The Fellowship Of The Ring

I introduce today’s post with a couple of questions.

Why would I feature a book I am never likely to read?

Which European Monarch signed abdication papers today?

Well, not before I bought this Folio Society edition in 1977, I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” which bored me so much that I regretted purchase of the Ring three volume set. Except for the illustrations, the story of which is featured in

two pages from the Folio Society Magazine of Spring 1978. You may need to enlarge these images to realise that today’s abdicating monarch is the artist who provided the original works redrawn by Eric Fraser to fit the format of the books. Having become Queen Margaretha, Ingahild Grathmer had no available time to carry out the task, but approved of Fraser’s efforts.

Here are the illustrations to this first book in the trilogy; those for the next two volumes will follow in due course.

As Crown Princess, Margaretha of Denmark is celebrated in our rose garden by this eponymous prolific sweet scented climber.

This evening we all dined on Red Chilli takeaway’s excellent fare. My choice was Bengal Chilli Chicken and special fried rice.


  1. I was assigned The Hobbit in ninth grade. I found it excruciatingly boring. Fortunately, I didn’t have to read the whole thing. My teacher’s grad school prof informed him that there are no Christ figures in The Hobbit, and that was that. No more Hobbit.

        1. I tried reading one of the books several times when I was a teen–I don’t remember if it was The Hobbit or the Rings, but I couldn’t get past the few couple of pages.

  2. Personally, I’ve loved and read Lord of the Rings several times. I have also tried the Hobbit several times, got bored and set it aside. To each their own. Nice illustrations and dinner.

    1. Thanks very much, Pat. I am pleased you liked the trilogy. As you say we all choose our own

  3. I watched a video yesterday of a dinner where the now Queen Mary gave a most wonderful speech about the new King of Denmark. The words “He swept me off my feet” were music to my ears because it’s so rare we hear such heartfelt words from Royalty.
    Long live the King (even if he isn’t ours!).

  4. I recall reading about Queen Margaretha of Denmark handing over to her son. Your King Charles could’ve died waiting to take over the throne. Years ago, I tried reading The Fellowship of the Ring but didn’t get very far: Far too slow. Congrats to screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens for turning Tolkein’s tale into such an epic fantasy adventure for movie-goers.

  5. The Hobbit was a set book for English in my first year at grammar school. I quite enjoyed it at the age of twelve but thought it wasn’t as well edited as it should have been. The second half is in a different style to the first half – Tolkien had, I think, begun to plan the Lord of the Rings half way through the book and the Hobbit was to be the prequel. I read the Lord of the Rings when I was about twenty-five and loved it and re-read it immediately. (I haven’t read it again). I then read all his other books which I didn’t enjoy quite so much. I skipped all his poems in elvish (which I thought was too much of an indulgence of his). I enjoy reading long involved books!

  6. Hi Derrick – I totally understand why The Hobbit would deter you from reading the Ring trilogy. Of all of the books, I thought The Hobbit was the least interesting. However, I devoured the trilogy when I was in high school and it was one of the first times I realized how much I liked reading. And sci fi fantasy is definitely not my genre of choice. That said, there are so many other things to read, I would never tell you that you HAVE to read these. You are right to read what you want to read!

  7. The first time I tried to read The Hobbit, in my early 20s, I could not even get halfway -too much description. A few years later I forced myself to continue and found the second half became interesting which goes along with Clare’s comment above. I enjoyed reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy sometime after that. Now, I’m a big fan of the films which I can watch over and over, working on my laptop during the Orc scenes and paying close attention to the elves who fascinate and intrigue me. I wonder if you would like the films.

  8. I memorized this from the Fellowship many years ago:
    All that is gold does not glitter.
    Not all those who wander are lost.
    The old that is strong does not wither.
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken
    A light from the shadows shall spring
    renewed shall be blade that was broken.
    The crownless again shall be king.

        1. Not precisely but bits, from the very first line, are recognisable: “All that glisters is not gold” (The Merchant of Venice) – although the phrase is much older.

  9. A beloved uncle gave me the series in perhaps the late 70s, and I got through The Hobbit,, liked it, and maybe one and a half of the next three volumes, and felt guilty not to have finished. I diid enjoy other of his gifts like Watership Down, the All Things Bright and Beautiful series…but none had illustrations this nice–and I quite like Margaretha of Denmark.

  10. The Hobbit … I taught that novel for a number of years (not through choice) and could feel it wasn’t right for the youngsters entering senior school. Happily, it was dropped from the syllabus later. As for Lord of the Rings … I read it (in between preparing for writing exams) during the two weeks I was in hospital after the birth of my daughter. I was too far from home to receive daily visitors, so it was me and that world – I even began to dream in elvish! I much preferred the novel to the film – as brilliant as that was. Would I read it again? No. But then (shh) I have not read any of the Harry Potter books – and won’t.

  11. We had a terrific time visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand, but like you, I had to wade through the Hobbit. Based on the varied replies from your readers, I think it’s a style uniquely crafted for certain readers. Fantasy is rarely my go to choice in reading.

  12. Gorgeous roses. My husband and I took audibles of the trilogy along with us on a cross Canada/U.S. trip–coast to coast–and listened to it the whole way. I must admit that we weren’t very far into it when I was Bored With the Rings.

    1. Ha! Judy, you may or may not know there is a parody of Tolkien titled ‘Bored of the Rings,’ published for the Harvard Lampoon in 1969.

  13. What a stunningly beautiful rose in her honor! 🙂 My hubby’s grandfather, on his father’s side, was born and raised in Denmark.
    Wowza! Those artistic illustrations are fabulous! Worth having the unread books around. 🙂
    Mr. Tolkien was certainly a verbosely elaborate writer with great attention to detail. Ha!
    (((HUGS))) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    PS…How are you feeling? Did the chilli get your nose runnin’? Hot and spicy food does that for me.

  14. I must admit, in contrast to the large numbers of people who read these books more than once, I have only managed to read them the once….in that familiar yellow edged edition.

  15. Now that is a delightful link between the former Queen and the illustrations and your rose. Thank you for sharing the illustrations with us, though you will never read the books. Enough people are obsessed with them (like me), so we will cover for you!! The books have plenty of attention. 🙂

  16. Very fine illustrations – of course, including the rose. I liked the old forest one best of the b&w ones. I read The Hobbit and LOTR during the pandemic, but had always resisted before and was not wild about them. I thought Gollum was the most interesting character.

  17. I confess I am an unabashed fan of Tolkien; have read the books more than once; even read them aloud to my children (also read to them Lewis’ Narnia series and Watership Down, among others). First read The Hobbit when I was 15, not as an assigned reading, but totally voluntarily! 🙂

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