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THE SILMARILLION .... A number-one New YorkTimes bestseller when it was originally published, THE SILMARILLION is the coreof J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to atime long before THE HOBBIT. Tolkien considered THE SILMARILLION his mostimportant work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this greatcollection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his otherwriting. The story of the creation of the world and of the the First Age, thisis the ancient drama to which the characters in THE LORD OF THE RINGS look backand in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. Thethree Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Withinthem was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Treesthemselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, theunsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seizedby Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortressof Angband in the north of Middle-earth. THE SILMARILLION is the history of therebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinorand return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism,

TheSilmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien 's mythopoeic works, edited and publishedposthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, withassistance from Guy Gavriel Kay . who later became anoted fantasy writer. TheSilmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms an extensive,though incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Eä in which arefound the lands of Valinor , Beleriand , Númenor ,and Middle-earth within which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place.

Afterthe success of The Hobbit, and prior to the publication of The Lordof the Rings, Tolkien's publisher requested a sequel to The Hobbit, andTolkien sent them an early draft of The Silmarillion. But through amisunderstanding, the publisher rejected the draft without fully reading it,with the result that Tolkien began work on "A Long Expected Party",the first chapter of what he described at the time as "a new storyabout Hobbits ",which became The Lord of the Rings. [2]

TheSilmarillion comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë ,tells of the creation of Eä ,the "world that is". Valaquenta ,the second part, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar , the supernatural powers in Eä. The nextsection, Quenta Silmarillion , which forms the bulk ofthe collection, chronicles the history of the events before and duringthe First Age ,including the wars over the Silmarils which gave the book its title. The fourthpart, Akallabêth , relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor andits people, which takes place in the Second Age .The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the ThirdAge , is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and werepresented in The Lord of the Rings.

The five parts wereinitially separate works, but it was the elder Tolkien's express wish that theybe published together. Because J. R. R. Tolkien died before he finishedrevising the various legends, Christopher gathered material from his father'solder writings to fill out the book. In a few cases, this meant that he had todevise completely new material in order to resolve gaps and inconsistencies inthe narrative

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