J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth has been translated into nearly every media imaginable, and Middle-Earth Envisioned: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: On Screen, On Stage and Beyond by Paul Simpson and Brian J. Robb collects some of the greatest examples of each. Tolkien was so descriptive of his land in his original works, but yet there is apparently still plenty of room for interpretations.
Of course, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been seen as very successful movies, both live-action and animated, but we also get to see how the stories were adapted into radio dramas, painted comics, stage performances, and games, both video and tabletop. There are also chapters devoted to fan artwork, musical inspirations, and even the martial arts of Middle-earth.
The book is beautifully packaged. The pages themselves are artful with backgrounds that reminded She Geek of an elven Shutterfly album, which makes the book feel like a personalized scrapbook. Although there is a ton of information in Middle-Earth Envisioned, it is structured so that you can jump directly to those segments of fandom that fascinate you most without feeling overwhelmed all at once.
By the way, if you think geek girls are a new phenomenon, one fascinating tidbit we learned from Middle-Earth Envisioned might surprise you. In 1964, The New Princess and Girl magazine printed a 15-part illustrated serial of The Hobbit. That’s right, it was known 50 years ago that girls are allowed to like fantasy books, yet women are still having to defend their love of geekery today. It’s time to give it a rest, haters.
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for the nerd who has everything, Middle-Earth Envisioned should be on your shopping list. It’s a lovely looking book filled with enough trivia and gorgeous artwork to fill the kingdom of Erebor.
HeGeekSheGeek.com was supplied a copy of this book in exchange for a review.