Bilbo's Last Song: At the Grey Havens (Advance Uncorrected Proof)
J.R.R. Tolkien; illustrations by Pauline Baynes.
Published Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2002
This Book is in Near Fine Condition. 32 pp.
ISBN 10: 0375823735
ISBN 13: 9780375823732
Pages remain clean and unmarked. Dustjacket in same size as the hardcover, holding a smaller white covered book inside.
From the Preface, "Bilbo's Last Song is considered by many to be Tolkien's epilogue to his classic work The Lord of the Rings. As Bilbo Baggins takes his final voyage to the Undying Lands, he must say goodbye to Middle-earth. Poignant and lyrical, the song is both a longing to set forth on his ultimate journey and a tender farewell to friends left behind".
Pauline Baynes's jewel-like illustrations lushly depict both this final voyage and scenes from The Hobbit, as Bilbo remembers his first journey while he prepares for his last.
Considered to be Bilbo Baggins' epilogue to The Lord of the Rings sequence, Bilbo's Last Song is his short but beautiful farewell poem to Middle-Earth. The lyrical text in this new gift edition is accompanied by some stunningly detailed colour illustrations by Pauline Baynes that are worth the cover price alone. Baynes, who famously illustrated CS Lewis'sNarnia Chronicles, was much admired by Tolkien as well as a good friend of his.
Bilbo Baggins, the famous Hobbit adventurer, composed his last song after arriving at Grey Havens to board the White Ship on its journey west. He reflects on the leaving of Middle-Earth and the voyage that would take him to the Undying Lands at the end of the sunset. Like Elrond, he had indicated to Frodo that his thoughts were turning towards departure.
There are extensive notes contained within about Baynes' illustrations, which depict two journeys. The larger ones depict the journey that brings the ring-bearers and the company of elves to the Grey Havens and the beginning of the final voyage. Another sequence of smaller vignettes show scenes from The Hobbit as Bilbo remembers his first journey on the eve of his last.
Interestingly, the copyright of Bilbo's Last Song was a gift from Tolkien to a young woman seconded from his publisher in the 1970s to help him with his correspondence--which was vast. He used to joke that if ever a diamond bracelet fell out of an envelope it would be hers. Once, when she was helping him pack up his office before he moved house, Bilbo's Last Song fell out of a book and she loved it so much that Tolkien said it could be her diamond bracelet. It was never published in his lifetime.
A phenomenal addition to any Tolkien collection.
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