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The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book
File:The Adventures of Tom Bombadil cover.jpg
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Cover artist Pauline Baynes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Poetry
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
Publication date
Media type Print

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (full title The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book) is a collection of poetry written by J. R. R. Tolkien and published in 1962. The book contains 16 poems, three of which deal with Tom Bombadil (two specifically about Tom, and he also appears in the poem; The Stone Troll), a character who is most famous for his encounter with Frodo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring (the first volume in Tolkien's best-selling The Lord of the Rings). The rest of the poems are an assortment of bestiary verse and fairy tale rhyme. Three of the poems appear in The Lord of the Rings as well. The book is part of Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium and the Middle-earth canon.

The volume includes what W. H. Auden considered Tolkien's best poem, The Sea-Bell, subtitled Frodos Dreme. It is a piece of great metrical and rhythmical complexity that recounts a journey to a strange land beyond the sea. Drawing on medieval 'dream vision' poetry and Irish 'immram'[citation needed] poems the piece is markedly melancholic and the final note is one of alienation and disillusion.

The book was originally illustrated by Pauline Baynes and later by Roger Garland. The book, like the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, is presented as if it is an actual translation from the Red Book of Westmarch, and contains some background information on the world of Middle-earth which is not found elsewhere: e.g. the name of the tower at Dol Amroth and the names of the Seven Rivers of Gondor. There is also some fictional 'background' information of those poems, linking them to the Hobbit folklore and literature as well as their actual writers (some of them were written by Samwise Gamgee).

The book is also notable because it uses the letter "K" instead of "C" for the /k/ sound in Sindarin, a spelling variant Tolkien alternated many times in his writings.


  1. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
  2. Bombadil Goes Boating
  3. Errantry
  4. Princess Mee
  5. The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late*
  6. The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon
  7. The Stone Troll*
  8. Perry-the-Winkle
  9. The Mewlips
  10. Oliphaunt*
  11. Fastitocalon
  12. Cat [1]
  13. Shadow-bride
  14. The Hoard [2]
  15. The Sea-Bell
  16. The Last Ship

*Poems featured in The Lord of the Rings

See also

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