A Elbereth Gilthoniel
A Elbereth Gilthoniel is an Elvish hymn to Varda in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. There are three versions of this iambic tetrameter hymn, the first of, the largest portion of Sindarin found in the novel: In 1967 Donald Swann published a musical rendition in the musical score of the song cycle The Road Goes Ever On, he and William Elvin recorded this song cycle on an LP record. The LP included a recording of Tolkien reading this prayer; the Road Goes Ever On was republished in 1978 and 1993, the recording was released as a CD in 1993. The CD contained only the song cycle, but not Tolkien's reading of the prayer; the BBC's 1981 radio dramatization of the Lord of the Rings included a version composed by Stephen Oliver, released as the second track of soundtrack album, which itself is included in some commercial versions of the BBC's production. In Peter Jackson's films The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first few lines of the poem can be heard in the movie soundtrack when Frodo Baggins, or Bilbo Baggins' enter Rivendell.
In "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", the hymn is sung mockingly by Sauron when Aragorn confronts him with the palantir. In 2006, The Tolkien Ensemble and Christopher Lee released a collection of released songs, Complete Songs & Poems, which included four different musical renditions of the poem, one of which marked as number III, is the complete poem sung by Signe Asmussen, a soprano. A rendition composed by David Long with Plan 9 is heard in the Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where Sam and Frodo encounter "wood elves" who are singing the hymn while leaving Middle-earth; the complete song is included in The Complete Recordings edition of the soundtrack for the film. Australian composer Laura Bishop composed her own rendition of this elven hymn. Beginning with a solo by a soprano it repeats with an SATB choir; the Norwegian classical composer Martin Romberg has set the lyrics to music in his work "Eldarinwë Liri" for girls' choir, which includes the four other poems Tolkien wrote in Elven languages.
The work premiered in 2010 with the Norwegian Girls Choir and Trio Mediæval at the Vestfold International Festival. The ending of the song "Zjawy i ludzie" by the Polish band Armia features the phrase "O Elbereth! O Gilthoniel!" In Tolkien's legendarium, Varda known as Elbereth, is one of the Valar and the highest of the "guardians". Peter Kreeft sees her as one of the clearest reflections of Roman Catholic Marian devotion in Tolkien's work. In A Elbereth Gilthoniel, Marjorie Burns sees an echo of the Marian hymn, Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star. Hiswelókë's Sindarin dictionary Ardalambion article uib.no Ibn Ghalad web site
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant. Gregorian chants were organized into four eight, 12 modes. Typical melodic features include a characteristic ambitus, characteristic intervallic patterns relative to a referential mode final and cadences, the use of reciting tones at a particular distance from the final, around which the other notes of the melody revolve, a vocabulary of musical motifs woven together through a process called centonization to create families of related chants; the scale patterns are organized against a background pattern formed of conjunct and disjunct tetrachords, producing a larger pitch system called the gamut.
The chants can be sung by using six-note patterns called hexachords. Gregorian melodies are traditionally written using neumes, an early form of musical notation from which the modern four-line and five-line staff developed. Multi-voice elaborations of Gregorian chant, known as organum, were an early stage in the development of Western polyphony. Gregorian chant was traditionally sung by choirs of men and boys in churches, or by men and women of religious orders in their chapels, it is the music of the Roman Rite, performed in the monastic Office. Although Gregorian chant supplanted or marginalized the other indigenous plainchant traditions of the Christian West to become the official music of the Christian liturgy, Ambrosian chant still continues in use in Milan, there are musicologists exploring both that and the Mozarabic chant of Christian Spain. Although Gregorian chant is no longer obligatory, the Roman Catholic Church still considers it the music most suitable for worship. During the 20th century, Gregorian chant underwent a popular resurgence.
Singing has been part of the Christian liturgy since the earliest days of the Church. Until the mid-1990s, it was accepted that the psalmody of ancient Jewish worship influenced and contributed to early Christian ritual and chant; this view is no longer accepted by scholars, due to analysis that shows that most early Christian hymns did not have Psalms for texts, that the Psalms were not sung in synagogues for centuries after the Destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. However, early Christian rites did incorporate elements of Jewish worship that survived in chant tradition. Canonical hours have their roots in Jewish prayer hours. "Amen" and "alleluia" come from Hebrew, the threefold "sanctus" derives from the threefold "kadosh" of the Kedushah. The New Testament mentions singing hymns during the Last Supper: "When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" Matthew 26.30. Other ancient witnesses such as Pope Clement I, Tertullian, St. Athanasius, Egeria confirm the practice, although in poetic or obscure ways that shed little light on how music sounded during this period.
