or for gifting. This week, I’m going to focus on the illustrated hardbacks of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (as three volumes) and The Silmarillion. There may be a other 'gift posts' under the Tolkien Tuesday banner.
These were published by both Harper Collins and Houghton Mifflin. They
are ‘mirrored’ in all ways except publisher name, like of the other
Tolkien books both publishers print. However, it seems that the ones by
Houghton Mifflin are still being printed, easier
to find, and less pricey than the exact same ones by Harper Collins.
The two best places to get these are Amazon.com , or bookdepository.com.
Barnes and Noble should also carry them, and there's always other online booksellers.
A box set of all these does not exist. Imagine, though, the cost and
weight if it would? Each book is pretty hefty on its own. So without
further ado, here is The Tolkien Illustrated Collection.
First up, published in 1997, is Alan Lee’s illustrated edition of The Hobbit. Find it by searching
It features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings.
Alan Lee also illustrated The Lord of the Rings, and these editions came out in 2002, individually, or as a boxed set. The ISBN for the box set is
9780618260584 . For the three volumes by themselves, they are:
The Fellowship of the Ring; 9780618260591 for The Two Towers; and 9780618260553 for
The Return of the King. Figure I’d list both the box sets and the books just in case. Lavishly illustrated in full colour.
Finally, there is The Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith. This edition came out in 2004, and its ISBN is 9780618391110.
It contains almost fifty full-colour illustrations.
All of these match one another very well in terms of design and size
dimensions. These illustrated editions are among the best editions of
the books to ever be published, and have always been a favourite among
They are large hardbacks, so the are definitely suited for 'at home' reading, even more so than a usual hardback would be. The artwork is astounding. Not only are these some of the best Tolkien images, they are among the nicest pieces of art I've ever seen period. They are definitely a treasure and visual feast, even on the shelf, in any library.