This guide to the "Lord of the Rings" provides an entertaining and informative insight into the books, the films and their creator, J.R.R. Tolkien. It serves as an introduction to those who have seen the films but fear the books are for "anoraks" and is of sufficient depth for devoted Tolkienites. It tracks the evolution of the "Lord of the Rings" phenomenon from Ronald Tolkien's upbringing and contemporaries such as C.S. Lewis to the revival of fantasy fiction, the obsessive fans and the trilogy's influence on figures from George Lucas to J.K. Rowling. There is also an in-depth look at the characters, a guide to Middle Earth and a rundown of the best film locations to visit, including practical details of how to get there and where best to stay.