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Morgoth's Ring Paperback – 1 Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261103008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261103009
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

Review

‘Christopher Tolkien shows himself to be his father’s son… Tolkien devotees will rejoice’ The New York Times Book Review

‘Illustrates the development, depth and richness of J R R Tolkien’s personal mythology’ Vector

From the Back Cover

In 'Morgoth's Ring', the first of two companion volumes, Christopher Tolkien describes and documents the later history of 'The Silmarillion', from the time when his father turned again to 'the Matter of the Elder Days' after 'The Lord of the Rings' was at last achieved. The text of the Annals of Aman, the 'Blessed Land' in the far West, is given in full; while in writings hitherto unknown is seen the nature of the problems that J. R. R. Tolkien explored in his later years, as new and radical ideas, portending upheaval in the old narratives, emerged at the heart of the mythology, and as the destinies of Man and Elves, mortals and immortals, became of central significance, together with a vastly enlarged perception of the evil of Melkor, the Shadow upon Arda.

The second part of this history of the later Silmarillion is concerned with the developments in the legends of Beleriend after the completion of 'The Lord of the Rings'.

"One marvels anew at the depth, breadth, and persistence of J. R. R. Tolkien's labour. No one sympathetic to his aims, the invention of a secondary universe, will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation.
'Publishers Weekly'


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122 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.

Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.

Vol 1 & 2, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 ( 1983) & 2 (1984). The Book of Lost Tales was written during the 1910s and 1920s. Wikipedia describes it this way: "The framework for the book is that a mortal Man visits the Isle of Tol Eressëa where the Elves live. In the earlier versions of the `Lost Tales' this man is named Eriol, of some vague north European origin, but in later versions he becomes Ælfwine, an Englishman of the Middle-ages."

Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (1985). These are collections of poems, many of them incomplete, written between the 1920s and the late 1940s.

Vol 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986).
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I found a lot of the History of Middle earth books a bit tedious, too much repetitive drafts of the silmarillion to get through to find small nuggets of wonder at Tolkien's ideas. This volume is different, there is a remarkable amount of back story that is not evident elsewhere. A really interesting essay on the nature of Elves and their immortality, and what happens to a spouse when an elf dies and awaits rebirth. There is also a lengthy discussion between a human wisewoman and an Elven king as to the nature of humans and their role in the world and their future, hinting that humanity experiences a Fall of some kind due to the Great Enemy, Morgoth.

There are other chapters on the origins of Orcs, and some contradictions as to what they are. Tolkien seems unsure whether they are of elven origin or not, not wanting to allow Morgoth the power to pervert an entire group of people against the power of the Creator, Eru.

Also some interesting comparisons on the nature of Sauron and Morgoth and the different aspects of what they wanted to accomplish (morgoth wanting to destroy or corrupt everything, sauron being content to merely rule).

The title comes from the comparison of the Great Enemy morgoth and his successor, Sauron. Whereas Sauron concentrated his own power into the One Ring to rule the other Rings, Morgoth sent his much greater power into the very fabric of the world to taint and corrupt everything, hence Morgoth;s Ring is the world itself.

Heartily recommended for tolkien enthusiasts, but I suggest reading Silmarillion first.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Iani on 17 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book a bit different from the other volumes of the History of Middle-earth. On one hand it's a bit more complex to read (at least it was for me), especially since it deals with more philosophical and ethical themes than the others. On the other hand, I found it more to my liking, since it is even more tought-inspiring than its companions, and it contains many interesing items. I think the best parts are the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, in which Finrod (a Noldo) and Andreth (a human) discuss about Iluvatar's 'gift' to Man (Death) and its consequences on the two races' way of thinking, hoping and living; the Valar's thoughts about death and faithfullness (about the death of Miriel); and the 'transformations' JRRT brought to his mythology during his last years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emerson on 4 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't be confuse this is not a JRR Tolkien story. This is a compilation of JRR Tolkien's notes, stories and rewrites set into chronological order with annotations by his son Christopher. The book does a lot to set the background about the creation of the world and the early history of the Elves. But it is more about Tolkien's writing and rewriting of the story than anything else. A lot of the tales are repeated in whole or in part to show this redrafting and revision of the text. As such it is a great book if you are a 'real' fan and are looking for a in depth feel for how the great man thought and wrote. Not a book for a new comer to Tolkien to start with, better they start with The Hobbit and enjoy the story not the writing.
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By James on 27 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are already in thrall to 'Lord of the Rings', you will devour more background to The Eldar & their struggle against Sauron. A must for Tolkien addicts.
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By Pierre Chamonard on 4 Jun. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great present for my brother who loves Tolkien.
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