The 3rd-century Greek "Oxyrhynchus hymn" survived with musical notation, but the connection between this hymn and the plainchant tradition is uncertain. Musical elements that would be used in the Roman Rite began to appear in the 3rd century; the Apostolic Tradition, attributed to the theologian Hippolytus, attests the singing of Hallel psalms with Alleluia as the refrain in early Christian agape feasts. Chants of the Office, sung during the canonical hours, have their roots in the early 4th century, when desert monks following St. Anthony introduced the practice of continuous psalmody, singing the complete cycle of 150 psalms each week. Around 375, antiphonal psalmody became popular in the Christian East. In the fifth century, a singing school, the Schola Cantorum, was founded at Rome to provide training in church musicianship. Scholars are still debating how plainchant developed during the 5th through the 9th centuries, as information from this period is scarce. Around 410, St. Augustine described the responsorial singing of a Gradual psalm at Mass.
At c. 520, Benedict of Nursia established what is called the rule of St. Benedict, in which the protocol of the Divine Office for monastic use was laid down. Around 678, Roman chant was taught at York. Distinctive regional traditions of Western plainchant arose during this period, notably in the British Isles, Spain and Italy; these traditions may have evolved from a hypothetical year-round repertory of 5th-century plainchant after the western Roman Empire collapsed. John the Deacon, biographer of Pope Gregory I, modestly claimed that the saint "compiled a patchwork antiphonary", given his considerable work with liturgical development, he reorganized the Schola Cantorum and established a more uniform standard in church services, gathering chants from among the regional traditions as as he could manage. Of those, he retained what he could, revised where necessary, assigned particular chants to the various services. According to Donald Jay Grout, his goal was to organize the bodies of chants from diverse traditions into a uniform and orderly whole for use by the entire western region of the Church.
His renowned love for music was recorded only 34 years after his death. While legends magnified his real achievements
Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; the concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization, philosophy and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society. In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, education, or manners; the level of cultural sophistication has sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital.
In common parlance, culture is used to refer to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century; some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions; when used as a count noun, a "culture" is the set of customs and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. Culture is the set of knowledge acquired over time.
In this sense, multiculturalism values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same planet. Sometimes "culture" is used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture, or a counterculture. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is situated within the value system of a given culture; the modern term "culture" is based on a term used by the Ancient Roman orator Cicero in his Tusculanae Disputationes, where he wrote of a cultivation of the soul or "cultura animi," using an agricultural metaphor for the development of a philosophical soul, understood teleologically as the highest possible ideal for human development. Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a modern context, meaning something similar, but no longer assuming that philosophy was man's natural perfection, his use, that of many writers after him, "refers to all the ways in which human beings overcome their original barbarism, through artifice, become human."In 1986, philosopher Edward S.
Casey wrote, "The word culture meant'place tilled' in Middle English, the same word goes back to Latin colere,'to inhabit, care for, worship' and cultus,'A cult a religious one.' To be cultural, to have a culture, is to inhabit a place sufficiently intensive to cultivate it—to be responsible for it, to respond to it, to attend to it caringly." Culture described by Richard Velkley:... meant the cultivation of the soul or mind, acquires most of its modern meaning in the writings of the 18th-century German thinkers, who were on various levels developing Rousseau's criticism of "modern liberalism and Enlightenment". Thus a contrast between "culture" and "civilization" is implied in these authors when not expressed as such. In the words of anthropologist E. B. Tylor, it is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, art, law and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, "Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices and material expressions, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common.
The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is "the way of life the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time." Terror management theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively; this ability arose with the evolution of behavioral modernity in humans around 50,000 years ago, is thought to be unique to humans, although some other species have demonstrated similar, though much less complex, abilities for social learning. It is used to denote the co
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium; the term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past. Tolkien's most read works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, take place in Middle-earth, Middle-earth has become a short-hand to refer to the legendarium and Tolkien's fictional take on the world. Within his stories, Tolkien translated the name "Middle-earth" as Endor and Ennor in the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin sometimes referring only to the continent that the stories take place on, with another southern continent called the Dark Land. Middle-earth is the north continent of Earth in an imaginary period of the Earth's past, in the sense of a "secondary or sub-creational reality", its general position is reminiscent of Europe, with the environs of the Shire intended to be reminiscent of England. Tolkien's stories chronicle the struggle to control the world and the continent of Middle-earth: on one side, the angelic Valar, the Elves and their allies among Men.
