The Return of the Shadow is the first part of the history of the creation of The Lord of the Rings, a fascinating study of Tolkien's great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring.
In The Return of the Shadow (the abandoned title of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings) we see how Bilbo's 'magic' ring evolved into the supremely dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord; and the precise, and astonishingly unforeseen, moment when a Black Rider first rode into the Shire. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed, though his true identity seems to be an insoluble problem. Frodo's companions undergo many changes of name and personality; and other major figures appear in unfamiliar guises: a sinister Treebeard, in league with the Enemy, and a ferocious, malevolent Farmer Maggot.
This book comes complete with reproductions of the first maps and facsimile pages from the earlier manuscripts.