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Red Book of Westmarch

The book's cover

The Red Book of Westmarch was a red, leather-bound book written by the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and his household-heir Frodo Baggins (with supplemental information later added by Samwise Gamgee), which chronicled both their adventures, as well as background information which the Bagginses had collected.

Bilbo Baggins started the book recounting his quest to Erebor, which he entitled There and Back Again. He later gave the book to Frodo at Rivendell after completing it. Frodo organized Bilbo's manuscript and used it to record his own Quest of the Ring.[1]

Description & history[]

Inscribed within, it reads:

    My Diary. My Unexpected Journey. There and Back Again. And
What Happened After.

    Adventures of Five Hobbits. The Tale of the Great Ring, compiled by
Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the accounts of his friends.
What we did in the War of the Ring.


(as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs of Bilbo and
Frodo of the Shire, supplemented by the accounts of their friends
and the learning of the Wise.)

Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo
in Rivendell.

Bilbo's translations of legends from the Elder Days were also added to it, as were various Hobbit poems and a significant amount of background information on the realms of Arnor, Gondor and Rohan, added to it by Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck.[2]

Screen shot 2011-11-05 at 11.20

A section of the book's contents in Peter Jackson's films

After Bilbo and Frodo left for Valinor, the Red Book passed into the keeping of Samwise Gamgee, Mayor of Michel Delving. The book was left in the possession of Sam Gamgee's eldest daughter, Elanor Fairbairn, and her descendants the Fairbairns. 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.

The copy kept at Great Smials, however, was made in Gondor by Findegil in FO 171, and was said to have been requested by Peregrin Took's great-grandson.[2]

The cover was properly red colored; and had signature print on the top, shaped as a shine of light. It also had stitch patterns and beautiful marks around the edges. Bilbo Baggins' initials BB were imprinted on the cover in gold and it was very smooth, soft and silky to the touch. On the inside, there was 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 Gardner wrote.

Behind the scenes[]

In the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. 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:

See also[]


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Rooi Boek van Westemark
Albanian Libri i Kuq i Kufirit Perëndimor
Amharic የምዕራቡ ድንበር ቀይ መጽሐፍ
Arabic الكتاب الأحمر من الغرب الثغر
Armenian Արեւմտյան մարկա Կարմիր գիրքը
Assamese পশ্চিম সীমান্তৰ ৰঙা কিতাপ
Azerbaijani Qərb sərhəddi Qırmızı Kitab
Belarusian Cyrillic Чырвоная кніга Захаду марка
Bengali ওয়েস্ট সীমান্তপ্রদেশ রেড বুক
Bosnian Zapada granica Crvena Knjiga
Bulgarian Cyrillic Червената книга на западния предел
Catalan Llibre vermell d'Occident marca
Chinese 西域红皮书
Chinese (Mainland) 西界红皮书
Croatian Crvena knjiga Zapada Marka
Danish Vestmarch Røde bog
Dutch Rode Boek van de Westmark
Esperanto Ruĝa Libro de Okcidento markio
Estonian Lääne mark Punane raamat
Filipino Pulang aklat ng Kanluran hangganan
Finnish Länsikairan Punainen kirja
French Livre rouge de la Marche de l'Ouest
Galician Libro Vermello do Oeste Marca
Georgian დასავლეთ მხარის წითელი წიგნი
German Das Rote Buch der Westmark
Greek Κόκκινο Βιβλίο των Δυτικών Συνόρων
Gujarati પશ્ચિમ સરહદની રેડ બુક
Haitian Creole Wouj Liv nan Lwès Fwontyè tè
Hindi पश्चिमी सीमांत की लाल किताब
Hebrew ספר האדום של שפילת-המערב
Hungarian A Nyugati határ Vörös Könyv
Icelandic Vesturmarke Rauður Bók
Indonesian Barat perbatasan Buku merah
Italian Libro Rosso dei Confini Occidentali
Japanese 西境の赤表紙本
Kazakh Батыс шекарасының қызыл кітабы (Cyrillic)Batıs şekarasınıñ qızıl kitabı (Latin)
Korean 서쪽의 국경 토지 빨간 책
Kurdish کتێبی سووری سنووری ڕۆژئاوا (Sorani) Sor Pirtûka Rojavayê mark (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Батыш чек арасынын Кызыл китеби
Laotian ປື້ມສີແດງຂອງຊາຍແດນຕາເວັນຕົກ
Latvian Rietumu robeža sarkanā grāmata
Lithuanian Raudonoji knyga Vakaru Marka
Macedonian Cyrillic Црвена книга од Запад граница
Malayalam പടിഞ്ഞാറൻ അതിർത്തിയിലെ റെഡ് ബുക്ക്
Malaysian Buku Merah Sempadan Barat
Mongolian Cyrillic Улаан Ном нь Өрнөдийн хил хязгаар
Nepalese पश्चिम सिमानाको रेड बुक
Norwegian Vestmarks Røde bok
Persian کتاب سرخ سرحد غربی
Pashto د لویدیځ سرحد سور کتاب
Polish Czerwona Ksiega Marchii Zachodniej
Portuguese Livro Vermelho da Marcha Oeste

Livro Vermelho das Terras Ocidentais

Punjabi ਵੈਸਟਰਨ ਫਰੰਟੀਅਰ ਦੀ ਰੈੱਡ ਬੁੱਕ
Russian Алая книга Западных пределов
Scottish Gaelic Leabhar Dearg an Lar chrìochan
Serbian Црвена књига Западне Међе (Cyrillic) Crvena knjiga Zapadne Međe (Latin)
Sinhalese බටහිර දේශසීමා රතු පොත
Slovak Cervená kniha Západu March
Slovenian Rdeca knjiga Zahoda Marka
Spanish Libro Rojo de la Frontera del Oeste
Swedish Västmarkgrevskap Röd bok
Tajik Cyrillic Сурх Китоб аз Ғарб сарҳад
Tamil மேற்கு எல்லையின் சிவப்பு புத்தகம்
Thai หนังสือสีแดงของชายแดนตะวันตก
Turkish Bati hudut Kirmizi Kitap
Turkmen Günbatar serhediň gyzyl kitaby
Ukrainian Cyrillic Червона книга Заходу mарка
Urdu ریڈ بک آف دی ویسٹرن فرنٹیئر
Uzbek Ғарбий чегаранинг Қизил китоби (Cyrillic) G'arbiy chegaraning Qizil kitobi (Latin)
Vietnamese Sổ đỏ biên giới phía Tây
Welsh Llyfr Coch y Ffin Orllewinol
Yiddish רויט ספר פון די מערב פראָנטיער


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Prologue, I: "Concerning Hobbits"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Lord of the Rings, Prologue: "Note on the Shire Records"