In ages, after Morgoth's defeat and expulsion from Arda, his place was taken by his lieutenant Sauron. The Valar withdrew from direct involvement in the affairs of Middle-earth after the defeat of Morgoth, but in years they sent the wizards or Istari to help in the struggle against Sauron; the most important wizards were Gandalf the Saruman the White. Gandalf proved crucial in the fight against Sauron. Saruman, became corrupted and sought to establish himself as a rival to Sauron for absolute power in Middle-earth. Other races involved in the struggle against evil were Dwarves and most famously Hobbits; the early stages of the conflict are chronicled in The Silmarillion, while the final stages of the struggle to defeat Sauron are told in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings. Conflict over the possession and control of precious or magical objects is a recurring theme in the stories; the First Age is dominated by the doomed quest of the elf Fëanor and most of his Noldorin clan to recover three precious jewels called the Silmarils that Morgoth stole from them.
The Second and Third Age are dominated by the forging of the Rings of Power, the fate of the One Ring forged by Sauron, which gives its wearer the power to control or influence those wearing the other Rings of Power. In ancient Germanic mythology, the world of Men is known by several names, such as Midgard, Middenheim and Middengeard; the Old English middangeard descends from an earlier Germanic word and so has cognates in languages related to Old English such as the Old Norse word Miðgarðr from Norse mythology, transliterated to modern English as Midgard. The term "Middle-earth", it is found throughout the Modern English period as a development of the Middle English word middel-erde, which developed in turn, through a process of folk etymology, from middanġeard. By the time of the Middle English period, middangeard was being written as middellærd, midden-erde, or middel-erde, indicating that the second element had been reinterpreted, based on its similarity to the word for "earth"; the shift in meaning was not great, however: middangeard properly meant "middle enclosure" instead of "middle-earth".
Tolkien first encountered the term middangeard in an Old English fragment he studied in 1914: Éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended. Hail Earendel, brightest of angels / above the middle-earth sent unto men; this quote is from the second of the fragmentary remnants of the Crist poems by Cynewulf. The name Éarendel was the inspiration for Tolkien's mariner Eärendil, who set sail from the lands of Middle-earth to ask for aid from the angelic powers, the Valar. Tolkien's earliest poem about Eärendil, from 1914, the same year he read the Crist poems, refers to "the mid-world's rim"; the concept of middangeard was considered by Tolkien to be the same as a particular usage of the Greek word οἰκουμένη - oikoumenē. In this usage Tolkien says that the oikoumenē is "the abiding place of men". Tolkien wrote: Middle-earth is... not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration... of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and between ice of the North and the fire of the South.
O. English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. Many reviewers seem to assume. However, the term "Middle-earth" is not found in Tolkien's earliest writings about Middle-earth, dating from the early 1920s and published in The Book of Lost Tales. Nor is the term used in The Hobbit. Tolkien began to use the term "Middle-earth" in the late 1930s, in place of the earlier terms "Great Lands", "Outer Lands", "Hither Lands"
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien, it was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book is recognized as a classic in children's literature; the Hobbit is set within Tolkien's fictional universe and follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's journey takes him from rural surroundings into more sinister territory; the story is told in the form of an episodic quest, most chapters introduce a specific creature or type of creature of Tolkien's geography. Bilbo gains a new level of maturity and wisdom by accepting the disreputable, romantic and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense; the story reaches its climax in the Battle of the Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.
Personal growth and forms of heroism are central themes of the story, along with motifs of warfare. These themes have led critics to view Tolkien's own experiences during World War I as instrumental in shaping the story; the author's scholarly knowledge of Germanic philology and interest in mythology and fairy tales are noted as influences. The publisher was encouraged by the book's critical and financial success and, requested a sequel; as Tolkien's work progressed on the successor The Lord of the Rings, he made retrospective accommodations for it in The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed with minor emendations, including those reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled; the work has never been out of print. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, radio, board games, video games. Several of these adaptations have received critical recognition on their own merits. Bilbo Baggins, the titular protagonist, is a reserved hobbit.
