A tale of the days when giants and dragons walked the kingdom.
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This is the 50th anniversary edition of Tolkien's best-loved short fairy story, originally told to his children in the 1920s and expanded for publication in 1949. Bluff Farmer Giles lives in a land-of-fable England, full of giants and dragons. A reluctant hero like the Brave Little Tailor or Bilbo in The Hobbit, Giles wins a great reputation by firing his blunderbuss at a wandering giant--who retreats not in fear but to avoid this tiresome stinging "insect". One thing leads to another, and despite all his excuses the now famous Giles is called to save his country from the marauding dragon Chrysophylax. He has a legendary anti-dragon sword and a lot of luck, but dragons can be as devious as politicians... Tolkien crammed much sly wit into his little story, plus jokey philological explanations that Giles's amazing adventures are commemorated in Thames Valley placenames like Worminghall and Thame. It's illustrated with nearly 50 line drawings by Paula Baynes: Tolkien loved these, but some look sadly faded here, like fourth-generation photocopies. As a bonus, the anniversary edition includes an introduction telling the story's history, a transcription of the original, unfinished draft, and 23 pages of notes on allusions and names (Chrysophylax means "keeper of gold", which is indeed what dragons do). A pleasant gift book. -- David LangfordReview:
‘A fabulous tale of the days when giants and dragons walked the kingdom’
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Book Description Allen & Unwin, 1949. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110048230685