Description and History
Bilbo's translations of legends from the Elder Days were also added to it, as were various Hobbit poems and a lot of background information on the realms of Arnor, Gondor and Rohan, added to it by Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck.
After Bilbo and Frodo left for Valinor, the Red Book passed into the keeping of Samwise Gamgee, mayor of Hobbiton. The book was left in the possession of Sam Gamgee's eldest daughter, Elanor Fairbairns, and her descendants (the Fairbairns of the Towers or Wardens of Westmarch). Several copies, with various notes and later additions, were made and the original was kept in a red case (with a three-volume Elvish Translation and a fifth volume [genealogical tables and commentaries]). Copies were passed on to future generations, of which one, the "Thain's Book", is the most important.
From the cover it is properly red colored; and has signature print on the top, shaped as a shine of light. It also has stitch patterns and beautiful marks around the edges. Bilbo Baggins' initials BB are in gold and it is very smooth, soft and silky to the touch. On the inside, there is a page of contents; writing each story by the four owners. There is a chance that The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil (a book of poems) was written by Samwise Gamgee. However it is unknown what Elanor Gamgee wrote.
The Red Book Of West March
In the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien's foreword claimed he had translated the Red Book from the original Westron into English, and it therefore must be supposed that copies of the book survived through several Ages.
The contents of the Red Book were probably as follows:
- Bilbo's journey: The Hobbit
- Frodo's journey: The Lord of the Rings
- Background information: the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings
- Hobbit poetry and legends: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Fastitocalon
- Bilbo's translation of legends: The Silmarillion