During his adventure, Bilbo refers to the contents of his larder at home and wishes he had more food. Until he finds a magic ring, he is more baggage than help. Gandalf, an itinerant wizard, introduces Bilbo to a company of thirteen dwarves. During the journey the wizard disappears on side errands dimly hinted at, only to appear again at key moments in the story. Thorin Oakenshield, the proud, pompous head of the company of dwarves and heir to the destroyed dwarvish kingdom under the Lonely Mountain, makes many mistakes in his leadership, relying on Gandalf and Bilbo to get him out of trouble, but proves himself a mighty warrior. Smaug is a dragon who long ago pillaged the dwarvish kingdom of Thorin's grandfather and sleeps upon the vast treasure; the plot involves a host of other characters of varying importance, such as the twelve other dwarves of the company. Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug.
When the music ends, Gandalf unveils Thrór's map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, joins despite himself; the group travels into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. Passing over the Misty Mountains, they are driven deep underground. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring and encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles; as a reward for solving all riddles Gollum will show him the path out of the tunnels, but if Bilbo fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them; the goblins and Wargs give chase, but the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of Beorn.
The company enters the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. In Mirkwood, Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and from the dungeons of the Wood-elves. Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise; the expedition finds the secret door. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A thrush had overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and reports it to Lake-town defender Bard. Bard's arrow slays the dragon; when the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, an heirloom of Thorin's dynasty, hides it away. The Wood-elves and Lake-men besiege the mountain and request compensation for their aid, reparations for Lake-town's destruction, settlement of old claims on the treasure. Thorin refuses and, reinforces his position. Bilbo tries to ransom the A
Jack L. Chalker
Jack Laurence Chalker was an American science fiction author. Chalker was a Baltimore City Schools history teacher in Maryland for 12 years, retiring during 1978 to write full-time, he was a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association and was involved in the founding of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. He was raised in Baltimore, Maryland; some of his books said that he was born in Norfolk, Virginia although he claimed, a mistake. Chalker earned a BA degree in English from Towson University in Towson, where he was a theater critic for the school newspaper, The Towerlight. During 2003, Towson University named Chalker their Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year, he received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Chalker intended to become a lawyer, he taught history and geography in the Baltimore City Public Schools from 1966 to 1978, most notably at Baltimore City College and the now defunct Southwest Senior High School. Chalker lectured on science fiction and technology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.
C. the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda and numerous universities. Chalker was married in 1978 and had two children, David, a game designer, Steven, a computer security consultant. Chalker's hobbies included esoteric audio and working on science-fiction convention committees, he had a great interest in ferryboats. Chalker joined the Washington Science Fiction Association during 1958, during 1963 he and two friends founded the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Chalker attended every World Science Fiction Convention, except one, from 1965 until 2004, he published an amateur SF journal, from 1960 to 1971, producing ten issues. Another journal, was published 1968–1987 in association with the Fantasy Amateur Press Association. Chalker initiated a publishing house, Mirage Press, Ltd. for releasing nonfiction and bibliographic works concerning science fiction and fantasy. Chalker's awards included the Daedalus Award, The Gold Medal of the West Coast Review of Books, Skylark Award, the Hamilton-Brackett Memorial Award.
He was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award twice and for the Hugo Award twice. Chalker was posthumously awarded the Phoenix Award by the Southern Fandom Confederation on April 9, 2005. Chalker was a three-term treasurer of the Science Fantasy Writers of America. Chalker was the co-author of The Science Fantasy Publishers, published by Mirage Press, Ltd, a bibliographic guide to genre small press publishers, a Hugo Award nominee during 1992; the Maryland Young Writers Contest, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, was renamed "'The Jack L. Chalker Young Writers Contest" effective April 8, 2006. Chalker is best known for his Well World series of novels, but he wrote many other novels, at least nine short stories. Many of Chalker's works involve some physical transformation of the main characters. For instance, in the Well World novels, immigrants to the Well World are transformed from their original form to become a member of one of the 1,560 sentient species that inhabit that artificial planet.
