Tales from the Perilous Realm
Cover of the 2008 edition
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Cover artist||Alan Lee|
|Media type||Print (hardcover & paperback)|
ISBN 978-0-00-723733-3 (audiobook)
Tales from the Perilous Realm is an anthology of some of the lesser-known writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published in 1997 by HarperCollins without illustrations, and republished in an enlarged edition in 2008, with illustrations by Alan Lee. Lee has painted cover-art for several of Tolkien's other works. The 2008 edition also has an introductory essay by literary scholar Thomas Shippey.
The 2008 edition includes these works:
- Roverandom, a novella about the adventures of a dog named Rover after a wizard turns him into a toy
- "Farmer Giles of Ham", a short story about an English farmer who encounters a dragon
- The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, 16 poems "of hobbit origin"; the only material in the compilation that is set in Middle-earth
- "Smith of Wootton Major", a short story about the people in a village near Oxford, and of one man's immersion in the world of Faerie
- "Leaf by Niggle", an allegorical short story concerning a painter and his neighbour
- "On Fairy-Stories", an essay in which Tolkien discusses the fairy-story as a literary form
The 1997 edition does not include Roverandom (which was first published in 1998) or the essay "On Fairy-Stories". The 2008 edition also adds an essay by Thomas Shippey, and illustrations by Alan Lee. Shippey's essay is a discussion and brief analysis of the works in the collection. Lee specialises in illustrating fantasy fiction, and has painted cover-art for several Tolkien works since the late 1980s.
Two earlier Tolkien collections—The Tolkien Reader (1966) and Poems and Stories (1980)—have most of the same material as Tales from the Perilous Realm. The Tolkien Reader omits "Smith of Wootton Major", but has an introductory essay by fantasy novelist Peter S. Beagle. Poems and Stories omits Roverandom, but includes Tolkien's verse play The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son. These earlier publications are illustrated by Pauline Baynes. In her treatment of "Farmer Giles of Ham", Baynes depicts Giles' dog Garm as a greyhound; in the present text, Alan Lee reimagines Garm as an English Mastiff.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (2008). Tales from the Perilous Realm. Introduction by Tom Shippey; illustrations and afterword by Alan Lee. ISBN 978-0-547-15411-4.