The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Two Towers is the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien’s high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King.
The Lord of the Rings is composed of six “books”, aside from an introduction, a prologue and six appendices. The novel was originally published as three separate volumes due to post-World War II paper shortages and size and price considerations. The Two Towers covers Books III and IV.
Tolkien wrote, “The Two Towers gets as near as possible to finding a title to cover the widely divergent Books 3 and 4; and can be left ambiguous.” At this stage he planned to title the individual books. The proposed title for Book III was The Treason of Isengard. Book IV was titled The Journey of the Ringbearers or The Ring Goes East. The titles The Treason of Isengard and The Ring Goes East were used in the Millennium edition.
In letters to Rayner Unwin Tolkien considered naming the two as Orthanc and Barad-dûr, Minas Tirith and Barad-dûr, or Orthanc and the Tower of Cirith Ungol. However, a month later he wrote a note published at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring and later drew a cover illustration, both of which identified the pair as Minas Morgul and Orthanc. In the illustration, Orthanc is shown as a black tower, three-horned, with the sign of the White Hand beside it; Minas Morgul is a white tower, with a thin waning moon above it, in reference to its original name, Minas Ithil, the Tower of the Rising Moon. Between the two towers a Nazgûl flies.
New Line Cinema will be releasing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in three separate installments, and Houghton Mifflin Tolkien’s U.S. publisher since the release of The Hobbit in 1938 will be re-releasing each volume of the trilogy separately and in a boxed set (ISBN 0-618-15397-7. $22; pap. ISBN 0-618-15396-9. $12).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
“The author has intimate access to an epic tradition of Germanic history, civilized by the gentler genius of modern England.” The New York Times
“Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century. The book presents us with the richest profusion of new lands and new creatures, from the beauty of Lothlorien to the horror of Mordor, adventures to hold us spell-bound, and words of beauty and evocation to bring all vividly before us.” — Sunday Telegraph