Simmering the Silmarillion

The more I studied Lord of the Rings, the more I wanted to study the Silmarillion. That’s not to say that I wanted to put down LotR all together, just that I also wanted to pick up the Silmarillion.

I want to take the Silmarillion slowly – a page each post – letting it simmer, so to speak. I’ll dissect, examine, wildly speculate upon, and digest those few paragraphs. I’ll even take a look at the writing history to discover just how Christopher Tolkien stitched together his father’s work, which spanned nearly all of his adult life.

Because we’ll be focusing on such short chunks of writing at a time, it would be great if you’d all read along with me. Tearing through a page takes all of five minutes.

Since 1977, when the Silmarillion was first published, there have been several different typesettings, making, for example, page 165 in one version completely different from page 165 in another. Through the help of readers, I’ve figured out that even through the changes, there has been one typesetting that has remained true to the original (even though the new ones are “Second Editions”).

The versions pictured below are all identical:

Buying any of these, either new or used, will match up with the version I’ll be using. There are definitely other editions that will match, so if you’re wondering if yours will fit, here’s a handy checklist:

p108 – Now in Mithrim there dwelt Grey-elves, folk of Beleriand that had

p174 – Orcs did at time upon great wolves. Thus they made great speed,

p233 – about his neck; but the Dwarves in that moment withheld it from

p303 – to the land of the Periannath, the Little People, the Halflings, who

If these match up, then you’re in business!

The reason I’m using this version is because this is the same typesetting/pagination referenced in the History of Middle-earth series, as well as other various references.

Many of you, no doubt, have the small mass market paperbacks and ebooks. Due to this, I’ll also reference the first line and the last line of text (as well as the number of paragraphs conquered) at the bottom of the post. That way, everyone can follow along without too many hassles and hang ups.


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