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Luna Welcomes Oronzo Cilli - Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist

Updated: May 19, 2019

oronzo Cilli joins the Luna Family

We are delighted to welcome Italian scholar Oronzo Cilli to the Luna Family. Oronzo will be releasing "Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist" with us in 2019.

Which books did Tolkien read? What subjects was he interested in? What books found a place in his library, and which did he cite in his academic writings and many letters? Finally, where are the books from his personal library preserved now? In “Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist”, Tolkien scholar Oronzo Cilli endeavours to answer these and many other questions. By reading his work, you will have a chance to enter Tolkien’s studio and consult his books, learn if and where he cited from each of them and discover if a particular book was cited by Tolkien in his academic writings or his fiction. A unique and extensive guide, with information on over 2,000 titles, it was conceived as a personal research tool, but will soon be available to both scholars and the general public.

It's a work that doesn’t aim to ‘reconstruct’ a physical library that once existed, but rather charts an imaginary collection, including books or other printed items which Tolkien once owned (and may or may not have read). Along with this, it includes works he didn't own but is known to have read or consulted (such as the run of Andrew Lang fairy books he used at the Bodleian), and works he referred to in his writings but may not have owned or directly consulted. It's worth noting that, of the items he did own at one time or another, he may not have kept them all, as many had to be disposed of, like when he left Merton, or moved to Poole, and when he returned to Oxford. In addition, there were other books in the Tolkien household which were not, strictly speaking, part of his own personal library; indeed, some of these belonged to his children, though Tolkien sometimes consulted them.

“Such study will throw up many new insights into Tolkien’s thoughts, his life-experience, and the way that experience expressed itself in his fiction. The best guide to an author’s mind is through his books, and in the work of Oronzo Cilli we have now the best and most valuable guide to Tolkien’s books. It is a devoted and enduring work of scholarship.”

Tom Shippey

“This book is a labour of love and will surely prove to be an important research tool for established and new Tolkien scholars alike.”

Dimitra Fimi

“Drawing together a wide range of information about Tolkien’s reading, Oronzo Cilli has constructed a library which never wholly existed, or did not wholly exist in one place or at one time, but represents the foundation of the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers and scholars. Tolkien’s Library is an impressive, fascinating, and useful essay in bibliography.”

Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond

“From the thorough research of the untiring Tolkien scholar Oronzo Cilli, here is a unique guide to Tolkien’s Library which will catch your breath: more than 2,000 entries, ranging from the expected several editions of Beowulf to the complete surprises, such as Agatha Christie’s At Bertram’s Hotel. If you are doing research on Tolkien, you simply cannot miss Oronzo’s work.”

Giovanni C. Costabile

"Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist" will be released in time for Tolkien 2019 in Birmingham, in August 2019. You will be able to order your copy (and any other Luna books) and get it delivered there, where both Oronzo and Tom will be able to sign it. Double bonus!


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