Tree and Leaf – J. R. R. Tolkien

Tree and Leaf – J. R. R. TolkienTree and Leaf: Includes Mythopoeia and The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth by J.R.R. Tolkien
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd on February 5th 2001
Pages: 176

This volume is a provocative and entertaining collection of works which reveals the diversity of J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination and the breadth of his talent as a creator of fantastic fiction.

I pinched this from Mum while she was moving. When I say ‘pinched’ I actually mean ‘requested’ and she was very happy to have it go to another home. It’s by one of those authors who was sort of rather knowledgeable about what he was writing about and this book is the result. It has three things listed in the table of contents: an Introductory Note; On Fairy-stories and; Leaf by Niggle. Let’s have a look at the book.

The second and third items were previously printed separately. The Introductory Note tells us this and that they are being reprinted and issued together in this book. The second item, On Fairy-stories, is a critical article. It’s something like one of the articles I have been using to study at uni. The third item is a short story which could very well be illustrative of the critical article.

It’s a lovely little tome and while I did enjoy it, I found the critical article to be rather heavy work. It’s written at university level and if you can understand it then you should consider some higher level study. Although, you might already be doing that higher level study and I don’t know…there’s a lot I don’t know.

Tolkien was a highly educated man. The reasons The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were so good was because he knew so much and wrote the background of these stories. All of this would inform his works. Tree and Leaf helps illustrate how much he knew and how good he was. I thoroughly recommend it for people who want to write fantasy, it gives a good background in fairies.