Another example would be that the Wonderland Gambit series resembles traditional Buddhist jataka-type reincarnation stories set in a science fiction environment. Steven Chalker announced that Wonderland Gambit might be made into a movie, but its close resemblance to The Matrix resulted in the project being canceled. At the time of his death, Chalker left Chameleon, he was planning to write another novel, after Chameleon. On September 18, 2003, during Hurricane Isabel, Chalker passed out and was rushed to the hospital with a diagnosis of a coronary occlusion, he was released, but was weakened. On December 6, 2004, he was again rushed to hospital with breathing problems and disorientation, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a pneumothorax. Chalker was hospitalized in critical condition upgraded to stable condition on December 9, though he did not regain consciousness until December 15. After several more weeks in deteriorating condition and in a persistent vegetative state, with several transfers to different hospitals, Chalker died on February 11, 2005, of kidney failure and sepsis at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Some of Chalker's remains are interred in the family plot at Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore. The remainder were distributed off a ferry near Hong Kong, the ferry between Hainan Island and the Chinese mainland, a ferry in Vietnam, White's Ferry on the Potomac River in Virginia on Father's Day 2007, on author H. P. Lovecraft's grave in Providence, Rhode Island on December 17, 2005. Midnight at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1977 Exiles at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1978 Quest for the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1978 The Return of Nathan Brazil, Del Rey, 1980 Twilight at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1980 The Sea is Full of Stars, December, 1999 Ghost of the Well of Souls, 2000 Echoes of the Well of Souls, Del Rey, trade paperback, May
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien; the story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels written, with over 150 million copies sold; the title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, not only the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, but the hobbits' chief allies and travelling companions: the Men, Aragorn, a Ranger of the North, Boromir, a Captain of Gondor.
The work was intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, the other to be The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher. For economic reasons, The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955; the three volumes were titled The Fellowship of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Structurally, the novel is divided internally into six books, two per volume, with several appendices of background material included at the end; some editions combine the entire work into a single volume. The Lord of the Rings has since been translated into 38 languages. Tolkien's work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia. Influences on this earlier work, on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology and the author's distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I.
The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy. The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien's works, the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works; the Lord of the Rings has inspired, continues to inspire, music and television, video games, board games, subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio and film. In 2003, it was named Britain's best novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read. Thousands of years before the events of the novel, the Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power and corrupt those who wore them: three for Elves, seven for Dwarves, nine for Men. Sauron was defeated by an alliance of Men led by Gil-galad and Elendil, respectively. In the final battle, son of Elendil, cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, causing Sauron to lose his physical form.
Isildur claimed the Ring as an heirloom for his line, but when he was ambushed and killed by the Orcs, the Ring was lost in the River Anduin. Over two thousand years the Ring was found by one of the river-folk called Déagol, his friend Sméagol fell under strangled Déagol to acquire it. Sméagol was hid under the Misty Mountains; the Ring gave him long life and changed him over hundreds of years into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Gollum lost the Ring, his "precious", as told in The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins found it. Meanwhile, Sauron took back his old realm of Mordor; when Gollum set out in search of the Ring, he was tortured by Sauron. Sauron learned from Gollum. Gollum was set loose. Sauron, who needed the Ring to regain his full power, sent forth his powerful servants, the Nazgûl, to seize it; the story begins in the Shire, where the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo Baggins, his cousin and guardian. Neither hobbit is aware of the Ring's nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and an old friend of Bilbo, suspects it to be Sauron's Ring.
Seventeen years after Gandalf confirms his guess, he tells Frodo the history of the Ring and counsels him to take it away from the Shire. Frodo sets out, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, two cousins, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, they are nearly caught by the Black Riders, but shake off their pursuers by cutting through the Old Forest. There they are aided by Tom Bombadil, a strange and merry fellow who lives with his wife Goldberry in the forest; the hobbits reach the town of Bree, where they encounter a Ranger named Strider, whom Gandalf had mentioned in a letter. Strider persuades the hobbits to take him on as their protector. Together, they leave Bree after another close escape from the Black Riders. On the hill of Weathertop, they are again attacked by the Black Riders, who wound Frodo with a cursed blade. Strider leads the hobbits towards the Elven refuge of Rivendell. Frodo falls deathly ill from the wound; the Black Riders nearly capture him at the Ford of Bruinen, but flood waters summoned by Elrond, master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them.